Illinois PGA Foundation Birdies for Charity Raises Over $400,000

Jan 27, 2022

Illinois PGA Professionals Make Close to 1,000 Birdies
Playing Up to 90 Holes to Support Children’s Charities

GLENVIEW, Ill. – January 27, 2022 – The Illinois PGA Foundation announced today that its 2021 Birdies for Charity fundraiser, held the day after Labor Day, raised $412, 000, bringing the 11-year total amount raised to $2.72 million. For the first time in the event’s history, the annual fundraiser, which plays host to participating Illinois PGA Section professionals, was held at Oak Park Country Club. The Central Illinois PGA (CIPGA) Chapter held its fourth annual Birdies for Charity at Country Club of Decatur in Decatur, Ill. on the same day. A total of 38 Illinois PGA Professionals from both the Section and Chapter participated in this year’s event and played up to 90 holes to support the benefiting children’s charities.

Illinois PGA Professionals teamed up to make 999 birdies and raised funds to benefit children’s charities including the Ann Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago, JDRF Illinois Chapter, Ronald McDonald House Charities of Chicagoland and Northwest Indiana, Macon County CASA, OSF Children’s Hospital of Illinois in Peoria and the Illinois PGA Foundation. The total funds raised from each event will be divided equally among the corresponding charities for the Section and Chapter events.

“This event is circled on our members’ calendars every year as they look forward to playing golf to help children’s charities and try and achieve new fundraising goals they set for themselves,” said Carrie Williams, Executive Director of the Illinois PGA and Illinois PGA Foundation. “Every year we are so impressed with our PGA Professionals and their support systems as they continue to raise the bar for this event.”

This year, Illinois PGA Foundation supporter, Love Tito’s, provided a matching donation to the first $6,000 raised at the Section’s Birdies for Charity event.

“We are very thankful to Tito’s Handmade Vodka for their generosity in donating to this year’s Birdies for Charity,” said Williams. “Their commitment to support the Foundation and its charitable purpose of promoting positive youth development in Illinois through the game of golf has been greatly appreciated and we look forward to our continued relationship.”

Despite a lengthy weather delay at Oak Park Country Club, the majority of Professionals were still able to play five full rounds of golf (90 holes). Each participant played a minimum of four rounds (72 holes).

“I think this has become an event that everyone involved looks forward to,” said Chris Gumbach, Head PGA Professional at River Forest Country Club and event co-chair. “The number of birdies made and amount of money raised continues to grow each year and I think that shows the determination and dedication we have as an Association to this event and to the benefiting charities.” 

Brian Carroll (The Hawk Country Club) carded the most birdies at Oak Park, totaling 45, and raised more than $8,000 this year. TJ Sullivan (GOLFTEC – Oak Brook) led the way in money raised at the Section event totaling 36 birdies to raise over $50,000.    
Meanwhile, at the CIPGA Birdies for Charity event, Nick Taute (Country Club of Decatur) carded 40 birdies in 72 holes leading the Chapter in birdies made for the third straight year.

Birdies for Charity was created in 2011 when Travis Johns (Medinah Country Club) brought the concept with him from the North Texas PGA Section and proposed it to the Illinois PGA Section Board. At the time, Gumbach was the sponsorship chairman and immediately thought this type of event was just the kind of community involvement program the Section and its Members needed to rally around.

 About the Illinois PGA/Illinois PGA Foundation
The Illinois Section of the PGA of America is a professional organization serving the men and women golf professionals in northern and central Illinois who are the recognized experts in growing, teaching and managing the game of golf. The Illinois PGA is responsible for the administration of competitive golf tournaments, educational opportunities, support programs and growth of the game initiatives. With over 840 members and apprentices, the Illinois PGA is one of the 41 regional Sections that comprise the PGA of America. The Illinois PGA Foundation focuses its community efforts on promoting the goodwill and growth of the game with an emphasis on activities that benefit youth. Foundation initiatives include: GolfWorks Illinois, Youth-based Scholarship Funds and the Illinois Golf Hall of Fame. For more information about the Illinois PGA and the Illinois PGA Foundation, please visit and join us on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.

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Kevin Quinn
Illinois PGA Communications
708.336.1294 mobile