On 28 November, after six months of work, Jeremy and I celebrated the official launch of Fairways at Pymble Golf Club in Sydney.
To date we have sponsored 10 juniors in Canada, five in India, one in Nepal, and I head to Bolivia early in the new year to help set up a sustainable junior golf clinic there.
I arrived early with my crew as I was the sober driver for a few old friends from high school who had come to support what I am doing.
I met with Jonathan Walker, our contact at Pymble, and chatted about the format (nearest-the-pin, longest drive and straightest drive) as Jeremy arrived with a car full of great prizes. Soon 26 keen golfers would arrive to claim them.
We set up a display table for the prizes as players drifted in. I met some of Jeremy’s golfing buddies and caught up with many people I have golfed with in my two years..., well, 28 months of golfing.
I was happy to see Lachy, from Empower Golf, who I met at the Australian Open. He was running a clinic nearby and wanted to show his support for what we are doing for junior golf and stopped by to wish us luck.
As all good golf days should, we started the day with a golfer’s breakfast of coffee and a bacon-and-egg roll, then headed out to tee it up. The weather was fantastic, the course in excellent condition and I was pleased to see old golf friends, plus make some new golf friends too. We had the course to ourselves as everyone golfed at their leisure, but without being slow.
The 14th hole was not in play so we were using 18a instead. Who doesn’t like a golf course with an alternate hole if work is required on another one? Quite the luxury I would say!
Bruce Abel, a member at Royal Sydney Golf Club, who I also met at the Australian Open, popped in to see some kids golf. He'd gotten his wires crossed as he didn’t realise it was a golf day for adults, so hadn't brought his clubs. He didn't mind, instead just walked, chatted and spectated for our first six holes.
I can’t believe the wonderful people I have met through golf and the amount of support I am getting from around the world.
Mike Johnny, a golf blogger who I have known for a couple of years, sent tweets wishing us luck. Esker Hills Golf Club, the home track of Shane Lowry, sent best wishes and advised they will have a fundraiser for us in the near future. Golf friends I have made all over the world sent me messages via numerous social media platforms, and I've also had golf friends in Australia who couldn’t make the launch, touch base to see how we went.
I had a fantastic day, golfing with friends and sharing the Fairways story with fellow passionistas who will in turn share our story with their golfing friends.
Who would have thought that we could come so far in only six months?
I love that we are a grassroots golf movement with golfers from all around the world supporting what we are doing.
Please join us on the journey. We're only just getting started.
If you are stuck for a gift idea this festive season how about giving the “Gift of Golf” and sponsor an underprivileged junior golfer on behalf of a friend or loved one?
Finally, some sincere thanks to those who supported us on the day. Gordon Moir from the Home of Golf, St. Andrews, Ray Molloy from Esker Hills, Louise Hayman and Jonathan Walker from Pymble, Frank Williams from Mt. Broughton Golf & Country Club, Lynwood Country Club, Kangaroo Valley Golf & Country Resort, Pullman Magenta Shores, Chateau Elan & The Vintage, Matt Dowling from Acushnet and Mark Little from Glenfiddich.