Max Rottluff inspired to give back
July 29, 2019
By Preston Smith, PGATOUR.COM
- July 29, 2019
- Max Rottluff has helped raised $15,000 for the charity Beyond Type 1. (Max Rottluff)
When Max Rottluff set off to compete in the 2015 Palmer Cup, he knew it was a life-changing opportunity.
Hosted west of Chicago, the Palmer Cup annually puts on one of the most exciting shows in amateur golf as United States and European teams face off in Ryder Cup-style match play. The 22-year-old German had secured his spot alongside Arizona State teammate Jon Rahm on the underdog European team, facing off against a United States team that included future PGA TOUR players Ollie Schniederjans and Beau Hossler.
What Rottluff couldn’t have anticipated were the relationships formed outside of competition and how those bonds would impact him years down the road.
Competing in an Am-Am prior to the tournament, Rottluff met Tony Rouse, a recreational golfer and owner of Team Concept Printing outside of Chicago. Rottluff kept in touch and stayed with the Rouse family twice later that summer while competing in other amateur events. Over the years that followed, Rottluff grew close to Tony and Michelle Rouse, as well as their three children, visiting them during breaks in his schedule.
“He became a mentor to me,” said Rottluff of Tony Rouse. “With my parents and my family in Germany, they became like my U.S. family. They filled that spot for me. I’ve spent Easter with them, I’ve spent the Fourth of July with them. This year I stayed with them for a bit during the Evans Scholars Invitational near Chicago.”
The summer of 2015 happened to have a high concentration of high-level amateur events in the Chicago area. The Palmer Cup and the Western Amateur took place at Rich Harvest Farms, a club Rouse is a member at, while the U.S. Amateur was hosted at nearby Olympia Fields Country Club.
“Max really bonded with our whole family and especially my three kids,” Rouse said. “I think him being pretty far from home and staying with us several times during that summer of 2015 really built up our relationship. Since then we’ve all followed his career closely and look forward to him being able to visit when he’s in the Midwest.”
The close relationship led to some tough news in February of 2017 when Tony’s 11-year-old daughter, Kate, was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes.
“Tony, Michelle and their whole family are like family to me so that was tough,” Rottluff said. “The daily struggles that she is living with as a young girl definitely hit home pretty hard.”
Earlier this year, Michelle and Tony had the idea to partner with Rottluff to amplify the charity they had become involved with, Beyond Type 1. Through birdie pledges and one-time donations, Rottluff has been raising money on and off the golf course this season. Together they have raised around $15,000 so far, with Team Concept Printing donating $50 per birdie made.
Beyond Type 1 is a nonprofit organization dedicated to changing what it means to live with diabetes through platforms, programs, resources and grants that improve lives.
“When Tony contacted me earlier this year about a charity that they supported, something that we could support together, it was a no-brainer for me,” Rottluff said. “Beyond Type 1 not only raises awareness, they also raise money that goes towards research and building of devices that allow people with Type 1 to step up their quality of life. Whether it’s been a birdie pledge, or a one-time donation, people have rallied for the cause. That’s been fun to see the reach we can have together.”
Rottluff has totaled 191 birdies thus far this season (through Price Cutter Charity Championship presented by Dr Pepper) and ranks 102nd in the season-long Korn Ferry Tour points standings. With two events left in the Regular Season, Rottluff is looking to get into the Korn Ferry Tour Finals by finishing in the top 75 or earn his first PGA TOUR card by finishing in the top-25.