Junior golfers spur hurricane donations


Sometimes all it takes is a tweet to get the ball rolling. 

With the recent devastation in Houston due to Hurricane Harvey, Texas athletes like JJ Watt and the Houston Astros took to the Internet to make pledges for survivors and first responders in Houston. But they weren't the only ones. Dallas' Turner Hosch, an AJGA junior, wanted to help his fellow Texans by asking if the AJGA and PGA TOUR would make $10 donations for every birdie made at TPC Sawgrass for The Junior PLAYERS Championship presented by TaylorMade-adidas Golf. Soon, other Texas junior golfers got involved, including Board Representative Cole Hammer of Houston. And before long, the story of these kids wanting to give back to their communities, a message often linked to the AJGA's Leadership Links program, took on a life of its own, gaining notoriety from professionals like Justin Leonard and Sir Nick Faldo.

The AJGA accepted Turner's challenge to pledge $10 per birdie this week at TPC Sawgrass, thanks to support from two Houston-area AJGA tournaments and tournament chairmen: the Insperity Invitational / Patrick Reed AJGA Junior Championship presented by Callaway Golf (Bob Lewis and Bob Edwards) and the CB&I / Simplify Boys Championship at Carlton Woods (Chris Dernick and committee). TaylorMade-adidas Golf also pledged to match the $10 per birdie at The Junior PLAYERS Championship presented by TaylorMade-adidas Golf.

Spurred by a unique challenge, the field responded. The 78 players combined for 686 birdies and eagles, 71 more than the previous record at The Junior PLAYERS Championship presented by Taylormade-adidas Golf.

But that's not all. The AJGA also challenged junior golfers to individually raise money for the Houston Relief Fund, with 100% of the proceeds going to the American Red Cross to help those affected by Hurricane Harvey. Inspiring stories of junior golfers raising money in their communities have helped to cause a greater impact on hurricane relief.  

Ashleigh Stoehr, a 15-year-old from Houston, was evacuated with her family from Houston to San Antonio during the hurricane. Wanting to use her golf game as a way to give back, Ashleigh joined the AJGA's Leadership Links program on August 31 to raise money for the Greater Houston Community Foundation Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund and the ACE Grant. In five days, Ashleigh raised over $12,000 and counting, culminating with a Golf-a-thon on Labor Day, September 4.

Mr. Hosch, you've got yourself a deal.#HoustonStrong