Everyone who knows me, has met or connected with me in the last two years knows I am mad about golf.
In July 2016 I will have been golfing for two years. In that time I have golfed at 81 courses in 9 countries, viewing the world via fairway. I love to travel and love golf and food (hence the name of the blog).
As I golf my way around the world, I have had the pleasure of golfing with so many wonderful people, showing me their home track, telling me their golfing stories and quite frankly, this makes me happy.
What better way to spend your time? Golf is an amazing sport and my life seems so full of golf, I am not quite sure now what I did before.
Last month I was in the UK where I golfed at 21 courses in 31 days and met so many wonderful people. Some people I had only met on twitter and others were complete strangers who are now golfing friends that I will eventually tee it up with again.
It is just a matter of when I am next in town.
Travelling solo around the world, golfing with strangers allows me to see into their golfing world, what works wonderfully at their club and what could be changed in order to bring more people to the game. I play with the General Managers, Captains, Presidents or members and I always have a wonderful golf chat.
It has been great for my golf as I have played with so many highly skilled golfers that I am adamant watching them makes me a better golfer. And to be honest what golfer doesn’t appreciate a great golf shot – we would just like some regularly off our own clubs is all.
I am able to discuss the game in their particular market. Every club is unique in its own right. While they are all trying for the same results and to get people golfing, external elements hinder and differ the way things should be approached and what actually works. It is interesting finding out what is working in one place and doesn’t in another country.
We talk marketing, social media strategy and we share ideas on how to bring more people to their club.
I have helped some companies with their social media and given some “how to” lessons on twitter.
I have visited the golfing utopia of St Andrews every year since I started golfing (twice now) and I shall continue going there every year to meet golfing friends and tee it up with new connections.
Every time I leave a place it is with a smile, a promise of return and a future golf date somewhere in the world.
Twitter has been an amazing tool to help me connect with so many like minded people, all around the world. It connected me with David in Abu Dhabi and after commenting on a photo of him playing night golf at Abu Dhabi City Golf Club, I then golfed with him when I visited Abu Dhabi in January. While having a night golf chat (first time I have played night golf) he told me about Al Ghazal Golf Club . This led me to play sand golf in the desert and all because I commented on his tweet.
I have followed up with everyone who has said “we should play a round sometime” which has just led me to meet more golfers and arrange more golfing adventures at a later date.
I have a lot of golf stories as golf fills a lot of my time from playing, to practicing (finally I am back at the range), writing, videoing and reading.
I am very passionate about golf and yet I can’t explain why. Other passionate golfers understand my addiction. It is a great addiction to have. It seems to give me so much. I love the challenge, the scramble, the natural beauty, being outdoors, the competition, and the connections I have made.
All because I picked up a golf club and fell in love.
In two years I have met so many golfers. Golf is definitely a great contact sport and I do know that The Grateful Golfer (who I have online golf chats with often) would agree.
Golf has opened so many doors for me and I have jumped at every opportunity. And while a connection on twitter recently asked if I climbed through a window to be at the start of the European Ryder Cup Trophy Tour, I had in fact just walked in the door and introduced myself.
I also happened to be in Northern Ireland staying ten minutes down the road from Royal Portrush, where Darren Clarke was starting the tour.
Last year, I applied for media accreditation for the Australian Open figuring the worst they could do is say no. I had my website and my youtube channel and wanted to go to the golf, write about it and make some videos. While I am not your traditional media outlet I was warmly welcomed had an amazing six days of golf and connected with more golfers.
Last week I applied for and was granted media accreditation for the RBC Canadian Open in July in Ontario and am waiting to find out if my application for the Canadian Pacific Women’s Open in Calgary in August has been approved.
I have been quieter than usual on social media, as six weeks ago while I was golfing at Ballyliffin, I had an epiphany. Having a golf chat with Frank while we played Glashedy Links, I learnt that some children cannot continue to golf purely for financial reasons.
I found this unacceptable, so I decided to change it.
I founded a NFP called Fairways to sponsor junior golfers all over the world.
Fairways is a sponsored fund to provide golfing pathways to juniors who love the game, but cannot afford to play it. By paying for memberships and lessons for boys and girls, Fairways’ purpose is to develop golf at the grass roots while also supporting golf facilities and professionals. (Jeremy’s words not mine).
Jeremy White is a contact I made on twitter when I was only a new golfer. He golfed in Sydney (where I was at the time), so I went and played his home course and we had quite the golf chat. We have collaborated on other golfing projects so when I had this idea, Jeremy is one of the first people I sent my four page outline to.
I wanted Jeremy to come on board as a co founder and I am pleased to say he is the COO of Fairways.
My concept has been developed and in six weeks we have a board of directors, registration pending and the website is under construction. We have sponsored four junior golfers on Prince Edward Island in Canada and have a fundraiser planned on the 20th June at Belfast Highland Greens.
We have reached out to a couple of global companies inviting them to come on board as founding partners and help us grow golf from the grassroots.
It is very exciting and a lot of work but I am loving every minute of it.
The stars seem to have aligned and I have found a purpose to fit my passion.
Contact me if you want to join us on the journey and grow the game I love.