When I arrived back in Canada from Scotland, one of my first phone calls was to David Bowlan (my golf guru). I arranged a lesson and we swapped Winter golf stories, including the fact that I'd just co-founded a not-for profit, called Fairways, to sponsor disadvantaged junior golfers.
Jeremy, my Fairways COO, had told me one of our first steps should be to actually go and find a junior to sponsor, so when I met Dave for my lesson, I asked if he knew any candidates.
He answered me by saying, “I have two for you,” and went on to tell me their story.
Two young siblings, Sam and Nate, were brought to Avondale GC one Summer by their Great-Uncle, who paid for their golf lessons and membership. Sadly, their Great-Uncle died (he was only 50), so his best mate took over the cost and mentoring of the kids for the next season. Unfortunately while he was golfing, he suffered a brain hemorrhage and passed away.
How could I not help to keep these children on the fairway?
I told David to consider them sponsored and following my lesson went and spoke with Connor Lea, Avondale's GM, to arrange the details.
Two days later I was at Belfast Highland Greens, the course I played for the first time on PEI and where my love affair with golf started. I met with General Manager, Keir White, who has been a part of my golf life from day one. I told him all about Fairways and he loved the idea. So much so, he is organizing a fundraiser for it. He also gave me two more juniors to sponsor who have struggled to continue golfing due to difficult financial circumstances.
I've already started getting sponsorship money in too! Fellow golfers I'm meeting also love the idea and want to help me ensure that disadvantaged kids can keep golfing.