It was 1972, when the late Bob Hurst had the idea of creating The First Annual Swing @ Cancer Pro-Am played annually at the Del Paso Country Club to raise money that built the Sharing Place at Sutter Memorial Hospital. The concept of the Sharing Place is similar to today’s Ronald McDonald House. The 15 bedroom Sharing Place has, since its opening in 1986, served as a home for out-of-town cancer patients and families who have needed free lodging while their children have obtained medical care at any of Sacramento’s area hospitals.
Since its inception, The Swing @ Cancer has contributed over $5 Million dollars to the Sharing Place and other charities like The Special Olympics Golf Program through the Morton Golf Foundation. A truth that has been long forgotten about the Swing @ Cancer is, this event was the forerunner to what eventually became today’s PGA Champions Senior Tour. The early founders of the Swing @ Cancer created over time what became one of the greatest golf charity events ever held in Sacramento.
During its inception, Bob Hurst and Haggin Oaks Professional Tom Lo Presti felt The Swing @ Cancer event needed a well-known golfer to be the Honorary Chairman. They both knew Gene Littler had survived cancer so they asked him to be the Honorary Chairman of the event. He accepted and the rest is history.
This event continued until 1997. In its final year of existence, several LPGA Senior Women who were also true legends of the game played in it. To say this event drew some of the greatest golfers of all time is an understatement. George Archer, Jerry Barber, Julius Boros, Billy Casper, Roberto De Vincenso, Bob Eastwood, Lee Elder, Jack Fleck, Doug Ford, Al Geiberger, Bob Goalby, Hale Irwin, Don January, Bruce Leitzke, Gene Littler, Dick Lotz, Bob Lunn, Mark Lye, John Mahaffey, Johnny Miller, Toney Penna, Phil Rodgers, Paul Runyan, Bob E. Smith, Sam Snead, Craig Stadler, Mike Souchak, Peter Thomson, Art Wall, Tom Watson are just a few of the great names who played in this event from the Men’s PGA Tour. Clifford Ann Creed, Shirley Englehorn, Shelly Hamlin, Sandra Haynie, Jo-Ann Prentice, Jackie Pung, Marilyn Smith, Marlene Hagge, and Kathy Whitworth were some of the LPGA Tour legends who played in it. Other famous people like Bob Hope, Glenn Gampbell, Lawrence Welk, Joe DiMaggio, Clint Eastwood, Jimmie Dean, John Brodie, Roger Maris and Dwight Clark are some of the notables who played in and supported the Swing @ Cancer.
This year, The Morton Golf Foundation salutes the cherished history of The Swing @ Cancer and its founder Bob Hurst for what it has done for families in need as well as its support for several other charities in town like our Special Olympics Golf Program.
The Morton Golf Foundation is a 501c3 non-profit corporation established and operated exclusively for charitable purposes. The Morton Golf Foundation vision is to enrich the lives of the less fortunate through the great game of golf. For more information on the Morton Golf Foundation, or to donate your time or money, please contact Jane Siebers at 916-808-0969 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.