This week's Golf Plus column

Golfers hitting the links this Labor Day weekend can celebrate Patriot Golf Day, which is the primary fundraiser benefiting Folds of Honor, the non-profit organization that provides educational scholarships to children and spouses of fallen and disabled veterans.

To contribute, golfers are asked to add $1 to their green fees at one of participating facilities Sept. 4-7. The event started in 2007, and last year's event raised more than $5.4 million.

Here's a list of participating local courses (in alphabetical order): Bradenton Country Club, Esplanade Golf and Country Club at Lakewood Ranch, Lakewood Ranch Golf and Country Club, Manatee County Golf Course, Palm-Aire Golf and Country Club, Peridia Golf Club, Pinebrook/Ironwood Golf Club, The Preserve Golf Club at Tara, River Strand Golf and Country Club, River Wilderness Golf and Country Club, Rosedale Golf and Country Club, Sara Bay Country Club, Stoneybrook at Heritage Harbour, Suncoast Golf Center, Tara Golf and Country Club, University Park Country Club and Waterlefe Golf and River Club.

Former IMG Academy and University of Washington standout Cheng-Tsung Pan returned this past week to the Canadian PGA Tour after a six-week hiatus at The Great Waterway Classic.

Pan logged a tie for 11th place after a 17-under par 271 total for 72-hole tournament.

That finish bumped Pan up to eighth place on the Canadian PGA Tour's Order of Merit with roughly $37,000 (Canadian) in earnings. The top five players at the end of the season, which concludes Sept. 17-20, receive a promotion to next year's Tour.

Bradenton Country Club has a new head pro. Brian Lake, a PGA member since 1995, is taking over for Bobby Guiendon, who returned to the Atlanta area to be closer to family. Guiendon is the head pro at Druid Hills Golf Club there.

Lake and his wife, Kami, moved to Bradenton in 1997 and his previous stop was working for five years at Isla Del Sol Yacht and Country Club in St. Petersburg.

Lake created and operated the St. Pete-based golf event, the Hagen Cup, while also earning the PGA's certified professional designation and publishing an instructional putting book, "Putt Like a Pro," during his career that includes 12 years at Pasadena Yacht and Country Club in Gulfport.

The Florida State Golf Association announced its Winter Series tournament schedule to run from the end of November until early March.

The winter series is for players 40 years and older, and each tournament uses a stroke play format for 36 holes.

The nearest event for Manatee County golfers interested is at Feather Sound Country Club in Clearwater on Feb. 29-March 1.


On Wednesday, Aug. 26 at Peridia Golf Club, Charles Conoley aced the 133-yard fifth hole with a pitching wedge. Witnesses were Sam Bender, Robert Ellwood and Don Robinson.

On Wednesday, Aug. 26 at The River Club, Ellen Curreri Perry aced the 86-yard eighth hole with a 9-iron. Witnesses were Bette Smart.

On Friday, Aug. 28 at The River Club, Jo Jo Mackey aced the 162-yard second hole with a 6-iron. Witnesses were David Kerr, Steve Greenberg and Alan Wilson.

-- Jason Dill, Herald sports writer