Golf and giving


As most of you might know, I have been an avid golfer since my teens. I enjoy the game for a lot of reasons, the exercise, the camaraderie, but mostly the challenge.

I played football, was on the track team, played baseball, basketball and almost every sport you can imagine as a young man and teenager. I will admit though that golf is the hardest game to play even though it is the only game where the ball doesn’t move!

All you have to do is hit it as it lays there! People who are not golfers have no idea how difficult that is to do. I think there is a distinct lack of respect for pro golfers. Their level of talent is to be admired, and other pro athletes that try golf admit that their level of CONSISTENCY is hard to duplicate.

I think the best thing about golf is that you can play the game until you die, and it is one of the few sports where that can happen. Since I live on a golf course, I enjoy watching people as they play the hole in front of my house. It is always fun to watch grandkids playing the same game at the same time as their grandparents, and laughing and enjoying themselves! Golf is a great sport that I would encourage everyone to try at least once.

One of the benefits of golf that some may not realize is the charitable contributions the game of golf makes to our society.

In 2015, the PGA tour generated 160 million dollars for charities, and in 2019 reached a milestone of 3 billion dollars given since 1938 when their first contribution, $10,000, was presented at the Palm Beach invitational.

Professional Golf is the largest contributor to charities of all sports. Golf at our local level is very important to our communities in Darke County as well. There are a lot of local golf outings every year that contribute to local causes.

Some of note are the School boosters of several of our schools usually have an outing, The chamber of Commerce outing, the United way has an outing, the Cancer Association, and The Wayne Healthcare Foundation Board is always a great outing.

One that recently happened was the Arcanum Lions club golf outing. This long time charity who’s mission is to promote the “principles of good government and good citizenship, and to take an active interest in civic, cultural, social and moral welfare of the community”.

For a small community, The Arcanum Lions club golf outing generated $4500 for community causes. That money will surely make some impact on the quality of life in Arcanum. Congratulations to the members for hosting this event that really is for the whole community good.

Charity is always the big winner with golf outings. I get asked to play in a lot of these outings, and I wish I could play in them all. So, if you are a golfer (and even if you aren’t!) and get asked to play in a golf outing for a club, organization or charity, get a group of friends and play. You will not only enjoy the outing, (most are played as scrambles) but you will be helping out a good cause.

Golf and charity outings go together like bread and butter, both benefit each other and promote sportsmanship and giving, and these are valuable life lessons! That’s the way I see it from the sidelines.

By Michael Stegall

From the Sidelines

Contributing columnist Mike Stegall a 27 year former OHSAA high school football official and current Darke County Commissioner

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