It has been 14 months since I had an idea to start a nonprofit, Fairways, while golfing on the north coast of Ireland. During that time Jeremy, (Fairways’ COO) and I have worked extremely hard to ensure that the juniors we help in four countries can continue pursuing their passion of golfing.
I have been home in Canada for nearly six weeks and have golfed with friends, travelled to Nova Scotia to Fox Harb’r Resort and met dozens of golfers from all across North America.
In the last few weeks things are once again moving fast and at times I feel I am riding a wave. The wave has dips and highs and while starting a new nonprofit from scratch is a trial in itself, Jeremy recently told me I am bonkers. “Who else would start a nonprofit on their credit cards”? he asked.
I admit that perhaps I am a little bonkers but I do know that sharing my passion for golf with juniors who are desperate to play, simply makes me happy.
Last week Edwin Fernandez in Bolivia said that golf is growing there and the kids are loving it, Pratima Sherpa in Nepal, along with her golf coach are off to the USA for two months of golf school and a 13 year old Canadian junior I golfed with told me that he would like to be a teaching pro and help teach underprivileged juniors around the world.
He may well try to play competitive golf first and considering he has been golfing for two years and parred the back nine on a recent outing he may well succeed.
Either way I do believe golf with be a big part of his life as it is mine.
At times I agree with Jeremy and think I am mad when I reflect on what I have done since starting golf 3 years ago.
I am currently working at a golf resort on Prince Edward Island in Canada as I keep my head above water, bills paid and Fairways afloat.
I get to have golf chats every day with golfers from all over. The ones I have met before want an update on where I have been and when I tell them I have been in California, India, Australia, Hawaii, Bolivia, Ireland, Northern Ireland and Scotland since last summer, I have to agree with Jeremy – I sound bonkers.
Others who hear how an Australian got lost on this small island on the east coast of Canada and how I fell in love with golf, are astounded I have played 120 courses in 11 countries in under 3 years. Once again I do sound mental.
Last week we launched our new fundraising strategy called Awesome 4somes on our website and have had over 30 golf clubs around the world support our vision of helping underprivileged junior golfers.
Some are bidding on our auctions, keen to support our cause while playing quality courses.
Tomorrow I have junior clinics I assist with at both Avondale Golf Course and Belfast Highland Greens and I have had a golf mother who has two boys getting lessons (that have nothing to do with Fairways) reach out and ask if I can help her with golf mentoring.
My life has been enriched not only by the pleasure golf has given me but by the wonderful array of people I have met who would have never crossed my path if it hadn’t been for golf.
Last week on the summer solstice (northern hemisphere) I played 111 holes of golf in 16 hours. We were driven off by an electrical storm for 40 minutes but continued as soon as it passed and raised money and awareness about what we are doing.
I am looking forward to the rest of the summer working with the Canadian juniors and attending the RBC Canadian Open and the CP Canadian Women’s Open before I hit the road once again heading to India and Nepal to visit our juniors there before returning to Australia and sharing my passion with Australian children.
If you love golf and want to help us support our juniors please share our Awesome 4some link with your golf crew and bid on a great round at a wonderful course.
If you are in Canada and are going to either of the Canadian Open tournaments, drop me a line and we can catch up for a golf chat.