If you ever have the opportunity to stay and play golf on Maui, I strongly urge you to check out THE PGA golf professional that epitomizes the term “generous soul” – PGA golf professional, David Havens – founder of The Haven’s Experience at Maui Nui golf course.
I first met David when he was the PGA Director of Instruction (and 2013 Teacher of the Year – Aloha Section) at our favourite golf resort on the island – Ka’anapali.
Every November my golf guy and I would spend most of our vacation there, playing golf almost every day at their two magnificent courses – the Kai and Royal.
Once we even had a chance to play a round with David – something I highly recommend if you like having more fun than frustration on the course. It also helps if you love rock and roll music blaring while you play. Don’t knock it – it’s a great way to create a more rhythmic swing, and singing along never hurts your mood either.
This past November we were fortunate to play in David’s Throwback tournament – a very special event that raises money for his charity – Spare for Change.
Spare for Change’s mission is to grow the game of golf – one club at a time. David recycles used golf clubs and puts them in the hands of players who normally wouldn’t be able to afford them. He also provides instruction, club repairs or anything else needed to grow new players’ chances of making golf a lifelong passion.
Since 2011, David has given out over 12,000 golf clubs to kids and adults, and he’s just getting started.
At November’s Throwback Event, everyone was part of a foursome where one of the team was a PGA professional. It was a scramble with all the fun “cheats” incorporated, including 3 feet of string to extend a putt, an eraser to remove your worst hole and a throw/kick “foot wedge”. We even ran into our favourite marshall – the legendary and endearing, Tommy Tang.
But the most unusual and LOL part of the day was watching all the pros have to use archaic clubs and balls – some over 40 years old!
It was a fantastic day because everyone was a winner – especially the recipients of the proceeds. I felt honoured to be a small part of it.
A couple of weeks ago, we returned to Maui to finalize the sale of one of our condos there. We had purchased it in 2012 and it was our little piece of paradise. We rented it out through VRBO and it was a great investment for us. But like all things in life, it was time for a change and we wanted to bring our investment back into Canada (the US dollar didn’t hurt either :)).
As we packed up our personal belongings, we took a look at our clubs and decided that we didn’t need to bring them home because they could have a better home on Maui. So we trotted down to Kihei and dropped them off at Spare for Change.
A couple of weeks ago, I heard from David that a lucky young woman was now the proud new owner of my clubs.
I can’t adequately tell you how I felt seeing those smiling faces. It brought tears to my eyes and reminded me again that golf is a game worth giving.
So the next time you look in your garage or basement at a lonely golf club or set, think about the joy you could bring to someone who couldn’t play the greatest game on earth without your help. And then get up and go contact David at Spare for Change to find out how you can make a difference in someone’s life.