The amazing story of how six hardy Maidenhead golfers conquered a truly extraordinary golfing challenge to raise money for a children’s hospice
PLAYING four rounds of golf in one day is no easy feat. But four rounds in four different countries in one day? That sounds just about impossible, right? Wrong. Six tireless golfers from Maidenhead accomplished precisely that recently, racking up rounds in England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland in under 24 hours.
Peter O’Hara (non-playing captain), Owen Jesseman, and Andy Hing, along with clubmates James Anderson, Oliver Rolls, Sam Jamieson, Jim Watson, and Bob Duncan (chauffeur), undertook the epic challenge to raise money to build a children’s hospice in Berkshire.
The Alexander Devine Children’s Hospice Service is situated down the road from Maidenhead Golf Club, with work scheduled to begin later this year. The sextet had to score at least 30 Stableford points in each round and were allowed to play through by other golfers at every course to allow them to complete the challenge - which included a three-hour ferry trip - on time.
The challenge got underway at 2.30am on Monday, June 16, on the first tee at Lockerbie Golf Club in south-west Scotland. Eighteen holes and a 121-mile drive later, they teed off at Leyland Golf Club, near Preston at 6.30am. By 10.15am, the team was driving off at Holywell Golf Club in North Wales. They finished with just 90 minutes until their ferry from Holyhead sailed and facing a 90-minute dash in the car to get there.
Peter, captain of Maidenhead GC, explained: “The first six holes at Lockerbie were played in the dark. We practised them the afternoon before when we arrived to get an idea of the layout, although we picked Lockerbie as it is quite far north, a date as close to the longest day of the year [June 21] as possible and when there was a full moon. We couldn’t do anything about the cloud cover and it was darker than we had hoped.
“The drive from Holywell to Holyhead was a bit frantic but we made it with ten minutes to spare.”
The ferry docked in Dublin and the golfers were on the first tee at Royal Dublin Golf Club at 6.30pm and sank the final putt of the challenge at 9.45pm.
Peter added: “Alexander Devine Children’s Hospice Service is a great charity to raise money for. As soon as we explained what we were doing and why, we were given the courtesy of every course with no issues. Other players made way for us on every hole because we needed two-hour rounds for the first three games, and we did it every time.
“In total, 699 Stableford points were scored, so we fell short by 21, but that’s still quite an achievement on four unknown courses and with the first six holes of the day being played in the dark. We reckon that, combined, we probably hit 1,986 shots. It was a good challenge and good fun but we were all absolutely exhausted by the end of it.
Fiona Devine, the co-founder and CEO of Alexander Devine Children’s Hospice Service, was full of praise for the hardy bunch and said that the money they’ve raised will make a massive impact.
“What an amazing challenge, and a first for Alexander Devine,” she said. “Four rounds of golf, in 24 hours, in four countries! I am full of admiration for the wonderful golfers and not only have they raised vital monies for our charity but have also introduced us around the British Isles and in the Republic of Ireland.
“It is always amazing to have the support of your local community, but these guys have really gone the extra mile - all 974 of them - and we are so grateful.”