A golf endurance test for a good cause

By |  September 25, 2018 0 Comments
A golfer takes a swing at The Club at Crazy Horse in Salinas, Calif. during Youth on Course's 100 Hole Hike. (Photo: Youth on Course)

A golfer takes a swing at The Club at Crazy Horse Ranch in Salinas, Calif. during Youth on Course’s 100 Hole Hike. (Photo: Youth on Course)

For many golfers, playing a round or two in a day sounds like a good time.

Five and a half rounds? That might be pushing it.

At Youth on Course’s (YOC) third annual 100 Hole Hike, more than 50 golfers were up to the challenge. The participants played at six courses in Georgia, Missouri, Minnesota, California, Pennsylvania, Utah and Washington, D.C.

“We were thrilled, this is the first year this has been done outside of California and the response in the respective cities was terrific,” says Adam Heieck, YOC’s executive director.

Youth on Course helps fund rounds of golf for members to increase affordability and accessibility to the game. The nonprofit subsidized golf rounds, college scholarships, caddie programs and paid internships to more than 40,000 kids ages 6-17.

The organization, which has grown its presence to 26 states, allows youth members to play at partner facilities for $5. YOC recently added Pinehurst Resort and Country Club to its portfolio of 900-plus member properties.

Though the contributions are still being tallied, the event has raised $285,000 so far, and Heieck expects the event to raise nearly $300,000, nearly doubling their goal of $150,000. The proceeds will go toward thousands of subsidized rounds of golf, scholarships and caddie opportunities for members.

No easy feat

“For a lot of people, it was a challenge to see if they could really do it,” says Heieck. “Everybody finished, and it was really a true sense of accomplishment.”

The participants of the 100 Hole Hike ranged in age from 65 to early 30s. At the Claremont (Calif.) Country Club, one participant knocked in a hole-in-one on his third hole of the hike. “Pretty euphoric way to start the day,” Heieck says.

Heieck said the toughest part of the day was around holes 65-70, where golfers have been walking the course for hours and still have a third of the way to go. “At that point, it can get a little challenging, that’s why it’s best to do this with friends that you can kind of lean on to finish it,” he advises.

Every site was different and had a different pace depending on the difficulty of the golf course. For example, the pack at The Club at Crazy Horse Ranch in Salinas, Calif., started at 7 a.m. and ended at 7 p.m., and at Claremont CC, participants began at 6:20 a.m. and finished about 7 to 9.5 hours later.

“The drive home was absolutely brutal and the next day people are popping ibuprofen and nursing sore knees and backs. I took about a dozen ibuprofen over a 24-hour period,” admits Heieck.

When asked how YOC plans on topping this event in 2019, Heieck explains that the nonprofit is looking at gauging interest in other states and the general public to see how big the event can get — and maybe one day holding the event in dozens of cities around the country.

To learn more about Youth on Course, visit youthoncourse.org.

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