Besides, they have those cool little motorized carts.
I tried to play a couple of times. Spent so much time slogging through the trees that I contracted poison ivy on both ankles. I felt like the leader of a rescue party for lost balls. I was the Bogeyman. The fairway was a rumor. And don't even talk to me about putting!
If I could play, though, this is definitely an event I'd throw my clubs in the trunk for. Especially since it's for such a great cause.
Next Monday, July 28, my friends at the National Kidney Foundation of Illinois (NKFI) are hosting the 10th annual edition of one of their most successful fundraisers, the Middle Market Open™Golf Tournament. It will be held at the Olympia Fields Country Club south of Chicago, home to the 2003 U.S. Open and future home of the 2015 U.S. Amateur Championship.
|LPGA Tour Glamour Girl Natalie Gulbis (Getty Images)|
Since the event began in 2005, the tournament has raised more than $3.5 million to benefit the NKFI's crusade for kidney disease prevention and awareness. As you've read here countless times, one out of every nine adults in America is living with some form of kidney disease – and most of them don't know it. The NKFI has been fighting the brave fight to correct that frightening statistic for a half century – in fact, this is the 50th anniversary of their official charter – and they are worthy of support.
Hoping to surpass the $4 million mark in total earnings with this summer's tournament, organizers are pulling out all the stops. Sure, there are trips for two to Pebble Beach and Las Vegas, including lessons at the Butch Harmon School of Golf, but lots of golf tournaments offer prizes.
Ah, but not every tournament offers a special guest like Natalie Gulbis. Or as we like to call her, "all the stops."
Gulbis, an LPGA veteran, is the consensus sex kitten of the women's tour. She was on the second season of Celebrity Apprentice, hosted a talk show on the Golf Channel, produced her own racy calendar and appeared in a Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue wearing nothing but body paint.
On second thought, maybe I'll be attending this tournament with or without clubs.
Proceeds raised from the Middle Market Open will go toward the NKFI's essential kidney disease prevention and education programs like the KidneyMobile®, which conducts free kidney screenings across the state of Illinois. Left untreated, kidney disease can lead to kidney failure and, eventually, to dialysis or a transplant in order to survive.
Every year, kidney disease kills over 90,000 people – more than breast and prostate cancer combined.
Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP and BMO Harris Bank, supporters of the tournament for many years, are the 2014 co-event sponsors.
There's still time to get involved. For more information about the Middle Market Open Golf Tournament, visit www.nkfi.org or call (312) 321-1500.