Only now – now I’m committed and can’t back out – do I realise the magnitude of what awaits me.
My shirt is sticking to my back. The soles of my feet are burning. I’m only half walking on the left foot as there’s an ever-growing blister.
When I’m not hobbling from shot-to-shot, my back is sore from the constant swinging and bending down to pick the ball out of the hole.
Lactic acid is building in my legs. That’s not supposed to happen until tomorrow, never mind while I’m actually out there.
It’s 25 degrees. It’s the middle of a hot afternoon and I’m only 32 holes in.
I’m not even a third of the way through and my spirit is flagging and my mind is weakening.
This is only a training run.
In seven weeks’ time, I’ll try and triple this. The boasting confidence that saw me declare I’d play 100 holes in one day for Bloodwise, on August 7, is all of a sudden very brittle.
Now the Colt course, at Close House, isn’t for the feint-hearted. The host of the British Masters, at the end of September, has a couple of heart attack hills and is best described as ‘undulating’.
It’s a perfect training course. If only to reveal that I am an utter fool and hopelessly under prepared for the task.
I’ve decided that, in order for the best chance of success, I need a perfect micro-climate. Neither too hot, nor too cold. No rain under any circumstances.
The merest hint of a breeze – just to keep you cool you understand – and a flat track without as much as a bump in it.
The latter I am assured of. My course, at Sandburn Hall, where I am captain this year, is like a bowling green. Wind, though, that’s another matter entirely.
It’s a rare day that you’re not hanging on to your hat at my club and that, as much as the weight of the bag or what’s on my feet, may prove to be the biggest obstacle.
So it’s at times like this, when I already fear failure so greatly, that I remember what I’m doing it all for.
Bloodwise are committed to researching and finding cures for blood cancers. My mum is in remission from leukaemia and more than 22 people every day in the UK are diagnosed with the disease.
Bloodwise have 13 clinical trials looking into better treatments and are currently funding 109 research projects.
Let’s help them beat blood cancer together.
I’d love if you might consider sponsoring me and helping me climb my personal mountain.
With thanks to…
Raising money doesn’t happen in a vacuum. It needs people to donate their hard-earned cash and companies to support your cause.
So I am hugely indebted to friends and colleagues in the golf industry, who have dug deep and provided prizes for a range of events during my year as captain that I hope will raise precious pounds.
Thanks to Moortown, who have donated a fourball voucher for their stunning course. Having had the pleasure of playing this Alister MacKenzie classic, I know whoever secures the prize is in for a right treat.
If you’ve never had the opportunity to play it, check out what my colleague Mark Townsend thinks of the Ryder Cup venue.
Last, but by no means least, thanks also to Headingley for supporting me with a fourball to play their excellent Leeds layout. It’s a course up there with the best in the area, so why don’t drop in and find out for yourself?
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