We're very fortunate to have an awesome worldwide golf community and, for a while now, we've been wanting to highlight some of the standout stories from just a few of our golfers around the world.
With that in mind, we're super excited to bring you a brand new feature here on the Hole19 blog - the 'Hole19 Golfer of the Month'.
March GOLFER OF THE MONTH - MARI CODISPOTI
We're starting this new feature with what we're sure you'll agree is a very worthy 'Golfer of the Month' for March '22 - Mari Codispoti.
Mari is quite new to golf but already she has developed a deep love for the game. Below she presents a unique and inspiring story set amidst a landscape with far from ideal golfing conditions. We love it, and we're sure you will too.
I started to play in Ouagadougou, the capital of Burkina Faso, a country in West Africa. The Golf Club of Ouagadougou is an 18-hole grassless course where, in order to play, you must have a caddy and carry your own "grass" mat.
You also need tonnes of patience to face the various natural hazards that a course full of rocks, dried trees full of thorns, and greens made of a unique mix of sand and used motor oil presents you.
The course has a border of rocks around it to retain the sand in place and, for most of the year, temperatures are over 100F. I had never been to a golf course before Ouagadougou, but after taking a few lessons here, I fell in love with golf.
My husband is my biggest supporter. With all the patience in the world, he has helped me improve my swing, taught me how to keep score, told me all about golf etiquette and its rules, and especially helped improve my putting skills, which really was killing my game.
He also started a friendly competition between us, so whoever loses the game pays for the beer at the end.
The caddies get excited too. We treat it like a formal competition, analyzing each other's every play, arguing over the best strategy to get out of a sand trap, and laughing at how I run from the lizards in the tee area.
We play together every weekend, and funnily enough, lately, I've been winning over and over again. Because we are on a diet, he has been "exempt" from paying for the beer at the modest hole 19 bar the club has. I better keep my game up.
As for playing "traditional" courses, I have only played at Pine Cliffs and Penha Longa in Portugal. Penha Longa was super hard for me.
This passion for golf has really turned into something big in our lives. We recently bought our retirement home in the Hill Country of Burnet County, Texas, at the 10th green of the Hidden Falls golf course. I can't wait to play there this April when we go on vacation to the U.S.
Playing in Ouagadougou in such adverse conditions has taught me so much about golf.
Even if you have to run from the lizards or snakes that lay in the sun on your tee area, or if you have to pick your ball from the thorns of dead dry trees, or if you realize that your right hand is way darker than your left because of the extreme sun, or you just must accept that your ball took a bad bounce on one of the rocks of the course, or that perfect pitch just hit the border of the green and you missed your par - that's all OK.
It's all OK because you love golf so much. You'll embrace all that, have fun and simply hope it's not you paying for the beer at the end of each husband-and-wife competition.
A fantastic story, we're sure you'll agree. It certainly highlights the lengths some golfers go to just to enjoy this great game - not to mention the global nature of our ever-growing community.
Mari, we hope you make many more incredible memories as you continue in your golf journey - and that you can keep your impressive winning streak going 😜
DO YOU WANT TO BE OUR NEXT GOLFER OF THE MONTH?
To all of our Hole19ers, make sure you keep logging those rounds and, who knows, the next Golfer of the Month could be you. Finally, if you have a story you'd like to share with the community, please fill in the form here.