The third annual Justin Turner Foundation Golf Classic drew current and former Los Angeles Dodgers, other professional athletes and celebrities alike. Sherwood Country Club provided a picturesque backdrop on an unseasonably warm January afternoon.
It marked a second consecutive year the event was held at the prestigious golf course and like in 2017, the number of participants grew from the previous year. “It’s been amazing. Just to see it get bigger and bigger every year, obviously the support is overwhelming,” Turner told DodgerBlue.com
“To see the names that are coming out to support Kourt and I and the cause we believe in, to make an impact in our community is amazing. We’re very grateful for it.”
After being forced to play the role of gracious in the first two renditions of the golf classic, Turner took his swings on the links this year. He was partnered with Chase Utley, whom the Dodgers have interest in re-signing.
“I think Chase is a little better golfer than me,” Turner said. For Utley, it was his first year participating in the event.
“It’s not as embarrassing as it once was,” he said of his golfing ability. “But there’s definitely some work to be done.”
The list of attendees included Austin Barnes, Walker Buehler, Nomar Garciaparra, Adrian Gonzalez, Wayne Gretzky, Jerry Hairston Jr., Orel Hershiser, Dustin Johnson, Joc Pederson and Trayce Thompson.
They were part of the capacity group of participants that unfortunately required the foundation to turn away interested golfers. “It sucked, but is also really fantastic (to have a full tournament),” Kourtney said.
The Turners used the golf classic to raise proceeds that benefitted the Dream Center in Los Angeles. Having already built a floor for men, the Dream Center is in the process of doing the same for women’s veterans.
A portion of the proceeds also went to the 17 Strong Foundation, which is a non-profit organization that was formed to honor Ryan Teixeira.
The foundation organizes ‘Victory Trips’ that are designed to give the recovering patient an opportunity to experience a time of recuperation doing something they have dreamed of.
Victory Trips differ from the Make-A-Wish Foundation in that young adults over the age of 18 are eligible for a special experience.
Additionally, Turner and his wife Kourtney presented the second annual Justin Turner Foundation Perseverance Award during a dinner that followed the day’s golfing. The recipient this year was the Teixeira family.
Turner grew close to Teixeira, who passed away last March after a five-month battle with Acute Myeloid Leukemia. “It’s amazing to have [the Teixeiras] out here,” Kourtney said.
“They’re such an amazing family. We love supporting what they’re doing. We line up with them perfectly, so to have them on board with us is incredible.”
To learn more about the Turners’ charitable efforts, visit JustinTurnerFoundation.com.