CONNECTIONS – On par to raise some scratch

Posted on Jul 1, 2012 :: Connections
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Posted by , Insight on Business Staff Writer

Dozens of charitable golf outings are planned throughout the New North this summer, the largest of which is the U.S. Venture Open, held at five area golf courses Aug. 8. The company is expecting between 750 and 800 golfers this year and hopes to top the $1.785 million raised last year.

Baseball. Apple pie. Fourth of July. And golf. The season is in full swing (so to speak), with many area courses enjoying a couple of extra months of revenue due to an uncharacteristically warm season.

“This has been a great spring in comparison to last year. Last (year) April was rainy and we had very few golfers. Even in May it was chilly and there was inclement weather,” says Mary Beth Nienhaus, owner of Neenah’s Winagamie Golf Club, which celebrates its 50th anniversary this year. “This year we actually opened on March 10, and because of the early opening we were able to do additional projects on our course. We have one of the best drainage courses in the area. Our course is in great shape.”

Unlike most sports, golf affords a rare opportunity to mix business, pleasure, nature, exercise and charity. A recent Survey Monkey poll of nearly three dozen golfers in the Fox Valley region found that 39 percent golf at least once a week, while 36 percent golf monthly. The majority golf for pleasure, though 23 percent have closed a business deal on the course.

Dozens of charitable golf outings are planned throughout the New North, and 93 percent of the survey respondents said they plan to attend between one and three of them. The largest event is the U.S. Venture Open, held at five area golf courses on Aug. 8.

Jen Peeters, U.S. Venture’s community giving coordinator, says the company is expecting between 750 and 800 golfers this year and hopes to top the $1.785 million raised last year. U.S. Venture pays for the golf, so 100 percent of the $450 donation per golfer goes to charity. Each golfer receives a custom-fit Nike Method putter, a meet-and-greet with Nancy Lopez, and dinner at Van Abel’s in Hollandtown where Jack Nicklaus will be this year’s keynote speaker.

“All the money goes to the U.S. Venture Fund for Basic Needs, which is held at three community foundations – Oshkosh, Appleton and Green Bay,” Peeters says. “From there it gets granted and grants are matched by J.J. Keller Foundation, so the money is working harder.”

Charitable golf outings around the region

Fond du Lac Area Association of Commerce Annual Golf Outing
July 9, South Hills Golf & Country Club, Fond du Lac
Fee: $150
Register: www.fdlac.com

FVTC Foundation, Inc. Golf Outing
July 18, Foxfire Golf Club, Waupaca
Aug. 1, Royal St. Patrick’s Golf Course, Wrightstown
Fee: $100 (proceeds fund scholarships)
Register: www.fvtc.edu

Manitowoc Chamber Golf Classic
July 18, Wander Springs Golf Course, Greenleaf
Fee: $120 (standard single)
Register: www.chambermanitowoccounty.org

St. Elizabeth Hospital Foundation 20th Annual Women’s Golf & Luncheon Benefit
Aug. 6, Butte des Morts Country Club, Appleton
Fee: $150
Register: www.stefoundation.affinityhealth.org

Oshkosh Chamber of Commerce
Aug. 6, Oshkosh Country Club
Fee: $195
Register: www.oshkoshchamber.com

U.S. Venture Open
Aug. 8, five area courses
Fee: $450 tax-deductible donation (proceeds benefit the U.S. Venture Fund for Basic Needs)
Register: www.usventure.com

Fox Cities Chamber of Commerce Golf Outing
Aug. 14, Butte des Morts Country Club, Appleton
Fee: $150
Register: www.foxcitieschamber.com

Sheboygan County Chamber Golf Classic
Sept. 11, Pine Hills Country Club, Sheboygan
Fee: $480 (foursome)
Register: www.sheboygan.org