Spiritual Golf Fairway to Heaven
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Fairway to Heaven Presenters

Joan Shafer is the Director of Playing to Your Strengths, an organization that supports leaders in strengthening their leadership skills, team cohesion, and organizational cultures. For the past 20 years, Joan has been a management consultant working with senior executive teams in multi-national organizations - specializing in leadership development, team building, and cultural transformation.

She is the Chief Learning Officer of Merryck & Co, a global CEO mentoring firm. She was the co-founder and Senior Partner at the Barrett Values Centre for 10 years where she trained over 1000 consultants and change agents in values-based assessments, surveys and strength-based methodologies globally.

During the 1984 Olympics in her then hometown of Los Angeles, she hit her first perfect 7-iron, thus committing her to the pursuit of a happy life with no handicaps.
Joan Shafer
Vin Harris has lived in the South West of Scotland for the past 36 years as a member of the Samye Ling Tibetan Buddhist community.

Vin is a Past Captain and current Vice President of The Moffat Golf Club. Since he had a road to Damascus moment 18 years ago he has approached golf with the enthusiasm of someone making up for lost time.

We seem to limit our potential for performance, learning and enjoyment; we bring all our old habits and mental patterns with us to the golf course. Vin is a founder member of the Mindfulness Association and is engaged in an MSc in Mindfulness with Aberdeen University. He has found that an approach based on mindfulness and acceptance really helps to appreciate the endless possibilities of both golf and life.

Vin Harris
John Talbott was first introduced to golf at the age of 12 by his Aunt Grace. No coincidence as grace became a quality that he would often associate with golf. On the third hole of a beautiful course on the slopes of Mt Hood in Oregon, he first experienced his ‘authentic swing’. In that moment of watching the ball rise magically upward into a deep blue sky, he experienced what could only be called pure spiritual transcendence. He was hooked.

He has pursued this quest for golf enlightenment ever since, taking him around west coast of America and then to Scotland and the Findhorn Community. In his 24 years there, building an ecovillage and his own house from a recycled whisky barrel, golf was his true spiritual practice.

He and his wife Samantha and young son Taran currently reside in Sydney, Australia. While the beach at Bondi has become his regular hang out, golf is never far from his mind.
John Talbott

John and JoanFairway to Heaven was born in the summer of 1996 when John and Joan were pursuing their weekly ‘spiritual practise’, playing the links at Forres golf course in northeast Scotland. They fantasized about running a workshop to share this passion and approach for the game that they had discovered. Their friend, Terry Neal, offered the name and the program was born.

The initial publicity through the Findhorn Foundation’s workshop brochure led to a tidal wave of media attention as the story of ‘golf as a spiritual practice’ and ‘mirror of life’ was picked up by the news services and spread around the world. With interviews with the likes of Radio 4 in the UK and articles in many newspapers and magazines including Newsweek and The Times (London), they knew that there was a resonance in the world for Fairway to Heaven.

Over the years, Fairway to Heaven has evolved to welcome many different approaches through our guest presenters and participants. These have included Dada Atmacetanananda, Bill Meyer, Printer Bowler, Steve Pressfield and Andrew Greig in addition to Joan, John and Vin.

Above all, Fairway to Heaven has come to be about deepening our relationships with newfound friends who share this same love of the game passion for playing. Together, we create the space to share of ourselves, enjoy the journey and ultimately to know ourselves a little better.

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Spiritual Golf

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