TOURNAMENT GOLF FOUNDATION
In 1972, Portland, Oregon businessman Elon Ellis brought a group of his friends together for a meeting. Two hours later, he had 27 willing participants and the LPGA had found another home on its tour. Tournament Golf Inc. was formed and the Portland Classic was born. The $25,000 purse put the LPGA Tour over the $1 million mark in total prize money for the year. Today total prize money is over $50 million.
Tournament Golf Inc. is now Tournament Golf Foundation (TGF), a non-profit organization. The group is the managing organizer and is responsible for the Safeway Classic in Portland. While many of the faces have changed since the early years, the contributions of TGF have steadily etched an impressive chapter in the history of the LPGA. In its 41st year the Safeway Classic is the 2nd oldest major professional sports franchise in Oregon behind only the NBA’s Portland Trail Blazers. The tournament is the largest annual professional golf event in the Pacific Northwest. Golf fans from all over the world tune into the international telecast of the tournament.
TGF is comprised of 35 Portland area volunteer business leaders and their spouses, bringing LPGA golf to Portland for 41 years, and in Phoenix for 6 of the last 7 years. It is a one of a kind organization in the U.S. “We do it all,” says Tom Maletis, TGF President. “TGF members head more than 40 committees that work throughout the year overseeing more than 1,000 volunteers. Other committees including course set-up, marshals, media, pro-ams, parking, concessions and even garbage detail. Additionally, TGF works throughout the year to sign up sponsors in support of the two events.”
In addition to showcasing the best in ladies professional golf, TGF is committed to benefiting local charities in conjunction with the Safeway Foundation. “We do it for the love of the game and more importantly for the charities we benefit,” says Maletis.
Since 1972, TGF has donated over $16 million to local charities in Oregon.
Everyone at TGF and Safeway are pleased to continue the tradition of bringing the best in women’s golf to LPGA fans, while at the same time contributing major financial resources to local charitable organizations.
Tournament Golf Foundation
6775 SW 111th Ave. – #100
Beaverton, OR 97008
Chairman of the Board