SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — Teenager Sam Gullion, 19, was born with a rare and congenital medical condition, but he is not letting it stop him from hitting the links with his grandfather.
Same and his grandfather, Joe Gullion, have shared a love of golf since Same was a little boy. Sam's dad also played on the PGA Tour on and off for seven years, so it's easy to see the game of golf is in his blood.
Now, Sam is getting the VIP treatment thanks to Make-A-Wish and Parsons Xtreme Golf (PXG).
“I was born with a congenital heart condition called Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome… kind of in layman's terms, it’s just half a heart,” said 19-year-old Sam Gullion, who has been through much more than most kids his age.
“When I was five days old, they did my first surgery and then I progressively had another tube by the time I was like three years old.”
Sam, who learned to golf with his grandfather at a young age, made a wish to play Augusta National with his grandfather.
“I like hitting driver…hitting it hard and far,” Sam said.
“He’s become my golfing buddy,” Joe said. “He can hit the golf ball 280 yards.”
When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, Sam's Augusta National wish fell through. But, PXG stepped in to help Make-A-Wish celebrate Sam.
“All I wished for was just for a set of PXG golf clubs,” he said.
PXG gave Sam a whole lot more. The wish included a special visit to PXG headquarters, with a welcome party at the gate.
“A SWAT team, there were police officers, there were PXG employees,” he said. “My favorite show is 'Criminal Minds' and they were here to show me what I like to see on TV…it was very cool.”
The full PXG fitting experience concluded with his clubs built and delivered in just two days.
Sam and his grandfather were then invited to spend two days at Scottsdale National Golf Club for unlimited golf, dining, and world-class accommodations.
“It’s going to be really special,” he said. “I’m going to have my grandpa there with me…we’re just going to get to play golf for a couple of days.”
“It’s going to be a wonderful experience,” Joe said.
Sam also got PXG PGA Pros to send him well wishes.
“It’s all heart as they say, so I know you can do it, so stay positive. It’s pretty awesome what you’re getting ready to embark on,” Zach Johnson said in a video message.
“I wanted to welcome you to the family and wish you all the best,” Jason Kokrak told Sam in another message.
Sam couldn’t be more grateful.
“I’m just really thankful for all of this,” he said. “This is a lot more than I wished for and it’s really awesome.”
“Thanks to all of you,” Joe added.