As participants arrived at the Brookside Golf Club in Pasadena, Calif., around 7 a.m. on Monday, Los Angeles Dodgers third baseman Justin Turner made the rounds to graciously thank those in attendance.
In conjuction with the Los Angeles Dream Center, Turner hosted the first annual Justin Turner Classic. While the California State University, Fullerton product was the headliner, he was sure to give proper credit to others involved, namely his girlfriend Kourtney.
“I get a lot of credit for [the charity work], but she should get most of it,” Turner said. It was Kourtney, whom Turner affectionately referred to as his “better half,” who first connected with the Dream Center.
“A couple of years ago my girlfriend Kourtney went and did an event with the players’ wives, and she came back home and was ranting and raving about how great all the stuff they are doing is,” Turner said.
“So, the next opportunity I had, I got out there to do an event with them and just loved what they were doing and the message they’re sending everyone.”
A strong bond has since been formed, with Turner and his girlfriend regularly participating in charity events arranged by the Dream Center.
While Turner was unable to participate given his ongoing recovery from offseason microfracture surgery on his left knee, his Dodgers teammates, Austin Barnes, Yasmani Grandal, Kiké Hernandez, Adam Liberatore and Joc Pederson were among those on hand.
“I think [Grandal] is a pretty good golfer. I know he plays a lot, but he’s also coming off surgery so he hasn’t played very much,” Turner answered when asked which player on the Dodgers roster excels at golfing.
“Usually [title of best golfer], goes to a pitcher since they have all the time on their hands to go out and play. It’s a weird thing with the Dodgers, I don’t think there are a whole lot of golfers. Back when I was with the Mets, we had a group that would go play on every road trip.”
Other celebrities, including former six-weight world champion Oscar de la Hoya, also participated in the charity event. Hernandez and Turner spent the afternoon canvasing the course in a golf court, visiting the various foursomes.
Or as Turner put it Monday morning, the duo planned to “hijack” a golf cart. “If anyone knows Kiké Hernandez, you know there’s never a dull moment. I imagine we’re going to have a good time,” Turner said.
The successful first event pleased Turner, who said he was “probably more nervous [Sunday] night going to bed than I’ve been for Opening Day.” Ending with a silent auction and dinner, the money raised from the event was used to support The Dream Center’s Veterans program.