At 4:18am on Friday 6th July 2012, West Hill Golf Club members, Andy Pike (15) and Ben Raven (5) embarked on a record breaking golf challenge to complete as many holes as possible in one day to raise money for Sparks, the children’s medical research charity.
The pair completed an astonishing 150 holes (8 rounds plus 6 additional holes) of the Brookwood based, Heathland course in just 17 hours. Armed with 7 clubs a piece, including nothing longer than a 4-iron, they played a total of 1509 shots (Pike 775, Raven 734) and covered a distance of 37.5miles.
Each playing their own ball and holing out every time, the pair made quick work of the opening two rounds clocking times of 1 hour and 13 and 1 hour 16 minutes respectively.
With round 3 underway before 7:00am, the pace slowed, yet the consistency remained with Pike carding a nett 68 (par 69). Rounds 4-6 took the pair past their first major milestone of 100 holes, whilst the 17th hole of round 7 saw them reach their pre-event target of 125 at approximately 5:45pm.
With light remaining, and energy levels rapidly depleting, the boys set off once again.
Upon completion of their 144th hole (end of round no. 8), the revised target of 150 was in sight.
An additional 6 holes were played in the fading daylight as the boys reached their target. The 149th hole also saw Raven put his pain aside to score the pair’s final birdie of the day.
At the time of writing there is no record for a pair playing as many holes as possible in a 12 hour period (walking), and pending official Guinness World Record confirmation, the 117 holes achieved by Pike and Raven in their first 12 hours could still be officially recognised.
Obviously, whilst enjoying special privileges on the course and attempting to break records, the challenge was not organised in the name of fun.
The boys were raising money for the 2012 West Hill Captains’ (Maurice Hazzard and Sian Thomas) charity, Sparks, who fund life-saving medical research into conditions affecting babies, children and mothers-to-be.
Sparks aim to improve the quality of life for children and families affected by serious illness or disability today, whilst seeking ways to better diagnose, treat and prevent these conditions in the future.
With a fundraising target of £5000, Pike and Raven made small work of this goal and have now reached the £6000 mark thanks to a number of extremely generous donations from family, friends, fellow West Hill members and support from golf’s European Tour and Tour Players Foundation.
An elated Raven commented: “Despite sharing an unnatural enthusiasm for golf and thinking nothing of playing 36 holes in a day we did not embark on this challenge thinking it would be easy.
Completing 150 holes was physically and mentally challenging. Having to endure the abysmal weather in the afternoon was tough, although this aided our cause in terms of course traffic.
The West Hill Captain, Maurice Hazzard, commended the boys for their effort: “To complete this challenge for charity is a magnificent gesture and Sian and I really appreciate the boost Andy and Ben have given West Hill on behalf of Sparks. What a great example to the rest of the Club.”
If you would like to support Sparks on behalf of Andy and Ben, you can do so by visiting www.justgiving.com/pikeraven