Eyes On The Prize


On Monday 1st August, Avondale Golf Club hosted a golf fundraiser for Fairways. The format was a 4B scramble and all six teams had a lot of fun.

Between Connor Lea (Avondale GM) and I, we had lots of fantastic prizes to give away. All teams won something with the winners receiving twosomes for Fox Meadows Golf Club  and Brudenell River Golf Course . Also included were four hats, one signed by Shane Lowry (donated by Esker Hills Golf Club) and three by Bryson DeChambeau, who I met again during my Toronto adventures. Second prize was a foursome at Avondale and a dozen Callaway balls. Third prize was a foursome for Belfast Highland Greens and a $50 voucher for the Chowder House. We also had nearest the pin on all par 3s and five lucky door prizes!  

I arrived a little early to finish setting prizes up and to have a chat with some of the groups who I knew were coming to play. Ron Kennedy (who recently played in the Summer Solstice Challenge) had entered a team and he was quite impressed with the selection of prizes laid out for the groups in attendance.

I had asked a golf buddy from New Brunswick, Tim McRae, to be on my team and I contacted one of the Fairways parents, Karen Shaw (Nate and Sam’s mum), to see if the boys would be interested in joining my team. Being 10 and 11 neither of them had ever played in a tournament let alone a fun format like a 4B scramble.

They were delighted to be asked and we had a great time. Tim and I gave them some tournament advice, like, standing still while others putt etc. and we enjoyed the perfect Canadian summer day whacking balls all over the fairway.

A lot of our advice was given back to us during the course of the day so we knew that the boys were taking everything in and were astounded by some of the golf coming off Tim’s club. We all had some great putts and the grins when the boys dropped a putt was awesome to see.

Prior to teeing off I met Marty Koughan, who is also a member at Brudenell and we had a good golf chat. He had been asked to join Connor’s team, but didn’t know about Fairways or what we were doing for junior golf. I shared the Fairways story and told him about the juniors we have sponsored on PEI, like Nate and Sam. I also mentioned the lessons I'm arranging for some children in India, which is another story altogether, and he was astounded at the work we had accomplished to-date.

He told me he would share our information with all his golf buddies with the hope that some become sponsors to help us get more juniors golfing.

It was time to start with Connor’s team going first, as he had the important job of cooking the BBQ, post round. This is an important tip for would-be golf day organisers! 

Afterwards, when we were all assembled and the scoring complete, I gave a brief speech telling everyone about Fairways, what we are trying to achieve and how to become a sponsor. Connor gave out the prizes and I had a couple of teams come and thank me for a wonderful day.  On my way to the car, I was stopped twice by different attendees who wanted to introduce themselves and tell me they love what we at Fairways are doing. Everyone told me they would share our story with all their golfing contacts and would bring more friends to play in our tournament next year.

We raised $330 which helps to cover costs of Winter lessons for our cadets on PEI. During the off-season, Fairways pays for the juniors to use the simulators and indoor practice areas at All About Golf. It might not seem like much right now, but I've seen the happy looks on the kids' faces when they learn they can play golf year-round. Every dollar helps that great cause.

We have done a great job with two fundraising events on PEI so far, raising a little over $1700, and Avondale Golf Club has told me they would like to host another event prior to the end of the Summer, which is great news.

However, we are still short of the funds to cover all the costs for the PEI cadets. We have two more kids we'd like to sponsor and need $250 to pay for their Winter at All About Golf. Please help them get there by becoming a sponsor or even sharing the Fairways story with your golfing friends.

We know there will be tens of thousands of children around the world who love golf, but can't afford it, and like our PEI cadets, we want to help them all. We've only just scratched the surface.

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