The event was expected to raise as much as $55,000 to help the next wounded Kentucky soldier who returns home in need of assistance.
“It has been so much fun doing this,” Allison Tamme said. “It has been a little hectic this morning with last minute changes, but it has all been good and everything has worked out. We have been so blessed. Everything has just fallen into place.
“We are sold out and we were so worried. The economy is bad and people and companies are watching every penny, but we are so blessed to be full of golfers and sponsors. This money goes to help a veteran. It may not be enough to completely build a home, but it helps.”
That’s what Jacob Tamme, a former Boyle County and University of Kentucky standout who is entering his third season with the Indianapolis Colts, wanted. It might be impossible to figure the NFL odds on the Colts returning to the Super Bowl, but it’s a sure thing that Tamme has a heart of gold.
He did a little bit of everything Monday. He shook hands with golfers when they arrived. He carried golf bags to carts. He checked on doughnuts and drinks. He drove Matthews around the course in a golf cart to meet players while they played.
He had an ‘A’ list of celebrities. Three Colts teammates — tight end Tom Santi, kicker Pat McAfee and quarterback Curtis Painter — were there. So was former UK quarterback Tim Couch, Kentucky’s only No. 1 overall pick in the NFL draft. Former UK basketball standouts Mike Pratt, Louie Dampier, Jeff Sheppard and Kyle Macy were there. So were media personalities like Tom Leach, Dick Gabriel, Mary Jo Perino, Amber Philpott and Dave Baker. Former UK football players Freddie Maggard, Dicky Lyons and Marty Moore were there. Former major league baseball players Doug Flynn and Chris Burke were there. Former Boyle teammates Travis and Bobby Leffew, who both had successful careers at Louisville, played.
He also had a host of other local golfers as well as a slew of family members to make sure the tourney had no unexpected glitches.
Because new UK coach Joker Phillips already had a coaching retreat planned, there were no UK coaches at the event. However, Phillips’ wife, Leslie, was there and helped register players.
“Joker felt bad that he couldn’t be here and of course that meant (former Boyle County coach) Chuck Smith couldn’t be since he was at the retreat, too,” she said. “I thought the least I could do was come and help.”
However, Tamme had more than enough big-name celebrities to mingle with the golfers.
“Basically I came just to support Jacob. He called and asked it if I would play and everybody knows that Jacob is such a tremendous guy. He showed up at my football camp that Craig Yeast and I had for kids last year and spoke, so I wanted to help him out and repay him,” Couch said. “But it is a great cause. Anytime you can do anything to support the soldiers, you want to get out and do that. Obviously with the turnout we have here for the first tournament, it is a great cause.”
There were 129 golfers and numerous sponsors. UPS offered a $100,000 prize for a hole-in-one. Bob Allen Motor Mall put up a new Cadillac for a hole-in-one on another hole. Every golfer got tee prizes, lunch and dinner.
“I think any time you can get out and do something for the soldiers who fight for your life and freedom, I think you do it. Jacob asked me a couple of months ago and as soon as he said it was for the soldiers, he didn’t have to give me a day. I said right then I was in,” McAfee said.
“It didn’t take much to get me here when he told me what the cause was. I really can’t think of anything much better than that. I am not the best golfer, but I will come out to support that any day,” Santi said.