Excitement Overflows At 6th Annual Justin Turner Golf Classic

Justin and Kourtney Turner hosted the sixth annual Justin Turner Golf Classic at Sherwood Country Club on Monday, with their signature event returning after a one-year hiatus due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Cody Bellinger, Andre Ethier, Joe Kelly, Albert Pujols, Corey Seager and Will Smith were among those to participate. “We had to postpone it last year, so the amount of support this year has been insane,” Justin Turner said.

“We had a kickoff party that we were anticipating 70 to 80 people, and I think we had about 140 come and support that. This year we have more sponsors than we’ve ever had and we sold this thing out a while ago. Just can’t thank everyone enough for getting involved.

“I think it’s kind of an indication that people are itching to get back out, do things and try to get back to normal.”

Kourtney added: “There was so much excitement leading up to the golf tournament this year, especially after having to postpone the event last year. We are usually working hard to get the word out and sell spots up to the day before the tournament, but we actually sold out weeks in advance and had to turn people away. We were a little worried at first that we would lose momentum after hosting an event for five years in a row and having to postpone it in 2021, but we actually had so much buzz leading up to it.

“I think a lot of people were eager to get back out and support and be able to make an impact in the community through the foundation, and I think the Dodgers winning a World Series since our last tournament definitely did not hurt. We’re always blown away by the support of Justin’s teammates.

“To know how many guys got on a plane and traveled for hours to be here for us means everything. He had teammates fly in from Tennessee, Florida, Texas, Arizona and everywhere in between. We know how valuable the offseason is to these guys so to see them dedicate a few days of their time off to our cause is a feeling you really can’t describe.”

Bellinger and several other Dodgers teammates have attended the golf tournament in support of the Justin Turner Foundation over years past, but it was a first for Ethier.

“I’m excited to be here,” he said. “Unbelievable. My first time back here in Westlake and obviously at Sherwood for this tournament. This is an unbelievable host for it. I’m appreciative for all the invites I’ve gotten from Justin over the years. He actually gave me a lot of crap because he’s invited me before, and I no-showed him one year and I had a good excuse. And the previous year, I just told him I was busy.

“This time I text him. I was like, ‘Hey Justin, am I going?’ He goes, ‘Well, you didn’t want to come the first couple years. I didn’t know you wanted to come now.’ So it was kind of more my hampering, but I got invited back.”

Proceeds from the event — which featured a silent auction — benefit children and families that have been affected by life altering illnesses, as well to assist veterans and families around the Los Angeles area. The Turners regularly work with the Los Angeles Dream Center and local hospitals through their foundation.

“I’m a Los Angeles native. Growing up here, I think it’s funny because you don’t meet a lot of people who are actually from L.A., so I feel extremely fortunate to be in the position I’m in,” Turner said.

“I feel extremely lucky to have gotten the opportunity nine years ago to become a Dodger and really build this platform that I have today. I feel like it’s a responsibility for Kourt and I to really give back to our fans and the community.”

Turner hopeful for ‘normalcy’

With the pandemic requiring significant shifts in all aspects of life over the past two years, Turner was hopeful his latest golf tournament represented a step toward returning to normalcy.

“The most difficult part is not having the person-to-person interaction that we’re used to: going into rooms, meeting families, hanging out with kids, going to the Dream Center, doing events,” Turner said.

“I think that’s the hardest part. It doesn’t feel as authentic when you’re talking to kids over Zoom or through an iPad, so hopefully we’re on the backend of this pandemic and we can start getting back in to see all the kids, back to the Dream Center and get closer to normal.”

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