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How To Play A Private 100 Greatest Course

May 2013

If you've been unable to cultivate friends at the 100 Greatest Courses you long to play—or can't qualify for a USGA event scheduled at one of them—don't give up. There are other opportunities to post a round and support a charity at the same time.

Just ask Keith Bank of KB Partners outside Chicago. In 1996 Bank contacted the American Cancer Society and volunteered to organize a fundraiser at Medinah Country Club. For the next 15 years he headed the Chicago Select Golf Invitational, an event that has raised more than $6 million to fight cancer. The opportunity to play Medinah (whose No. 3 course is 31st on the 100 Greatest) has attracted players from all over the country. Twice the event has had to relocate to a different course, but the alternate was another 100 Greatest venue—nearby Olympia Fields Country Club, whose North course is No. 62. The contribution required to participate: $10,000 per foursome for the No. 3 course and $5,000 for the No. 1 course.

Another thing that helped put the Chicago event on the map was Bank's then-novel idea to auction rounds at other 100 Greatest Courses. One year the 100 Greatest rounds auction alone raised $290,000, Bank says. Although he had occasionally played Medinah before the first American Cancer Society event there, he had not checked many other 100 Greatest Courses off his bucket list. Largely because of his auction purchases, Bank at one point had played 91 of the courses on Golf Digest's ranking, including 49 of the top 50. Says Bank: "I tell my wife that because the list changes, I'll never be done."


Newtown Square, Pa.
Jay Sigel Invitational to benefit University of Pennsylvania prostate-cancer research, Sept. 30, Jackie Adamczyk,; 610-902-1790


Springfield, N.J.
Els for Autism Foundation event, July 29,, Mary Kay Willson, or 561-598-6196; New Jersey Golf Foundation Classic, Aug. 5, or 732-465-1212; New Jersey 15th Annual NJ Sharing Network Golf & Tennis Classic to benefit the NJ Sharing Network, an organ- and tissue-procurement organization for those in need of transplants, Oct. 7, Jackie Lue Raia,, 908-516-5686. Fifteenth Mats Wilander Golf Benefit to combat Epidermolysis Bullosa, Casey Fitzpatrick, or 212-868-1573, Ext. 105, date to be announced


Hingham, Mass.
National Kidney Foundation Cadillac Golf Classic presented by Putnam Investments, June 11, or 781-278-0222


Naples, Fla.
The First Tee Invitational to benefit The First Tee of Naples Collier, late November or early December, Cindy Darland,


Carmel, Ind.
St. Vincent New Hope Golf Outing to benefit the St. Vincent Foundation, Aug. 26, Ann Hall,, 317-338-5090


The Eighth Annual Corporate Cup to benefit the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Dallas, Oct. 8, Stacey O'Leary, or 214-821-2950


Galena, Ohio
Columbus Blue Jackets Foundation event will be scheduled in September, or 614-246-4168


The O'Neill 22nd Annual Golf Outing to benefit the Eugene O'Neill Theater Center, Waterford, Conn., May 29, Ainslie Seeber,, 860-443-5378, Ext. 285


Flagstaff, Ariz.
Denise Martinez Memorial to benefit Forest Highlands Foundation, June 17, or John Jacquay,


Riverhead, N.Y.
National Mentoring Partnership program, date not yet set, Baiting Hollow, Stuart Layne,


Chaska, Minn.
Els for Autism Foundation event, Aug. 26,, Mary Kay Willson, or 561-598-6196

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