Rick Rhoden

Mardy Fish, Praised By Jack Nicklaus, To Host Foundation Golf Fundraiser In Vero Beach, Florida January 14, 2019

Vero Beach native son Mardy Fish, along with several former star pro athletes, highlight the field of celebrities who will play in the 2019 Mardy Fish Children’s Foundation Charity Golf Fundraiser to be played Monday, January 14 at The Windsor Club in Vero Beach, Florida

The event is headlined by Fish, the former Top 10 tennis star, 2004 Olympic silver medalist and long-time member of the U.S. Davis Cup team. Also participating in the event will be former standout Major League Baseball pitcher and celebrity golf tour standout Rick Rhoden of the Los Angeles Dodgers, Pittsburgh Pirates and New York Yankees and famous knuckle-ball pitcher Tim Wakefield of the Boston Red Sox. From tennis circles former top tennis professionals Mikael Pernfors, the 1986 French Open finalist and Vero Beach resident, will again compete along with Cliff Richey, the two-time U.S. Open semifinalist and himself a founder of the Celebrity Golf Tour in the 1980s.

Fish was recently described by six-time Masters champion Jack Nicklaus as “the best non-professional golfer that I have ever seen play.” Said Nicklaus to Steve Flink of Tennis.com after playing nine holes in December with Fish, “I have never seen anybody with as nice a golf swing and as good a golf game that doesn’t play it professionally, or as a top amateur. I was flabbergasted how good Mardy was.”

While Fish ended his professional ATP tennis career at the 2015 U.S. Open, he has excelled playing competitive golf since his retirement. He has won two tournaments on the celebrity golf tour at the Diamond Resorts Invitational in Orlando, Florida in 2016 and 2018 and will try to win the event for the third time in four later just days after his appearance in Vero Beach at Windsor.

Golfers interested in participating in the Mardy Fish Children’s Foundation Golf Fundraiser should email Mardy Fish’s father, Tom, the President of the Mardy Fish Children’s Foundation, at [email protected] Paid positions for a tax deductible contribution of $500 are available as well as course signage for $300. Registration and breakfast begin at 7:30 am with an 8:45 am shot-gun start, followed by a 1 pm luncheon and awards presentation. PNC Bank, a long-time supporter of the Mardy Fish Children’s Foundation, is the presenting sponsor of the event.

The Mardy Fish Children’s Foundation (www.MardyFishChildrensFoundation.org) was founded in 2007 and currently supports over 2,200 children in 15 elementary schools, six middle schools and two after school centers in Indian River County, Florida by funding after-school exercise, nutritional and enrichment programs in a safe environment to prepare them for healthy, productive and successful lives. The Foundation introduced the “Six Healthy Habits” in 2012 which are Get Sleep; Drink Water; Exercise Daily, Eat Healthy; Brush and Floss; Make Friends.

Designed by Robert Trent Jones Jr., the 18-hole links style course at Windsor is a masterpiece in traditional golf course architecture. The par 72 course features an undulating panorama of native trees that border gentle rolling fairways, unobstructed by houses.

Mardy Fish Celebrity Golf Tournament Could Be Coming To Vero Beach, Florida

While former top 10 star Mardy Fish fell short in his effort to become only the third man to play in both the golf and tennis US Open when he finished six shots out of advancing out of local US Open qualifying on May 10, golf still remains one of his major pursuits in his post-ATP World Tour career.

And now, he may have a hometown celebrity golf tournament to play in.

The Vero Beach, Florida newspaper “32963” reports that the Mardy Fish Children’s Foundation, the charitable non-profit of Fish and his family, is exploring the possibility of expanding its annual neighborhood golf fundraiser into a one-day celebrity golf tournament.

“It’s very early in the process and we’re still trying to put the pieces together but we’re looking to do this sooner rather than later,” Foundation consultant Randy Walker said to “32963” reporter Ray McNulty. “We’re always seeking ways to promote the Foundation. With Mardy playing a lot of the celebrity golf event – he won the Diamond Resorts Invitational in Orlando last year – we thought it would be great if we could do something in that realm on a smaller scale of course.”

Walker told McNulty that he had been in conversations with Maria Meadors of former boxer Ray “Boom Boom” Mancini’s Foundation which has sponsored a successful celebrity golf event in Youngstown, Ohio, as well as former top 10 tennis star Cliff Richey, who has held another celebrity golf event in San Angelo, Texas.

“To be honest I really didn’t give it much of a chance but Maria was very knowledgeable and very impressive,” Tom Fish said to McNulty of holding a celebrity golf event in Vero Beach. “She explained how they got started and what they did. The more we talked about it, the more it seemed possible to make such an event a reality.”

The Foundation expanded its celebrity offerings for its golf fundraising this past February with former Los Angeles Dodger pitcher Rick Rhoden and tennis star and 1986 French Open runner-up Mikael Pernfors joining Fish at his social scramble outing held at Vero’s prestigious Windsor club.

For 2018, the Foundation will look to possibly add as many as 18 celebrity pros to participate in a pro-am and stroke-play event that would include parties with the celebrities and participants as well as fan admission to watch the golf on the course.  The host club must agree to allow paying spectators and a more convenient date.

“If you do it if you do it this time of year in Florida guys will show up,” Rhoden said to “32963” of a potential Vero Beach celebrity event. “There are a lot of us who like to play golf and there aren’t enough of those events.”

Meadors has told Walker and Fish that players that could be involved in a celebrity event include former Super Bowl champions Jim McMahon and Mark Rypien, former World Series champion Bret Saberhagen and former NBA All-Star Larry Johnson.

“I think it would be awesome if we could make it happen,” said Mardy Fish to McNulty.