Sponsored by:

Comment, blog & share photos

Log in | Become a member
The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Wednesday, January 13, 2010

PGA wives’ food program to benefit keiki

Advertiser Staff

Hawaii news photo - The Honolulu Advertiser

Parker McLachlin’s program brought $6,800 to the HSJGA last year.

Max Wanger photo

spacer spacer

The impact of the Sony Open in Hawai'i will be felt far from Waialae Country Club this week.

The PGA Tour Wives Association is bringing Blessings in a Backpack to Hawai'i schools. The program will be formally launched locally at a news conference today in Kane'ohe.

Blessings in a Backpack provides backpacks of food to school children who may not be eating at home.

It is designed to provide weekend nourishment for those who qualify for free or reduced fee meals under the National School Lunch Program. Hillary Duff is its national spokesperson. Some of the PGA wives and families at Sony this week will be involved in the launch.

The Hawai'i program is a collaboration between Sammy Hagar, Friends of Hawai'i Charities, The Mark and Debi Rolfing Charitable Foundation, Foodland and the PGA Tour Wives Association, which includes Parker McLachlin's wife, Kristy.

Nearly 400 kids from three Hawai'i schools will receive backpacks. More than half go to Makawao Elementary on Maui, with the others from Ke Kula'o Samuel M. Kamakau Laboratory Public Charter School and its preschool feeder.

Blessings in a Backpack is a nonprofit organization started in 2005 with three Kentucky schools. It now serves more than 100 schools and 24,000 students in 16 states. It also launched in Bogota, Colombia, last year.


Punahou graduate Parker McLachlin will extend his "Birdies for Juniors" program into a second year with the help of his partner, Waikoloa Beach Resort.

McLachlin will donate $50 to the Hawai'i State Junior Golf Association for each birdie he makes during his five starts on the "West Coast Swing." Waikoloa will match his pledge.

"I'm forever grateful to the HSJGA for providing me the opportunities as a junior player to test my skills and further my growth in the game of golf," McLachlin said. "I'm very excited to spearhead a fundraising campaign that is interactive, fun and focuses on raising awareness and ultimately funds for the kids."

The campaign will kick off tomorrow when McLachlin tees off in the Sony Open. His West Coast schedule continues at the Century Club of San Diego Invitational, Northern Trust Open, AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am and FBR Open.

Fans and organizations are encouraged to join McLachlin and Waikoloa in supporting the HSJGA. Visit www.HSJGA.org to pledge donations.

Last year, McLachlin made 68 birdies and donations totaled $6,800. The goal this year is to make more birdies and involve more people.

Fans can follow McLachlin on his Web site (www.ParkerMcLachlin.com), as well as on his Twitter page at (www.twitter.com/ParkerMcLachlin). Parts of his blog will run during the season at www.HonoluluAdvertiser.com.


Last year, Aloha Section PGA pros gave 400 free lessons at the Sony Open and the previous week at Kapalua. Those 10-minute lessons will be available again during tournament days at Sony, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the Spectator Village. The section will have three hitting cages for swing analysis.

It will also have 20-minute Center Stage presentations each day at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m., featuring nationally recognized instructors. Those include Folds of Honor and Patriot Day founder Major Dan Rooney and motivational speaker D.J. Gregory, who suffers from cerebral palsy and walked every hole of every round of every event on the PGA Tour in 2008.

"The Aloha Section PGA and its 250 members and apprentices are committed to growing and promoting the game of golf here in Hawai'i," said Aloha Section President Matthew Hall. "This is a great way to reach out to the community and get them engaged in the game during the period that showcases Hawai'i golf to a global audience."

For more information, call 593-2230 or visit aloha@pgahq.com.


Sony Corporation and the PGA Tour announced a strategic partnership last month that involves bringing 3D technology to golf.

Next year's Sony Open is scheduled to be the first to be shot in 3D and available in that format to select audiences, in addition to its regular 2D presentation.

That introduction will be preceded this year when Sony places two 3D cameras at Waialae Country Club, one on the 18th hole and the other "roving."

They will shoot portions of this week's event as "a first step in the joint study." Work will continue throughout the season.

"Just as video of sports and nature were key to the adoption of high definition television, we expect the same to be true for 3D," said Sony Chairman, CEO and President Sir Howard Stringer. "The sport of golf and the natural beauty of Hawai'i are an ideal combination to showcase the distinct advantages of 3D and bring the full 3D experience to life for consumers."

• • •