The Coyotes hit the links instead of the ice on Tuesday for the Arizona Coyotes Foundation’s Annual Golf Classic at the Whirlwind Golf Club at Wild Horse Pass in Chandler. Click here to view the photo gallery.
Each Coyotes player, as well as some of the coaches, broadcasters and alumni, was teamed with a foursome that paid $3,000 to the Arizona Coyotes Foundation to play with them.
“It’s a lot of fun to come out here and play some golf and to meet some new people,” defenseman Oliver Ekman-Larsson said before teeing off. “I’ve been practicing for two days so hopefully I can play well. It’s going to be a fun day. This is all for a good cause and everybody is super excited to be here. Plus the weather is beautiful and it’s great to be outside and to get away from the rink for a little bit. ”
The annual golf tournament is one of the Arizona Coyotes Foundation’s two signature events of the year. The other is the Celebrity Waiters Gala, which is usually staged in the winter. Organizers are hoping to gross $100,000 from this year’s golf tournament coming from the foursome fees, the live and silent auctions that followed the golfing, and various donations made during the day, such as golfers paying for “mulligans” aka do-overs.
“The money we raise goes towards our grant cycle,” said Liz Kaplan, the Executive Director of the Arizona Coyotes Foundation. “This year we’ve given $450,000 to 30 organizations. Our goal is to keep increasing that and keep making a difference in the community through the funds that we give out, and the community service that we give, and the partnerships we have in the community and state.”
While the tournament is all about raising funds and having fun, there were definitely some butterflies in some stomachs.
“Golf is a fun sport and I enjoy playing it, but I always get sweaty palms on the first tee,” rookie Max Domi said. “I’m always thinking ‘just don’t shank it’ or ‘don’t miss the ball or lose the club.’ But when you play in a scramble format like this it makes it a lot easier on you. I’m hoping to be placed in with a good group of golfers so I can kind of disappear and nobody will care about my bad shots.”
Among the active Coyotes, center Brad Richardson, who is a scratch golfer, and his group shot a 57, which placed them in first place with two other groups. Backup goalie Anders Lindback and his group brought up the rear with a 68, but they shared a lot of laughs doing so.
NOTE: The Arizona Coyotes Foundation seeks to enhance the quality of life throughout Arizona communities by supporting non-profit organizations that promote healthcare, education and cultural arts programs for children and service men and women. The foundation is dedicated to health and wellness programs that stimulate the growth of youth sports and financially supporting programs that encourage teamwork skills while building future leaders in our community. Click here for more information.