Less than six months after completing his marathon 2,000km trek around Ireland’s west coast carrying a golf bag on his shoulders, golf industry veteran Nick Edmund has shrugged off major surgery and radiotherapy treatment for cancer during the summer to embark on a second golf-walk in Scotland.
The 57-year-old golf writer and former Managing Director of Faldo Design, who is currently in remission for head and neck cancer, walked the entire Wild Atlantic Way coastal road from Malin Head in County Donegal, visiting 40 golf courses along the route and finishing to a tumultuous welcome at The Old Head of Kinsale in County Cork on 4 May.
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 Irish golf course he visited, Nick played just the 4th hole while delivering the distinctive Global Golf4 Cancer awareness flag for the club to periodically fly on that hole in support of the campaign.
It was always Nick’s intention to undertake a second golf-walk in Scotland this autumn – stopping off at 24 of the country’s top championship links courses between Turnberry, on the Ayrshire coast, and Royal Dornoch, 50 miles north of Inverness, to again play the 4th hole on each course and raise the Global Golf4 Cancer flag. However, during the summer, a new cancer diagnosis requiring extensive surgery and radiotherapy treatment threatened to derail Nick’s plans.
“It’s not exactly been the easiest of times,” admits 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 believe we will have achieved something very special and significant.”
From now until mid December, pausing only to receive radiotherapy treatment in London, Nick will walk approximately 400 miles with his golf clubs 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 Links.
Looking ahead, he believes his toughest challenge in Scotland could be the elements, yet typically he is also thinking about the positives. “I suspect it may get a little chilly when I walk up the east coast of the country in November, and by the time I reach Royal Dornoch, which golfers call ‘the star of the north’, the days will be quite short,” he says, “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 11 September, Nick underwent his third operation in the space of only six weeks. On this most recent occasion we needed to perform some very sensitive surgery and reconstruction work on his forehead. I think 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’s remarkable endeavours that will draw the golfing world’s attention, and most importantly its support, to this globally-relevant cause.”
For further information about the Turnberry to Dornoch 4-Flag Campaign, please visit www.globalgolf4cancer.org
Picture caption credit: 'David Cannon / Getty Images'
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 devised to specifically benefit nationally-based cancer charities, as well as support cancer sufferers worldwide. In developing the ‘Turnberry to Dornoch’ 4-Flag Campaign, Global-Golf4-Cancer has been assisted by IAGTO, the GEO Foundation, various regional Scottish golf associations and VisitScotland.