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Stroke of genius? Golf has benefits

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I showed up to play in a golf benefit tournament to help an organization, and I ended up helping myself.

Or I should say my son.

It was years ago, and I was getting ready to go on a cruise. My son was about 6 at the time, and I put him through a series of swim lessons at the local YMCA; but, for him, they just didn’t take.

It was important he knew how to swim because the ship for our cruise had a pool with no shallow end. Considering the pool was filled with salt water, minimal swimming skills were needed, but I wanted to feel comfortable.

So as my family neared cruise time, I teed off in the benefit golf scramble with three of my friends, and we managed to win. Included among the golf prizes was a series of six private swim lessons. Imagine that?

Six lessons later and my son swam like a fish. It was a worry-free cruise.

Now I’m not saying you should run out and sign up for a benefit golf tournament to win swim lessons, but you never know what pot of gold you will find at the end of the golfing rainbow.

The biggest reason to support our area benefit golf tournaments, which are in abundance right now, is to help various causes and organizations. Sure, some of the benefits can price many of us out, carrying an entry fee more reserved for the bluest of bloods. However, you will find most very reasonable.

In fact, if you look closely, you will find that some tournaments offer a better bargain to play a specific course than if you went there on your own and played 18 holes and purchased lunch. Throw in the prizes often awarded at many of the tournaments, and you might even walk away with more than just a fun and rewarding experience.

Please note that in most of the tournaments, you need not have any real golfing skill to participate. Many are the scramble variety, where only the best of four team members’ shots are used each hit. Who knows? You might just sink of a 60-foot putt.

It could happen.

Many of the benefit tournaments are listed in The Republic. You can check with your favorite golf course as well. But, please, join the fun. You will be glad you did.

Here are a few examples of benefit tournaments:

Dave Galle Memorial: June 23, Otter Creek — This is a big one, a tournament that benefits the David M. Galle Memorial Scholarship Fund. From the event committee, “All dollars raised will be used to support Dave’s dream of providing both private and public options for all kids to receive pre-K education in Bartholomew County regardless of ability to pay. The Heritage Fund — The Community Foundation of Bartholomew County has been chosen to manage Dave’s scholarship.”

The tournament is $500 for a foursome, which sounds expensive until you figure it is $125 a person. Consider that you get to play one of the nation’s top public courses, get either breakfast or lunch, free range balls, prizes and tournament contests and you realize it’s a bargain, and you get to donate to a good cause. The website is For more information you can call Chris Beach at 812-314-8507 or Pat Wilson at 812-314-8509. Galle, who died in 2012, was a local advocate for education and a former basketball star at DePauw.

DSI 29th Golf Tournament: June 4, Otter Creek — DSI’s s tournament benefits children with disabilities and like the Galle Memorial has a price of $125 per player. The fee includes greens fees, cart, refreshments, a buffet lunch, hole-in-one and other prizes and a team photo. DSI is a nonprofit organization that provides services and support for children and adults with mental, physical and emotional challenges in 40 counties in south-central Indiana.

Registration for the tournament can be completed by calling 800-745-7686 or by going to

Purdue Alumni Club of Bartholomew County Tournament: June 5, Harrison Lake Country Club — Included among the guests for this tourney will be Morgan Burke, the Purdue athletics director, Glenn Tompkins, the associate athletics director, and Doug Schreiber, head baseball coach. Lunch is offered before golf. Prizes for longest drive, closest to pin, longest putt mad, and others. A silent auction will be conducted after the event. Cost is $12 lunch only, $60 green fees, $27 dinner for adult at the scholarship banquet or $10 dinner for child. Lunch begins at 11 a.m., golf begins at 12:30 p.m., and the banquet begins at 6 p.m. The club will present three $2,000 scholarships to local students. For more information or to sign up, call Kyle Lindenman at 574-339-6566 or send an email to

Many other events are available. I’m sure you won’t have any trouble finding one that benefits a cause that is close to your heart. Sign up and get ready to have a fulfilling day.

Who knows, perhaps you will learn how to swim?

Jay Heater is The Republic sports editor. He can be reached at or 379-5632.

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