Trey Kaahanui Honors His Papa and the Game

AZGA Arizona Golf Desk

Trey Kaahanui is serious about golf. He’s even more serious about honoring the man who taught him the game and the values it instills.

This summer, the soon-to-be-senior at McClintock High School, is participating in the American Junior Golf Association’s “Birdies for Charity”. The program is simple, Trey generates pledges from fans, and then every time he makes a birdie during competitive play, he earns money for his charities. He has set a goal of playing at least 20 rounds and making 4 birdies per round.

“I am passionate about Birdies for Charity,” said Kaahanui. “I was lucky enough to be the recipient of the ACE grant program, allowing me to pursue my dream of playing competitive golf. Now it is my turn to use my skills to give back.”

Trey’s goal is to raise $1,000, which will be split between the AJGA Youth fund and the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation. The Foundation is especially important to Trey, as they focus on the disease which took his beloved grandfather, “Papa”, before he had the chance to watch him become one of the top junior golfers in the nation.

“If it wasn’t for my Papa, I would not be playing golf,” commented Trey. “He introduced me to golf when I was 8 years old and taught me to always enjoy the game because it would introduce me to people and places I might not otherwise have the chance to know.”

As is usually the case when elders provide advice, Papa’s was spot on. Trey’s summer schedule will take him to Georgia, North Carolina, Oregon, Washington and Florida this summer. He has also been to France as a member of the USA team competing in the Evian Jr. Masters and to China as a US representative in the Aaron Baddeley Junior International Championship. Not bad for a 17-year-old.

Despite all his travels, “Mr. Aloha”, as he is known by friends, also finds time to give back to the game that has given him so much opportunity. He has volunteered with the First Time Phoenix, caddied for the Special Olympics and been a mentor to Special Olympic golfers at Shalimar Golf Club.

Trey lives by the belief that one person can make a difference. “I know the economy is bad and people may not be able to help, but that doesn’t mean I will stop trying,” said Trey. “When I get discouraged that donations have been slow, my mom reminds me all the time to never give up on my goal.”

In a world consumed with “me, me, me”, it is so refreshing to find a young man who looks beyond himself and knows how much better it is to give than receive.

The AZGA pledged its support to Trey and we hope you’ll consider doing the same.

Click this American Junior Golf Association AJGA Link for more information about  making a “Birdies Pledge” or a one-time donation via the site.

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