Sunday, June 1, 2014

Roland Martin Talks Danny Thomas Pro-Am, Love For Golf

Posted By on Sun, Jun 1, 2014 at 9:53 PM

Roland Martin
  • Roland Martin

A multitude of celebrities will flaunt their golfing skills during this year’s Danny Thomas Pro-Am golf tournament.

The event, which will benefit St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, is taking place Monday, June 2nd at TPC Southwind. It starts at noon.

NFL Hall-of-Famer Jim Brown, Mike Conley and Mike Miller of the Memphis Grizzlies, Penny Hardaway, Robby Krieger of The Doors, and former Grizzlies coach Lionel Hollins are among the celebs participating in the tournament.

Reputable journalist Roland Martin is another person who will showcase his golfing skills during the event. A former CNN news analyst and the current host of TV One’s News One Now (which airs daily at 9 a.m. EST), Martin along with his wife, Jacquie, have been supporting St. Jude for the last few years by conducting fundraisers and spreading awareness of the hospital’s dedication to treat children with life-threatening diseases free of charge.

“We’ve held fundraisers in Washington, DC and I’ve done discussions on radio and television, because I think it’s important to bring the story of what Danny Thomas did and also what St. Jude still does to our audience, who otherwise might be unfamiliar with their background,” Martin said. “For me, it’s an opportunity to further my role as an ambassador for the hospital and encourage people to step up and do their part to assist the hospital and these children who desperately need the assistance.”

The Danny Thomas Pro-Am is a part of the FedEx St. Jude Classic, a professional golf tournament. This year, the competition will last from June 2nd-June 8th.

For the Danny Thomas Pro-Am, there will be four amateurs and one professional/one celebrity per group during the event. Amateurs will play nine holes with a professional and nine holes with a celebrity.

The event title comes from late actor Danny Thomas, who, in 1969, agreed to lend his name to the tournament in exchange for St. Jude becoming the tournament's charity.

Martin said he was motivated to support St. Jude after visiting the hospital and learning more about its history and dedication to provide children with treatment regardless of their race, religion, or family's ability to pay.

Martin was introduced to golf as a freshman at Texas A&M in 1987. He chose to play the sport as his physical education course. Years later, he's developed a fervent passion for the same sport he once played for a grade.

“It really is one of the best decisions I’ve made, because I’ve been able to meet some phenomenal people through the game of golf,” Martin said. “It’s a sport that challenges you physically and mentally. You step on that course, you’ve got to contend with the wind, the heat, the cold, sand, water ... you’ve got to deal with undulation, [and] the ground. You’ve got all those different things. It challenges you. You have to think your way through it. On a given day, something may be wrong. You can’t hit your club the distance you normally hit. You’ve got to make an adjustment ... you’ve got to take a full swing, a three-quarter swing, [or a] half-swing. It really challenges you to think yourself through and problem-solve, and that’s one of the things I love about it.”

Following the Danny Thomas Pro-Am, the Window World Pro-Am will take place on Wednesday, June 4th. Notable participants include former major league baseball players Ozzie Smith and Tino Martinez, Britton Colquitt of the Denver Broncos, and NASCAR drivers Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. and Denny Hamlin.

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