Tuff Dogs donate funds to junior golf after Brian Morris Memorial tournament
Junior golf on the island has been boosted by a $5, 000 donation to the Bermuda Golf Foundation by Tuff Dogs Sports Club.
The funds were raised by the club from the annual Tatem Memorial and One Love Classic Golf tournaments, held on the same day at Belmont Hills Golf Club in June.
Manny Faria, the Tuff Dogs co-president, said both tournaments were fully subscribed and a true reflection of the diverse and talented golfing community in Bermuda.
“Tuff Dogs are committed to providing support for young athletes to assist in their sporting development,’’ Faria said.
“This donation comes on the heels of our substantial boot donation made in October. The Tatem Memorial was introduced in 2000 as the Maria Tatem Memorial. Maria was the wife of Tuff Dog softball coach Donald Tatem and was also the team’s biggest supporter.
“The tournament was subsequently renamed the Tatem Memorial after the loss of Donald and son Jimmy, who played for Tuff Dogs as well.
“This year, the One Love Classic was added in honour of a dear friend Brian Morris, who was a great contributor to previous tournaments and was loved throughout the golfing community.
“He had a true passion for helping others and for developing young golfers on the island.
“Making a donation to the Bermuda Golf Foundation was the perfect tribute to honour one of the true titans of Bermuda’s golfing fraternity.”
Bermuda Golf Association president, Craig Brown, expressed his appreciation to Tuff Dogs for the kind gesture and has already identified areas for the funds to be channelled into.
“We are really grateful to Tuff Dogs for the charitable donation towards youth development,’’ Brown said.
“Working closely with our golf development officer Ebonie Cox, we’ll make sure we utilise the funds towards key aspects of our programming.
“Part of that will be our community outreach programme, US Kids Golf, and club loan scheme that we’ll be launching in 2024.
“The most immediate need in the association is to help grow and fund some of our new initiatives.
“We recently launched Operation 36, which is a skills development programme with on-course learning.
“We have juniors in need of clubs and with this support from Tuff Dogs, we should be able to take this club loan scheme into operation. Those we identify that are in need of clubs will be provided with a set of golf clubs.
“Our mandate is to grow the game, but also reduce barriers that impede access to the game of golf to anyone who wants to participate.”
Bill Tatem, whose three family members are celebrated in the Tatem Memorial, said the introduction of the Morris Memorial has increased the funds given to charitable causes.
“It’s an honour to have my name on the tournament,’’ he said.
“My dad used to coach softball and my mum was a No 1 fan. My brother played for them as well, so we we've been involved with Tuff Dogs for a while.
“The tournament has grown bigger over the years and the Brian Morris Memorial has also come in as well. We have two tournaments going now, so it’s bringing in more funds for different organisations.”
Laurie Morris, Brian’s widow, spoke of how the support from Tuff Dogs has made it easier to deal with her husband’s death.
“It’s been a tough year,’’ she said. “But having Manny and Danny [Faria], part of the Tuff Dogs and my family, it’s nice to have that support.
“Golf was Brian’s life and he actually used golf to feel better when he had cancer, to take his mind off from having cancer. Having a tournament in his honour would have definitely humbled him.
“He had a passion for golf and he wanted the younger players to come out and play more. Being able to donate to junior golf is something that Brian would have wanted to do while he was alive.”