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Open Championship charity challenge

Can this club captain play 13 Open venues in just one day?

A car, 24 hours, and 13 golf courses. Can it be done?
 

It can take some golfers a lifetime to make their way round the Open Championship venues – Helen Maclean is going to do it in just 24 hours.

The Moor Park ladies’ captain is going to tick off 13 in a single day to help wounded veterans and service people by raising cash for On Course Foundation.

Maclean will hit a single shot off the 1st at Carnoustie, starting at just after midnight on Thursday, before jumping into the car and racing round Great Britain – and the clock – to do the same at St Andrews, Muirfield, Musselburgh, Royal Troon, Prestwick, Turnberry, Royal Lytham & St Annes, Royal Birkdale, Royal Liverpool, Royal Cinque Ports, Prince’s, and Royal St George’s.

Only Royal Portrush and obvious reasons – a stretch of water and coronavirus coming quickly to mind – will prevent her from completing the full set of past and present Open hosts.

“I’ve got a very good husband, who is driving me,” 14-handicapper Maclean quipped when asked how she was going to manage the challenge.

“I’m only hitting one golf ball from every tee box and then getting in the car and going.

“We were going to drive around all the Harry Colt reciprocal club golf courses as part of the challenge but I wouldn’t have been at Moor Park enough in my year to do that.

“So my husband came up with the 13 Open venues and to have a picture taken outside each venue. Then he said, why not go one further and see if we can tee off from each tee block?

“I phoned around the clubs and they were all on board, and quite a few have connections to my charity.”

It’s quite a significant effort to hit just 13 shots – barely enough to complete three holes – and Maclean is bracing herself for hours spent in the car.

But having raised more than £1,500 so far, she added: “There’s two long trips – about four hours and then down from Liverpool to Deal is going to be about five hours.

“We’re just praying for good weather. I think it’s going to be tough but I think adrenalin will kick in as well. We’re sharing the driving as well so I’ll have a power nap and a few cans of Red Bull!”

You can donate to Maclean’s charity challenge by visiting her JustGiving page here.

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Steve Carroll

Steve Carroll

A journalist for 25 years, Steve has been immersed in club golf for almost as long. A former club captain, he has passed the Level 3 Rules of Golf exam with distinction having attended the R&A's prestigious Tournament Administrators and Referees Seminar.

Steve has officiated at a host of high-profile tournaments, including Open Regional Qualifying, PGA Fourball Championship, English Men's Senior Amateur, and the North of England Amateur Championship. In 2023, he made his international debut as part of the team that refereed England vs Switzerland U16 girls.

A part of NCG's Top 100s panel, Steve has a particular love of links golf and is frantically trying to restore his single-figure handicap. He currently floats at around 11.

Steve plays at Close House, in Newcastle, and York GC, where he is a member of the club's matches and competitions committee and referees the annual 36-hole scratch York Rose Bowl.

Having studied history at Newcastle University, he became a journalist having passed his NTCJ exams at Darlington College of Technology.

What's in Steve's bag: TaylorMade Stealth 2 driver, 3-wood, and hybrids; TaylorMade Stealth 2 irons; TaylorMade Hi-Toe, Ping ChipR, Sik Putter.

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