You cannot put a price on saving a life, which is why we started our Drive for Defibs campaign to get a defibrillator into every golf club. Here are some simple ways to raise the cash to get one installed at your home course.
Our Drive for Defibs campaign is brought to you in association with Motocaddy
For most golf clubs the cost of a defibrillator is the equivalent of a couple of annual membership fees – a relatively small outlay when you consider that a golf course is the fifth most likely place for people to suffer a cardiac arrest. But if your club hasn’t got one and can’t necessarily afford to fund one then, as part of our Drive for Defibs campaign, we’ve come up with a series of simple ideas that will ensure it can purchase one of the lifesaving pieces of kit in no time.
As part of our campaign we’re working with Heartsafe, which provides a whole range of AED packages that give golf clubs all the tools required to keep every golf course heart-safe.
They are offering every golf club in the UK a special package of life-saving equipment which includes a HeartSine Samaritan PAD 350P/360P/500P with an upgraded 10-year warranty and a customisable HeartSafe G4 cabinet, also with a 10-year warranty, for £1,999 – £2,144.
The offer includes a free spare ‘Pad Pak cartridge’ and resuscitation kit, a USB instructional video and three online training licences to undertake a certificated course in basic life support and CPR.
You can find out more and order your club’s defibrillator at www.heartsafe.org.uk
But if you haven’t quite got the funds to make the purchase just yet, here are our fundraising ideas.
Host a Defib Open
This was one of the inspirations behind starting our Drive for Defibs campaign. Maryport Golf Club in Cumbria came up with the brilliant idea of hosting a Defib Open last September. The event attracted 164 golfers and was so successful that it helped pay for two AED units and cabinets.
Your club can do the same by contacting local businesses about sponsoring a hole or the whole day. Some brands may even be willing to supply the prizes for the winners, or the longest drive, straightest driver, nearest the pin and most twos competitions.
Pick a hole on your golf course and then choose a hazard – whether it’s a pond or lake in play off the tee or protecting a green, or a bunker that every player seems to find – and then place a fine on that hazard. It could be as little as 10p.
Make a sign that explains the ‘fine’ and it’s purpose and get players to drop their donations into a pot in the pro shop or bar after their rounds. It’ll soon add up and no one will mind dipping into their pockets if it’s just a quid or less.
Sign up for a golf marathon
If you’ve never taken on the Longest Day Golf Challenge, now is your chance. Simply get a team of four together and select a course and date to play 72 holes in one day. Or, if you want to make the challenge even tougher, play multiple courses or even more holes. How about 100 holes in a day?!
You can easily set up a JustGiving page and ask for sponsorship from friends and family. Last August, Emma Clark, Ross Turley, Blair McCubbin and Steven Kirkpatrick raised £2,185 after playing four rounds in one day. They used the money to purchase a public access defibrillator in Dumfries.
Ask for a defibrillator grant
If you don’t ask, you don’t get. Middlesbrough Golf Club is now the beneficiary of a defibrillator and storage cabinet thanks to the generosity of a local charity.
Although the club already had one defibrillator in the clubhouse, they wanted a second one on the course to cut response times in the event of a cardiac arrest. The South Cleveland Heart Fund obliged and donated the defibrillator as a thank you to the club and its members for their support over the years.
Start hosting golf sweepstakes
This is possibly the easiest way to generate some quick cash. For example, if you can sell all 156 names in the hat ahead of the US PGA at £5 a pop, you can make £780 minus the cost of the winner’s first prize. Even if you offer prizes to the top 3 (£100 for 1st, £50 for second and £25 for third) then you”ll be left with £605!
Repeat that for the US Open and The Open and a defibrillator will almost pay for itself. You can make up the shortfall by adding a ‘defib levy’ on membership renewals or from the hazard donations pot.
Run a silent golf auction
Golfers are always trying to outdo each other, so why not consider running a silent auction or raffle after a big competition? You’ll be amazed at what people are willing to part with and how much others are willing to pay for an old golf club or a piece of memorabilia.
If you know a famous golfer or celebrity, it’s time to call in a favour. Or try contacting a few golf brands and see if they can help you out with a prize.
Lottery bonus ball
An oldie but a good one! 49 numbers are available at £1 each for the two weekly Lotto draws and whoever’s number comes out as the bonus ball wins the cash prize. But rather than handing over the full £49, just agree that the prize is £30 (or whatever amount you think is fair) with the remainder going into your defibrillator pot.
Host a golf quiz!
Let’s be honest, every club has its members who think they know everything about the game. Well, this is the ideal opportunity to test that knowledge and everyone loves a quiz. Charge a fiver per person or £20 for a team and you’ll raise a tidy sum. You can even make it a more general quiz so that friends and family can come along, too. And make sure you have a donations bucket on the bar for people to throw in any loose change when they buy a drink.
Make it your captain’s charity
Are you in line to be the next captain at your club? Then why not choose to raise funds for a defibrillator (or two) as your annual charity. Imagine being known as the captain who raised the money to buy a piece of equipment that saved a fellow golfer’s life. Plus a defibrillator could prove vital to your wider community.
READ NEXT: How a defibrillator saved this golfer’s life
We’re here to help! If you’ve got a story to tell as part of our Drive for Defibs campaign or want our support to get your own efforts up and running then get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Michael Catling is the Features Editor of Today’s Golfer.
He has been a journalist for more than 10 years and was shortlisted for Bauer Media Journalist of the Year in 2019.
Michael joined Bauer Media in 2016 and has exclusively interviewed dozens of Major champions, including Jordan Spieth, Tom Watson, Gary Player and Jack Nicklaus.
A former member of Ufford Park and Burghley Park, Michael has been playing golf since he was 11 and currently plays off a handicap of 10.
You can contact Michael here.