Six-time PGA TOUR champion Hunter Mahan has joined Birdies for the Brave as one of the Official PGA TOUR Player Supporters for Operation Shower, a non-profit organization that provides joyful group baby showers for military moms-to-be whose spouses are deployed, or who are active duty themselves. Since 2010, Hunter and his wife, Kandi, have hosted numerous Operation Shower events, in addition to providing gifts and financial support to military families in need.
“We are very appreciative for Hunter’s passion for giving back to military members and their families through his support for Birdies for the Brave and Operation Shower,” said Anne Davis, director of tournament activation and community outreach for the PGA TOUR. “Thanks to Hunter’s participation and that of more than 20 other TOUR players, the program has grown exponentially – enabling us to continue supporting military homefront charities that provide critical programs and services to meet the specialized needs of wounded heroes and military families.”
Named by the White House among the top 20 charities in the U.S. that support military families, Birdies for the Brave was originally created in 2006 by PGA TOUR player Phil Mickelson, whose father was a Navy fighter pilot, and his wife, Amy, to support troops injured during combat. Birdies for the Brave was subsequently adopted by the TOUR, and has since joined with TOUR players, fans, sponsors and TPC members across the U.S. to raise more than $17 million for 11 military homefront charities that provide critical programs and services to meet the specialized needs of wounded heroes, veterans and military families, including Operation Shower. Birdies for the Brave also includes military outreach and appreciation activities during more than 80 tournaments annually on the PGA TOUR, Web.com Tour and PGA TOUR Champions, including Operation Shower events. During the past 10 years, the PGA TOUR and Birdies for the Brave have hosted 50 military baby showers together with Operation Shower – with upcoming showers planned during the 2017 PLAYERS Championship and the 2017 Travelers Championship.
Hunter and Kandi Mahan’s support for Operation Shower underscores their long-standing devotion to supporting family-centered charities. In 2012, the Mahans founded the Mahan Foundation, a non-profit that supports a variety of initiatives focused on health and wellness, children and the military. Hunter is also a national co-chair of the American Junior Golf Association (AJGA) and hosts the AJGA Under Armour Hunter Mahan Championship. He also supports a number of other philanthropic causes, including the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, the Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children, Tee It Up For Troops, the Alzheimer’s Association, Walter Reed Army Medical Center, and the Folds of Honor Foundation.
A native of Orange, California, Hunter Mahan had an impressive amateur career prior to joining the PGA TOUR. He won the 1999 5A Texas State High School Championship and the 1999 U.S. Junior Amateur, and was named the Pacific-10 Conference Freshman of the year while attending the University of Southern California. Hunter transferred to Oklahoma State University a year later, where he was a two-time Big 12 Conference Player of the Year and a two-time first-team All American. He was the runner-up at the U.S. Amateur in 2002 and won the Haskins Award in 2003 for outstanding collegiate golf. He turned pro in 2003 and claimed his first victory in 2007 at the Travelers Championship, leading to his selection by Jack Nicklaus as one of two captain’s picks for the U.S. Presidents Cup. Among his six PGA TOUR championships, Hunter added The Barclays to his list of victories in 2014 – when he finished the season 6th in the FedEx Cup standings, 21st in the world rankings, and as the only player to advance to the TOUR Championship all eight years of the FedEx Cup era.
For more information about Birdies for the Brave, including a list of tournaments, fundraising events and volunteer opportunities in communities across the U.S. – or to make a donation, please visit www.birdiesforthebrave.org or follow them on Facebook.