Rounds 4 Research spotlight: Ohoopee Match Club

The 2023 Rounds 4 Research auction, which features opportunities to golf at nearly 1,000 courses, kicks off April 24.


Ohoopee match club
Ohoopee Match Club is one of the golf courses offering rounds for auction in GCSAA's 2023 Rounds 4 Research fundraiser.Photo courtesy of Ohoopee Match Club

In 2009, the Carolinas GCSA held the first Rounds 4 Research auction to help fund turfgrass research. Since that first auction, which raised $55,000, the fundraising event has moved to a national stage with support from the GCSAA foundation.

Rhett Baker, superintendent at Ohoopee Match Club in Cobbtown, Ga., has been there for the whole thing. “As long as it’s been around, Ohoopee has been involved,” Baker, a 27-year GCSAA member, says. “It’s a great program and been very beneficial.” 

Ohoopee is one of the rounds on offer in this year’s Rounds 4 Research auction, which takes place April 24-30. Funds raised from the auction go directly to funding turfgrass research, which Baker says have been invaluable to his work, and the work of his fellow superintendents and industry colleagues.

“There have been so many changes in turfgrass over the years, and we rely heavily on university research from Clemson, Georgia and NC State,” Baker says. “I’m so glad funds go to help that research. I hope it continues to grow.” 

Rhett Baker
Rhett Baker, superintendent at Ohoopee Match Clubl and 27-year GCSAA member.Photo courtesy of Rhett Baker

The exclusive private club’s donated round includes an 18-hole round of golf for four with lunch and range balls included. The club was one of the most-sought-after rounds in the 2022 auction, bringing in just over $9,000.

“This club and course burst on the scene in 2018, and it’s been a huge hit,” Baker says. “I’m ecstatic we’re able to be successful. It blows my mind what people are paying for the rounds we’ve offered,” he says.

Baker and Ohoopee are joined by a number of other high-profile facilities across the country who donated rounds for the auction, including Old Memorial Golf Club in Tampa, Fla., TPC Summerlin in Las Vegas, Nev., Innisbrook Resort and Golf Club in Palm Harbor, Fla., Fredrica Golf Club in Saint Simons Island, Ga., Sutton Bay in Agar, S.D., and Nanea Golf Club in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii.

GCSAA CEO Rhett Evans says last year’s Rounds 4 Research auction set an all-time record. “Through the generosity of the facilities and management companies that donate and the golfers who bid, we hope to exceed that this year,” he said in a statement.

Ohoopee match club
The exclusive Ohoopee Match Club was a high bid-getter in 2022's auction, which broke fundraising records.Photo courtesy of Ohoopee Match Club

Baker has something of a history with helping GCSAA meet and exceed their Rounds 4 Research fundraising goals. “Last year and the year before, Ohoopee and the club I came from (Palmetto Golf Club in Aiken, S.C.) were the top bid-getters outside of Troon Golf, which had a really cool offer involving multiple clubs and access for a year,” he says. He adds that he hopes his and Ohoopee’s involvement can continue for future fundraising events. “It’s one of those things I hope we’re able to continue to offer. I’ll keep trying to do it,” he says.

Abby Olcese is GCM's online editor.