Constellation Furyk & Friends Event Growing in Fun and Fundraising

Jim and Tabitha Furyk,Timuquana Country Club,[Bob Self/Florida Times-Union]
Jim and Tabitha Furyk,Timuquana Country Club,[Bob Self/Florida Times-Union] /

Jim blames his wife, Tabitha. For being such a good fundraiser, that is. This week, Jim and Tabitha Furyk are in the midst of their third Constellation Furyk & Friends Champions Tour event, and they are excited about the progress they have made and thankful for the help they’ve received to make it possible.

“The support from the community, from friends even all around the country that come to Jacksonville to help with the event, that have helped it grow throughout the years — not only the last three years, but kind of the first 10 leading up to kind of transforming into a PGA TOUR Champions event. I think we’re blessed,” Jim Furyk said about the growth of the golf tournament from a local event to a proper PGA Tour Champions one.

It all started after Jim won the Tour Championship in 2010. The victory, won in an annoying drizzle at East Lake Golf Club in Atlanta, was a career changer in money. He won $10 million, and like a lot of professionals who have a bumper crop of cash, he started a foundation to do some good in the community he calls home, which is Northeast Florida.

"“Running a concert to me is — like it scares the death out of me, but Tabitha has big goals and big dreams and she tackles it,” Jim Furyk said about his wife Tabitha."

Originally the foundation was funded with a two-day pro-am which was held at Sawgrass Country Club in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida. That was from 2011 to 2020.

When they transitioned to become a PGA Tour Champions event, they were lucky to have Timuquana Country Club a Golden Age Donald Ross design, updated by architect Bobby Weed, as the site for their tournament.

When they became a part of the Champions Tour, according to Jim, Tabitha was told they would be lucky to break even, money-wise, the first year.

“She went, whoa, whoa, whoa, wait a second, we were running a two-day tournament that was making four to five hundred thousand dollars. We’re going to now run a seven-day event.  We’re setting our goals a little higher,” Jim explained about his wife’s determination.  “I think now we’ve been able to raise almost $2.5 million over the last two years.”

And that includes a pandemic!

He says that what makes it easy for fans and sponsors and corporations, like Constellation and Circle K, to get involved is that they are raising money for charity.

"“We’re trying to help northeast Florida and a lot of great charities here in the Jacksonville area,” he explained. “Jacksonville’s near and dear to all of us, so when you start seeing a little bit of the need, you start working with some of these charities, you realize there’s a much greater need out there.”"

Hosting an event has changed the way Jim looks at golf tournaments he plays.

"“When I look at all the hospitality and the tents, and I’m looking at things I’ve never looked at through my career,” he admitted. “Tab and I like to say we’ve been out here on Tour for almost 30 years, and we’ve pulled bits and pieces of our favorite events that we really liked and tried to incorporate them into this event.”"

They have concerts, for instance.

“Running a concert to me is — like it scares the death out of me, but Tabitha has big goals and big dreams and she tackles it,” he added. “I think we’ve learned a lot about running concerts and a little bit about the music industry, scratching the surface.”

The trophy is in the shape of a guitar.

Constellation Furyk & Friends, Jim Furyk, Tabitha Furyk, PGA Tour Champions, Furyk
Steve and Nikki Stricker, Jim and Tabitha Furyk, Constellation Furyk & Friends, Syndication: Florida Times-Union /

They have football watch parties on Saturdays and Sundays.

“The golf tournament itself really is just trying to wrap up having fun,” Jim said. “The golf is a part of it. It’s the vehicle. Some of it gets folks here, but others, we have the watch party for the Jags on Sunday morning.”

Obviously becoming a PGA Tour Champions event allowed the Furyks to raise more money to help more people. The only fly in the ointment, so to speak, is that Jim has been semi-sidelined for part of this year with back problems. As soon as his golf schedule is finished, he will take the time he needs to address the issues.

“It’s something I’m going to work on this offseason,” he explained. “I can hopefully hit the ground running next January, February, March, whenever that is, and kind of go out and play a nice full season and feel good about it.”

He thought he would be able to play several events he likes earlier this year, but he wasn’t able to do it.

Jim Furyk missed the St. Louis event and the PURE Insurance at Pebble Beach.

Two events he has won.

“I just know I’m not 100 percent,” he said.

He thought perhaps it was walking on hilly courses, but he has since changed his mind about that.

"“I don’t think it’s the walking as much as maybe I thought it was,” he added. “It’s really just swinging the golf club is really bothering me right now. I’m OK, I’ll get through the week no problem, and it’s not like I’m in crippling pain or anything like that. I’m just not able to swing a golf club the way I want to.”"

Next. Furyk and Friends on The Ryder Cup. dark

While he sorts out the back, he has some captaining to look forward to. He’s the US Team captain for the World Champions Cup in December. 

Then next fall, he will captain the US Team for the Presidents Cup being played at Royal Montreal. It will be a full year.