Charity motivates local junior golfer

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Sports,Golf,Kevin Dunleavy

Dunmyer is playing 50 courses in 50 days

With 54 holes on his schedule, Tyler Dunmyer was hoping for something more moderate than the humid, 88 degrees predicted for Washington on Wednesday. But during his charity-driven quest to play 50 Washington area golf courses in 50 days, Dunmyer has faced a variety of weather-related challenges in this chilly, wet spring.

Dunmyer, a junior at Quince Orchard High, almost welcomes the harsh elements now, knowing that the course will be empty and he can tear through 18 holes and be on his way, checking another round off his list and returning home to tackle his studies.

Through his unique odyssey, Dunmyer is selling tickets to next week's Mid-Atlantic Championship at TPC Potomac at Avenel Farm. Partnering with the Web.com Tour event's Tickets Fore Charity program, Dunmyer has sold more than $1500 worth of tickets, with 100 percent of those proceeds going to his designated charity, Junior Achievement.

"All kids need a little background about entrepreneurship," Dunmyer said. "Junior Achievement goes into the schools and teaches it for free."

Dunmyer was motivated in part by his desire to improve his game. In the winter, he spent virtually every day at Clubgolf, an indoor practice facility in Gaithersburg, where he hit balls, underwent physical training, and took instruction from teaching pro Ryan Chaney. In six months, Dunmyer has whittled his handicap from 20 to 2.

When his father, Bob Dunmyer, showed him an article written by Arnold Palmer, which stressed golf's rare ability to tap into the philanthropic nature of those who play and watch it, Dunmyer was moved. He learned of the Mid-Atlantic Championship's charity program and came up with his "50 in 50" plan.

"I was very impressed that someone his age wanted to pitch me an idea like this, something that's very selfless," said Mid-Atlantic tournament coordinator Kelly McAnally. "What Tyler is doing is similar to the values Junior Achievement tries to teach in the classroom. He's raising funds for charity, while doing something he loves."

With the help of Mid-Atlantic tournament director Teo Sodeman, Dunmyer has arranged to play most of the top courses in the Washington area - public and private. Dunmyer was overwhelmed by the enthusiastic responses of some of the area's most prestigious facilities including Congressional, Trump National, Bethesda, International and Belle Haven. Three private courses - which will remain unnamed - were the only ones that failed to respond.

Dunmyer details each of his rounds on his 50in50 blog, listing weather conditions, his score, posting pictures and writing about his day. He plays each course from the challenging back tees. His scores have ranged from 72 (Mount Vernon, Musket Ridge) to 90 (Bethesda).

Starting at his home course, public gem Little Bennett in Clarksburg, Dunmyer began his trek on April ?10. On Wednesday he will have his most challenging day yet as he plays catch-up - 36 holes at Lansdowne, followed by 18 at nearby River Creek.

The round Dunmyer is most looking forward to comes next week, and not because it will be his last. He plays Avenel as part of the Mid-Atlantic championship pro-am.

kdunleavy@washingtonexaminer.com

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Kevin Dunleavy

Staff writer - sports
The Washington Examiner