100 holes in a day: I survived, just...

The Scoop

When our man decided to play a century of holes for charity, he thought it would be relatively straight-forward. He couldn't have been more wrong...

It was just after 1pm in my quest to play 100 holes in a day and I’d been hitting shots and trekking round Sandburn Hall for more than eight hours.

The novelty of what I was doing had all but worn off.

It was so different at 5am, when I fired a 5-iron in the early dawn air to 20 feet. I even let out a little fist pump when the par putt found the bottom of the cup.

Fast-forward a third of a day.

I’d just carded a 10. I was on my 47th hole and the realisation hit me like a heavyweight’s uppercut. I still wasn’t even halfway through.

When I decided to play 100 holes in a day, to raise money for Bloodwise in my year as club captain, it hadn’t seemed like too much of a big deal.

I was aware there would be some walking. All right, a lot of walking. But I like to keep myself active and I also like to play a lot.

But there’s a difference between thinking about playing 100 holes and then actually doing it.

The latter proved a little bit harder.

Firstly, my game wasn’t in the shape I’d want. So I was banking on seeing a bit more of the course than usual.

Secondly, while it’s lovely to be out and about among nature, it isn’t so great when the rain’s coming down sideways as you tee off.

Even the bright sun that appeared later in the morning brought dangers. I’m so fair skinned I fear I’ll incinerate under the briefest of rays.

All of these things, though, paled into comparison to the real negative: company. Or, indeed, the lack of it.

While I love hitting a little white ball around a field, what I also like most about this sport is the social aspect.

On a day where it was largely millionaire’s golf, I reached halfway having barely spoken to anything but the occasional deer and badger.

I had a head full of negative thoughts and the double figure I’d just had to write into the scorecard wasn’t cheering me up.

It’s at times like these that you find out something about your character. With eight hours and 50 holes still to go, there was a split second in my brain where I wondered whether I would complete the challenge.

But this was just as easily dismissed and, once I’d parred five of the next eight holes, my mood was completely transformed.

Thanks to some moral support from the Sandburn Hall team over the last 36 holes, I even managed to go round the final 18 in 80.

100 holes in a day

There is a lesson to be learned here. From hole 1 to hole 83, I reckon I lost 45 yards off the tee – as fatigue took its toll.

But knowing I couldn’t bash it off the markers meant I was suddenly hitting fairways. I’m not bad with a hybrid either and if you keep out of trouble – and bunkers are what ruin my scorecards – you can actually get it round in a tidy score.

What was the worst thing about playing 100 holes? Stopping. When the putt went in on the last, I could actually have continued. Twenty minutes later, I could barely get out of the chair.

What matters, though, in the end is not how many shots I took, or how many miles I walked, but how much money was raised.

So I’m hugely grateful to everyone who supported me, either on JustGiving or inside the confines of Sandburn Hall.

I’m also grateful to FootJoy, whose donation of a MyJoys voucher for the member who correctly guessed my score contributed to a significant proportion of the final total.

We raised around £600 and I’m very proud of that. Just don’t ask me to do it again.

Ever.

100 holes in a day: The lowdown

Holes: 100
Time taken: 16 hours
Miles walked: 34
Shots taken: 480
Round scores: 48*, 88, 89, 86, 89, 80
Birdies: 2
Pars: 31
Bogeys: 54
Double-bogey or worse: 13

*I played the 18th, the back nine and then back to the 1st to play five rounds of 18

Have you ever taken on a challenge like this? Let us know by tweeting us @NCGmagazine!

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