Saving Grace: Golf community tees off (digitally) in David Burke’s new Morristown restaurant for the LPGA professional’s sick child

by | Oct 6, 2021 | Golf Vacations

By Marion Filler and Kevin Coughlin

The local golf community went into effect on Monday to 1776 by David Burke, Morristown’s flashy new restaurant / golf arcade to help a little girl get out of the rough.

Christina Thompson, Owner of a women’s golf boutique in Denville, organized the fundraiser for 1 year olds Grace Godfrey, Child of a professional golfer Jane Park and husband Peter Godfrey, a professional caddy.

LPGA professional Jane Park and Grace. Photo courtesy of the family.

One day in July, while touring the Ladies Professional Golf Association with her parents in Dallas, Grace had seizures that caused severe brain damage.

Thompson estimates that 200 people were packed for Grace in 1776. The restaurant in front of historic Morristown Green is so new it hasn’t even cut the ribbon. (That’s on Friday.)

The amount collected for Grace’s care is still counted. Tickets for the invitation event were $ 150. Silent auction items ranged from golf vacations, tournament tickets, and ping clubs to framed photos of Arnold Palmer and Bill Murray at Caddyshack.

Celebrity Chef David Burke at 1776 by David Burke in Morristown, October 4th, 2021. It’s his 17th restaurant. Photo by Kevin Coughlin

The guests included the new LPGA commissioner Mollie Marcoux, CEO of the United States Golf Association Michael Wan, and Ann Mackey, President of the Coastal New Jersey Chapter of the LPGA Amateur Golf Association.

Commentators of the Gulf Channel Jerry Foltz and Karen Stupples were there with 22 golf pros on a day off between the Atlantic City and Caldwell tournaments.

Some of them showed their swings in the restaurant’s six top golf simulator suites. Each rental pod has a wall-size video screen depicting the best golf courses in the world. You hit a ball against the screen and a computer calculates the trajectory and animates its flight.

Professionals and the bravest of duffers took turns, between sips of wine and mouthfuls of tuna tartare, to deafening cheers and groans as ball after ball sailed into the simulated rough.

Mulligan Time: A simulated drive for the benefit of ‘Saving Grace’. Video by Marion Filler for

Mayor of Morristown Tim Dougherty, who came with his wife Mariasaid her son Ryan is the golfer in the family. “I’m a hacker,” said the mayor.

Celebrity chef David Burke, Opening his 17th restaurant, made a similar admission.

“I don’t play golf. I will learn. I played golf. But never trust a chef who plays golf so well! ”Burke joked in front of an orange wall adorned with salt stones.

On the green! LPGA professional Emma Talley tried out David Burke’s top golf simulator around 1776. Video by Marion Filler for

Thompson, owner of Golf4Her, in collaboration with LPGA golfer and a native of Wayne Marina Alex to create the fundraiser.

“Jane has been one of my ambassadors for Golf4Her for the past 10 years,” Thompson said of Park, 34, who turned pro 2007.

Co-owner George Schneider takes a simulated drive of David Burke in Morristown around 1776, October 4, 2021. Photo by Kevin Coughlin

The 1776 venue was booked thanks to Thompson’s acquaintance Sue Vorchheimer, Sales and event manager of the restaurant and wife of the co-owner David Vorcheimer.

Hosting a golf event as the restaurant’s first charity felt appropriate, the partner said George Schneider from Morristown.

“It fits perfectly,” he says.

Park was at home in Atlanta taking care of Grace. Thompson had a video conversation with her after the fundraiser.

“She was overjoyed, more than grateful,” said Thompson on Tuesday.

Peter Godfrey, Grace’s father, attended the event in Morristown.

Professional caddy Peter Godfrey on “Saving Grace” for his daughter. Morristown, October 4, 2021. Photo by Marion Filler

“My wife’s career is over,” said the Briton Godfrey. “But I’m still working. I was gone this month and it’s very difficult. “

Their families have stepped in to help – Godfrey’s parents from London and Park’s aunt and brother from Los Angeles.

Park and Godfrey were introduced by mutual friends about a decade ago and have been married for four years.

Jane Park and Peter Godfrey with Grace. Photo courtesy Jane Park

Since Grace came home from the hospital, she has shown little signs of improvement.

“It’s more than we thought possible. Two days ago she was able to lift her head. That’s huge, ”said Godfrey. His daughter’s prognosis is uncertain.

“I have no idea, but they know she’s got quite a bit of damage. It’s tough, ”he said.

Doctors don’t even have a diagnosis. They suspect Grace’s autoimmune system overreacted to a virus and attacked her brain.

“They think it was a parvovirus, a generic type of virus,” Godfrey said. “Most children would get a runny nose or a runny nose from it. But for whatever reason, she didn’t. “

A Online fundraiser Started by LPGA veteran Tiffany Joh has raised $ 117,000 for Grace’s care to date.

1776 by David Burke in Morristown October 4, 2021. Photo by Kevin Coughlin