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Going beyond the greens: Cole Durham's story

Durham expresses the importance of giving back on and off the golf course
Cole Durham leadership links photo2024- TP5 Taylormade Junior All-star.JPG

For many junior golfers, the weight of playing in a golf tournament can be a huge pressure. Though this is a giant feat in itself, Cole Durham understands that a tough day on the course can be minuscule compared to what other children may face daily.

The 13-year-old junior golfer from Miami, Florida, has competed in AJGA events for the past two years. Durham had the opportunity to participate in the 2023 Florida Sunshine Cup where his efforts helped raise over $20,000 for charity.

"Fortunately for me, I have lived a healthy life and have been exposed to such a great sport like golf," said Durham. "It's really important to give back to kids who may not have the same opportunity, especially with the AJGA."

As the foundation of the Florida Sunshine Cup, the proceeds are split between the AJGA's Liberty National ACE Grant program and the Nicklaus Children's Health Care Foundation. However, Durham had a special request for his charity raisings. He requested that a portion of his proceeds be given to children battling cancer.

"It was super important that I gave to kids with sickness because that hit home for me,” Durham shared.

In 2023, Durham's mother was diagnosed with breast cancer. With a heavy heart, Durham still traveled and competed in tournaments, knowing his mother's support was with him every shot he took.

When the opportunity presented itself to participate in the Florida Sunshine Cup, Durham did not hesitate to join. He reached out to family and friends asking to donate and they jumped at the idea of helping.

"I just wanted to raise as much money as I possibly could," stated Durham. "I am very thankful for everyone who supported and donated.”

Durham's massive fundraising efforts gained the interest of golf legend Jack Nicklaus, whom he got the opportunity to meet and spend time.

Cole Durham with Jack Nicklaus - 2024- AJGA Preview presented by Visit Sevierville /Tennessee Tourism

Durham's mother Alexis, is now back to cheering at all of his tournaments. Her unwavering support for Durham during some of the most trying times of her life kept him steady on the course.

As he continues to focus on his young golf career, Durham realizes that his fundraising efforts have just started.

"This opportunity that I have many kids don't, so I have to take advantage and continue to give back," said Durham.

Durham vows to remain dedicated to giving back not only for the rest of his golf days but as a lifelong goal. Using his mother's battle as a reminder, he understands the importance of going beyond the greens.