Now more than ever, we understand how important it is to come together and help each other. Yes, we can do this in our daily lives, but sometimes we want to do more—we want to help the greater good. As golfers, we’re lucky because we have many opportunities to go above and beyond by participating or volunteering in charity golf tournaments.

On paper, a charity golf tournament may seem like a way to escape a day at the office. But anyone who’s ever participated in one knows they are so much more. Yes, an event allows us to spend a day on the golf course, but the beauty lies in the fact that those participating in the event are making magic. Every participant—from the golfers to the volunteers to the organizers—has come together to make a positive impact on the world.

The nice thing about these tournaments is that anyone who wants to help can participate; charity golf tournaments aren’t just for scratch golfers or even golfers in general. Golfers of varying abilities are welcome and their entry fees and donations on the course at various holes help raise money for the cause. Organizations and corporations have the chance to send groups of golfers to support a cause they support.

Not a golfer or have a non-golfing spouse who wants to attend? No problem! Volunteer positions offer the opportunity to be part of the event and help at the same time. Hole or event sponsors are additional ways to help generate awareness and revenue. The result? Regardless of how one participates, everyone feels good, knowing they’ve all done something to make a difference. Charity golf tournaments are truly a win for all involved.

I understand the importance of charity golf events firsthand. One event in particular, The Goldbug Golf Classic, has been a large part of my family’s story for the past 31 years. My dad started this tournament in my hometown in order to raise money for an adult daycare center for Alzheimer’s patients. The event became an instant hit, and it helped create the center my dad envisioned, which serves the community to this day. After reaching the goal of building the center, the event changed its focus to raise money for medical transportation. Proceeds helped fund rides to medical appointments for those in need. Over the years, I admired my dad’s relentless dedication to these causes, and the fact that he used his love for golf and connecting with people to create such an event. I’d feel the electricity at each Goldbug and would see him working the crowd, talking to the repeat participants and volunteers. Clearly, there was something special that made people come back each year.

I also was impressed to learn of the number of people who benefitted from the event. In the early years, I didn’t personally know of anyone who needed adult daycare or medical transport, but I appreciated their value. Year after year, fundraising goals were met and/or exceeded. I could tell my dad had a good thing going.

This past July, my family and I again gathered together to play in the event. My friends golfed, and one of them sponsored a hole. My husband recruited his employer to be a sponsor and got some co-workers to golf. I wish I could say that my dad also played with us, and that my mom joined us at the dinner like she often did. I also wish I could say that I continued to play in the event as a participant interested in the cause, but not directly affected by it. But as it turns out, that’s not how this story goes. This was the second year we all played without my dad being part of the event, and the first year we all played together under its new name—after my dad. You see, both of my parents passed away in 2020, which made The Algiers Goldbug Golf Classic all the more special. As my parents got older, I came to realize the importance of elder care services and transportation to and from medical appointments. While my siblings and I could help my parents with many of their needs, they did rely on outside services for additional support. Luckily, my parents had the resources to access services, but many people cannot.

So, after many years of playing in the tournament without having to worry about those services for my loved ones, I came to know and feel firsthand what it was like to have a family member needing assistance.

That’s the beauty of charity golf tournaments; they mean something. Maybe not to a golfer on the day of the event—maybe not ever—but to someone, the cause you are golfing for is everything. That day you take off work to play, volunteer, or sponsor in some way is more important that you realize.

You are helping make someone’s life better.

Think of the power of this. You can change lives on the golf course.

Not a bad deal, right?

A charity golf tournament offers so many ways for people to come together for the greater good. Regardless of how you participate, I guarantee you’ll walk away with more than you imagined—a day spent surrounded by the positive energy of people working together for a cause, the chance to make new connections and spread goodness in the world, and the chance to be part of something bigger. Remember this next time you see an ad for a charity golf tournament. Get a foursome together and sign up for a day of life-changing fun!