The 11th annual Bradley Johnson Memorial Golf Tournament will be held on the Founders Course at Greystone Golf & Country Club on Monday and Tuesday, March 13-14.
Seventy-five junior golfers on 15 teams from around Alabama will compete for individual and team honors at the event, which honors Johnson – a promising golfer and Spain Park High School junior who was killed in a car accident near Birmingham in 2006.
Spain Park High hosts the event. The other local teams competing for a trophy will be Hoover High School, Vestavia Hills High School, Homewood High School and Mountain Brook High School.
Proceeds benefit the Bradley Johnson Memorial Foundation, a non-profit established by Shari and Hugh Johnson in their son’s name to offer much-needed financial help to junior golfers, both male and female.
As of 2017, the foundation has distributed almost $195,000 in financial assistance to about 35 players, including Will Wilcox -- who has since joined the PGA tour -- according to Shari Johnson.
“Most of the monies we have given are to help kids get to the college scholarship point,” she told 280 Living. “It’s very expensive to play amateur golf. You can drop $1,000 at a tournament. We try to get them to the point where a (college) coach will see them.”
A Spain Park junior at the time of his death, Bradley Johnson was an American Junior Golf Association All-American and the U.S. Junior Amateur runner-up in 2005, the best finish ever by an Alabamian in the event.
In addition to a great talent, he had a great personality, according to his mother. “He had a big heart,” she said. “He loved people and relationships. He loved the game of golf, and he loved what the game of golf teaches people in everyday life – how to get along with people, how to build relationships, how to manage your time.”
The tournament is, at least in part, is a way to preserve his memory. “Our biggest fear was that people would not remember Bradley,” Shari Johnson said.
It is also a way to transform the pain of his loss. “We get to share the game that Bradley loved with other people and take a tragedy and turn it into something positive,” she said.
The family enjoy building and nurturing relationships in the world of golf. “We have a love for the game and the family that has been created from the game,” Shari Johnson said. “We have friends everywhere.”
Bradley’s parents are also enjoying the success of his younger brother, Michael, who was an All-American golfer at Auburn University before graduating in 2016 and turning professional. He is currently playing on the Web.com Tour, the PGA’s development circuit, and is seeking his PGA tour card.
The tournament is free and open to the public. Play will begin on Monday at noon and on Tuesday at 9:30 a.m.
There will be a seated dinner on Monday at about 6 p.m. Speakers will be Hank Johnson, of the Hank Johnson School of Golf, and Zach Robinson, a former junior golfer who was friends with Bradley Johnson. Tickets will be available at the door.
For more information about the Bradley Johnson Memorial Foundation, go to bjmg.org or contact firstname.lastname@example.org.