(Note: This interview was conducted prior to THE PLAYERS Championship.)
Tabitha Furyk is the wife of PGA TOUR golfer Jim Furyk, mother to Bolles students Tanner and Caleigh and co-founder of the Jim & Tabitha Furyk Foundation.
Can you briefly tell us about your background?
I was born in Torrance, California and raised in Columbus, Ohio. I went to Ohio State and got an elementary education degree. I met Jim at the Memorial (PGA TOUR tournament in Dublin, Ohio). I traveled a little bit with him, and then we moved to Ponte Vedra Beach.
What does THE PLAYERS Championship mean to you?
THE PLAYERS Championship has always been very special to me and Jim because it is the one tournament that is in our backyard. It’s great to share it with friends and family and great to see and to participate in some of the wonderful charity events that they do to support our community.
What were some of the events you were involved with the week of THE PLAYERS?
On the Sunday morning before the tournament, we hosted Operation Shower on the golf course for 40 women who are either active military or whose husbands are deployed. Later that evening, we hosted close to 400 people for our ninth annual Jim and Tabitha Furyk Foundation Furyk & Friends event. That featured opportunities for participants to attempt the 17th Hole Challenge and shop in the new pro shop. The event also included a closest-to-the-pin shootout at the 17th hole for our PGA TOUR celebrities to compete for $10,000 for charity. The evening also featured an acoustic concert and about 10 celebrity chefs who cooked outdoors there at the Grove. That next morning, we hosted our golf tournament at Sawgrass Country Club. On Tuesday, we had These Kids Can Play, where we hosted 100 families suffering from life-limiting and other conditions through Community PedsCare and Wolfson Children’s Hospital. We finished up Tuesday with the Military Appreciation Concert.
What’s your involvement with the PGA TOUR Wives Association? Can you please tell us a little bit about that organization?
I’ve been a member of the PGA TOUR Wives Association for, I believe, 24 years now. It is very impactful as a young wife to be able to travel each week and know that there’s something — an activity or an event — that we can do to give back to our community. Most of them are very hands-on. That’s the reason I started These Kids Can Play at THE PLAYERS Championship. We used to have a luncheon and fashion show, which was great, but it didn’t give you that feel that you were supporting somebody in the community, even though you knew there were charity dollars going there. Now, this gives us a very hands-on opportunity to spend some time with some kids who really appreciate us being there and really could use a helpful hand. (Read more about These Kids Can Play on page 16.)
What’s it like to be a significant other of a PGA TOUR player?
It is an adventure. There’s a lot of emotion on the golf course. Although it seems glamorous to travel week to week in amazing locations, there are also the fun challenges of trying to be on a plane or in a long car ride with two small children and trying to find laundromats and living out of a suitcase week after week. So, there are certainly pluses and minuses.
What do you enjoy most about living in the area?
I think the thing we enjoy most as a family is the access to the waterways. Whether it’s the beach or the St. Johns River or the Intracoastal, most of our activities surround those waterways. It really makes for great family adventure. It’s a great way to entertain folks who come into town to visit. (We’re) pretty proud of how beautiful (the) venues that we have along the waterway are and being able to share those with folks.
When you’re not working in the community or on the golf course, what do you like to do in your free time?
We’re very active. We spend a lot of time watching our kids play sports. We like to do activities such as participate in runs, take the boat out for a spin with the kids, play beach volleyball with the kids, fish, etc. At this point, with a freshman and a junior in high school, they still like to hang out with us, so anything family-oriented, we’re up for.
Edited by Jon Blauvelt