Golf pros visit Albany to participate in tournament

LPGA Golfer Christina Kim jokes with some golfers while playing a hole with them

Former LPGA legend and Albany resident Nancy Lopez paired up with Phoebe Foundation for the 25th annual Nancy Lopez Hospice Golf Classic, benefiting the Albany Community Hospice and Willson Hospice House.

This year, Lopez brought along some professional help for the golfers.

"I've spent the last few hours just going out there and playing some golf with the folks. I think I've hung with just about everyone out on the golf course. Hit a few shots, heckled a few, laughed at a couple," says LPGA Golfer Christina Kim.

Golfers say they had a good time playing a round with the pros. The LPGA golfers say they give the players credit -- the course at Doublegate is tough.

"We roll up and they're happy to see us because they need another good player to come in and hit a shot for them. They've been all really good. Some really good golfers and some that need a little help," says LPGA Golfer Rosie Jones, who will also be the 2011 Solheim Cup USA Captain.

While players enjoyed golfing with the pros, their good time was also a hole in one for a charitable cause.

"Hospice is a great organization. They help people â" help families really, too â" to get through a time when they're losing someone very special to them in their lives," says Lopez.

Months ago, Lopez contacted LPGA professionals to help at the Hospice Golf Classic.

"You know what the plight of what a lot of people go through and you want to do anything you can to help. If just by being out here and playing golf with some people will be able to raise some money for such an amazing cause, why don't you do it?" says Kim.

Money raised at the golf tournament pays for utility bills and medications for patients and caregivers at hospice.

"Every day as I walk around, people always say thank you because they know what, if it's touched their life, how wonderful it is. And, you know, eventually we all may need hospice," says Lopez.

Remembering the help they're giving, the golf tournament also gave back to the pros.

"This is a great event for me to come out and just sort of loosen up a little bit and have some fun on the golf course before I go back to work," says Kim.

The Nancy Lopez and Friend Junior Golf Clinic will be held at The First Tee on Saturday, Sept. 25. The clinic gives opportunities to young golfers to play alongside LPGA professionals.

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