This is Charlie Bistrow’s tenth season raising money for three different charities by playing golf at 50 golf courses throughout North America. A total of $37,508 has been raised, 171 different courses played and Charlie just finished course #24 of his 50-course tour of the 2020 season.
The 22-year-old with Autism didn’t find his love for golf until 2009 after taking just one golf lesson from the Courage Center, part of Allina Health which provides a wide range of inpatient and outpatient rehabilitation and community services for people with disabilities. When the Stillwater native isn’t working at Cub Foods or playing golf of the Wii, him and his father bond together in the long car rides and even sometimes plane trips. All the hard work Charlies done to raise awareness for organizations such as FRASER and The Autism Society of America is for a good cause and for the love of the game.
How does Charlie manage or get donations to his favorite charities? By asking those who pledge to donate to follow a simple scoring to donation process. For every hole Charlie scores Par, people would pledge $.25. If Charlie records a birdie, donations would be $1. As an example: in 2019 Charlie shot 245 pars ad 34 birdies in that season which would average a $95 donation per person if followed the correct procedure.
The independent aspect of golf is what originally attracted Charlie to the sport in the first place and what makes it fun. Independently, Charlie wants to gain confidence in his game hoping to avoid having to put three times if his ball lands on the green. In 2019, the amazing views in British Columbia made the year special for Charlie. He shot a 79 at Banff Springs Golf Club and his personal best, 74 at Oak Marsh.
Charlie played a windy Victory Links on May 22nd where he shot five pars and birdied twice for a score of 87. Today, Charlie will play North Links golf course making it stop #25 on his tour and halfway to his goal of playing 50 courses this year. 26 new golf courses were added to the tour that Charlie has never played before, including a duo of courses in Texas and Tennessee.
“He is showing that kids with Autism can be really good at something and can function in this world,” Bill Bistrow said about his son. “I certainly could not golf as well as him.”
I don’t think many people can golf as well as Charlie can. Charlie took it as a challenge 10 years ago to raise awareness for charities by doing something he thoroughly enjoys. Most rounds these days are donated on behalf of the course wanting to help with Charlie’s cause. You can contact Charlie at CharliesGolfingClub@gmail.com to donate.