The Furman University Board of Trustees' vote Feb. 7 to discontinue men's golf as a budget-saving cut after this season was a shocker as well as an eye-opener. But men's golf may get a reprieve with efforts underway to fully endow the sport.
"We feel much better about it," said Frank Ford of Charleston, a former standout for the Furman men's golf team and member of the school's Athletic Hall of Fame. Ford said an effort to fund the program for the next two years is going well and that some of the members of the Board of Trustees who voted to cut men's golf have contributed to the effort.
"They left the door wide open for us to endow the whole thing and I think that's what we're going to do and not have to worry about this again."
Ford said the amount needed to endow the program is not the $9 million originally estimated but it's still in the millions.
"We've set a little higher goal short-term to show those guys we mean business and can get something done," he said. "We have a wonderful golf course up there and a state-of-the-art facility to practice."
When the announcement came down, there was an immediate uproar that included some support from well-known Furman alumni such as Brad Faxon, Beth Daniel, Betsy King and Dottie Pepper. Golfweek also published several stories, bringing national attention to the story. A Facebook page, Save Furman Golf, was started and over the first weekend more than 2,000 signed the online petition.
"Women's golf has been the lead pony (at Furman)," Ford said, "but we had guys like Brad and other guys. We've been down the last couple of years and on our side there's been a little complacency by the men's golf community."
Dambaugh SEC's top freshman
Katelyn Dambaugh of Goose Creek was named the Southeastern Conference freshman golfer of the week after leading the University of South Carolina to victory in the Florida State Match-Up, the Gamecocks' spring opener. South Carolina is ranked 13th in GolfStat's top 25.
Dambaugh, a former Pinewood Prep star, shot a final-round 67 and finished seventh overall at 3-over-par 219 in the Florida State Match-Up, her third top-10 finish of the year.
Dambaugh's 67 also tied for the third best 18-hole score in program history.
Dambaugh has played in all five of the year's tournaments and leads the team with a 73.14 scoring average.
The Gamecocks' next match is the Darius Rucker Intercollegiate, scheduled for March 7-9 at Long Cove Club on Hilton Head Island.
Charleston Golfweek Tour
Jason Ray defeated Jeff Emory on the first hole of sudden death after the two tied with scores of 79 and won Flight A in the Charleston Golfweek Amateur Tour event played at Kiawah Island Golf Resort's Osprey Point. Mason Talley won Flight B with a 77; Sean Metzger won Flight C with an 86; and Fred Bernhart shot 82 to win Flight D.
USGA recognizes Hughes
Mike Hughes of Daniel Island, CEO of the National Golf Course Owners Association, recently received the U.S. Golf Association's Ike Grainger Award that recognizes volunteers who have reached 25 years of service to the USGA. Hughes serves on the Regional Affairs Committee.
Sheppard third in HJGT
Will Sheppard of Mount Pleasant shot 149 and finished third in the boys' 15-18 age group of the Hurricane Junior Golf Tour's Kiawah Island Junior Challenge played at Kiawah Island Golf Resort's Cougar Point. Bryson Nimmer of Bluffton won with a score of 139.
Saturday: Green Wave Open to benefit Summerville High School golf team, Summerville Country Club, $65 entry fee, contact coach Aaron Litz at (843) 276-9015 or Bray Blanton at (843) 873-2210 ext. 1.
Saturday: Second annual Glow Party and Golf Event to benefit Woodward Crohn's and Colitis Foundation, $125, visit woodwardccf.org or email Gisele Woodward at Gisele@woodwardccf.org.
March 4: Knights of Columbus Council 9475 Golf Outing to support The Daughters of St. Paul and Operation Hope, Harbor Course-Wild Dunes Resort, $100 per player, contact: Jim Welsch at (843) 849-1979, (843) 442-9614 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
March 8: Kiawah Island Golf Resort 11th annual Golf Demo Day, Tommy Cuthbert Learning Center, 10 a.m.-3 p.m., free, call (843) 266-4030.
March 14: Meet Citadel Football Coach Mike Houston golf tournament, March 15, Summerville Country Club, $100 per player, contact Connie Tuza at (843) 452-9801 or email Elcid58@knology.net.
March 15: Summerville Elks 12th annual captain's choice golf tournament, Berkeley Country Club, contact Geoff Mullette at (843) 771-4113, Jim Gelis at (843) 323-6136 or Paul Davis at (843) 259-0089.
April 11: Trident Health Golf Tournament to benefit the American Heart Association, Crowfield Golf Club, Call (843) 847-4476.
May 20: Needtobreathe Classic golf tournament benefiting Global Health Care Initiatives, Daniel Island Club, $300 per player, call (843) 884-4545 or visit commonwealthcares.org.
SUNDAY, FEB. 9
Ron Karst, Oak Point-Kiawah Island Golf Resort, No. 2, 138 yards, 6-iron. Witnesses: Rick Suggs, Gary Waldrop, Mike Flint.
FRIDAY, FEB. 14
Chick Vladuchick, Ocean Winds-Seabrook Island Club, No. 15, 129 yards, 9-iron. Witness: Bob Adamson.
SATURDAY, FEB. 15
Dave Linquist, Crowfield Golf Club, No. 8, 163 yards, 7-iron. Witnesses: Danny Dean, Mike Hohorst.
Sue Mullin, Golf Club at Briar's Creek, No. 15, 90 yards, 7-iron. Witnesses: Sherry Balderson, Carol Hacker.
SUNDAY, FEB. 16
Henry Devens, Crooked Oaks-Seabrook Island Club, No. 5, 149 yards, 5-iron. Witnesses: Liz Devens, Sandy Scott, Bob Scott.
Ed Tamsberg, Links at Stono Ferry, No. 14, 165 yards, 6-hybrid. Witnesses: Wally West, Cary Bocklet, Bob Olin.
MONDAY, FEB. 17
Jim Edwards, Patriots Point Links, No. 3, 148 yards, 6-iron. Witnesses: John Radcliffe, Mike Curtis, Skip Howell.
TUESDAY, FEB. 18
Ann R. Ferguson, The River Course-Kiawah Island Club, No. 6, 115 yards, 6-hybrid. Witnesses: Marcia Fulk, Rosemary Mahoney, Elizabeth Feldmann.
A hole-in-one should be reported by the golf course. Contact Tommy Braswell at (843) 937-5591, fax (843) 937-5579 or email email@example.com.