The Gladney Cup is a world-class charity event that allows participants to experience the feeling of being professional golfers at a PGA tournament event. The Gladney Cup occurs every two years (biennially) at various prestigious golf courses around the United States. Some of the golf courses to host the Gladney Cup in the past include the Colonial Country Club, Winged Foot Golf Club, Congressional Country Club, Bethpage State Park Back Course, Merion Golf Club, and the Olympic Club. This year’s event will be the 17th Gladney Cup tournament since the inaugural one in 1999. Even though the event takes place every two years, some of those years held two events. This year there is only one event due to the Covid-19 pandemic. This year’s event takes place at Oakland Hills Country Club in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, on September 25-27. 

Oakland Hills Country Club 

Oakland Hills Country club was founded in 1916 and has hosted 17 major championships, including six U.S. Opens. Legendary golf players Ben Hogan, Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus, and Gary Player experienced victories at Oakland Hills Country club. When Ben Hogan said, “I’m glad I brought this course, this monster, to its knees,” the South Course earned the nickname “the Monster”. The South Course was recently restored by Gil Hanse to the original design by Donald Ross.  

This is the first year that the Gladney Cup will be held at the Oakland Hills Country Club. If you are a golfer, this is an experience you are not going to want to miss. 

The Gladney Center for Adoption

The Gladney Cup charity golf tournament raises funds for the Gladney Center for Adoption. Gladney is an adoption organization that was founded in 1887 and has a mission of “creating bright futures through adoption.” Gladney is a guiding force for good that connects children and families around the world. The organization believes that every child deserves a loving and caring family. Gladney has worked hard to fulfill its mission and live up to its belief in families. The organization has placed over 32,000 children with forever families since its inception. 

The Gladney Center for Adoption works with expectant mothers trying to decide what they want to do, hopeful adoptive parents who want to adopt a child, and the entire adoption triad during and after the adoption. The adoption triad includes the birth family, the adoptive family, and the adoptee. Gladney is based out of Texas, but they have locations around the United States and they work with international adoptions as well. No matter what your adoption-related needs are, Gladney can help.

Gladney is there for the birth family as they struggle to make hard decisions. They offer support and counseling to the birth mother and the rest of the birth family. On the Gladney Cup website, there is a video testimonial from one birth mother, Jesi. Jesi is one of many Gladney birth mothers who found herself unexpectedly pregnant. She had a difficult childhood and did not have family support, but Gladney was there to help her throughout the pregnancy and beyond. Because Jesi made the difficult choice to place her child for adoption, she was able to continue her education and go to Stanford for college. She not only knows that her child is in a loving home, but she is able to pursue her life goals. 

Jesi and birth mothers like her are not the only ones that Gladney has helped over the years. The organization is also there for the prospective adoptive families as they look for or wait to be selected for a child to adopt. To look at profiles of prospective adoptive candidates you can click here. Each adoption has its own unique story and in the next section, some adoption stories are highlighted. 

The Gladney Center for Adoption’s help does not end with adoption. Gladney continues to provide support for birth families and education for adoptive families even after the adoption is legally complete. One way Gladney helps is through the website it created called AdoptED. AdoptED provides a curriculum that helps students facing an unexpected pregnancy think critically about their choices and opportunities. Additionally, Gladney funds Birth Mothers Amplified, a podcast for birth mothers. The podcast is hosted by two birth mothers, and they discuss topics pertinent to other birth mothers like dealing with grief, finding joy from within, and individual birth mother stories. 

To help adoptive families and the entire adoption community before, during, and after placement, the Gladney Center for Adoption also created two more resources. The first is Gladney University. Gladney University provides education and support for the adoption community. They do this in the form of classes and training on various topics. Some topics include self-care, empowering LGBTQ+ youth in the foster care system, and dealing with connection problems. 

The second resource is a podcast series called reFRAMED that features specialists in various fields who teach information important to the adoption community. Some of the past podcasts have discussed parenting teenagers, dealing with birth parent grief, secondary trauma, sensory needs, behavior therapy, trauma therapy, foster care, and brain development. The conversations in these podcasts prove vital to many in the adoption community as they navigate the challenges that are unique to the adoption experience. 

To learn more about the Gladney Center for Adoption, its mission, and the resources they offer you you can watch this informative video or read the brief overview. You can also click here for their main website.

Adoption Stories

The Gladney Cup website features three different videos with different adoption stories on each video. The first video and story were discussed earlier, the story of the birth mother Jesi. The second video features a young boy and his brother. The young boy, Michael, was called the street baby because he wandered the streets at night looking for a safe place to sleep and food for himself and his younger brother. He was an excellent student but did not have a stable home environment. Shortly after Michael and James’ story was aired on the local news, a family came forward ready to adopt them both. The Gladney Center for Adoption helped the family throughout the entire adoption process.

The last video featured on the Gladney Cup website features two separate adoption stories. One is the story of a medically fragile 4-month-old child named Ruby and the other is a teenager named Naomi. Ruby suffered from a rare form of dwarfism and is simply the cutest little baby ever. Her adoptive parents chose to adopt her knowing that she was medically fragile.  They renamed Ruby to Ivy because they already had a child named Ruby at home. 

Naomi had a rough childhood but is grateful to be in the care of Byron and Corrie. She is finally getting a chance at a normal childhood in a stable home. Both of these Gladney success stories are just beginning. In the years ahead, Gladney will continue to be a source of support and guidance for adoptive families. 

History of the Gladney Cup

The Gladney Cup began with a Gladney father who wanted to give back to the organization that helped him grow his family through adoption. The charity event provides an opportunity to spread the message of adoption, raise awareness about everyone involved in the adoption process, and provide meaningful experiences for the participants. So far the Gladney Cup events have raised more than $12 million and 6,789 children have been placed since the first event in 1999. The Gladney Cup slogan is, “Help us take our shot for children and families around the world.”  The home page also states that “by playing in support of Gladney, you help us follow through on our mission to forge new paths for the sake of the children and those who love them.” The Gladney Cup is a great way to become involved in helping families and children all over the world. 

The Gladney Cup Experience

The Gladney Cup is a tournament played by foursomes. It is scored using the two best balls per foursome and the net score includes handicaps. A real-time electronic leaderboard tracks the progress of each team. The players are able to play on the most prestigious and challenging courses in the United States with all of the amenities of PGA players. The players have caddies, marshalls, and the ambiance of a professional tour experience. 

This year’s event begins on a Saturday with a welcome reception at the Daxton and continues with weekend excursions on Sunday. For those excursions, participants can go to the Henry Ford Museum, the Cranbrook (home to both an art museum and institute of science), the M1 Concourse (great for automotive enthusiasts), and the Detroit experience factory (which provides opportunities to visit sights in Detroit). Following the various excursion options on Sunday, there will be a formal attire Champions dinner that will celebrate both adoption stories and the bright futures of the individuals involved in the adoptions.

The actual Gladney Cup tournament will take place on Monday, September 27th from 7 a.m. until 5 p.m. Following the tournament, there will be an awards dinner from 5 p.m. until 8 p.m. 

Any golfer interested in participating in the event can take advantage of the opportunity to ship his or her golf clubs to the event through Ship Sticks. Ship Sticks helps golfers get their clubs to the event without excessive fees or lost/damaged clubs. Additionally, the Gladney Cup has partnered with the Townsend Hotel and the Daxton to provide accommodations for the participants. The Townsend Hotel is perfect for a classic leisure experience. The Daxton is perfect for cosmopolitan luxury. Both of these options allow participants to feel comfortable and to have a wonderful experience while they participate in a world-class golf tournament.

Want to Help

If you want to help with this charity event, they are looking for golfers, sponsors/partnerships, and volunteers. The volunteers will score golfers, check-in participants, assist with on-site logistics, and help with pre-event preparation. To find out more information and to fill out a form to get involved in helping with this event please click here

Presidential Support

President George Bush spoke in the promotional video in 2015 and Former First Lady Barbara Bush spoke in the introductory video in 2009. President George Bush and Barbara Bush are the proud grandparents of two children that were adopted through the Gladney Center for Adoption. To show their appreciation to Gladney, both President George Bush and Barbara Bush have helped with past Gladney Cup events. 


The Gladney Center of Adoption hopes that this year’s Gladney Cup proves to be as successful as the past charity tournament events. The money earned through this and other events like it provides valuable resources to bless the lives of countless people within the adoption community.

Are you ready to take the next steps on your adoption journey? Visit The Gladney Center for Adoption to learn more.