Nemours, Furyk Foundation packed backpacks during fun THE PLAYERS event


Nemours Children’s Health and the Jim & Tabitha Furyk Foundation teamed up with Blessings in a Backpack for a special event that was hosted at the Nemours kids zone area during THE PLAYERS on March 13.

“As a local star, I think it would be easy for Jim and Tabitha to just play golf and keep it at that, but what’s amazing about them is not only the great events they put on but the worthwhile endeavors that they’re partnered with,” THE PLAYERS executive director Lee Smith said.

Smith believes that the Furyks have a similar mantra to that of the PGA Tour, in which they want to give back to the communities in which they live and play, and this is something that has been prevalent throughout Jim’s entire playing career.

“There’s no better example of that than the Furyk Foundation, and both he and Tabitha do such a great job,” Smith said. “They are building just such a great reputation, not only for their events, but by partnering with organizations like Nemours, Blessings with a Backpack, and the many more.”

“It’s really cool to see a PGA Tour player that doesn’t have to do this, or he could just rely on the organization to do it for him, but he and Tabitha want to be so involved and it shows their passion for giving back,” Smith said.

Twenty-five students from Andrew Robinson Elementary School in Jacksonville and their families attended the kids zone area and got to spend some quality time together laughing and playing the various game stations available as guests of Nemours and THE PLAYERS.

Some of the games included miniature putting greens, a large-scale version of the game Operation and Skee-Ball, as well as virtual activities and a coloring wall.

Smith and Furyk both spent time helping teach the children about some techniques to hold a putter and offered guidance while they took part during the putting portion.

“I think golf is a platform and a vehicle to reach out to different audiences and help, whether that’s inside the ropes or outside of them, is a really worthwhile thing,” Smith said. “When you put a golf club into a child’s hands, initially your first question is ‘are you right-handed or left-handed?”

That initial question has the potential to grow into something special and could create future golf fans and players, or at the least it introduces them to a new experience that they had never interacted with before.

“When one rolls in the hole after two or three tries and you see them realize that was their goal and they just achieved it, and the light it puts in their eyes and smile on their face, is what it’s all about,” Smith said. “It is not only great for them, but also for the game of golf and for the future of the sport. That’s how golf can grow anytime you put a club in a child’s hands.”