Giving Back To Those Who Serve!

 The U. S. Coast Guard Academy Alumni Association will host its 11th Otto Graham Golf Classic on Wednesday, September 20, 2017 at Fishers Island Club in New York. 

The tournament is sold out however sponsorship opportunities that include foursomes still remain.

Named in honor of football Hall of Famer and former Coast Guard Academy Athletic Director Otto Graham, the Classic has helped raise more than $1M to support athletics at the Coast Guard Academy (located in New London, CT). This year marks the third time the tournament has occurred at Fishers Island.

The 2017 Otto Graham Golf Classic at Fishers Island will be an experience like no other. Designed by Seth Raynor and opened in 1926, the 18-hole links style golf course is one of the true untouched beauties of the East Coast. Golf Digest rated Fishers Island Club one of the best courses in the country multiple times. It is a bucket list course, for sure!

The tournament includes ferry transportation to and from New London and Fishers Island via Hel Cat II charter (docks at the golf course), brunch, cocktail hour with open bar, awards reception, and participant gift bag.

Since 2008, the tournament has been held at many prestigious courses, including Arnold Palmer’s Bay Hill Club & Lodge in Florida, Pinehurst in North Carolina, Silverado Resort & Spa in Napa, CA, and Latrobe Country Club in Pennsylvania. A former member of the Coast Guard himself, Arnold Palmer was a major supporter of the Otto Graham Golf Classic until his passing last September.

Coast Guard

Arnold Palmer with USCGA Alumni Association Staff- Bay Hill 2016

Otto Graham was a “gift” to the U.S. Coast Guard Academy for many reasons. He started playing professional basketball with the Rochester Royals and professional football with the upstart Cleveland Browns in 1946, becoming the first athlete ever to win back-to-back professional world championships in different sports. He retired at the age of 33 and accepted the head football coach and athletic director positions at the Academy in 1959. He then led the 1963 Academy Bears to their first undefeated and untied football season with a coveted trip to The Tangerine Bowl. He ended his career in 1985 when he retired as a Coast Guard Captain.

Under his tenure the athletic program grew substantially. He firmly believed that athletic participation was a keystone to personal integrity, character and leadership. The Otto Graham Golf Classic brings together many of his former players, as well as, his family, every year to reminisce and celebrate the football great.

Coast Guard

2017 Otto Graham Golf Classic West at Silverado Resort & Spa

Graham’s legacy at CGA is enshrined in the newly opened Otto Graham Hall of Athletic Excellence inside Billard Hall at the Academy. The facility pays tribute to the history of Coast Guard Academy athletics, great teams, outstanding individual athletes, as well as, the pioneers of men’s and women’s sports via a collection of world-class displays. The Hall of Athletic Excellence was a gift to the Academy from the Alumni Association, which relied on more than $3.5 M in private donations.

Proceeds from the Otto Graham Golf Classic support the Otto Graham Hall of Athletic Excellence, which also serves as an educational tool that assists both the Athletics Division coaching staff and the Admissions staff in recruiting elite high school scholar athletes. Other Coast Guard Academy Athletics projects supported by the funds raised via the Classics include completion of lower field irrigation, dugout construction, club sports, varsity and club team travel, assistant coach support, and more.

Otto Graham Hall display

As one of the nation’s Military Service Academies, the Academy receives its primary funding from the federal government and like the other Service Academies, must operate within its mandated budget. Often times that budget falls short of the necessary funding required to provide the “margin of excellence” required to compete with other top-tier schools and universities. The USCGA Alumni Association aims to fill that gap by providing funding across all aspects of the Academy including admissions, academics, athletics, and cadet life. In fact, during 2016, the Alumni Association provided more than $3.5 million to the Coast Guard Academy in the areas of campus enhancements, cadet experience, academic enrichment, leadership, and athletic enrichment.

Fishers Island Club

For more information contact Trueson Tarinelli, Director of Athletic Giving at the USCGA Alumni Association, at 860-442-2683 x29