There are check-passing photos and there are CHECK PASSING PHOTOS!
This one is the all-caps kind.
The Hansberger family — including golf-equipment innovator Allan Hansberger of St. Charles and his son, Gary Hansberger of Elburn — have endorsed one of those giant checks in the staggering amount $1 million to support the Kids Golf Foundation efforts to grow the game of golf throughout the state of Illinois.
To date, this is the largest single donation received by the Kids Golf Foundation, a nonprofit junior golf organization that has impacted the lives of more than 250,000 youth through golf and its valuable life lessons.
The official check-passing took place last week at Rich Harvest Farms golf course in Sugar Grove.
“I want to help the kids,” said Allan Hansberger of his donation. “I want the kids to be brought up with the game, like I was.”
The $1 million donation will be used to cover the cost of running Kids Golf program sites, from southern Illinois to the Wisconsin border. This includes equipment like SNAG (Starting New At Golf) sets for Level 1: SNAG Programs and a starter sets of golf clubs, polo shirts and hats, rules books, bag tags, golf balls and tees for participants of Level 2: Traditional Clinics.
The money will also go toward site coordinator training, providing coordinators with resources and program consultations, as well as site visits from the foundation staff. Event costs, such as mentoring events, will be covered, and the foundation staff will be given the chance to create new opportunities for program sites.
Allan Hansberger and his brothers are innovators in the golf equipment world, founding Sportsman’s Golf in 1946. After various acquisitions, the family-run company changed its name to RAM Golf Corp. in 1963 in order to streamline their marketing.
Their biggest fan was Tom Watson, who endorsed RAM for the entirety of the company’s existence and used their clubs to win eight major championships, including five British Opens, two Masters, and the U.S. Open.
Other professional golfers who used RAM clubs included Nancy Lopez, Patty Sheehan and a number of others.
The Hansbergers ended up selling RAM to the Colgate-Palmolive Company in 1974, but reclaimed it six years later. The dividends of that trade are apparent today, in the generous donation to the Kids Golf Foundation.
When the Hansberger brothers split RAM into the Ram Golf Club Company and Ram Tour Balls in 1993, Allan Hansberger’s son, Gary, decided to strike out on his own. He launched Vulcan Golf in 1995, a custom-made club builder that sold to individual customers and pro shops.
About The Kids Golf Foundation
The Kids Golf Foundation of Illinois was established in 1998 by entrepreneurs and golf enthusiasts Jerry Rich and Don Springer. The foundation is a statewide junior golf association that offers and supports several golf programs and events designed to introduce children to the sport of golf, its fundamentals, rules, etiquette, life lessons, and more.