On May 4th this year, 57-year-old Nick Edmund – a golf writer, former Managing Director of Faldo Design and currently in remission for head and neck cancer, completed a marathon 2,000km trek around the west coast of Ireland. Carrying a golf bag on his shoulders, Nick walked the entire Wild Atlantic Way from Malin Head in Co. Donegal to The Old Head of Kinsale in Co. Cork, visiting 40 golf courses along the route. The purpose of Nick’s herculean effort was to launch a worldwide campaign called Global Golf4 Cancer, an awareness and fundraising initiative that literally asks the golf community to ‘fly the flag’ for cancer sufferers worldwide.
At each golf course Nick visited, he played just the 4th hole and delivered a distinctive Global Golf4 Cancer awareness flag for the club to fly periodically on that hole in support of the campaign. It was always Nick’s intention to undertake a second golf-walk in Scotland this Autumn, during which he would call into 24 of the country’s finest championship links courses between Turnberry on the Ayrshire coast and Royal Dornoch, 50 miles north of Inverness. Again, the plan was to play the 4th hole and raise the Global Golf4 Cancer flag. However a new cancer diagnosis during the summer required extensive surgery with radiotherapy treatment to follow - and threatened to derail Nick’s plans.
“It’s not exactly been the easiest of times,” admitted Nick, “I seem to have spent much of the past two months in the company of surgeons, doctors and nurses; but I never doubted we would launch our Scottish campaign in October or that I would endeavour to complete the ‘Turnberry to Dornoch’ golf-walk before the end of the year. Frankly, and without wanting to sound ‘high and mighty’, we are on a mission here, and our aim is simple: to enlist the support of golfers in the fight against cancer. The game has enormous international reach, and if we can inspire the golfing community to fly the flag for cancer sufferers and support various cancer fighting initiatives worldwide, then I think we can make a real difference.”
From now to December, pausing only to undergo radiotherapy treatment in London, Nick will walk approximately 400 miles with his golf clubs on his back and will raise the Global Golf4Cancer 4-Flag at some of Scotland’s most famous golfing venues. This week, after visiting Turnberry, he will call into Prestwick, Royal Troon, Western Gailes and Dundonald. Looking ahead, he believes his toughest challenge in Scotland could be the elements, but typically is thinking about the positives: “I suspect it may get a little chilly when I walk up the east coast in November, and by the time I reach Royal Dornoch, which golfers call ‘the star of the north’, the days will be quite short. But then again, I reckon the amazing links courses and scenery will more than compensate”.
William Townley, a head and neck cancer specialist and consultant plastic surgeon based at Guy’s Hospital in London, commented, “On 11th September Nick underwent his third operation in the space of just six weeks. On this most recent occasion we needed to perform some very sensitive surgery and reconstruction work on his forehead. What he has embarked upon just a month after coming out of hospital is truly extraordinary.”
Peter Walton, CEO of global golf tourism industry organisation IAGTO, added: “This is an incredibly inspiring ‘good news golf story’. IAGTO is fully committed to supporting Global Golf4 Cancer and Nick in his remarkable effort to draw the attention of the golfing world, and more importantly attract its support, to this globally-significant cause.”
For further information about the ‘Turnberry to Dornoch’ 4-Flag Campaign, please visit www.globalgolf4cancer.org