Golfers to take up big challenge

Cancer Society Coastal Otago supportive care team leader Jo Arthur (centre) with Jan and Tom O...
Cancer Society Coastal Otago supportive care team leader Jo Arthur (centre) with Jan and Tom O’Reilly who are avid supporters of the Longest Day Golf Challenge. PHOTO: PETER MCINTOSH
Holy moley — 72 holes in one day.

The Longest Day Golf Challenge will be a golfing test of skill and stamina in which golfers aim to complete four rounds (72 holes) in one day, to raise money for the Cancer Society.

Covid-19 has caused the cancellation of many of the society’s fundraising events over the past year, creating a significant loss of income.

So organisers are throwing all their weight behind this one so they can continue to support people living with cancer.

Cancer Society marketing and fundraising manager Jonet Warhurst said the longest day of the year would be on December 21, but participants could play any day in December or January that suited them.

"Players tee off at sunrise and play through to sunset, making the most of daylight on the longest days of the year.

"Choose the day, the course, tell your mates and make the team — or do it solo."

About $50,000 was raised in the inaugural event and it was hoped a similar amount could be raised this year, she said.

Every dollar raised would go towards cancer care in Otago, education and awareness programmes, and life-saving cancer research.

"The money participants raise will make a real difference to people living with cancer.

"It’s a great way to support people with cancer, and whatever your level of skill, it’s a brilliant day out with your mates."

Keen Dunedin golfer Tom O’Reilly was delighted the event was being held again this year as it would help support his wife Jan, who recently achieved remission after receiving support from the society for her bone and blood cancer.

"It’s great that it’s going ahead this year. I’m very grateful."

John Gilmore and good friend Josh Tasman-Jones participated in the last challenge and raised $2540.

"Josh and I have both been affected by cancer, and unfortunately, it is something that is far too close to many of us," John said.

"We managed to complete the 72 holes in roughly 14 hours, each hitting over 300 golf balls.

"It was a special feeling to finish, and I was super proud of both of us."

The duo hope to complete it again this year — maybe even with fewer strokes than last year.


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