Golf fundraiser way to give back

The beer is going to go down a treat.

Blair Pattinson, of Queenstown, arrived at the Frankton Golf Centre driving range just before 4pm yesterday.

He does not intend to leave until 4pm today, aiming to hit a golf ball every two minutes, for 50 minutes every hour, raising money for MATES in Construction.

By his side for every minute is MATES in Construction’s southern field officer, Fletcher Kaan, of Dunedin.

A project manager for GJ Gardner Homes, Mr Pattinson experienced work pressure-related burnout last year and wanted to give back something to the services which helped him out.

The organisation he is fundraising for offers suicide prevention programmes and training for people like himself who oversee other workers.

While driving past the golf centre last year an advertisement for Gumboot Friday was on the radio, which gave him the idea for the 24-hour golf challenge, through which he hoped to raise a "modest" $5000.

Blair Pattinson (right), of Queenstown, supported by MATES in Construction southern field officer...
Blair Pattinson (right), of Queenstown, supported by MATES in Construction southern field officer Fletcher Kaan, of Dunedin, aims to raise $5000 for the organisation in a 24-hour golf challenge, which started at 4pm yesterday in the resort. PHOTO: RHYVA VAN ONSELEN

Before he teed off yesterday, he had raised over half that through his "24 Hour golf challenge" Givealittle page.

With his hands taped, gloves at the ready, anti-cramp pills on stand-by and top tips from an ultra-running colleague about what to drink and when to keep going, Mr Pattinson said he was feeling "apprehensive but excited" just before he started swinging.

There was also an element of poignancy choosing to play golf to raise money to support those facing mental health challenges — Mr Pattinson noted it was, as much as anything, a "mental game".

"If you let one hole or one shot [get to you] it’ll ruin your whole round, so you’ve got to put it out of your mind pretty quickly, otherwise you’ll keep thinking about that, rather than what’s ahead of you.

"You can’t change the shot you’ve already taken.

"If you have a bad run, even if it’s two or three holes out of 18, you’ve got to get it back on track.

"It’s a bit of a metaphor for life, really."