KAANAPALI - Some people love to play sports, and there are others who simply love a particular game. Dave Havens is from the latter group and is a man who loves the game of golf.
For Havens, the director of golf instruction at Kaanapali Golf Courses, the sport is more like a family affair. He is the good uncle who nurtures the nieces and nephews with his wisdom and affection of the game.
With the technical side of his experience coming from his Virginia roots and playing collegiately at Virginia Tech and on the PGA Tour, Havens is the benevolent big brother - the caring mentor to his links siblings in the Lahaina community through his work at Kaanapali and, moreover, with Spare For Change.
Through Spare For Change, junior golfers traveled to Kauai to play in the Prince Invitational last year. Pictured, from left, are Chris Shimomura, James Horton, David Havens and Chasen Bahouth.
Spare For Change, Havens' nonprofit organization formed three years ago that has embraced such faraway places as Nepal and Bhutan, is the mechanism by which he brings his love for golf to all he comes in contact with.
Children, teenagers, senior duffers - all are welcome at Havens' "linkdom."
"I try to make golf a family game by doing things like recycling equipment and teaching kids how to use it, and supporting them by making it possible for them to compete in tournaments here in the islands and on the Mainland," he explained last week.
"We help the kids with airfares, entry fees and also with preparation and teaching of golf."
Malu Rosenthal, who last week was honored as the Maui Interscholastic League "Player of the Year" by virtue of winning the individual conference title with a stirring, five-stroke rally that was climaxed by a 20-foot chip shot for the championship, is a shining example of the Havens effect.
"I've had the blessing of working with Dave Havens since I was 12 years old - about five years now," said Rosenthal.
"He is an overall great guy who wants to give to the community through the game of golf. He goes out of his way to help us kids with getting us to tournaments and helping us along any way he can."
"His influence on me started years ago but really became stronger in my last few high school years," Malu continued.
"He is always a real gentleman about it all, and basically wants to help you in any way he can. For instance, he helped me with my putting just before the MIL Individual Tournament, and it really helped me win it. He has been one of my biggest influences in my high school years. I really appreciate all he's done for me and all of us here in Lahaina. We really appreciate him."
To continue to help and enrich the lives of Maui keiki golfers, Spare For Change has expanded its generosity this year with college scholarships.
This educational aid - as well as the continuing efforts of the organization to help develop the game in the community - will be funded with the proceeds from the third annual "Spare For Change Fundraiser" golf tournament this Saturday, June 15, at the Royal Kaanapali Course. Tee-off time is 1 p.m.
"We're hoping to have anywhere from 124 to 132 players to have a fun day out there and hope to raise the money to fund the scholarships and sustain the organization throughout the year. There will be an awards ceremony and program following the tournament at Paradise Grill at about 6:30 p.m. In past years, we've had one donor give $10,000, and we're looking forward to another fun time and great year ahead," Havens concluded.
For more information, go to www.spareforchange.org.