Most of you are probably not familiar with the way this outreach to golfers began and where we are now.
Back in 2017 or so, I was involved in a Christian Leadership Concepts (CLC) fellowship with 10 other men and we had come to the module titled something similar to "Building Your Business" as a Believer in Jesus Christ. As I studied this subject in the curriculum and in the Scriptures, I was convinced of my business idea, "To give the Gospel through the game of golf and to build community on the web and at the golf courses for fellowship, golf and discipleship."
I built the website over a few days as I had experience constructing websites, but, wasn't a true web developer who fully understood the construction, navigation and "back end" parts of an effective web site for business.
Also, I had some experience with business development as I was an advisor in small business development with the Small Business Development Center in Rutherford County, TN and through this experience decided to launch my Golf From the Heart (GFtH) business as an L3C. Now you can click here for information on an L3C, but, suffice it to say it is a declared Low-Profit company with a philanthropic bent toward religious sports and recreation as it's core identity.
Additionally, I had developed a close relationship with Wally Armstrong, a renowned PGA Tour Player, author and entrepreneur who had shared the idea of introducing the Gospel to every golfer and, especially, an idea to assist PGA Golf Pro's with discipleship training which he called ProLinks.
Next, I had experienced a Game Day Fellowship of Christian Athletes experience at the Waste Management Open around that same time and began to see how we might develop a Christian Golf Community in Phoenix and anywhere in the world through the www.golffrontheheart.golf website and community.
In January of 2019 I met Kent Chase at a PGA Golf Pro discipleship event and he introduced me to Tom Loegering, the owner of the Sun City Country Club and the President of the Board of Golf Program in Schools (GPS). Tom had implemented his model for introducing middle-schoolers within his community to the game of golf and his intent was to also introduce them to God. I volunteered to assist with Golf Program in Schools (GPS) and did engage by assisting in writing their business plan and helping to implement the Godly outreach portion of the program. I could see the possibilities of assisting GPS which could lead to implementing the Christian Golf Community idea within Phoenix as well as the opportunity to build relationships with PGA of America golf instructors in the community to, possibly, develop a ProLinks type fellowship.
It was not until mid-2020 that the entire vision began to take shape and it has been truly amazing how the Lord has blessed us with people, resources and gumption to get Golf Program in Schools to the next level.
This is where the Phase 2 of GFtH comes in; GFtH was challenged to implement the business plan due to funds, people and clear guidance from the Lord. The development of GPS in late 2020 afforded us the opportunity to raise a donation for the work needed for GPS. Since GFtH helped secure the donation, we were granted a stipend for our part. This allowed us to implement the first task which was to shore up our website and brand while determining a social media marketing plan to build our communities.
We engaged with M is Good, a social media marketing company that assisted greatly with the Fellowship of Christian Athletes (Ice Hockey) program. We have spent several months now walking the G7 process through Dave Jones, the President of M is Good. Dave was instrumental in helping us focus on the key demographic to reach out to. We decided to fashion our program toward the Parents of Junior Golfers and their young golfers and we decided to focus our campaign in the Phoenix, AZ area as we were working closely with GPS there and could draw parents and their junior golfers to our programs at Sun City CC in Peoria, AZ and Shalimar GC in Tempe.
So we're on our way and we are excited about the Lord's answering our prayers for our first Christian Golf Community in Phoenix, AZ.
Trying to follow the Lord's will regarding ministry and the platform of golf.