Golf for Good returns with launch of ‘Every Birdie Counts’ campaign

Initiative also continues to celebrate true heroes of the pandemic and promote golf for all

The European Tour today announced the return of its Golf for Good initiative for 2021 featuring several new concepts as part of season-long campaign to give back across three key areas.

Golf for Good returns with launch of ‘Every Birdie Counts’ campaign

Golf for Good made a positive impact in 2020 after it was launched to coincide with the Tour’s return to action last July.

The initiative will now continue across the entirety of the new season with the renewed aims of:

  • Supporting communities where the European Tour plays
  • Celebrating the true heroes of the pandemic such as frontline workers
  • Promoting golf for all

Last year, more than €1 million was donated to good causes as part of Golf for Good, while tens of thousands of golf balls were distributed at grassroots level and local frontline heroes were surprised with special prizes and video calls from Tour players. The many health benefits of golf were also emphasised as the European Tour showcased golf as an inclusive sport that can have a positive effect on people’s lives.

As part of the 2021 Golf for Good campaign, a new fundraising drive called ‘Every Birdie Counts’ begins at this week’s Rolex Series event, the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship, and will run through the season.

It will ensure that for every single birdie made this season on the European Tour in 2021, a minimum €1 will be donated to charity.

The minimum donations for every event will increase to €10 for eagles, while albatrosses will result in a minimum €1,000 donation. At the end of each tournament, the amount raised during that week will be donated to a charitable cause chosen by the European Tour along with tournament partners.

Several key events in the calendar, meanwhile, will receive a Birdie Boost – meaning the donation amounts for each birdie, eagle and albatross will be increased for the entirety of the tournament.

To celebrate the launch of the Golf for Good Every Birdie Counts campaign, the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship will receive a significant Birdie Boost this week – with every birdie counting for €10 and every eagle counting for €100.

All proceeds this week will go to The Reach Campaign, a first-of-its-kind fundraising initiative that works to educate the public about river blindness and invite them to join efforts to raise funds to end this devastating Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs).

Golf For Good is honouring World NTD Day, a day of global awareness to help galvanize the global health community and engage the general public in the urgent effort to end NTDs.

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As part of the campaign, Tyrrell Hatton, Justin Thomas and Ian Poulter will wear shoes to mark NTD Day, championing the campaign to raise awareness in support of eliminating Neglected Tropical Diseases from the planet.

There will be numerous additional charitable initiatives this week in Abu Dhabi, with a select group of key frontline workers of the pandemic having accepted an invite from Abu Dhabi Sports Council to attend the event as a reward for their heroic work. Meanwhile, approximately 1,800 Callaway golf balls will be donated to HSBC’s Future Falcon initiative at the conclusion of the tournament.

Further initiatives will be introduced at subsequent Race to Dubai events under the three key aims of Golf for Good.

Keith Pelley, the European Tour’s Chief Executive, said: “I am thrilled that Golf for Good is returning in 2021. We started this initiative at the beginning of last year’s UK Swing with a view to giving back to local communities, rewarding the frontline workers of the pandemic for their heroic efforts and promoting the many benefits of golf, and I am proud of what we achieved, including raising more than €1 million for worthy causes.

Golf for Good returns with launch of ‘Every Birdie Counts’ campaign
Tyrrell Hatton and Graeme Grieve, Managing Director, BMW UK at the 2020 BMW PGA Championship (Getty Images)

“The Every Birdie Counts initiative will underpin the fundraising element of Golf for Good throughout 2021 and fits perfectly with our overarching narrative of the season – Every Week Counts – providing further opportunities to support local and global charities across the season.

“We will continue to expand our Golf for Good initiative as the season progresses guided by its three key aims, and we look forward to working with our partners, players and fans on continuing to make a positive impact across the globe.”

About The Reach Campaign

The Reach Campaign, a first-of-its-kind fundraising initiative to end the Neglected Tropical Disease (NTD) river blindness, launched in 2020 in the UAE. In partnership with forward-thinking individuals, brands and corporations, The Reach Campaign takes an innovative approach to raising money to end the disease, while also educating the public about river blindness through strategic, targeted advocacy efforts.

About Neglected Tropical Diseases

Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs) are a group of 20 preventable infectious diseases that place a heavy burden on more than 1.7 billion people around the world and typically affect the most marginalized and difficult to reach populations.

NTDs debilitate, disfigure and can be fatal. Every year these diseases cost developing nations billions of dollars and keep families trapped in cycles of poverty. But with the right treatment and interventions, NTDs can be prevented, controlled and in many cases, eliminated or eradicated entirely.

Over 200 million people worldwide require treatment for river blindness, one of the leading causes of preventable blindness.

Like many NTDs, river blindness disproportionately affects those who live in extreme poverty, trapping their families in cycles of poverty as when adults suffer from river blindness, children are taken out of school to support their care. Proceeds of The Reach Campaign go to the Reaching the Last Mile Fund, which offers a proof of concept for the elimination of river blindness and lymphatic filariasis in Sub-Saharan Africa.

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