Bob Gillespie



Swinging for the troops: Santee’s Lake Marion Golf Course sets standard

Posted 10/12/2012 10:51:00 AM

Remember all those ads in golf publications this summer touting the idea of Patriot Golf Day during the Labor Day weekend? Turns out one South Carolina course took the messages to heart.

Lake Marion Golf Course in Santee, in its fourth year participating in Patriot Golf Day – which asks players to contribute $1 per round to help provide scholarships for spouses and children of U.S. military members killed or disabled during service – raised more than $15,000 for the project, in conjunction with the PGA of America and the Folds of Honor Foundation.

In 2007, Lake Marion began its support of the cause with a single small container on a counter in the pro shop. That small start produced just $19, and the club opted to do more. Its first Patriot Golf Day tournament in 2009 raised $3,200, and a year later produced $11,500. In 2001, the event generated $14,000.

This year, 350 players signed up, forcing Lake Marion to host three separate shotgun-start tournaments. Included in the events were flag ceremonies by the local VFW, prizes, a silent auction and cookout for participants. Nearly 100 area businesses and groups provided scholarships and/or product donations, while 30-plus volunteers helped run the events.

Patriot Golf Day is the product of a vision by U.S. Air Force (Reserves) Maj. Dan Rooney, a former F-16 fighter pilot and PGA Golf professional and U.S. Golf Association member. In five years, Patriot Golf Day has generated contributions of more than $12.8 million; in 2011, the event generated $3.9 million, also a record.

For information on future Patriot Golf Day participation or on Lake Marion Golf Course, click here.