Skip links

ClubsHelp Foundation with the Support of NCA, Arnold & Winnie Palmer Foundation & More Raise Over $150k for Oakland Hills Country Club

From disaster and ashes come generosity and the collective power of the club industry to support Oakland Hills Coun- try Club (OHCC) employees affected by February’s devastating fire that destroyed their historic clubhouse. ClubsHelp, a 501(c)3 foundation, in cooperation with the National Club Association (NCA) and Arnold & Winnie Palmer Foundation raised more than $150,000 in two months.

Tapping into their networks of golf course owners, club man- agers, golf course architects, golf professionals, members, media and corporate partners, the three organizations pooled resources and presented a check to board members of the Oakland Hills Country Club.

The Power of Clubs

Rob Goulet, president and co-founder of ClubsHelp, said, “This effort is a tremendous example of what can happen when the club industry comes together and lends support in times of need, which is ClubsHelp’s mission. Whether it’s a natural dis- aster or something directly impacts a club or community, that’s why we’re here.”

Oakland Hills Country Club has decided to best support its employees by compensating all hourly employees who had work hours reduced or season start dates delayed until the interim club facilities are in place.

Richard Palmer, OHCC president, said, “Oakland Hills Country Club paid all staff for their scheduled work hours from their planned season start date, so their compensation remains unaf- fected by the fire.”

Immediately following the clubhouse fire, ClubsHelp pledged $15,000 and offered its online fundraising donation platform to the industry to consolidate donations. Individual clubs stepped to the forefront as did various chapters of industry associations, club foundations and private donors. Additionally, the Arnold & Winnie Palmer Foundation contributed $34,008 to the fund—the largest single donation.

“In carrying forward the Palmer legacy, we are proud to sup- port our friends in golf, as well as care for those who are integral to a place important to the history of this great game,” said Ken Boehner, president and chair of the Arnold & Winnie Palmer Foundation. “The support from the foundation and our donors was made to honor the historic connection between Arnold Palmer and Oakland Hills by supporting the dedicated people who have helped make it a national treasure.” “Our donors really wanted to help the employees of Oakland Hills,” Boehner said. “The foundation’s leadership came up with the idea of a $10,000 match for members of Arnie’s Army and golf fans during the week of the Arnold Palmer Invitational presented by Mastercard in March. It seems like the kind of thing Mr. Palmer would have done. We were blown away by the response, and when the original goal was met and surpassed, the leadership agreed to keep matching donations dollar-for-dollar until the final putt of the tournament.”

Coincidentally, ClubsHelp was a recipient of the 2020 Arnie Award, a special recognition created by Golf Digest to recognize golfers who give back and to memorialize the philanthropic efforts demonstrated by Arnold Palmer.

The Beginning

ClubsHelp originated when founding club Spring Brook Country Club in Morristown, N.J., reached out to their local hospital, Mor- ristown Medical Center, to offer support during the COVID-19 pandemic. The club’s members were able to source and deliver

much needed items such as snacks, hydration, meals, PPE/safety equipment, UV lights and other items the hospital lacked. Their generosity received national exposure and became the impetus to grow the movement on a national level. In three weeks, ClubsHelp launched a website,, received 501(c)3 designation and enrolled hundreds of clubs and hospitals. Since then, legend- ary golfers Jack Nicklaus and Ernie Els have lent their support, as well as some of America’s top clubs (Seminole, Desert Mountain), and generous corporate partners (Clif Bar, Ahead).

The Mission

As a national initiative, ClubsHelp fosters the connections of industry organizations, bringing together golf course owners, club managers, golf course architects and golf professionals to form a powerful network. Responding to crisis on the larger scale of the operation is exemplified by the efforts of the ClubsHelp network providing aid to communities affected by natural disasters such as the Iowa derechos of 2020, or the tornado devastation occurring in Mayfield, Ky., at the end of 2021. Donations sourced from groups such as North American Rescue and CLIF Bar were distributed to and by clubs to help sustain and provide assistance to frontline responders. ClubsHelp has also worked alongside disaster affiliate Operation BBQ Relief, activating local clubs to source aid and volunteers to cook, serve and distribute hot meals in affected areas.

On a local level, ClubsHelp amplifies the relationship between clubs and their members with causes and charities in their com- munities and provides clubs with tools and resources to assist in times of crisis. After a tragic accident at Philmont Country Club in June 2020, ClubsHelp helped raise funds and donated directly to the family of the club’s late superintendent. At Ocean City Golf Club, the ClubsHelp scramble platform was utilized to raise nearly $5,000 for the pediatric cancer initiatives of Believe in Tomorrow Children’s House by the Sea.ClubsHelp works with clubs to amplify and enhance their ongoing philanthropy. Outings and events may be supplemented with a cus- tomizable fundraising platform capable of hosting golfathons, sweep- stakes, raffles, or auctions—virtual or in-person. Joining the Club- sHelp network is free and elevates a club’s reputation by being part of a national collective approach to supporting the greater community. Today, the network continues to communicate with and connect the club network for local market support.

For more information, visit