Alabama Golfer Raises Over $500,000
Senior Alabama golfer Canon Claycomb is one of the premier collegiate golfers in the country. Ranking in at No. 52 in the nation, he won the Crimson Tide its opening event at the Rod Myers Invitational. He also posted 20 rounds of par or lower this season. But, despite his exceptional play and many awards, Claycomb’s proudest achievement comes from off the course in his hometown of Bowling Green, Kentucky.
Mason Goodnight was a close friend of Canon and his brother Cooper. Canon went to school with Mason’s older sister, and Cooper was just a year and a half older than him. Both Claycombs recall the charm, love, and passion that Mason was full of. Particularly, Mason loved golf.
“He loved everything about it,” Canon said. “He loved to play, he loved hanging out at the golf course, and he’d talk to anyone, at any time, about the game.”
Mason Goodnight tragically passed away in 2017 from viral meningitis at eleven years old. The community of Bowling Green, Kentucky, was shocked to have lost one of its brightest, youngest members.
While waiting to board a plane for the Junior Presidents Cup, Canon had a perfect idea and way to honor his friend, a golf tournament. Before getting on his flight, a call to Mason’s father, Jef, spawned the creation of the Mason Cup. In collaboration with the Mason Goodnight Foundation and the American Junior Golf Association, Mason’s memory will live on by giving back to his community and others.
Since the inception of the Mason Cup in 2017, the event has raised over $500,000. This fundraising has been put back into the community through scholarships and other donations. Funds also go to the AJGA’s ACE Grant program, which gives young golfers opportunities to play and strive toward a collegiate career. In addition, the Mason Cup has built a new scoreboard for the local little league baseball team and sent a fifth-grade class to Washington, D.C., on a leadership trip. Giving back to his community makes Canon hold this above any other achievement.
“That’s my proudest achievement in golf is being a part of that and starting it,” said Canon. “It’s been awesome. We’ve been able to continue it over the last few years, and we are not looking forward to stopping. We’ve done some really great things.”
Now that Canon is at the University of Alabama, his brother Cooper hosts the event. Cooper still has been able to uphold and share the importance of giving, leadership, and teamwork. In doing so, Cooper has learned new things as well.
“Golf doesn’t always have to be about yourself,” said Cooper. “There are things that you can honor through golf.”
Cathryn Brown, previously a captain with Cooper, also thinks golfers need time to have fun and support others.
“It’s a good place to give back to the state of Kentucky,” said Brown. “To allow kids that are my age that don’t get to play much fun golf, competition-wise, the golf I play is stressful for the most part.”
The qualities that describe Mason, such as fun, loving, and passionate, inspire others through golf.
Although dates are not yet set, watch for the Mason Cup and see first-hand how Mason’s legacy continues to give and inspire. For more information on donating and the event, go to playingformason.com.