Kevin Haime has been playing golf since he was old enough to walk. A successful junior, amateur and professional golfer, he has been teaching the game to thousands of Ottawa enthusiasts for the past three decades through his Kevin Haime Golf Centre and Kevin Haime Golf School.
He believes that the skills built by golf go far beyond the course. “Growing up, golf gave me self-confidence, a sense of respect for others and communication skills which I’ve used throughout my life.”
So when Kevin was thinking about how he could give back to his community, it just made sense that he would give back through golf. “We know that sports are incredibly important to kids, teaching them resilience, confidence and hard work,” he says. “I wanted to take kids who love golf already but don’t have much chance to play and let them play in a safe, good environment.”
Eleven years later, Kevin’s Kids to the Course Classic at Eagle Creek is still going strong. Local businesses and individuals, as well as sponsors like ClubLink and Ping, have helped to raise over half a million dollars so far to purchase memberships at local golf clubs for children who might not otherwise ever have the chance to place a ball on a tee.
One of the most impactful elements of Kids to the Course is that the girls and boys are placed in a foursome with adults who share a love of the game. These adults act as “accidental mentors,” as Kevin likes to call them—people who have successful professional careers and are active members of their communities, leading by example on and off the golf course.
“Golf reflects life better than any other sport,” says Kevin. “You stand on the first tee and you have life spread out in front of you—the hazards, the tests, the physical, emotional and mental challenges—and it’s all about how you handle yourself and work your way through it.”
Kevin explains, “It’s an opportunity for these kids to learn about life, tradition, rules and respect—all from the game of golf and the people they’re playing it with.” He adds, “When you give a kid an opportunity like this, they will never let you down.” And that’s why he is committed to helping kids swing big, both in life and on the course.
For more information, please visit www.kidstothecourse.com