Pinehurst, Riviera raise HUGE money for workers affected by coronavirus

March 29, 2020

Perhaps no group of workers has been hit harder by the spread of the coronavirus than the service industry. Restaurants are decimated, hotels are empty, and the workers who represent those groups are filing for unemployment by the millions. Golf courses — however distant they may seem from their service counterparts — are equally part of the landscape

Two legendary golf courses are giving back to employees. In less than a week, Pinehurst and Riviera C.C. have collectively raised more than $250,000 for employees whose livelihoods have been affected by the virus.

Many courses (like Riviera) were forced to close indefinitely after state and local governments acted to quarter off large public gatherings. The courses that managed to remain open, like Pinehurst, have been forced to close associated hotels and restaurants. The human toll from just the two courses amounts to hundreds of lost jobs — a microcosm of what’s happening throughout the industry and the country.

But that’s where both courses stepped in to help.

On Friday, Pinehurst opened an online fundraiser in response to several public inquiries, offering a series of “one-of-a-kind” experiences at the resort. In all, there are a few dozen golf-based deals up for auction, ranging from a round with Pinehurst No. 4 architect Gil Hanse to a six-night, stay-and-play on all 10 courses on Pinehurst property.

Thus far, the most popular offering is a vacation package at Dornoch Cottage, legendary course designer Donald Ross’ former home. The top bid to stay at the cottage, which rests a stone’s throw from the 3rd green on No. 2, is currently just shy of $20,000. The Pinehurst fundraiser ends on March 30 at 8:30 p.m., and all proceeds will go toward a fund to support recently displaced workers.

At Riviera, a crowd-funded campaign for the club’s caddies started by Larry David (of “Seinfeld” and “Curb Your Enthusiasm” fame) has raised close to $125,000. More than a hundred people have donated to the campaign over the past week. The fundraiser is zeroing in on its initial goal of $150,000, aiming to help the course’s caddies survive financially until the course resumes play.

If you’d like to participate in either campaign, you can do so at the links provided below.

Pinehurst (ends 3/30/20 at 8:30 p.m.): https://go.rallyup.com/pinehurst

Riviera Caddy Fund: https://www.gofundme.com/f/riviera-caddy-fund

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