From staff reports
Hundreds of people showed up or shelled out in support of Dataw Island’s Head Golf Pro Chris Fearn, in his one-man golf marathon, completed at dusk Monday. Fearn teed off at 3:30 am and played until dark in order to raise money for wounded and disabled veterans through Tee It Up for the Troops (TIUFTT).
Last year, Fearn played 251 holes of golf before sundown, raising more than $35,000. This year was his last “solo” year and he hoped to top his fundraising results. Based on pledges received, Fearn will raise more than $40,000 once all money is collected, bringing his seven-year total to $200,000.
In a surprise, event coordinator Col. Glenn Blackburn presented Fearn with a Governor’s proclamation naming Monday “Tee It Up for the Troops Day” across the state of South Carolina. Blackburn credited the golf pro with single-handedly bringing recognition to our wounded and disabled veterans from the office of Gov. Henry McMaster.
“It is really humbling – like it hasn’t even sunk in yet,” Hearn said in a release. “I can’t believe they did this. It is truly so special”
“During this Veterans Week, I want to recognize the hard work, imagination, and dedication of all the folks in the Dataw community and local supporters for our veterans and country,” President and Executive Director of TIUFTT Tim Wegscheid said in a release. “Each year, your wonderful community puts on an amazing display of patriotism and fun golf events. Thank you for your loyal support of our military veterans and their families.!”
Fearn was able to complete an astounding number of holes – 253 – to once again break his record. He made 55 birdies and two eagles.
“I have to admit, waking up at 2:45 a.m. and knowing that I’m about to play golf for 14 hours straight, with the first three-plus hours in the dark, is a little daunting,” Fearn said. But it’s still a lot of fun since I know it’s for a great cause. Having members and veterans there cheering me on is really what keeps me going. Although it takes me a few days to recover afterwards, it’s a small sacrifice that I’m happy to make in the make of Tee It Up for the Troops.”
Supporters, primarily Dataw Island community members, pledged their choice of a per-hole amount or a flat amount, with the per-hole promises serving to encourage Fearn even more to complete as many holes as his body and daylight would allow. Each birdie and eagle he made also increased the take, so playing fast and accurately were both goals.
This year’s take pushed Fearn to more that $200,000 raised over the seven years of the event.
Above: Dataw Island Head Golf Pro Chris Fearn sizes up a shot Monday during the one-man golf marathon to raise money for wounded and disabled veterans. Submitted photo.