Can a sport really change a life? I think you know the answer.
Sports provide opportunities and golf is no different.
As anyone in the golf industry can tell you, even though our work evolves around a sport, it is still work, but it is one career that provides endless rewards that easily make up for the irregular hours and any other issues we might have.
As a good friend always say, “this is not a job, it’s a lifestyle.”
For some that lifestyle comes more easily than to others. Many who work in golf grew up around the game as a life-long family tradition.
For others like myself, I came to love golf after getting an invite by some friends to hit balls in a field one day.
Today, on Golf Day in Saskatchewan, I recall that fondly as that was the province in which I first held a golf club for the first time.
In that summer of 1980 I progressed from hitting balls on a parched school soccer field to a golf course even more void of water, the Bruno Golf Club. The 9-hole community course featured sand greens and a very noisy pig farm along one of it’s longest holes. It wasn’t much, but it was a start.
Thirty-two years later I have been blessed to make golf my life, from working on greens crews, to time spent in the pro shop, to owning a retail store, and eventually becoming a golf journalist with a desire to keep growing my golf knowledge and skills.
Who knows what I would have done without golf in my life? I am sure I would have been fine but it’s hard to imagine that I would have been able to have all the opportunities I have had to travel, meet great people, and see some amazing things.
With that in mind, I always strive to encourage people to provide golf opportunities for youth. While most kids are not likely to make golf the foundation of their professional life, I can testify that I have seen dozens who have improved their lives simply because of an affiliation with the game. That may simply mean a career opportunity provided by a relationship cemented through golf or an education paid for because of a golf scholarship.
Programs like the Callaway Golf For Kids and Golf In The Schools represent ways to provide children with exposure to golf and in a few weeks another major program will do the same.
“Take A Kid To The Course”, an initiative by the National Golf Course Owners Association starts up on July 9th this year and runs to July 15th and I encourage you, as golfers, to spread the word or participate.
There are literally hundred of courses across Canada who are taking part and it’s an easy and almost barrier-free way to introduce kids to the game that has given so much to so many.
You just never know where the game will take them.