2008 Ryder Cup Had Positive Impact

The PGA of America, in its efforts to demonstrate its corporate citizenship, invited approximately 200 Kentucky based charities to participate in the 37th Ryder Cup Community Relations Program.  Collectively $849,325 was generated to benefit programs that target youth education, wellness, fitness and sports.

The 37th Ryder Cup was contested Sept. 16-21, 2008, at Valhalla Golf Club.

The following programs were among the beneficiaries:

  • The PGA of America joined with Cobalt Artworks to present checks totaling $22,000 to Louisville’s Muhammad Ali Center and The First Tee of Louisville.   The contributions were the result of an online auction of one-of-a-kind portraits created by famed American artist LeRoy Neiman of 2008 Ryder Cup U.S. Captain Paul Azinger and European Captain Nick Faldo.

The on-line auction drew bids from art collectors and sports fans from all over the world. The successful bidder is golf enthusiast Ian Inglis of Scotland.  Through Inglis’s arrangement, both paintings will go on display in spring 2009 at the British Golf Museum in St. Andrews, Scotland.  The Museum is directly opposite The Royal and Ancient Golf Clubhouse and just 67½ yards from the first tee of the Old Course.

· The WHAS Crusade for Children recently received a $50,000 donation as a result of The PGA of America hosting The Ryder Cup Captains’ Challenge, conducted Sept. 17, 2008 at Hurstbourne Country Club

· The Ryder Cup Captains’ Celebration, marking the one-year-out point for the event, raised $35,361 for four charitable organizations:  Down Syndrome of Louisville, Louisville Urban Youth Golf Program, The Children’s Hospital Foundation, and Big Brothers Big Sisters of Kentuckiana.

· The PGA provided 158 charities two weekly Ryder Cup tickets to use as auction items to support their fund raisers.  These tickets were given to charitable organizations that provide community services in the areas of healthcare, youth and family services as well as youth sports.  Collectively $537,000 was raised by these charities to support their causes.

· Levy Restaurants, the concessions, food and beverage partner of The PGA, supported the Ryder Cup Community Relations efforts through its Levy Cares initiatives and its Concession Non-for-Profit Program.  For the Ryder Cup, six organizations provided approximately 115 volunteers per day.  In return, these organizations received a portion of all alcohol and food sales from the six concession stands being run throughout the course.

Among the groups represented were the Heartland Flyers Competitive Cheerleading Group, St. Bernard Parent Teacher Organization, Becca’s Fliptown Gymnastics Booster Club, The Eastern High School Booster Club, The Louisville Youth Hockey Association and the Pi Kappa Alpha Fraternity. These six charities shared $168,465 from this Levy Cares Program.

“It is a wonderful feeling for all members of The PGA of America to know that the excitement of one of the best Ryder Cups ever - played before the best fans in America in Kentucky – carries on through charitable work to benefit the citizens of Louisville," said PGA of America President Jim Remy. "The Ryder Cup was born because of a desire to bring the best players on either side of the Atlantic together. In Louisville, thousands came together for one unforgettable, historic week and we are very pleased that the benefits will continue.”

“We believe the 2008 Ryder Cup at Valhalla Golf Club was the best Ryder Cup in history,” said Walt Gahm, general chair of the 2008 Ryder Cup and founder of Valhalla Golf Club. “We were thrilled by the enthusiasm of the community and pleased to have used this event to develop awareness and funds for deserving organizations.”

(Click for a list of Ryder Cup memorabilia on eBay)