September 14, 2009

Amy Wilson

One of the perks of tour life is the opportunty to do good, and this Midwesterner does her part

*While the guys play golf, the PGA Tour Wives Association is busy giving to and caring about worthy causes. Nobody is more active than the group's president, Amy Wilson, wife of two-time winner Mark. *

Grillroom:__ We always hear how much the tour contributes to charity. But your group does its part. __

Wilson: We try. We have 20 to 25 events every year, and a great group. Wives, even mothers.

What is the philosophy behind your association?

Many of us travel with our husbands to wherever they're playing. We can all give money to charities that pull at our heartstrings at home. But while we're on the road, we can give time to communities that we visit year after year.

Your annual big fundraiser is ... ?

When we play and the guys caddie. We've done it the last couple of years at the Honda, and that raises $100,000 for just one day. Next year, just for a change, we're having a retro bowling tournament.

You and Mark are devoted to Blessings in a Backpack.

We are. So many children don't have enough to eat on weekends. Only in school are they fed properly. So we provide them a backpack of food every Friday. And now our wives' group is working toward doing similar programs at Sony and FBR, two of our tournaments.

So, it's not always fun and sun for golfers' wives on the road?

When I first started dating Mark, I wondered what it would be like out here on tour. I was pleasantly surprised. The golfers are all independent contractors, but we pull for each other. And we pull together for good causes.

Sounds like it's in your blood.

Mark and I have similar backgrounds: Midwest, strong faith. Why is Mark on the PGA Tour, making the kind of money he's making? What is our purpose? We believe it's so we can give back. And we're so proud to be part of the PGA Tour, which gives millions of dollars away every year.

The wives are right there, doing the same thing.

We have lots of chances to connect with the right people to do the right thing—working in a soup kitchen or walking against domestic violence, like we did in Charlotte. What would be the point of not grasping these opportunities?