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Golf: A Community Asset?

For some time now I've been mulling over a worthy first post for this new blog. This being the first blog-type writing I have ever embarked upon, it's important to me that the first entry is one which gets this journey off on the right foot. My primary background in terms of writing style, especially the writings I've done in the past 3 to 4 years, was entirely technical, research based writing--needless to say, this is a change of venue for what had become my literary tendencies. The idea behind these entries is simple: I want to give the reader a perspective he or she may not have otherwise had, especially as that perspective relates to my job as GM here a Knoxville Municipal Golf Course. To be quite honest, I don't know exactly what that will hold, but what I do know is that it will come together piece by piece, bit by bit, and eventually total into the vision that I have for this blog's creation--a real, introspective look into what it is like to handle the operations of a classic community municipal golf course. 

Now, back to the worthy idea that prompted this first entry. 

It is my belief that many people have an opinion of what golf truly is that is limited by their experiences, or lack thereof.This isn't necessarily a travesty, but rather a reality of the busy-bee lifestyles that are so commonplace today, wherein we must be selective of the activities that consume our time. Having a limited perspective of anything will accordingly limit the information one has to form an opinion, but let's stick to golf. What many who either don't play golf or play sparingly can miss is the benefit that the game of golf can have beyond course financials or 4-5 hours of entertainment for someone playing. What might not be seen by those furthest departed from the golf and all it encompasses may in fact be the best asset of the game. All of this leads me to what is currently happening out on the course today.

At 8:30 this morning, 80+ players tee'ed off in an outing organized by local Walmart stores. The crucial part of the outing is this--all proceeds raised through the event are being donated to the local Children's Miracle Network hospital, which I learned today is the only of it's kind in the area that is capable of treating severe pediatric issues other area facilities cannot. In the hierarchy of great causes, fundraising for a hospital to treat sick children has to be in the top 2%. On top of everything, those who were gracious enough to pay the entry fee and play today have one of the most well organized events we've hosted. There are hole-in-one prizes on every par 3, including a car from a local dealership, in addition to door/raffle, long drive, and final score prizes. What we have here today is something that really can't be offered by any other type of fundraising venue--a ridiculous array of prizes for players coupled with the relaxing, enjoyable experience of playing a round of golf (who, by the way, get to play golf on a stunningly beautiful Tuesday morning), all of which directly benefits one of the best local causes you could possibly pick. What could be better than that?

Consider that this example is but a blip on the radar of possibilities. Those of us that are fortunate enough to work within golf need to strive toward making these vast possibilities become apparent to those who have that "limited" opinion of what the game of golf is all about. Yes, we are about fun, and yes, golf can be a competitive sport (and more often than not, is); but that is not all golf can be.

The chosen benefactor for today's event is obviously worthy, but on a smaller scale we host golf fundraising outings for local churches, high school and middle school athletic teams, and to honor friends or family members no longer with us. All of these great causes are wrapped within the structure of a day of golf; an inherently enjoyable activity. These factors hold true for us here at Knox Muni because of the type of course and facility we have. We are unique for this type of fundraising by having a playable course for all ages and skill levels, and perhaps more importantly, an accommodating staff and management who LOVE working with these types of groups. I am admittedly biased, but there aren't many other fundraising arenas that can offer all of those factors in one 4-6 hour event.

If you've managed to read this far and get nothing else from this entry, I want you to now how we feel about these types of events that benefit the community in some way--communal service is at the core of this muni's operation. After all, if nothing else we have embraced our role as a resource for the community of Knoxville.

We hope you see us the same way.