Claud Jacobs a patron of golf in Victoria

Oct. 4, 2010 at 5:04 a.m.

Asked if he could spare a few minutes, Claud Jacobs shrugged and smiled.

"With the way I'm playing, it really doesn't matter," he said with a smile.

While talking, another golf cart whizzed up and stopped. The man in the passenger seat razzed the jovial Jacobs.

"You couldn't find a better interview?" he said with a laugh, kidding the whole time.

Jacobs, ever smiling, greeted them, had a laugh and moved on. He and his team finished tied for fourth on Monday, with a combined 17-under 55.

The businessman is a well-known booster of golf in Victoria who has his name on several prominent golf tournaments that happen in town each year.

Jacobs contributions has led to having his name on the trophy for the City Championship held each July.

"It's a natural for Victoria, having three wonderful course," "All I did was get the people together and say we need a city championship. They put that thing together and I bought the trophy.

"That's probably as much fun as I have in any tournament, other than this one. This one is my favorite."

But a big part of Jacobs' contribution has been his help with the annual fundraiser for the Bluebonnet Youth Ranch, held each year at Victoria Country Club.

The event raises about $100,000 for the youth ranch, and is the single largest source of funds for the organization, said Jessica Gumm, the development director for the youth ranch.

And it started with a small group of players in Yoakum almost three decades ago.

"We started this 29 years ago with 21 players," Jacobs said. "And now we have 300."

A few years later, the tournament moved from Yoakum to Victoria Country Club, where it has continues to increase in popularity and size.

"He's one of the one that really got the tournament started," Gumm said. "It started out on a much smaller scale."

It's been a while since Jacobs played in the event. He said a new coordinator recently took over the nuts and bolts of the event, allowing him to go back on the course this year.

Part of what makes the money so necessary is that it's difficult to get organizations to give money for day-to-day costs.

"Corporations like to give money to buildings, but it's hard to get them to give money to pay the utility bill and the food bill," Jacobs said. "And when you're taking care of 30 kids who do eat, it's difficult."

Jacobs said it takes a year of work to get many of the singers, actors and athletes who attend to come. But many see the cause and are interested in helping out, he said.

"It's really neat to have the celebrities come in that come in at no charge to play golf," Jacobs said. "Victoria's not the easiest play to get into, so they're giving three or four days of their lives."

Jim West also sponsors one of the two college golf tournaments (Jacobs sponsors the other) and the NGA Hooters tour event in Victoria. His friendship with Roger Clemens is also instrumental in the Cy Young winner's regular

"We really enjoy doing it, not only to have fun, it's good for the community and brings a lot of people into Victoria and business in the city," he said. "It's a good cause for the yout ranch."



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