Mykhailo Golod: Golf community organizations help young Ukrainians travel to the US

But its arrival in the US – while proving its safety – comes at a price.

Her mother will soon return to Ukraine to live with her father, who lived under martial law, and her grandparents. Although Golod thought his grandparents were going to America, he did not know when he would see his father Oleg again.

Although he was grateful for his safety, the return of most of his family to Ukraine in the midst of the Russian invasion was very sad.

“It’s very unfortunate, but thankfully, they all have Wi-Fi and a source of internet, food, water, and I can talk to them and make sure it’s safe,” he said. to Jim Sciutto of CNN. “When I see that everything is over, I will really take them here to live with me.”

Golod added: “My father will be able to leave when the martial law expires.

Mykhailo & # 39;  Misha & # 39;  Golod poses for a photo in front of the clubhouse at TPC Sawgrass during the last round of the Champions League.

‘Blow up’

After Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Golod and his family did what other Ukrainians had done and were imprisoned in Kyiv in the hope that it would soon end.

Golod told CNN he spent a week and a half on Russia’s “bombardment” of Ukraine’s capital because “the bombs weren’t very close to our house.”

“But … when we found out there was disaster in our city, we knew we were going to leave and let me out and then come back from my parents to let their parents go,” he explained. .

And Golod’s passion for golf gave him a foothold in the US.

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The 15 -year -old is one of the best youth golfers in Ukraine and has participated in tournaments around the world.

Last year, Golod became the first Ukrainian to compete in the United States Junior Amateur Golf Association (USGA), held at the North Carolina Country Club last summer.

After a arduous 5,000 -mile journey, which began by car all the way to his landing in Orlando, which took him about 54 hours, this is the visa he received from playing in a tournament in Orlando. US helped him re -enter the country.

Safe in the US, Golod condemned what was happening in his homeland.

“Nothing that is happening in Ukraine should be done in the middle of Europe in the 21st century,” he said. “Children are losing their homes, they are dying, they are losing their lives.

“And it’s unfortunate, and people need to know the truth because there’s a lot of false rumors going around. But the truth is, what’s going on is the destruction of the whole country. and it must be stopped. “

World knowledge

While he was in Kyiv, Golod’s tragedy began online after an interview with Golf Digest revealed his family’s dire situation.

And the interview led members of the golf community to try and help his position.

Jim Nugent, a board member at the American Junior Golf Association, and golf coach David Leadbetter began the process of providing assistance.

Nugent told CNN Sport that reading about Golod’s story “played a little on my soul” was the reason he and Leadbetter offered their help.

“And so I called (Leadbetter) and we talked about it and he said: ‘Yeah, we need to do something about this.’ And I said: ‘What do you think?’ He said: “We’re going to release him from Ukraine. We’re going to put him in my academic school in Orlando, Florida, and I’m going to put him in school and he’ll start a new life,” Nugent said. , saying in First, he believes the development is “kind of too far -fetched.”

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So they started doing what they could to help Golod and his family on their journey.

Nugent explained that he used the time over the phone to get pledges from the USGA and the North Carolina Country Club to help with his trip from Ukraine.

He started a fundraising campaign to allow people to donate to Golod’s work. At the time of writing, the page has raised nearly $ 35,000.

Seeing this outpouring of support “means the world” for Golod, Nugent said.

“I don’t think it’s fair to say we saved a life, but it’s true that his life has always changed,” Nugent told CNN Sport.

“For me, it’s a reaffirmation of something that I think is very solid. And in times of crisis, this game, this golf community, as you said, always goes up; it’s always there. , and forever. And this is the only thing in my mind that will reaffirm that real truth. “

Golod played with Harold Varner III at TPC Sawgrass during the tournament.

Arriving in the US, Golod spent his early days training, setting up a telephone, storage facilities and the necessities of life abroad.

Her mother, Vita, helped secure her son before returning to live with her husband a few days later.

Leadbetter and his golf school provided accommodation for Golod, with the young golfer living with him as he continued to make life -changes in the US.

Although he was unsure about his future in the U.S., Golod said he would attend college in the country after finishing his final years of high school there.

And Nugent believes Golod’s expertise with golf will help him and his future in the US.

“Leadbetter saw him digging and he said this boy was really powerful,” he explained. “And so I think the goal is to try and use his ability to go to college in America and play golf. And it’s a lot lower.

“But it turned out that he was willing enough to get some kind of financial aid, financial aid for an American university. So I think that’s the goal.”

Offer hospitality

Golod’s life was changed as he moved around the world.

But he’s trying to make his time in the U.S. as fun as the situation.

After the PGA Tour read about Golod’s history, they arranged for the young golfer to travel to the Champions League – one of his biggest events – for the final day of the game on Monday. , Malaki 14.

During his time at the event, Golod met one of the biggest players, PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan and he managed to go with some of the teams in the ropes, to give him in an indistinguishable form of the height of golf.

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Golod described it as “the best day of his life.”

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Golod played with Rory McIroy during the playoffs.

But it did not end there. Nugent explained that Golod was on loan to golf clubs – because “he didn’t come,” Nugent said – and that he actually played for the famous TPC Sawgrass.

Going for her was unthinkable for most, and although she was safe, her family was not far from her thoughts.

“I’m very grateful to everyone who gave me here and it’s great that I can continue my goals in school and in sports.

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