Gene Upshaw memorial golf tourney tees off Sunday in Truckee | SierraSun.com

Gene Upshaw memorial golf tourney tees off Sunday in Truckee

Staff report
Actor Frankie Muniz of "Malcolm in the Middle" takes a photo with Comcast SportsNet co-host Dave Feldman at the 2015 Gene Upshaw Memorial Golf Classic at Schaffer’s Mill Golf Club.
Sylas Wright / Sierra Sun |

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Visit gu63.org to learn more about this year’s Gene Upshaw Memorial Golf Classic. Visit schaffersmill.com to learn more about Schaffer’s Mill Golf & Lake Club.

TRUCKEE, Calif. — The eighth annual Gene Upshaw Memorial Golf Classic is scheduled for July 17-18 and will once again pay tribute to the former Oakland Raider while helping raise money for cancer research, patient care and mild traumatic brain injury research and innovation.

The tournament features one sports celebrity and four guests on each team playing a Shamble format at Schaffer’s Mill Golf & Lake Club in Truckee.

This year, celebrity commitments to-date include NFL Hall of Famers Marcus Allen, Tim Brown, Marshall Faulk and Mike Haynes; Carolina Panthers head coach Ron Rivera; former Raiders head coach Tom Flores; and former NFL players Herm Edwards, Sam McCullum and Raymond Chester.

Former Cy Young and American League MVP winner Vida Blue; Minnesota Twins World Series Champion pitcher and 20-game winner Scott Erickson; and former San Francisco Giants first baseman J.T. Snow are also scheduled to be in the field of 25 to 30 celebrities.

Joining sports celebrities this year, among other actors and celebrities, is defending tournament winner, actor Kevin Sorbo of “Hercules: The Legendary Journals.”

Practice rounds begin Sunday, July 17, followed by a private VIP pairings party at The Ritz-Carlton, Lake Tahoe. Tournament play is Monday, July 18, with a 10 a.m. shotgun start, followed by an afternoon awards reception.

Registration, sponsorship opportunities, volunteer inquiries and a full list of participating celebrities can be viewed at gu63.org.

Sponsors receive playing spots in the tournament and the opportunity to meet and spend time with the celebrities, as well other perks.

Sponsors of this year’s event include presenting sponsor Schaffer’s Mill Golf & Lake Club, as well as the National Football League Foundation, Professional Athletes Foundation, Oakland Raiders, The Ritz-Carlton, Lake Tahoe, Aon Hewitt, and Tahoe Forest Health System, among others.

Upshaw was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1987. He played offensive guard for the Oakland Raiders for 15 years, becoming the first player in NFL history to reach the Super Bowl in three different decades. Upshaw played in six Pro Bowls and was ranked No. 62 on The Sporting News’ list of 100 Greatest Football Players in 1999.

Upshaw died of pancreatic cancer in 2008 at Tahoe Forest Hospital in Truckee. Upshaw’s widow, Terri Upshaw (who owns a second home in Truckee), and sons Justin and Daniel established the Gene Upshaw Memorial Fund in 2009 because of the exceptional care he received at the hospital.

In addition to hosting the celebrity golf tournament in an effort to honor Upshaw’s legacy through the fund, the family remains fervent about humanitarianism, providing quality medical treatment and care not only for patients but their families, sustainability, medical technology advancement as well as funding for medical research in critical areas such as traumatic brain injury.

Since 2009, the fund has raised more than $1 million. Nearly half, $463,544, has been directed specifically for traumatic brain injury research with the Tahoe Institute for Rural Health Research.