Richard Deixler’s father was hesitant to let his son try golf as a sport. The reason for denial was the fear of potentially ruining his baseball swing.
“My dad wouldn’t let me play golf right away because he thought it would ruin my baseball swing,” Deixler said, “One day when I was about 15 or 16, I told him that I wanted to go play golf and then I said that I swing the bat left-handed. And every time I picked up a club, I swing it right-handed. I still remember him standing straight up and going, ‘Oh, yeah, I guess that’s right.’”
Deixler would then play in high school in New York. Now, the administrator at Mantua Elementary plays golf for fun and recently qualified for the Fight For Life Golf Series National Championship in Orlando, Fla., to be held Oct. 14-15.
The series is part of the Joan L. Kidd, MD, Fight For Life Continuum, which provides fundraising programs and produces events that benefit non-profits. Since 2016, they have raised approximately $1 million. For a one-time entry fee of $150 for a series of six tournaments, participants designate a non-profit for which they will play, and one-third of that entry fee goes to their charity of choice.
For Deixler, it was Emily’s Entourage. The organization is focused on raising funds and awareness to speed lifesaving new treatments and a cure for nonsense mutations of cystic fibrosis. Cystic fibrosis is an inherited disorder that causes severe damage to the lungs, digestive system, and other organs in the body. The most common symptoms include a persistent cough that produces thick mucus, repeated lung infections, and recurrent sinusitis.
Playing for Emily’s Entourage was an easy choice for Deixler. Additionally, it hit close to home as some members of his family contracted the same disease.
“It’s just important for me to it was important for me to find a charitable organization that I knew,” Deixler said, “I mean, they all do great work. But for me, there was a personal connection to advancements in that science and advancements in that treatment because of my family.”
While in competition, Deixler tracked his performance with the help of the Chipd In app, which connects players to be able to compete with other golfers nationwide on the same tournament weekend at any golf course in the U.S. The app also calculates a course handicap based on the par and slope rating of each player’s course to create a level playing field. As each golfer logs their scores live during a tournament round, a national leaderboard provides real-time scoring so all golfers can follow the action.
Deixler said the enjoyment of the game warrants him to continue participating in events, along with using it as his only method of “me time” while away from his family.
“I have an infant at home, and my wife’s very accommodating,” Deixler said. “I don’t ask for much beyond it as far as personal time, so this is kind of where I save all my chips so I can throw them in for these things and I try to compete in as many of these events as possible.”
Regarding competing in Orlando, Deixler is excited about the opportunity and the chance to potentially play in other events before the big tournament, including the Chipd In Open (Aug. 26, 27, or 28) and the Summer Championship (Sept. 9, 10, or 11). Among the prizes for the winners include a seven-day Mediterranean voyage for two on the Sea Dream Yacht for the winner of the shootout, a trip for the champion and golf buddy to a top golf destination, and much more.
However, Diexeler’s main reason for competing is to do a good deed and give back, which is the primary purpose of Fight for Life.
“By being open-minded, you not only have fun, but you get to be a part of something,” Deixler said. “This sport which is usually a fun way for friends to compete is a part of something where we can actually help people and help bring awareness to notable causes. I compete now older versus when I competed when I was younger. You don’t lose every time, and that’s okay; the same thing with winning. This is more about bringing awareness and spreading the word.”