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Ryan Pickett

Utilizing the game of golf to help others

By Tina Mickelson

When Ryan Pickett played in Greg Jenning’s celebrity golf tournament three years ago he was not considered a golfer by any means. He agreed to play in the tournament because he wanted to support his friend’s event and thought, “Come on, how hard could the game really be?”  After all, he WAS playing Defensive End for the Green Bay Packers at the time AND he had a Super Bowl Ring. Certainly he could hit a stationary little white ball around a patch of grass. He ended up playing with a group of older gentlemen and found out he couldn’t even begin to hang with them. He was incredibly embarrassed (and humbled), and was immediately hooked. He decided he would take up the game seriously not only because he wanted to play in future charity events with confidence, but also because the challenge of the game was addicting.

Three years later, he plays an average of three times per week in the off season and finds that it is a great way to spend time with his kids, in particular his 6 year old son RJ. Asked to recall one of his most memorable and humorous moments on the golf course, he doesn’t hesitate. He quickly dives into story-telling mode with a smile on his face and describes the time (just this past year) when he and RJ were driving together in a golf cart and Ryan made a sharp turn a little too quickly. RJ went flying out and when his tumbling came to a stop he quickly jumped up and couldn’t stop laughing.  (To his father’s relief.) Once he knew his son was fine, Ryan appreciated the humor in it as well. It was the first of many memorable moments with his sons on the golf course. That is what is so great about the game of golf. Playing the game itself is a lot of fun, but the moments in between shots are pretty special, too.

Two of Ryan’s favorite San Diego courses are The Grand Del Mar (very challenging yet fair) and Maderas Golf Club for its many elevation changes and the way the holes wind through nature so seamlessly.

Ryan is finding that the game of golf is not only an enjoyable way to spend time, but it can be a very effective tool and platform as well. He hosts The Ryan Pickett Annual Celebrity Golf Classic and “Black and White” Dinner Party, benefiting the San Pasqual Academy in San Diego and the Alzheimer’s Association (San Diego Chapter). This year the event will take place June 20 and 21.  The weekend kicks off Friday evening at Pamplemousse Grille with the “Black & White” Dinner Party followed by golf the next day at The Grand Golf Club. It is sure to be an exciting weekend filled with a variety of music, spectacular food, rare auction items, and some pretty special celebrity sightings.

After learning more about everything Ryan and his wife, Jennifer, do for those in need I found myself incredibly touched and inspired. What they is doing for so many foster children truly makes anyone who hears his story stand up and take notice. Before learning more about him I was simply a fan of Ryan Pickett the football player. Now I’m a fan of Ryan Pickett the man.

For more information about The Ryan Pickett Foundation or The Ryan Pickett Annual Celebrity Golf Classic & “Black and White” Dinner Party, visit

Ryan Pickett

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