Keady teens hit Florida’s best golf courses – and raise thousands for charity – Armagh I

A group of county teenagers Armagh The golf club has just returned from the trip of a lifetime during which it played some of the finest courses in the world and raised thousands of dollars for charity.

The trip to Florida took four years in the planning – with delays due to Covid – and during that time they raised around £30,000 for a number of good causes.

Golf instructor Gerard McStay said the trip was a great success.

In all, 17 teenagers from the Keady area put their golfing skills to the test on prestigious courses such as Isleworth and Lake Nona – where they were guests of Vivienne Lewis – the daughter of billionaire Joe Lewis who owns Tottenham Hotspur CF.

They also played at Bayhill Country Club and a few even tried TPC Sawgrass, which has probably the most famous golf hole in the world, the 17th green.

Said Gerard: “It’s a very small green in the middle of the lake and three of the girls, Natasha McShane, Emer Rafferty and Caoimhe Farrell, parried the hole.

“It’s quite an expensive trip, which they financed themselves, and they picked up the money bit by bit. But it was on the condition that we raise funds for charity.

“It was to encourage them to do something selfless and give back to those less fortunate.

“The kids were incredibly good, an absolute credit to Armagh, and that comes from the course directors. I can’t speak highly enough of them.

Off the golf course, the group also had the chance to visit theme parks such as Universal Studios and Busch Gardens, and even went swimming with dolphins and manta rays.

The group has undertaken a number of fundraising events with proceeds going to Southern Area Hospice, Temple Street Children’s Hospital Dublin, NI Children’s Kidney Fund, Macmillan and Marie Curie.

Among them was a backpacks and sleeping bags appeal which saw them fill 189 backpacks and supply 112 sleeping bags to homeless people in Dublin and Belfast.

A homeless man living in Armagh has also received help.

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Michael C. Ford