Jamie Kennedy
By Jamie Kennedy

Sometime last year I read about a group of keen golfers preparing to test their endurance to the max by playing four rounds of golf in a day. Four rounds? Is that really that impressive? I remember days as a kid when my dad would have to drag me away from the course after playing four rounds. So, I thought I could go further.

I spent sometime thinking about a fundraising challenge that is unique, golf-related and something people would support. Could I double the challenge of those men I read about and play eight rounds in a day? Heck, why not make it a round number and shoot for ten?

So it was set, I would attempt to play ten rounds of golf in one day for charity. After watching a video about a young man battling leukemia who lived his wish to own a set of golf clubs, thanks to the Make-A-Wish Foundation, I had no doubt that Make-A-Wish should be the organisation to benefit from my challenge.

I began bragging to people about my ambitions to play ten rounds, and quickly discovered how little non-golfers cared and how skeptical keen golfers were.

For the non-golfers, I did some calculations and was able to explain it to them in a way they might appreciate: 19 hours of continuous walking, covering the distance of back-to-back marathons, climbing the equivalent of the highest peak in the UK, all whilst carrying golf equipment and hitting approximately 800 golf shots. That got their attention and in-turn, their support.

As for the keen-golf skeptics, that was going to be a harder sell. Whilst I have played thousands of rounds in my life, I have never actually played more than four in one day. Jumping to ten rounds is no easy task. I decided to set out for a practice speed round to test myself both physically and to see how my golf game would hold up.

Mortonhall Golf ClubI arrived at Mortonhall Golf Club, my home course, early one Saturday morning to beat the Saturday-morning-old-boys to the first tee, started my stop-watch, and set off.

With 7 clubs, a lightweight pencil bag, a comfortable pair of golf shoes and a point to prove, I took off down the first fairway looking like I was making a late bid to qualify for the 2012 GB Olympic walking squad.

75 minutes and 74 shots later and I was done. Whilst a few winter greens made the course shorter and my task slightly easier, I was surprised both at the time and score.

Walking up to each shot, not questioning what I was doing, picking a target and swinging, proved an effective gameplan for scoring. My swing was smooth and compact, my targets small and risk-free and it worked. I walked off the course in search of those skeptics.

I am under no illusion that playing one quick round is a far cry from attempting ten in one day. Ten weeks today is the challenge day, June 27th. Stay tuned every 2 weeks as I keep you updated on my training and progress.

If you want to support the Make-A-Wish Foundation and the challenge, visit the challenge's Just Giving page.


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