27 Nov 17
The PGA Benevolent Fund’s coffers have been boosted by more than £13,000 thanks to the efforts of two pros – Alan White and Stuart Collier.
White, who was appointed chairman of The PGA in November and who is a head pro at Lanark Golf Club in Scotland, has organised a charity pro-am for the past four years and the latest one raised more than £8,000.
That took the amount raised from the four events past the £31,000 mark and White (pictured left) said: “I know how important the Benevolent Fund is and how much good work it does.
“You hear of some of the cases and learn there are people out there, young and old, struggling. I realised the Fund would always need as much money as possible.
“I said to my club if I were to run a pro-am would they give me the course for free and they had no hesitation in agreeing. Then, using my contacts, I sold the teams. I literally phoned every pro I know in Scotland and asked if they’d play for free. We’ve now done that for four years.
“More PGA pros should do the same because it’s not particularly difficult. I’m absolutely delighted that we’ve raised so much money. There’s no other organisation that’s going to take care of us. We have to get together and take care of ourselves and it’s important everyone does something.”
Established when the Association was founded in 1901, The PGA Benevolent Fund is a charity that helps PGA Members who, through no fault of their own, have fallen on hard times.
Meanwhile, Collier (pictured below), the director of golf at Stoke Park in Buckinghamshire, was inspired to raise money for the Benevolent Fund after attending the PGA’s Annual Lunch in London last year.
There he learnt more about one particular PGA pro’s plight and vowed to do something to support others in a similar situation.
That prompted him and eight other PGA pros to host a silent auction with those making successful bids winning the chance to play some of England’s finest and most exclusive courses.
The prizes included rounds of golf at former Ryder Cup venues The Belfry and Walton Heath, a mid-week two-ball at Wentworth and a helicopter ride followed by a two-ball at Saunton Golf Club, Devon.
The eight other PGA pros involved were Chris Murtagh, Tom Reid, James Jewell, David Novell, James Hoar, Adam Lewis, Jon White and Tom Habgood.
Their efforts helped raise £5,296 and Collier is hoping their event will encourage more Members to support the charity.
“As members we are always doing lots of stuff for charity,” he said, “but I just felt we weren’t focusing on our own charity enough. We used our relationships and connections with other clubs and pros to pull together some great prizes. We also had a beat the pro competition and a raffle. It was a real team effort.
“All it’s taken is for everyone to give up one day’s work. It would be great if other Members could do that and help the Benevolent Fund in some way.”
PGA chief executive Robert Maxfield has expressed the Asociation’s gratitude for the sterling efforts of Members who have raised money for the Benevolent Fund and those who donated to it via their annual subscription renewals.
He added: “The Benevolent Fund is a key element of The PGA’s work and is one of the many ways the Association supports its Members. However, it would not survive without the generosity of PGA Members and we are indebted to those who support it.”