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The Hundred Hole Hike
If you toil in a workplace of any sort of size, there’s a great certainty that you are surrounded by at least a few runners. There’s also a good chance one of those runners is in some phase of training for or bragging about a marathon.
They talk about their training runs. They eat their carrots and celery. They are fit.
At the risk of painting with a bit of a broad brush, golfers aren’t exactly the greatest model of great fitness. Yes, the game features players who are fitter than ever and plenty of people work out over the winter in an attempt to hit tee shots an extra five yards. But, let’s be honest, golf is also a sport that can be enjoyed with some beer, a cigar or two and from the comfort of a golf cart.
So let’s say that you are a golfer in reasonable shape – or you’d like to support such people. Well, then there’s now a marathon for you. We aren’t talking 26.2 miles of pavement. We are talking a golf marathon that includes walking and playing 100 holes of golf or more in one day to benefit charity.
Yes. One hundred holes of golf. Walking. One day. That is five full 18-hole rounds and another 10 holes after that.
The Hundred Hole Hike is the brainchild of Jim Colton, a resident of the Chicago area who is something of a golf nut, and builds off of his successful golf marathon a year ago.
A member at Ballyneal in Colorado, Colton was moved after learning that Ben Cox, a Ballyneal caddie, was paralyzed as the result of a skiing accident. Last summer, Colton pledged to walk 108 holes in one day with the goal of raising $5,000 that would go to help defray some of the medical costs incurred by Cox. Here is a story about Cox and Colton from The Denver Post that provides great background.
After collecting pledges from golfers across North America – many of which hinged on how many holes he could play – Colton played from before sunrise until after sunset. When it was done, he had played 155 holes in one day. Between the pledges and an online raffle of great golf prizes, Colton raised more than $110,000 for Cox.
Since then, Colton was named the 2011 Walking Golfer of the Year, his feat was covered by newspapers and magazines across the country and he has established the non-profit One Divot and launched the Hundred Hole Hike.
I have gotten to know Jim through the website Golf Club Atlas and he is extremely passionate about this project and wants it to become an annual event. He has secured sponsorships from companies including TRUE Linkswear, The Mackenzie Golf Bag Company, Linksoul and Edel Golf.
My initial thoughts were to hike this summer, but that doesn’t seem a reality at this point. Despite a winter spent working on core strength and flexibility, I have found myself somewhat hobbled by a balky back. I can play 18 holes without a problem, but I’ve brought my pushcart out of retirement and am certainly a little tight the
next day. I don’t think I can survive playing 5 ½ rounds (plus one hole) in one day. At least not now.
Certainly a number of people have been inspired to help. Colton said 30 golfers across the country have signed up to participate in the marathon while another 30 or so are working on details.
While people might mock the idea of a golf marathon, this will be a physical test for the golfers involved. Even at the modest estimation of 18 holes being equal to about five miles walked, golfers who reach triple-digits in holes played will walk more than 26.2 miles and will take hundreds of full swings. It will also likely take more than 12 hours to complete this marathon.
So are you interested in being a marathoner? Are you at least intrigued with the idea? Go to hundredholehike.com and learn more. There is contact info for Jim and he can provide information on sites where hikes will be happening and how to get involved.
Are you like me and you aren’t sure that you have 100 holes in you? Go to the site and find ways to support the marathoners.
Here is a FAQ about the event and how it works. You can also like Hundred Hole
Hike on Facebook or follow @100holehike on Twitter.
The read more from Jeff visit his Golf Blog, OnlyGolfMatters.com