September 25, 2021 - by
W. Golf Opens Fall Season At Schooner Fall Classic

2021 Schooner Fall Classic Notes
Round 1 Tee Times
Round 2 Tee Times

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (seminoles.com) — The Florida State women’s golf team is on its way into another season, with its season opener coming at the Schooner Fall Classic at Belmar Golf Club  in Oklahoma (Sept. 26-27). The Seminoles’ upcoming season is a special one, as it will be their first fall season since COVID-19 took over the 2020 fall season.

This upcoming season is promising, as the roster returns six of its eight players from a season ago.

The Schooner Fall Classic has not been played since the 2019-20 season due to the pandemic. Taking a look back on the Seminole’s 2019 results at the Schooner Fall Classic, the team finished tied for fifth, with current players, Amelia Williamson and Senior All-American Beatrice Wallin shooting a 69 in the final round and carding a 72, respectively.

Both players are ready to get their senior seasons started.

“This is a great team we have this year,” said Wallin.  “I am so excited to enjoy everything this year; hopefully we will win some tournaments with the team and as an individual.”

With a promising roster and a great coach leading the way, the  No. 5 ranked Seminoles are more than capable of not just winning their first tournament of the season, but competing for the ACC and national championships, as well.

The Schooner Fall Classic is about more than just good golf though for 12th-year Head Coach Amy Bond and her team. The proceeds that are generated this tournament are directed towards the Toby Keith Foundation whose mission is to provide children with cancer no-cost housing for up to 30 days.

In 2014, the Toby Keith Foundation opened OK Kids Korral, a home for pediatric cancer patients that is cost-free, convenient, and comfortable, for those receiving treatment at The Children’s Hospital at OU Medical Center, Stephenson Cancer Center, and other nearby facilities.

Toby Keith and his wife Tricia Covel started this organization following the untimely death of Toby Keith’s former former bandmate, Scott Webb’s, daughter Allison. Allison was a month away from her third birthday when she sadly lost her battle to kidney cancer in August 2003. The Keith’s watched firsthand the physical, mental, and financial hardships the Webb family went through.

The Keith’s initially helped established “Ally’s house”, a nonprofit group that aided children with cancer and their families, in Oklahoma. Beginning in 2004, Keith held his annual golf tournament, the Toby Keith and Friends Golf Classic, to raise money for Oklahoman children with cancer and their families. The tournament has raised more than $15 million dollars, with 2021 being the second-highest total in the tournament’s 17 years as it raised $1.427 million.

The funds are now directed towards the Toby Keith Foundation, OK Kids Korral which opened in 2014 as a “home away from home” facility where children with cancer and their families can spend time either overnight or during the day, cost-free, while receiving treatment at nearby children’s hospitals. Amenities include overnight suites, daytime rooms, dining areas, game rooms, living rooms, a kitchen, a laundry room, and family resource rooms. It is designed as a relaxing, safe haven.

As the OK Kids Korral was getting started and gaining momentum, the Keith’s added their love of golf to the equation.

While simultaneously continuing the upkeep of the Toby Keith and Friends Golf Classic, they established the Schooner Fall Classic. The Keith’s targeted top women’s golf teams who were interested in the causes supported by the Toby Keith Foundation. This tournament is not an ordinary one, as the ambassadors of the Schooner Fall Classic are children diagnosed with cancer. The golfers have the opportunity to meet with these children, which allows for personal relationships to be made, as well as further awareness raised for the foundation.

Most years, the tournament play is not the only time the golfers have the chance to interact with the children.  Dinners, playground activities, and meetings with the families are all typically part of the schedule. Unfortunately, due to COVID-19, these events will not be included in the 2021 Schooner Fall Classic.

“It’s sad we can’t interact with them this year, but it’s not safe,” said Bond.  “Hopefully they know we are thinking about them and sending prayers. We will send a video of support since we can’t see them.”

As the Seminoles travel to Oklahoma for the start to the season, Bond looks forward to connecting with Bella, a 9-year-old girl diagnosed with cancer, and her family.  Bond and her players met and developed a connection to Bella six years ago at the 2016 Schooner Fall Classic. Coach Bond shares that Bella is staying strong and continues to have a great outlook on life.

Through all the years, Coach Bond and the team have had the chance to personally get to know many of the children fighting cancer at OK Kids Korral.  Although some have tragically lost their battles with cancer,  these children are all a powerful and constant reminder to the Seminoles to “live each moment and smile.”

Bond has a great perspective on her favorite tournament: “A bad day on the golf course is nothing compared to what these kids and families live with on a daily basis.”

During her time in Oklahoma, Coach Bond is known for delivering toys to the kids, playing a huge part in the events that surround that play on the course.

The Schooner Fall Classic is one that brings joy to everyone involved. New events have been added this year, and more will are expected to be included in the near future.

The Schooner Fall Classic is expected to raise up to $20,000 dollars in donations. This year’s goal of the foundation is to increase awareness and momentum that was stalled in 2020, which makes the comeback of the Schooner Fall Classic a perfectly timed event.

While the Florida State women’s golf team prepares for a great season, the Schooner is certainly one tournament everyone looks forward to playing.

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