Sari Ewing's Pro V1 DesignsGolf has helped Sari Ewing to battle cancer and inspire others.
Sari Ewing loves golf. She and her husband, Brian, met in Arizona when Sari was first learning to play the game from renowned instructor Lynn Marriott of Vision54 (http://www.vision54.com). Lynn and her partner, Pia Nilsson, don't usually coach raw beginners, but Sari was unusually persistent. She had the golf bug and felt strongly that Lynn and Pia's methods could help her to maximize her potential in the game. Lynn finally relented and in short order they had whittled Sari's handicap down to an 11. Sari and Lynn became great friends beyond their coach/pupil relationship. It was Lynn who contacted Titleist to clue us into Sari's inspiring story and the role golf has played in her life.
In 2006, Sari was diagnosed with breast cancer. On July 24, 2006, Sari had a bilateral mastectomy. Six weeks after the surgery she began six months of chemo-therapy treatments at the Mayo Clinic in Scottsdale. At the same time, she started playing golf again. Sari and Brian (who is a low handicap player himself) would play two to three times a week on various public courses in the Phoenix area. During this period Sari was shooting in the nineties, but the higher scores were irrelevant. Golf, as Sari explains it, was "energizing". Being on the golf course connected her to her active lifestyle again and helped her to visualize the life she would build in recovery.
Even a fluke rainy day in Arizona provided a new outlet for Sari. Because she and Brian had planned to play that day, Sari had her golf bag nearby. Hoping the rain would pass, she began to nonchalantly mark a few golf balls with a marker. The ball marks whimsically bloomed into doodles. The doodles then morphed into pictures and designs. Sari discovered that the Titleist Pro V1 was "a great canvas" and what started out as a lark soon grew into a calling card. Sari is now known at her new home course, The Bridges in Rancho Santa Fe, CA, for her colorful decorations. Her designs run the gamut from ghosts at Halloween to red, white and blue banners on the Fourth of July. Her golf balls feature flora and fauna as well as abstract decorations. She has even come to use them as wampum, after a fashion.
"We met a member at The Bridges who makes these beautifully crafted afghans," Sari said with a laugh in her voice. "And Brian found one he liked. But the woman wouldn't sell it. Instead, she wanted me to decorate six dozen Pro V1s, all in black marker. My hand was cramped that night! I can't look at a black Sharpie now, but Brian got his afgan."
Sari doesn't take her endeavor too seriously. On the contrary, the designs are strictly for fun and the golf balls are meant to be played.
"There is actually one drawback to it," Sari explains. "It can be a bit embarassing when someone comes up to you and says, 'Hey, I found one of your balls. Yeah, way out in the woods, way out-of-bounds on number such-and-such. You can't really deny it's yours when it's got multi-colored tulips drawn all over it."
In speaking with Sari one comes to understand that she has touched many lives. Shortly after her diagnosis, Sari created a website so that she could share her experience, communicate with her many friends and provide hope and insight for others going through the same ordeal. Here is a small excerpt from Sari's site, thelemonroom.com, which acts as a support system for over 900 people:
"Many of you keep emailing and asking how horrible I must feel and sending hugs. I’ll take all the hugs I’m offered, so thanks. These months are just prepayment for my long life. Sure there are days where I’m not up to par, days where I sleep or just hang around or chemo brain takes over and I get whomped at scrabble. But that’s just part of the down payment. Part of ensuring I’m around to dance at all my fairy god children’s weddings, part of helping my body fight off the invaders, part of making sure I wake up next to my wonderful Brian for years to come. I can endure the cost because the pay out is so great."
One who speaks with Sari finds the same wisdom laced throughout her words. Today she is healthy and philosophical about her ordeal. She is "eternally grateful" and when asked to describe herself, she says simply, "I'm a blessed person." She seems to attract happiness and has a unique ability to make it grow in others. Sari plays golf five times a week now and has her handicap back down to a 12.0. trending to 10. She's had four birdies in the last couple of months and her first career eagle - "That's one golf ball that I will save," Sari says.
Thank you, Sari, from all your friends at Titleist, for sharing your story and your designs with us. We look forward to seeing more of your creations in the future!
To learn more about Sari, please visit her site at:
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