Aug. 10, 2011
By Will Vandervort, IPTAY Media
CLEMSON, SC – Nine years ago a few of Clemson’s former golfers got together for what at the time was a celebration of Clemson’s 2003 National Championship. It was in that night of good times and fellowship that the idea of doing something more for the Clemson golf program arose.
That idea – the Annual Clemson Golf Gathering.
“This event originated as a reunion,” said Event Manager Mike Whitaker. “The first year was to celebrate the national championship in golf. The idea was to invite anyone who has played golf at Clemson to comeback for this reunion party.
“The team was awarded the national championship rings that night. Then one thing led to another, and they turned it into a fundraiser.”
It was a fundraiser that would help build a new practice facility and clubhouse at Clemson; goals that have since been achieved and will be celebrated in Clemson on Friday, September 23 – the day before the Florida State football game.
“The event has always been so incredibly successful, but we thought it would be fun to tie the Golf Gathering in with a football game so it should be an exciting weekend for all that is involved,” said the foundation’s president, Todd Lankford. “The completion of the new golf facility is what was driving the whole process, but there is an incredible amount of excitement relating to the change (of date) so it will be fun to have it.”
This celebration will culminate with a tour of the Larry B. Penley Golf Building, a 7,700 square foot, three-story clubhouse which will become the new home for the Clemson golf team. The facility will be dedicated on Friday, October 21.
“We moved the event this year to Clemson so we can showcase the practice facility and the new clubhouse,” Whitaker said. “We want people to see what they have done and to see what they have built because the people that participate in our event, play in our golf tournament and buy an item in our auction, they are the ones that makes this happen.”
The Tiger Golf Gathering is usually held in December at the Thornblade Country Club in Greenville, SC, but this year several of the golfers such as former US Open Champion Lucas Glover, Charles Warren and Jonathan Byrd wanted to bring the event back to Clemson because they wanted it to be more of a reunion again, like it was in 2003.
“That is one of the reasons why we moved it to the Clemson campus,” Whitaker said. “This is important to them. It was through all of their efforts that this project got started. They played a big role as to why all of this happened. This is a tribute to all the pros because this was their vision to make this happen.”
This year’s Tiger Golf Gathering is open to anyone, and will include a golf tournament at The Reserve at Lake Keowee, plus a reunion and auction party at Clemson’s Jervey Gym. There will also be a tour of the new golf facility.
For more information on the Tiger Golf Gathering and how to purchase tickets for the Friday night event, please call 1-800-687-9716, or check them out online at www.tigergolfgathering.com.
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