Georgia native, Bobby Jones, once said, “Golf is the closest game to the game we call life. You get bad breaks from good shots; you get good breaks from bad shots – but you have to play the ball where it lies.” We’ve all experienced the good, the bad, and the ugly, and have adapted to the phrase that if something doesn’t challenge you, it doesn’t change you or ultimately, make you stronger.
Golf does more than teach the players the game of life through unique obstacles. In the case of the One Fore One Challenge, a concept assembled by Joe and Christy Holaway, owners of local favorite Ware's Bar-B-Q, golfers are tested on their ability to adapt and overcome. By stretching the rules one hole at a time and providing players with a fun alternative to the game of golf, the Holaways are transforming one life at a time at The Refuge; a domestic violence shelter and sexual assault center.
“A few months back I went to Joe and told him that I wish that there was something that we could do to give back to our community.” Explained Christy, “Joe loves golf and has played this unique format before and always thought that it was fun. So, we got to talking about it and I wondered if we could take that concept and turn it into a tournament where we could raise money for a good cause. One night while we were eating dinner with a good friend of ours, Rocky Davis, we brought up the idea of the tournament. He told us about The Refuge and that we should consider partnering with Tripp Fitzner and the District Attorney’s office. So that’s just what we did. From that point, we knew this challenge was going to benefit a worthy cause.”
On Saturday August 19, the first inaugural One Fore One Challenge was held at the Swainsboro Golf and Country Club. Hosted by Wares Bar-B-Q, in partnership with the District Attorney’s office of the Middle Judicial Circuit, the tournament began at 9 a.m. The field consisted of 13 two-person teams. Included in the $150 registration fee was their green and cart fee, a delicious lunch provided by Ware's Bar-B-Q, a gift bag with a coozie, a thermal cup, a golf towel, a coffee mug and golf tees, as well as two raffle tickets. Winners of the tournament received a cash payout of $250 for first place, $150 for second place, and $75 for third place. The challenge concluded with a message from Sexual Assault Coordinator, Heather Williams, and Executive Director, Betty Dell Williams, of The Refuge.
So, what was the challenge, you ask? Each team could only use one club to test their skill in a nine-hole competition.
“The idea behind the challenge was that players could only use one club to complete a 9-hole course. Golfers could use whatever club they wanted but one club and one club only. We named the challenge One Fore One because it is essentially, one club for one cause.” Said Christy, “This year was new and a bit different to what golfers are used to. We hope to grow next year. This particular game is just for fun and bragging rights...and to see how lucky you are.”
Included in this offbeat game of golf were individual side games that were found on holes three, six, and nine. On hole 3, was a cornhole game dubbed “Cornhole in One.” Players were given the option to pay $10 to throw one cornhole bag at the cornhole board and if they made it, then they automatically earned a hole in one and could advance to the next hole. On hole six was “The Longest Drive” competition where players could dole out $10 and opt to switch up their one club for a six-iron in hopes to split the pot. Hole 9 came with a game of “Hole of Fortune” that offered a spinning wheel with twelve spots. A small $10 donation allowed a spin that could bring about fortune or woe. Six positive spots allowed players to take a stroke away from their game, go half the distance on the green, or putt an extra time. Four neutral spots were mandatory donations and the two remaining spots had players add a stroke to their score or took a drive from one of the players on their team.
“A lot of players participated in the side games, especially the Cornhole in One and the Hole of Fortune.” explained Christy, “In fact, we raised $140 off the Hole of Fortune. We just wanted the golfers to have a chance to not take the game so serious and have a good time. We got a lot of good feedback from it, so I think that's exactly what they did.”
Through the One Fore One Challenge, the Holaways, along with participating golfers and sponsors, raised over $4,000 for The Refuge. Additionally, they wanted to immensely thank their volunteers and sponsors: Hart Law Group - Hole of Fortune Game Sponsor, Jeffrey Brewer, Emanuel County Sheriff - Cornhole in One Game Sponsor, Kristin C. Hall, Clerk of Court - Longest Drive Game Sponsor, Ellington Insurance Inc, Famous Credit, Advanced Metal Components, Inc, Pro Parts Place, A-Z Power Equipment, East Georgia State College, Candler County Hospital, C. Joiner Anderson, P.C., J. Kendall Gross, P.C., Ben and Shana Faircloth, John Miles, Candler County Sheriff, Salter & Shook Law Office, Wrens Southern Ladies & Gents, DreamMaker Bath & Kitchen of East Georgia, Southland Insurance Group, C&G Car Care, Bobby and Daisy Reeves, Wesley Walker for Sheriff, Toombs County, Peterson Dermatology Vidalia, GA, Tom A. Peterson Law Firm, Durden Banking Company, Alvie Kight, Toombs County Sheriff, Pinetucky Meats, Roof US, L&W Signs and Metter Graphics.
“We set our goal at $3,000 but we got $4,000 and I’m just so amazed.” Christy said with a smile. At the conclusion of the event, Christy shared a speech with those who partook in the first One Fore One Challenge and expressed words of gratitude for all participants, “Today you were given one option, one club, and somehow, we manipulated you into believing that it would be fun. We truly hope that it was, because through the laughs and new memories that you all made during today’s challenges, you also helped a stranger through theirs.”
The Holaways hope that the One Fore One Challenge will continue to be an annual event that brings joy to the players and provides for the people that need it most. “Even though we’re a part of the Swainsboro community, we wouldn’t be opposed to moving this challenge to different areas because our goal is to help whatever community we can.” Christy explained that their intentions are to remain open to partnerships with a new organization and be able to change the cause as needed. In this way, the One Fore One title will remain the same but at its core will truly be One Fore All.