If you believe a golf course has a heart, a soul, and a spirit then you also trust it can be an agent for good. Simply put, a golf course can tie a community together while at the same time give back to many worthwhile causes. It is any wonder that golf donates more to charity on a yearly basis than the other “Big Four” sports (football, baseball, basketball, and hockey) combined?
In the case of Northern Bay Golf Resort and their parent company Regency Hotel (who bought the property in March,2018), a cause has turned into a crusade that is gaining momentum every year.
The catchy “Divots Can be Replaced, Freedom Cannot,” is the slogan of Tee It Up for the Troops, a non-profit organization run by Jonathan Mostyn that has captured the attention of every staff member at Northern Bay, whether they have military ties or not.
Derek Donovan, Northern Bay’s Head Golf Professional, explains. “One of the aspects of Tee It Up for the Troops we love is that they not only care about the veterans but they care about their entire families,” began Donovan. “What people sometimes don’t realize is how affected families can be by a loved one being wounded in combat. I personally have a lot of family members in the military, so it was a no- brainer I needed to do more to help this project grow. We’re a close family here at Northern Bay and our passion to give back really aligns with our values,” concluded Donovan.
What also helps is that Northern Bay has the perfect setting to raise money for worthy causes, a replica hole that even the most casual of golf fans want to take down. Northern Bay’s 10th hole pays homage to the famous par-3 island green at TPC Sawgrass, home of the annual Player’s Championship in March. In fact, seven holes at Northern Bay are modeled after the most iconic holes in the game, including two from Augusta National, and singles from Oakmont, Firestone, Oakland Hills, and Bay Hill. These legendary holes give Northern Bay the distinction of being the only replica course in the Midwest.
Their Tee It Up for the Troops Par-3 Promotion, which is mostly done on the weekends, is a fun program of value to the golfer, and most importantly, raises funds and awareness for wounded veterans. Derek Donovan explains how this highly successful program works. “Golfers pay $20 if they’d like once they get to our island par-3 10th hole. $10 goes to TIUPFTT automatically and if they happen to miss the green the golfer still gets a $10 pro shop credit. If they hit the green then he/she receives a $20 pro shop credit and a hole-in-one gets you $500 cash! We run the program during Northern Bay tournaments and if other charitable tournaments allow us to as well. The nice thing is when the golfer gets to the 10th hole he/she has the option to accept or decline to participate,” explained Donovan.
Just how successful has the Par-3 Shootout been? In 2019 Northern Bay raised over $24,000 for wounded veterans alone. But it doesn’t stop there. Northern Bay also participates in the Longest Day of Golf, and they were able to raise over $2,000 in donations while playing 100 holes consecutively on June 23rd.
But that’s not even enough. In 2019 Northern Bay facilitated Military Mondays which they will continue to do this year as well. All you have to do is bring in any form of Military ID to pay half price or 2-for-1 all day Monday at Northern Bay.
No matter which charitable endeavor Northern Bay gets behind, the mission is simple: tell that story to as many golfers as possible while at the same time raising as much money as possible for that cause. “How incredible is it that Tee It Up for the Troops can give these veterans something they can enjoy with those fellow brothers/sisters outside of war,” said Donovan. “The programs they create gives veterans and family members a light at the end of a dark tunnel. Not only do they supply veterans outlets on and off the course, but they also make connections with people who have been through similar circumstances,” ended Donovan.
If you want to support a golf course that supports so many worthwhile causes, then it’s seems only right your golf group should make Northern Bay Golf Resort a must-play in 2020. Stay and Play packages are the best way to make your experience at Northern Bay more enjoyable. The resort offers one night, two nights or more in one of their luxurious, fully-furnished condominiums, while playing Midwest’s only replica course. Packages also include golf cart with GPS and practice facility. The great part about booking a package is that you are guaranteed to receive their best discounted golf and condominium rates. In fact, their packages start at only $140 per person based upon double occupancy. New for 2020, when you book a Stay and Play Package, Sunday through Thursday golf is unlimited so come early and stay late while enjoying a full day on the links.
In conclusion, most golf courses look at the bottom line when forecasting a new year. At Northern Bay Golf Resort, they look to how much more money they can raise than the year before for charities that matter. In 2019, the Central Wisconsin gem raised over $25,000 for Tee It Up for the Troops. In 2020, the goal is $30,000 or more. Refreshing isn’t it?
For more information on the property or how you can get involved in their mission, visit www.northernbayresort.com or call (608) 339-2090.