Former ECU golf star Harold Varner helping kids while chasing his dreams

Sports

Professional golfer Harold Varner, who played collegiately at East Carolina University, stares down a ball on a pro tour. (Todd Gibson)

A young golfer marvels at being able to hold Harold Varner’s putter. Varner is a rising star on the PGA tour who, as a kid, had to scrape together money to chase his passion.

He’s hoping young kids won’t have to go through what he did.

“I’m willing to put my neck out there for those kids because they can’t do it themselves,” Varner said, who played college golf locally at East Carolina University. “There’s a lot of opportunity and I want to be a part of it. I want to change kids lives because one day they’re going to be taking care of me.”

For now, Varner is the one giving help. His HVIII Foundation provides financial assistance for equipment, instruction and camps to young up and coming golfers.

“Winning is the most important thing to me. If I win, more people will know about the foundation and we’ll be able to raise more money and give more money,” Varner said. “It’s the trickle down affect. If I focus on playing good golf everything else will take care of itself.”

For the past few years, playing good golf is exactly what Varner has done. Last year, he earned more than $1.5 million dollars and has banked close to $8 million dollars in his career.

For most that would be a satisfying run. But not for Varner.

He wants more and feels his best is still ahead of him.

“I always think that, I’m a positive guy,” Varner bragged. “I believe the best is always yet to come. I’d hope you’d think that too, and I think that’s what’s wrong with the world – that some people don’t think that.”

The next step for the Gastonia native is to be able to compete in major championships. His best result in six years on the PGA tour is a 29th-place finish in the 2020 PGA Championship.

Varner is confident he’ll soon be able to break through at golf’s toughest challenges.

“My time is coming I’m telling you,” Varner said.

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