Golf industry veteran and two-time cancer survivor Nick Edmund has successfully completed his gruelling marathon golf-walk along the entire 2,000km length of Ireland’s Wild Atlantic Way, carrying a set of golf clubs on his back.
The 57-year-old former Faldo Design Managing Director received a tumultuous welcome from family, friends and well wishers as he arrived at Old Head of Kinsale Golf Links in County Cork, where he raised the Global Golf4 Cancer flag after playing the stunning clifftop 4th hole.
It was the culmination of an astonishingly-heroic, two-part endeavour for Nick to raise awareness of Cancer Care West in Ireland, and of other cancer-fighting initiatives within the wider golfing community, by playing the 4th hole at the 40 golf clubs he passed along the way and planting a Global Golf4 Cancer flag for his charity campaign.
In remission for head and neck cancer, Nick walked the first 1,000km of the coastal route from Malin Head, in County Donegal, to Galway Golf Club, in County Galway, in spring 2017. His plan to complete the second half of the Wild Atlantic Way last Autumn, walking the remaining 1,000km from Galway to Kinsale, was thwarted when a new cancer diagnosis required four weeks of radiotherapy treatment followed by a nine-and-a-half-hour scalp-replacement operation. However, remarkably undeterred, he resumed his ambitious golf-walk in early March.
After toasting the end of his incredible achievement, Nick said: “I feel very tired – though not perhaps as shattered as I thought I might! My feet and right leg in particular are quite sore, but the plus side far outweighs any negatives.
“While I never doubted my determination to complete the task, a part of me is frankly amazed that I managed it – especially given I'd very little previous walking experience and, with the various cancer issues, I hadn't played much golf or walked many golf courses in the past few years.
“I feel quite overwhelmed by the welcome, kindness and generous support I received in Ireland, both from the golf clubs and the Irish public. From first to last, the wind appeared constantly at my back and I reckon I was given at least a hundred thousand welcomes!”
On the backing he has received for Global Golf4 Cancer, Nick said: “The interest in the global potential of the campaign is very encouraging. Flying a special cancer awareness flag on the 4th hole of a golf course is, on the face of it, a relatively simple idea but one that seems to have really made an impression with the golfing community – and people want to support it. No doubt the main reason is because cancer affects the lives of so many people all over the world, but also, I think, because it's a good-news golf story.
“As well as 'flying the flag’ for cancer sufferers worldwide we are spreading some hope and light, which is why finishing on Old Head's iconic 4th hole adjacent to a lighthouse added a powerful touch of symbolism.”
Global golf tourism industry association IAGTO is a supporter and sponsor of GG4C. Chief Executive Peter Walton joined Nick for the final leg of his marathon and said: “It was both humbling and invigorating to witness the culmination of Nick’s conquering of the Wild Atlantic Way at Old Head on Friday. That achievement itself was massive, but now IAGTO is looking forward to continuing our support for GG4C in the years to come, helping to grow the campaign globally by engaging with our events and encouraging IAGTO golf courses everywhere to fly the GG4C flag on their 4th hole.”
“I greatly appreciate IAGTO's on-going global support, and I was delighted that Peter made it to Old Head,” Nick added.
For more information about the Wild Atlantic Way 4-Flag Campaign, visit www.globalgolf4cancer.org
Nick Edmund founded the not-for-profit organisation, Global-Golf4-Cancer, with a view to establishing a series of 4-Flag Campaigns and Events throughout the world – each specifically devised to benefit locally-based cancer charities. In developing the Wild Atlantic Way 4-Flag Campaign, Global-Golf4-Cancer has been assisted by IAGTO, North & West Coast Links Golf, South West Ireland Golf, Failte Ireland and Cancer Care West.
Established in 1997, IAGTO is the global trade organisation of the golf tourism industry, and has over 2500 members in 99 countries including over 670 golf tour operator members in 66 countries, which control more than 87% of golf holiday packages sold worldwide and which collectively have annual sales of more than €2.1 billion. IAGTO runs annual Asia and North America Golf Tourism Conventions, along with regular Destination Conventions. IAGTO established the International Golf Travel Market, now owned and operated by Reed Travel Exhibitions, in 1997 and the International Golf Travel Writers Association in 2000. IAGTO also runs the prestigious annual IAGTO Awards and the IAGTO Excellence Awards.