Golf, an endless series of tragedies obscured by the occasional miracle. And yet the amount of Belgian golfers increases each year. It seems to be a sport although tremendously difficult to master that is actually proven to be highly addictive by the people who stick with it long enough to experience that sweet feeling of hitting a perfect drive or making that impossible putt.
That seems to be the experience for Golfshot member Dagmar Buysse, who has been playing the sport for about ten years now. He enjoys his weekly Friday on the course as a great stress reliever (at least on most days) from his hectic job as CEO of his own bathroom renovation SME with three locations in Belgium. Together with Bart Ketelaere and Wim Van Lommel, Dagmar forms the Golf Around Belgium (GAB) team.
Bart works as a composer, writing music for TV-series, and is the creative member of the team.
Wim works as a financial consultant in Luxembourg helping corporations set up and manage their financial structures. Although his job is very serious and he does his job meticulously, he is definitely the prankster of the group.
These three friends are passionately obsessed with the sport of golf. Their Fridays on the course are their special moment of the week, and throughout the other days they can be found following all of the current events within the golfing world. They also are very proud Belgians, and take great pride in the project at hand: Golf Around Belgium, a crazy idea that they had a little over two years, has grown into a well-established phenomenon amongst everyone who knows these three golfers. The idea that was formed in 2015, was to play not just every course, but EVERY HOLE in Belgium, and this during a period of two years.
So far they have registered a total of 1703 holes throughout the whole country using Golfshot, spread out over 139 golf courses since January 2016 – completing over 80% of their goal without using a golf cart. They walk each hole they play to achieve the maximum amount of exercise on the course(s).
A very important addition to this endeavor is, that although it is terrific to complete each and every single hole in Belgium, that alone is not enough for these three enthusiastic golf addicts. Driven by their immense sense of giving back to the community, they took a tremendous amount of time to select a fitting charity to link to their project. After quite some consideration, they selected the Red Cross organization as the charity to sponsor with GAB. They chose the Red Cross as it is an organization that is continually present during sporting events. Many volunteers willingly donate their time and knowledge to ensure spectators and athletes can safely participate in sporting events.
Each Friday when these three get together to play for GAB, they collect money for the Red Cross. Golfing can give you all kinds of emotions – any true golfer will know this. So the greater the euphoria, the greater the contribution:
- A par means a donation of € 1
- A birdie equals € 2 and
- An eagle brings in a whopping €3
- Sadly golf is also about the lost balls and the frustrations that inevitably follow. To soften the blow, a lost ball also adds €1 to the collection that week.
With this vision, and because these guys have such fun, the Golf Around Belgium excursions have always been open for others to join. There are a few golfers who join in on a regular basis, and then there are the ones who join for those exclusive, or more unknown courses. There have been excursions with somewhere between 10 and 20 participants, making it a big event organizing the green fees and Tee-times for all of these golf enthusiasts.
This project has by far been an amazing adventure for these three, as they have become even closer friends. Spending every Friday together on a golf course, experiencing the emotions only a true golfer can understand will do this to you ☺. This whole undertaking can be followed the Golf Around Belgium website or on Facebook and YouTube where they post fun pictures and videos of their crazy adventures. For more information about GAB, Belgium golf courses, or to join an outing, you can contact them by subscribing to their newsletter or reaching out to them on their Facebook page.
Good luck Dagmar, Bart, and Wim from Golfshot!
By Mylissa and Dagmar Demeyer