IPSWICH — Pete Frates was great at a lot of things during his cherished time on Earth — baseball, humanitarianism, motivation and above all else, being a caring friend and family member.
But according to his brother Andrew, Frates could never quite make it as a golfer.
“He wasn’t very good,” Andrew said with a laugh. “That’s the one sport that I had the upper hand on him; he had me on everything else, but golf I could take care of him.”
While Andrew might’ve taken his older brother to the cleaners on the links, Pete was likely the man of the party both before and after rounds. Shanks or no shanks, he loved getting together with a group of good people and sharing a good time. That’s why when Andrew and the rest of the Frates family organized a charity golf tournament in Pete’s name, he was all on board.
Three years later, the ‘Pete Frates 3 Golf Classic’ is running strong. The tournament, which raises money for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) — the disease that Pete courageously battled for more than seven years before passing away last December at age 34 — was once again held at The Golf Club at Turner Hill on Monday. Some 150-plus people showing out to enjoy a beautiful day on a beautiful course and continue to honor Pete’s legacy.
Monday’s event marked the first year in which the tournament was held without Pete. But make no mistake: Pete was undoubtedly looking down at his friends, family and supporters all afternoon, sporting a big, gleaming smile all the way to the 18th green.
“It’s definitely a different year with the pandemic and with Pete’s passing, but it was our third consecutive sell out for No. 3 (Pete’s athletic jersey number) which was really important to us,” said Andrew.
“The community has just been so great to rally around No. 3. We had guys coming from the South Shore, the North Shore, the Cape, the islands, Western Mass … so it’s just a testament to Pete’s network and the master connector that he was and still is.”
The tournament itself was once again a massive success.
Pete’s father, John Frates, wasn’t able to successfully defend his tourney title — three different groups, including one with Pete’s best friend from high school, Tommy Haugh, took that honor at 11-under par — and nobody was able to ace the par 3 18th hole to win a $75,000 donated boat, either. But Andrew and Co. were able to raise upwards of $30,000 for ALS research and, to top it all off, had a fantastic time doing so.
“We miss him a lot,” said Andrew. “He was here last year with his daughter (Lucy) and all the nieces and nephews, so we’re thankful for that. But honestly, the timing of everything is truly in God’s hands. During these COVID times we wouldn’t have been able to have that big funeral at Boston College (last December) that was so magical, or the celebration of his life at St. John’s Prep where 11,000 people came out to the beautiful new Wellness Center.
“Today was just a great time, and we obviously wish he was here. But the support has just been amazing.”
Andrew Frates also thanked lead sponsor Barstool Sports and its founder, Swampscott native Dave Portnoy, for once again signing on for the event, as well as the other many sponsors including ASICS, Suffolk, Appleton Partners Inc., and Instanet.
As of now, plans are in place to continue the late summer golf tradition at Turner Hill again next year, with hopes of possibly increasing the field to about 200 golfers.
Whatever the cutoff number may be, you can bet it will fill up quickly for Pete.