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October 2021

Birdie Pledge For Charities: A Bonding Tool For Members

By: Steve Eubanks

It started out as a fun way to keep members engaged with the professional staff. But as interest grew, the staff at The Saint Andrews Golf Club in Hastings-on-Hudson, New York, realized that they had something bigger and more powerful on their hands. 

“Back in 2009, when I was still an assistant here, we were trying to get involved and raise money for junior golf in the (Metropolitan PGA) section,” said Saint Andrews head golf professional Greg Bisconti. “Our membership likes the fact that we play tournaments, so we asked our membership to pledge some dollar amount for every birdie that a member of the professional staff makes in competition.”

Given the number of sectional and national events played in by the staff at Saint Andrews, that number could be 200 to 300 birdies. If a member pledges a dollar, at the end of the year, that would be a $300 donation. Some pledge more.

“We figured that spreading this out over an entire membership, we could raise a reasonably significant amount of money,” Bisconti said.

The first two charities were local junior golf programs as well as Folds of Honor, the nationwide charity founded by PGA professional and fighter pilot Lt. Col Dan Rooney.

“Our section now has a foundation,” Bisconti said. “So now a good portion of the money goes to the Met Golf Foundation, which supports junior golf and PGA Reach. And then we still send money to Folds of Honor every year.

“Since 2009, we’ve raised just over $300,000.” 

It’s a different kind of golf shop engagement, to be sure. But what Bisconti and his staff have done for charities – locally and nationally – has bonded his members in ways he never could have imagined.

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