Golf goes to aid of bushfire victims

The horrendous extent of the bushfires was all too apparent at the Australian Open in Sydney in December 2019

Australian golf is pitching in to help the victims of the country’s bushfire crisis.

The central point for donations has been set up by the Australian Golf Industry Council (AGIC), the collaboration of all the industry bodies. It includes not only a GoFundMe page, but a designated bank account for donations for donors who prefer that method.

The 2020 Australian Golf Bushfire Appeal Fund kicked off today.

The industry has pledged to hand over 50 percent of the total raised to the Disaster Relief Recovery Fund run by the Australian Red Cross.

The remaining funds raised will be distributed to other bushfire-related charities (including wildlife funds) and to any golf clubs impacted by the disaster.

As a mark of respect for our fire and emergency workers,  they and their families will be admitted to the upcoming tournaments – the ISPS Handa Vic Open at 13th Beach and the ISPS Handa Women’s Australian Open at Royal Adelaide – free of charge.

“Our industry is heartbroken at the devastation that has been caused by these fires,’’ said Gavin Kirkman, chair of the AGIC.

“It’s something that we need to act on and it’s something that needed a coordinated approach; a galvanisation of the golf industry.

“We’ve had contact from a number of clubs and other stakeholders looking to see what they can do to help, and we’ve had a number of high profile players who’ve already dug into their pockets to make donations. We are aiming to pull that together.’’

In addition, clubs and golf facilities throughout Australia are asked to dedicate their club competitions for one week from now until the end of February 2020 to a special fundraising appeal for bushfire relief via any of the following options:

  • Contributing a general donation amount.
  • Collecting donations from club members/visitors during a selected week.
  • Donating regular club competition fees on behalf of golfers during a selected week.

All funds raised can be lodged either via the GoFundMe page or the Australian Golf Bushfire Relief Fund Bank Account.

NAB Account Name: 2020 Australian Golf Bushfire Relief Fund;
BSB: 083004
Account Number: 934028357

The golf industry recognises that a number of clubs and stakeholders have already decided to undertake their own fundraising efforts and are encouraged to continue with these appreciated efforts. 

The industry applauds the efforts of people within our sport who are working to assist the victims of the bushfires. Please email details to bushfirerelief@golf.org.au and your initiatives will be acknowledged at the designated appeal web page.

High profile Australian golfers including Sony Open winner Cameron Smith and Marc Leishman have been joined by the US PGA TOUR and others in also contributing to the cause.

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Brian is an award winning golf writer and is the founder and editor of Australian Senior Golfer. He is a former Sydney journalist who had little interest in golf till he hit his first ball at the age of 49 (and a half). Since then golf has just about overtaken his life. Brian founded ASG in April 2008 and has since covered every Australian Open, Presidents Cups, World Cups and numerous other big men’s and women’s tournaments, spending days inside the ropes with the likes of Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, Rory McIlroy, Jordan Spieth, Tom Watson, Fred Couples, Greg Norman, Adam Scott, Jason Day, Karrie Webb, and many others. He has also played in, and reported on, numerous amateur tournaments, particularly senior and veteran events, around the country. Brian is a member of the Australian Golf Media Association and won the award for Best News Report for 2016 - 2017

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