Dads in the Rough – a golfing group set up to help dads cope with the rigours of fatherhood – won the Sports category at the Channel 7 Local Champions Awards last week.
It marked the culmination of a whirlwind six months for the group, which staged its first event in February and has now grown into an active society of 60+ social golfers.
The group’s ventures have incorporated traditional golf as well as mini golf and simulators, and they staged their first round of game improvement clinics – funded by the WA Golf Foundation – in late July.
Established by keen golfer Aaron Lee as a means of creating a support network for fathers of all ages, Dads in the Rough was amongst 300 community groups nominated for a Local Champions Award.
The overall Local Champion Award was granted to Dandelions WA in recognition of their sterling work in providing ‘Care Kits’ and other valuable resources to those in need.
Onwards and upwards
Speaking after the announcement, Aaron (pictured top with members Stephen Rooney and Sean Maskelyne) said: “I’m surprised but delighted that we have won this award. Just to be nominated was great when you consider how many worthy organisations are out there making a difference in their communities.
“Seeing all these groups coming together like this has inspired me to try to do even better with the small community we have built and rethink how we can reach and include more dads in what we’re doing.”
The swift growth of the group’s membership has been another surprise for Aaron, who says he has been heartened by the level of traction they have gained in a short time.
“There aren’t many organisations specifically dedicated to supporting the mental health of dads,” he said. “Dads in the Rough was created to fill that gap and to help dads find a forum to discuss the challenges of parenthood in a relaxed and fun environment.
“A lot of the feedback I receive from members of the group centres around how valuable they find the experience of playing golf alongside friendly faces who understand the issues they’re facing.”