The inaugural Mentor Cup and an affiliated stand-up performance by golf funnyman David Feherty are beginning to take better shape.
The tournament featuring junior golfers and their mentors is scheduled to be played Oct. 27, 2018 at Tidewater Golf Club and Plantation, and will be followed that evening by the two-hour Feherty adult stand-up performance billed as “David Feherty Off Tour: Wandering Around on His Own.”
The Myrtle Beach Convention Center has been secured as the stand-up venue, and tickets priced between $49 and $169 will go on sale Masters weekend in early April and be available through Ticketmaster.
“I think we have the biggest pieces of the puzzle in place now with venue and talent, and golf course for the tournament,” said North Myrtle Beach native and longtime Golf Channel personality Kelly Tilghman, who was mentored by the late Gene Weldon in her youth. “We had choices but we thought it would be the best venue for what we’re trying to achieve. We really love the central location and they have all the amenities we need.”
Weldon spent 40 years as a golf professional in the Myrtle Beach market before his death in January after a cancer battle, including 20 years at Gator Hole Golf Club, which was owned by Tilghman’s family.
Tilghman, fellow Golf Channel personality Charlie Rymer of Fort Mill and Weldon’s son Wil helped create the Gene’s Dream Foundation, which is dedicated to benefiting junior golf and is the beneficiary of the tournament and Feherty performance.
Feherty is an analyst and on-course reporter for NBC and Golf Channel who has an Emmy-nominated self-titled talk show on Golf Channel.
The convention center can seat up to 2,000 for his performance. There will be 29 round tables closest to the stage that will seat 10 people each backed by bleacher seating, and the first 150 people who purchase tickets at $169 receiving a pre-show meet and greet that will include a signed book and photos on the show’s set.
Through the foundation, both events will support The First Tee of the Coastal Carolinas youth development chapter that includes juniors in Brunswick County and the Grand Strand, and of which Weldon was a devoted supporter.
“I did not see this coming, but when Gene passed it just seemed like the natural next step,” Tilghman said of the events. “Gene didn’t know we were creating the Gene’s Dream Foundation, but everything he told me he wanted, including David Feherty and all the money going to The First Tee chapters, he’s getting all that through this.
“I think he deserves more because of all the time and effort he gave to the area kids for 40 years. I want it to exceed his expectations because he always exceeded ours.”
Junior golfers will be nominated to play with their mentors in the Mentor Cup based on golf proficiency, quality of their interaction and ability to provide a positive example for others.
The foundation is also raising money through plank ownership, with donors becoming part owners of the foundation with a minimum amount, and donations through PayPal.
More information can be found on the websites Genesdream.com and MentorCup.com and affiliated social media platforms.
Why golf is great
With a video of him playing in solitude and taking a swing on the first tee box with his own voice-over, Toronto resident Alex Anthony won the 2017 Golf Is Great video contest sponsored by marketing cooperative Myrtle Beach Golf Holiday.
The one-minute video entitled “The Drive” goes through the thoughts that can enter your mind as you prepare to hit your tee shot, then how empty your mind can become once you choose a target and picture the drive soaring perfectly over the fairway.
The video has earned Anthony $10,000 and a four-night, three-round Myrtle Beach golf trip for four in 2018.
The voice-over features a piano playing softly and includes: “You remember why you’re here. Why you’re up at the crack of dawn breathing the crisp morning air, why you’re trying to finish the final hole before the sun leaves yet another day behind. You remember why you keep coming back, for this very feeling, just you and your mind, the perfect drive. The game in its purest form. All your thoughts are gone and it’s time to let everything go.”
The video was chosen from nearly 40 that were submitted over a four-month entry period and were open to public internet voting to narrow them to a top 10. A panel of judges consisting of Golf Holiday employees and board members then selected the winner.
“Alex’s video brilliantly detailed the beauty and simplicity of the game of golf,” said Golf Holiday social media manager Kyle Oland. “We watched the video and literally thought we were watching a commercial. His video made you feel as if you were standing on the tee box with him breathing in the fresh morning air. There was no doubt that Alex put a good bit of time into developing and creating his video.”
Anthony is a videographer with the Toronto Argonauts of the Canadian Football League and a native of Victoria, British Columbia, Canada. He was home during an Argonauts bye week and was surprised by a Golf Holiday film crew naming him the winner at his home course, Cedar Hill Golf Club, which his family helped build.
Golf Holiday staff contacted Anthony’s mother, Patti, to help set up the surprise. Anthony played nine holes with some of his childhood friends and a room full of family, friends and a film crew greeted him in the clubhouse following the round with the news of his victory.
Most of those in attendance believed they were just part of a gathering to welcome Anthony home after being away for more than a year.
Anthony played two seasons in the CFL with the Saskatchewan Rough Riders and won a Grey Cup, and he said golf helped him cope with being cut from the league.
His video was in sharp contrast to last year’s winning video from a group in Texas that made a parody of golf-related movies including Caddyshack, Tin Cup and Happy Gilmore.
Season of giving
The Mystical Golf courses Man O’War, The Witch and The Wizard are offering golf for the cart fee of $24 on Thanksgiving Day in exchange for two cans of non-perishable food that will be donated to local food banks.
In Brunswick County, the four-course Ocean Ridge Plantation has both its annual food and toy drives that began earlier this month November.
In exchange for an unwrapped new toy with a minimum $5 value or three canned or nonperishable food items, golfers can play either Lion’s Paw or Panther’s Run for $37 in the morning and $32 in the afternoon, and either Tiger’s Eye or Leopard’s Chase for $47/$42. The toy drive continues through Dec. 15 and food drive through Dec. 31.
The toys are being donated to Toys for Tots through the United States Marine Corps, and the food is being donated to Brunswick County Family Assistance.
ST Tour visiting
The professional Swing Thought Tour, which is headquartered on the north end of the Grand Strand, is coming home for a series of four tournaments through Dec. 21 dubbed the Holiday Race.
The series starts with a pair of 36-hole events at the Barefoot Resort Love Course from Nov. 29-30 and Norman Course from Dec. 6-7 that cost $650 for members, $750 for non-members and $500 for amateurs.
A 72-hole event with a cut after 36 holes at the TPC Myrtle Beach in Murrells Inlet from Dec. 13-16 has entry fees of $975 for members, $1,175 for non-members and $700 for amateurs, and a 54-hole event with a 36-hole cut at the Barefoot Resort Dye Club has entry fees of $700 for members and $800 for non-members.
For events that draw up to 29 players, the tour will add $100 per entrant to the normal purse. If an event draws more than 30 players, it will have a minimum $7,000 first place prize.
Winners are paid on site, points are earned for the 2018 season with an early membership purchase, and a free 2018 membership ($3,400 value) is being awarded to the winner of the 72-hole event and top points earner during the Holiday Race. Players can find out more information by calling 800-992-8748, emailing email@example.com or visiting www.swingthought.com.