Monday, September 12, 2011

Honoring the Spirit of Freedom and Uniting through Golf

From California to Maine, the stars are lined up to participate in inaugural, multi-venue GOLF 9/12 event remembering those who sacrificed their lives on Sept. 11, 2001

From former Masters, PGA and U.S. Open champions to the defending Super Bowl champion Green Bay Packers to numerous military and government officials, the stars have come out in full support of today’s inaugural GOLF 9/12 celebration of unity.

At 50 courses around the country, more than 4,000 GOLF 9/12 patrons will tee off simultaneously at 2 p.m. EST in what can eventually become the largest multi-venue golf event in the world. Embracing the power of technology, players will be connected via live mobile scoring and a real-time leaderboard. Players will be able to check the mobile leaderboard as they play, and heckle and challenge friends wherever they are playing in a matter of seconds, using a custom GOLF 9/12 mobile phone application.

GOLF 9/12 is a grassroots, non-profit initiative founded by South African immigrants Rich Davies and Johan Immelman along with Col. Ray Horoho (Ret.), who worked in the Pentagon with his wife Maj. General Patty Horoho on the day of the attack. Proceeds from funds raised from optional after-play unity gatherings will be used to build relationships by supporting people and charitable organizations, upholding the spirit of freedom, especially in places where hopelessness breeds. GOLF 9/12 will support The Pentagon Memorial Fund, The 9-11 Memorial, Flight 93 Memorial, local First Responders, Armed Forces Charities and Friends of Freedom Charities, including global outreach projects and educational programs throughout the world.

“For those of us who have lived abroad and chosen to live in this great nation, the reason we chose to live here has never been more evident than in the days that followed the worst terrorist attack in U.S. history 10 years ago,” said Davies, chairman and co-founder of this initiative. “GOLF 9/12 and the Unity Dinners that follow will serve to remind us of the inspirational response to the tragedy of 9/11 and prompt us to be engaged in upholding the spirit of freedom.”

Among today’s signature events:
* 2012 Ryder Cup Captain Davis Love III and 2009 U.S. Open champion Lucas Glover will be participating at Sea Island Golf Club in St. Simons Island, Ga., along with PGA TOUR winner Brian Bateman, Nationwide Tour player Michael Sims and recent Georgia All-Americans Brian Harman and Hudson Swafford.
* 2008 Masters champion Trevor Immelman will be in attendance at the Country Club of Columbus in Columbus, Ga., where a portion of one of the World Trade Towers will be on site for photo opportunities.
* Members of the Green Bay Packers staff will be participating at Thornberry Golf Course in Oneida, Wisc.
* Many elected officials in Maine will be playing golf and also participating in a unity event at Sable Oaks Golf Club in South Portland, Maine, where “America’s Beloved Tenor” Daniel Rodriguez will perform the National Anthem and “God Bless America.”
* Forest Hills Golf Club in Augusta, Ga. — which proudly served as a military golf course for nearly four decades — will have a “Color Guard,” a ceremonial start with local wounded veterans and police/firefighter escort of the golf carts to the various starting holes.

“Champions for Freedom” that have already united through the vision of GOLF 9/12 include: Davis Love III, Lucas Glover, Trevor Immelman, Larry Mize, David Frost, Dan Marino, Coach Lou Holtz, Steve Beuerlein, Wesley Walls, Jim Stuckey, Greg Buttle, Johnny Damon, Dan Jansen, Karen Palacios Jansen, Mike Eruzione, David Leadbetter, D.A. Points, Gary Woodland, Ty Tryon, Carol Mann, Gary Williams, Mark Immelman, Kevin W. McCarthy, retired General Buck Kernan and retired Marine Corps Lance Corporal Tim Lang, a wounded warrior and avid amputee golfer.

Pavilion Development Company, TBC Corporation and its affiliate, Tire Kingdom, provided the funding to establish GOLF 9/12.

Bridgestone Golf and the newest member of its TOUR team Davis Love III teamed up for a season-long effort to benefit GOLF 9/12. Bridgestone Golf contributes $100 to GOLF 9/12 for every birdie that Love cards from the start of the 2011 PGA Tour season through September 11.

The Trevor Immelman Foundation participates in a “GOLF 9/12 Fairways for Freedom” promotion, with $10 being donated for every fairway he hits during the PGA TOUR season. Corporations and fans are able to join in on this promotion by pledging matching amounts.

Immelman quotes Nelson Mandela who once said, “Sport has the power to change the world. It has the power to inspire. It has the power to unite people in a way that little else does. This is the hope behind GOLF 9/12, to help us remember the unity we felt the day after the 9/11 tragedy,” says Immelman. “GOLF 9/12 provides a way for us to unite again, and personally engage in honoring, upholding, and celebrating the freedom we are blessed to enjoy.”


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