Kicking off a new feature taking you inside golf clubs, Tales from the Locker Room begins with a captain's supercharged charity challenge. Could you play 360 holes in five days?
It’s a challenge that makes you weary just thinking about it. Some 260,000 steps, or 120 miles, and the better part of 1,600 golf shots – and that’s if he plays to handicap. You’ve all heard of the 72-hole challenge, but Eddie Thomas’s charity mission is supercharged.
The captain at Sandburn Hall, in York, is going to play, and walk, those four rounds every day for five days.
Thomas is going to risk the blisters and put his limbs, along with everything else, through the wringer to raise cash for Macmillan Cancer Support.
He’s doing it in the memory of Rob Whittaker, a long-time club stalwart and former handicap secretary, who died of cancer last year.
He’ll take on the test of endurance, and of how many pairs of shoes and socks he owns, from July 13-17, and is bidding to push past £1,000 to help those coping with the terrible disease.
“Rob had a passion for life, loved his family and friends and loved a good laugh on the golf course, although he’d never try and do 20 rounds in the week,” said Thomas. “He always had time for members and was well liked at the club.
“I wanted to set a difficult challenge to test myself mentally and physically but to try and raise as much money as possible.
“It’s going to be torture, when you put it out into numbers. I knew I would be doing over 20 miles walking a day. When I was vice-captain last year, and said I was thinking about doing this challenge, a lot of people said ‘I don’t think you can do it.’
“That’s spurred me on to try and get myself more mentally prepared for it. A lot of people can walk 25 miles a day but it’s getting your head around the fact you have to do it, and you have to be up at 5am to tee off at 6am, and be potentially out on the golf course for 15 hours.
“I’ll be set up and kitted up and everything’s lined up – lots of socks, a couple of comfortable pairs of shoes and a plan all sorted out.”
He wants to play the first two rounds each day as quickly as possible, before teaming up with members and friends in the afternoon for some much needed support as he ploughs on.
And Thomas has geared up for the challenge in some style, shooting an incredible 49 points (a gross 65) off six in Sandburn Hall’s June midweek Stableford – dropping him nearly two shots ahead of his challenge.
“I had seven birdies. It was unreal,” he added. “I’ve been a couple under gross in other competitions and not thought too much about it because you always get stray shots.
“I was 3-under after nine and thought I was hitting it well. The back nine can always be my Achilles heel. But I remember saying on the 17th, ‘If I eagle this and birdie the next, I’ll tie the course record of 64.’
“I just burned the edge for an eagle and then chipped in on the last. I didn’t drop a shot the whole round. It’s the round of a lifetime and I was absolutely buzzing when that chip went in.”
That should put him in fine fettle as he prepares to face 360 holes over five days, and he concluded: “This challenge is probably going to be one of the best things I’ve done in golf.
“I’ve won a few things, I’ve got my name on the board and that’s hard enough, but it’s going to rank up there. I’ve had a good start to the fundraising and I’m hoping to smash that target.”
To donate to Thomas’s challenge, click here.
What’s going on at your club? Get in touch and they can be featured in Tales From the Locker Room. Let me know in the comments, or tweet me.
- Related: The course where players can’t stop hitting a hole-in-one
- Related: Even in a pandemic it’s good to see some things never change
- Related: Fight now or risk losing an entire generation of golfers
Thanks for stopping by.
We wondered if you might like to contribute to supporting our journalism?
As the world enters uncharted waters, we’d like to be able to keep our content open for all to entertain and inform in the months ahead.
We’d like to think we are the voice of the ordinary golfer the world over. Whether your interest is in the game from tour level to grassroots, the latest equipment, or independent course rankings, we’ve got you covered.
If you want to read more about how you can help us and to donate, please CLICK HERE.