Two years removed from his final game in a Miami Dolphins uniform, Jason Taylor’s stature in South Florida and around the National Football League remains large. The latest installment of his charity golf tournament today was proof of that fact.
An A-list of celebrities hit the links at Grande Oaks Golf Club just around the corner from where Taylor used to practice in football pads for the Eleventh Annual Jason Taylor Celebrity Golf Classic. Everyone from current Dolphins players
“Every year they never cease to amaze me, the celebs that come to town and spend their time here,” said Taylor, Miami’s all-time sack leader who was inducted into the Dolphin Honor Roll in 2012. “It’s a little easier in February to get guys to come to Miami I think and that’s probably what’s drawing them, but I appreciate them stopping out and spending a couple of days with us helping us raise a lot of money. So it’s another great field, great weather, great course and great sponsors. Life is good.”
About the only thing Taylor didn’t ascribe the word “great” to was his golf game, as he admitted that he lost a few friendly wagers. But the goal for everyone involved was to have fun for a good cause and that seemed to be the consensus among the participants.
This was Tannehill’s second time playing the event and he went to a football term in describing how his round went by saying he left some yardage out there. Fun was the key for him, as was picking up more tips from Taylor about his charity work because the third-year quarterback wants to do more with his own foundation.
“You see a lot of foundations that look good on paper but don’t really end up going back to the kids,” Tannehill said. “They have a great golf tournament but they spend more money putting on the golf tournament than actually what’s going to the kids. With this one it’s for a good cause and the money’s making it to the kids, so I think that means a lot to not only the kids but also to the people playing in it.”
Grimes had never played golf before today but was glowing at the end of his round after making his putt. He joked that nobody’s going to mistake him for Tiger Woods, adding that he had a good time on the links and at the gala dinner on Sunday night at Bongo’s at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Hollywood.
While Grimes is a rookie in golf, Denney takes the game very seriously and is the best golfer on the team with one of the longest drives. He even took a few extra practice swings on the driving range after his round and has been a participant as often as he could since his rookie season in 2005.
“Jason Taylor’s been a huge part of this community since I’ve been here,” Denney said. “He works hard, him and his whole family, his wife, so any opportunity I get to be a part of it I always take him up on it. If I’m in town and available for the event I’m more than happy to help if I can.”
Brown was a rookie the same year as Denney and even though he plays for the San Diego Chargers now he didn’t hesitate coming back for this.
“I enjoy it and everything that JT does charity wise or event wise you know it’s going to be first class, professional and it’s for a great cause,” Brown said. “So with all those things in mind it just feels good to be able to be a part of it and support it.”
The best part about where the event has gone from its inception to now for Taylor is seeing the money in action in the form of college scholarships for some of the kids that were there at the beginning.
“We raise about $250,000 a year on this event and this is our biggest fundraiser and funds the poetry program we have at The Reading Room in Miramar,” he said. “We have 45 kids now that we bought college scholarships for and they’ll be the first in their families to go to college, which is really, really cool. We’ve had kids now that started that program when they’re in sixth grade and now have graduated and are attending colleges. So we’re starting to see the kids actually getting out of high school and utilizing the things that they’ve worked for the last six years and its fun to see that progression.”