CANAL WINCHESTER, Ohio (WCMH) — For the Fair family, golf is more than just a hobby or sport — it’s a way of life. Golf has changed the lives of Noah and Joshua Fair, a pair of brothers who have autism who have found not only their swing, but also who they are through the game.
“We had been told that there was so many things they wouldn’t be able to do,” their mother Michelle Fair said. “We decided to find something they could do. This sport has been a god send for them.”
Noah was diagnosed with autism and ADHD in 2008 and Joshua was diagnosed with autism and ADHD in 2009.
“He’s lower functioning autistic, I’m high functioning,” Joshua said. “It makes me feel like I’m not alone.”
Their dad, Steve, taught himself how to play shortly after their diagnosis, not as a distraction from his life, but rather a way to transform the lives of his boys.
“They’ve actually bonded more on the golf course and bonded around the game,” Steve said. “It’s been remarkable. It’s given them something they can be proud of like a new found identity for them. To see where they were and where they’ve come to, I just can’t wait to see where we go from here.”
And while their bond got stronger, so did their golf game.
Joshua graduated two years ago and played varsity all four years at Canal Winchester, and Noah just finished his last year on varsity.
This past summer, both boys went down to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina to compete in the Amateur Long Drive World Championships where Joshua took first place in the junior men’s division and Noah won the junior adaptive division.
“I didn’t know I had that much power in me, so I decided to pursue my dream,” Joshua said. “It was a landmark for me.”
Their mother says she knows winning those long drive competitions will not be the last landmark for her boys.
“They’re stronger than anybody knows,” Michelle said. “They’re going to do great things — both of them.”