Tee times tend to fill up calendars of professional athletes and coaches in the offseason, but the Giants' annual outing is one they always have circled.
For the 22nd year, Big Blue teed off to benefit the Giants Foundation in the New York Giants Invitational Golf Classic, presented by Toyota, held last week at the Westchester Country Club. With players, coaches, and sponsors grouped together, the event each year raises awareness and money for the foundation, which assists charitable and youth-related causes throughout the greater metropolitan area.
"Well, that's the important thing – to say thank you to all the people that support the Giants Foundation all year long and for us to come out in good fellowship and enjoy ourselves, have a very nice event," head coach Tom Coughlin said. "It's always something that everyone looks forward to and has a lot of fun."
Eli Manning, who is entering his 10th season with the Giants, is always there to help the cause.
"The Giants organization does a great job around the community with different charities, helping out different people in need," Manning said. "So I'm always happy to lend my support and come here and help a great cause. Over the years, you get to play with some familiar faces and some of the sponsors and there are a lot of big Giants fans here. Some of the players have good golf swings; some players, this is their first golf outing ever. So it's a great day for a great cause and always a lot of fun."
With great cause came great competition. And to find the best golfer, you ask a special teamer.
"I can't say myself, but we all know that's true," long snapper Zak DeOssie said. "So I'm going to have to say probably David Carr when he's playing at his best. Or if you ask Eli, he's definitely going to say himself."
"I spend all my free time in the weight room and getting ready for the season," punter Steve Weatherford said. "You can clearly tell it's not on the golf course. But this is a great event every year. Obviously, I'm not a golfer, but it's great to get out here and spend time with the people that are financially supporting the cause."
Whether it was a veteran ace or a rookie golfing for the first time, they came out in droves to the event. And that spoke volumes to defensive end Justin Tuck.
"Everyone knows how giving the Giants organization is," he said. "And it starts from the top with the Mara family and the Tisch family. That's the reason why you see all of us out here because they instilled it in their players to be a part of the community and always giving back."