Friday, 20 July 2012

Local Scottish News Coverage

Here is just a short clip from the day itself. I was approached by STV News during the challenge and they arrived at the club during my 6th round to film a short clip for their 6pm news show.

Click here to view the clip, Skip to 22.00 to see the interview

Open Letter To Mortonhall G.C. Members

Dear All,

I would to thank all the members and staff at Mortonhall for supporting my 10-Round Challenge, raising money for the Make-A-Wish Foundation.

I received countless well-wishes from members and guests at the Club, both in preparation for and during the day itself. The support I received from staff at MGC was incredible, helping me organise the day and helping raise more than £15,000 that will be used to grant wishes for kids in the area fighting life-threatening conditions.

When I was considering organisations that might benefit from the day, I was sent a DVD by the Make-A-Wish Foundation. The first story on the film documented the wish of a young boy named Nicholas, 16, who had been battling Leukaemia since he was 18 month old, and more recently a pair of brain tumours.

During his battle, Nicholas contacted the Make-A-Wish Foundation wishing to own a set of golf clubs. Last year, Make-A-Wish paid for Nicholas and his family to visit the headquarters of Callaway Golf, to fit Nicholas with his own set of clubs and give him a tour of their facility.

It is easy to take for granted how fortunate many of us are to be in good health and enjoy clubs such as Mortonhall. The Make-A-Wish Foundation is an incredible organisation that looks out for those kids that are not so lucky.

Every penny raised from challenge will go directly to the Foundation and kids in our area of Scotland. So on behalf of myself, the Foundation and all the families that they help…

…thank you.

Jamie Kennedy

In addition their support and encouragement, Mortonhall GC donated £500 to the Make-A-Wish Foundation via my challenge. Add to that the £500 raised by members guessing my score, and the Club has provided over £1000 to the Foundation and the challenge. 

In recent years, many golf clubs have struggled with the economic downturn. At Mortonhall, we are lucky that we have one of the finest parkland courses around. Like all clubs, we as members often take it as our duty to criticise the club or the course, but I think Mortonhall deserves a lot of credit for remaining one of the finest golf clubs in the Lothians.

I was fortunate enough, despite some poor weather, to win the Club Championship this year. With my name on that board for the first time, I take it as my duty to represent the club and encourage golfers to join/visit the club. I have been a member since I was 13 years old and have a lot of great memories at the club. I look forward to enjoying many more, and thank the club again for helping make the 10-Round Challenge such a success.

Monday, 9 July 2012

US TV Interview

After my challenge I contacted by a Jacksonville TV station who wanted to do an interview about the challenge. I went to University in Jacksonville, and they had been following my progress. So last week, I set up my iPad in my kitchen and via the wonders of modern technology....

Thursday, 5 July 2012

The Day Itself

Beep...beep...beep...beep. It's 3am and after sleeping for 5 hours my alarm clock signals that it is time to get up and play 10 rounds of golf.

I peered out of my flat window to see the streetlights fighting the thick mist that had graciously arrived in time for my challenge. A quick final check of clothing, supplies and equipment and I was off to the course. Mortonhall Golf Club is high-up on the south side of Edinburgh, and the closer I got to the course, the thicker the fog got. Out of the car, a quick stretch and I was on the tee.

With Mum, Dad and two family friends there to see me off, I lugged my pencil bag and half set of clubs to the the 1st tee (submerged by fog) and struck a slightly 7-iron down the fairway. Not because I hit a 7-iron 200+ yards, but rather to ensure I would be able to find my yellow Titleist ball.

 And so, after months of training and preparation, my 10-round challenge was underway.  

Round 1: 81 minutes. 81 shots. 
1 banana. 2 bottles of water.

No doubt the thickest fog I have played golf in and I didn't venture to more than a 7-iron for 8 holes. The holes were full of water and the course was very wet.  I started poorly and then found a rhythm around the turn to finish at 9-over par, highlighted by a 30 foot birdie on the last hole.

Round 2: 76 minutes. 78 shots. 
1 apple. 1 energy gel. 1 bag of trail-mix. 1 bottle of water.   

No sign of the fog clearing up, but I headed straight back to the first tee. Confident enough to hit a few 3-woods, I hit a provisional anytime I wasn't certain I had found the fairway. My first spectator of the day joined me on the 16th (Hole 34) and followed me over the last 3 holes. After a pulled tee shot on the last and now with a crowd of one following me, I made an overly ambitious decision to take on the green. 3 balls were sent right of the green towards the gorse bushes. Luckily, I found my first, and got up and down.

Round 3: 75 minutes. 76 shots. 
1 homemade roll. 1 banana. 1 bottle of water.

Mum, Dad and my visiting Uncle greeted me on the way to the first tee as I made good pace in some horrific conditions. A sliced tee shot on the first risked a first lost ball. However I did find it and got up and down from 50 yards for a par. I one-putted the first 3 greens and started to feel warmed-up.

The fog was lifting slightly and on the 7th hole (Hole 43) I saw a full shot land for the first time. I took out a homemade roll on the 8th and immediately had a stalker in the form of a crow. I thought "I need this more than you bud" and wolfed it down. Saw my first fellow-golfer on the 2nd tee as I played my 16th hole (Hole 52), and was greeted by another friend as I came to the 18th.

Round 4: 78 minutes. 75 shots. 
1 homemade roll. 1 banana. 2 bottles of water.   

Making great time and feeling good, I marched on with round 4. The greenkeepers were making their way around the course and I got several thumbs up and shouts of support. Started to hit the ball really well and began hitting lots of fairways and greens, ending up with 15 pars and 3 bogeys, playing through 2 two-balls on the way round. Fog appeared to be coming down again.

Round 5: 110 minutes. 72 shots. 
1 banana. 1 bag of trail-mix. 1 energy jelly. 1 bottle of water. 1 bottle of Powerade.  

I was joined on the 2nd tee (Hole 74) by a Ian, photographer from the local Edinburgh Evening News who followed me (in a buggy) for 2 holes taking some photos for the next day's paper. Having the press there seemed to help my game, as I hit a 3-wood to 15 feet on the 2nd, and a 7-iron to 10 feet on the short 3rd hole, prompting him to say "when I photograph the pro's, they don't hit it that straight". Cheers Ian - I'll pay you later!

I caught up a pair of elderly golfers on the 6th (Hole 78) and waited for them to putt out before marching on to meet them at the next tee. To my frustration and amusement they went out of their way to ignore me and continue to play at their pace. Hitting the ball no more than 100 yards at a time, they kept this up the...entire...way...round. Typical old-timers looking down upon a young guy clearly out just to cause trouble.

Round 6: 91 minutes. 76 shots.
1 homemade roll. 1 banana. 2 mini Mars bars. 2 bottles of water. 

Before teeing off I met Carolyn from the Make-A-Wish Foundation who was out to support and let me know that the local Scottish news wanted to do an interview. We set it up for 90 mins away and despite having already played 5 rounds, I battled on without a break.

A birdie on the 1st (Hole 91) inspired me to think perhaps an under-par round was possible, however some tired swings brought me back to reality. Two ladies stood aside on the 6th (Hole 96) and clapped me as I played through, replacing my divot and congratulating me on my challenge. A small gesture, but greatly appreciated.   I caught another pair of golfers on the 9th (Hole 99). They were a father and son visiting from Boston. The older gentleman asked me "Have you ever played here before?". To be honest, I don't think he was prepared for me to answer "Yes, I've already played here 5 times today".

No doubt he will return to Boston with stories of the insane endurance of Scottish golfers playing 5 rounds before midday in the rain.   I finished the round being filmed by the STV news and did a short interview by the 18th green. A quick chat to some people who had gathered to watch and I set back out for one more round before taking a break.

Round 7: 89 minutes. 74 shots. 
1 homemade roll. 1 banana. 1 flapjack. 2 mini Mars bars. 2 bottles of water. 1 bottle of Powerade.
With a physio coming to give me some help at 3.30pm, I played as fast as I could despite feeling some intense pain in my heels. In fact, this is the round when my body really started to wear out. I felt tired and weak and ate to combat what I could. I played through 5 groups of players and impressed one group in particular on the 13th (Hole 114).

Knowing I was out on the course, the group ahead were on the green, saw me, waved me through and stood at either side of the green. My thought was  "I am hitting a 3-wood, to a small target, with people on both sides of the green. This could get ugly." However, I stared down the flag and hit my 3-wood right at it, bouncing once short of the green, hopping onto the green, lipping the hole and finishing 6 inches behind the cup. Nice to do that in front of crowd, but my golf on the day and in this round, hadn't been quite so good.   Time for a break.

Round 8: 86 minutes. 78 shots. 
1 homemade roll. 1 energy gel. 1 bottle of Powerade. 2 bottles of water. 

I took an hour in the clubhouse, showering, changing clothes, taking on fluids and getting rubbed down and taped up.  Three rounds to go and my body was really hurting. The wet conditions made walking harder and my feet, especially my lower legs, were starting to feel pretty unstable. It showed too.

I sliced my first tee shot and didn't even look for it. I was joining by a friend driving a buggy around with me on the 8th (Hole 134). Great to see him and have some company, but the sight of a buggy didn't help my psyche. I birdied the 9th hole (Hole 135) in front of 4 visitors, holing a 30 foot putt. Always nice. Decided not to take the flag out before putting on the 13th (Hole 139), thinking I would just lag it up. Canned it, pin in, two-shot penalty, double bogey. Oh well. I was joined by  four members and friends towards the end of the round. Company makes a big difference. Nice change from thinking about which leg hurts more.

Round 9: 91 minutes. 79 shots. 
1 banana. 1 bag of trail mix. 1 energy gel.

My motivation was really struggling and this proved to be the most testing round mentally. Despite having company the whole way round, I constantly fought against the idea that I still had to do it all over again. I had rushed to the 1st tee without a break and in doing so didn't replace my water. I had about a third of a bottle left to do me this round. I was like a lost traveler in the desert for most of the round. My swing had become very "arms-y" and I was struggling to hit it as far as I had been. A couple of double bogeys and missed putts put me at 8 over on the last tee.

Knowing I had some donations resting on how many rounds I broke 80, I re-focused and hit a good 3-wood down the fairway. A chippy 9-iron found the green and 10 feet later made another birdie for a tired 79 on the card. I got yet another round of applause as I walked down the last from the clubhouse and people standing outside. One. More. Round. To. Go.

Round 10: 88 minutes. 76 shots.  
1 energy gel. 2 bottles of water. 1 bottle of Powerade. 

A crowd of around 15 people walked the round with me and the conversation and jokes took some of my mental focus away from what I was feeling inside. Putts started to drop as I holed from 15 feet on the first and 20 feet on the third. After playing the first 6 holes in one-over par, I birdied the 7th and 9th to turn in under par! Could I really break par on my 10th round? No. My first triple bogey of the day started the back nine and I got back to concentrating on speed rather than quality.

A couple more good shots inspired applause as I neared the end and one member playing ahead of me had written "Go Jamie! Nearly home" in the large bunker short of the 16th green. Another kind gesture from day surrounded by support. More people gathered on the last and as I reached the green, it become surrounded by 40 or so family, friends and members there to see me finish. My 20 foot birdie putt looked good the whole way, but ended up behind the hole. I tapped in for my 765th shot of the day.

A deep breath, some applause and a lot of hugs and it was over. Amazingly in a little less than 17.5 hours, I had walked 59.1 miles, climbed 4870 feet and played 180 holes of golf. Despite the weather, the day had been a success. I was able to play OK, and, when not stuck behind a couple of members of Dad's Army, maintain a good pace.

By the close of the day, the challenge had raised more than £14,000 for the Make-A-Wish Foundation, and whilst it had been mentally and physically exhausting, it had been worth every minute. A massive thanks to everyone who helped out and cheered me on the day. I never dreamt it would be the success it was and I am deeply grateful for all the support.

Someone challenged me to play 1 round in 10 days next year, so that sounds quite appealing...

Tuesday, 26 June 2012

One. More. Day.

I really thought I had more time.
Throughout all the preparation, the organisation and the creation of this challenge, I have lost track of time and now with a hint of nerves in my stomach, it is tomorrow.
Luckily as I write this the sun is shining outside and the weather looks ok(ish). Possible chance of rain, but being in Scotland, that is pretty much a given. Plan is to get a lift up to the club just after 3am and tee off when I can. Whilst I support all of the people that raise money for playing four rounds of golf in a day, I will enjoy telling them that I expect to be done with 4 rounds by the time their alarm clock goes off in the morning.
Final prep is already fully underway. Carb overloading, supply planning, body-clock adjustments and hydration have been the name of the game over the past 2 or 3 days. I spent last night making yet another batch of pasta, making homemade trail mix for the day and icing my shins which have been a little tender from a lot of golf, walking and running.
The donations continue to come in. As of this moment, I have received more than £10,700 thanks to over 150 donations. The support has been simply overwhelming. Whilst I know the challenge is a little different to you regular 5km fun-run or bake sale, I think people have bought into the cause and appreciated what the Make-A-Wish Foundation do.
Unfortunately, we live in an age where we all know or are close to someone that is fighting, or has fought, a life-threatening illness. Words struggle when trying to describe the stress and pain this causes those suffering and the people around them. When it comes to children, it is even harder to understand and comprehend. The Make-A-Wish Foundation understand just how heart-breaking and stressful this journey can be for the children and their families.
Every penny raised from the 10-Round challenge will go to the Foundation and will be used to grant wishes for local children fighting some of these life-threatening conditions. If you get the chance to talk with one of the Wish-families or see any of the work that the Foundation do, you will be left with no-doubt that your money and support is immensely appreciated and well-spent.
I have said it before, and I hope people appreciate it, but I am stunned by the support this challenge has received. I am deeply grateful to everyone that has donated, attended the Masquerade dinner, offered advice, asked about and generally supported the challenge. Thanks to you all.
 1 day...

Monday, 25 June 2012

Interview With Fellow 10-Rounder, Josh Marris

As I prepare both body and mind for torture on the links come Wednesday, I thought it would be wise to seek counsel from someone who knew what I am about to go through.

Some of you will know the name Josh Marris, from my previous blog talking about his 10-round challenge last year. I caught up with Josh over the weekend to ask him some questions to help me get my head around doing the same thing on Wednesday. Enjoy:

JK:  Afternoon Josh, thanks for your time. You did a 10-round challenge last year. What was the idea and motivation behind the challenge?

JM: My mother was diagnosed with breast cancer in April last year. I was away playing golf tournaments on the other side of the country at the time and managed to see her for a day in amongst all that a day after she had one of her breast removed. I felt pretty helpless about the situation and while driving on the highway one day in the middle of nowhere, I decided I wanted to do something that would challenge me in a way similar to the challenge ahead for my mum. Thoughts of the Kokoda Trail came to mind, shaving my head as Mum was going to be bald...all sorts of things...but none of them seemed right. I wanted to do something with my golf too that would push me and then it came to golf for 24 hours straight. I  found a club that wanted to get involved and offered the course for me to do it, and for promotional purposes it was the marketing guy who came up with the idea of setting a number of rounds as the challenge. At first I thought six or eight, but after talking with some people and friends about it, I decided on setting 10 rounds as the target.

JK: Certainly a worthy effort and cause. Obviously 10 rounds is a tall order for any golfer, what was the most rounds you had played prior to the day?

JM: Only two rounds...36 holes in one day. It was something I regularly did on Mondays as part of my PGA Apprenticeship.

JK: Wow, so how do you train/prepare for the day?

JM: I chose not to train. The idea was not to complete the challenge and feel energized or strengthened by it. The purpose was to push my body, to do something that would challenge body and mind without any preparation. The only preparation was in terms of my diet in the days leading up to the challenge. I stayed away from alcohol and fatty foods, drank more water than I usually would. I played 9 holes of golf at night once to try out the glow-in-the-dark golf balls and see how navigating the course would be.

JK: No training?! Not sure I could have done the same. When it came to it, what was the challenge day like?

JM: It was a bit cool when I hit off at 6am, but the sun soon came out. By the middle of the day and early afternoon it was quite hot. I found myself continually pouring half a bottle of water into my cap and over my head to keep my head from overheating. The night time was pretty good, a few clouds about but could still see some stars out too.

JK: How did your game hold up throughout the day?

JM: The game was actually pretty good and it surprised me. I shot 8 under in my 5th round, the last of the daylight rounds, and I did it while jogging between shots completing the round in about 90 minutes. Round 7 I think was where the fatigue was really kicking in. My whole body was aching, especially my feet, and I started hitting quite a few bad shots. I could feel my swing wasn't too good. But I managed to finish strongly in the final round.

JK: 8 under?! Really sounds like you were struggling (!). Impressive stuff. What is one thing from the day that you didn't anticipate/prepare for?

JM: How much food and drink I would need. I though a few bottles of water, a couple pieces of fruit and a couple sandwiches would do. Fortunately I had Vic Park (where I did the challenge) provide any food and drink that I needed...and I had a lot more than expected. I documented it all on my website if you want to have a look there.

JK: Don't worry, I have checked it out and prepared accordingly. Back to the day itself, what was the hardest thing physically about the day?

JM: The walk. The course had an elevation change of about 50m from highest to lowest points, and there were some nasty climbs. The worst was on the 13th hole, an incline of about 30-40 degrees for 80 meters or so which I nicknamed 'heartbreak hill'.

JK: Surely, any golf course with a stretch named "heartbreak hill" should be avoided for a 10-round challenge. After the challenge, what was your body like the following days?

JM: The body was seriously hurting. The rest of day after completing the challenge wasn't too bad, but it was the second and third days after it that my body pretty much shut down. I could barely walk...was walking like a 90-year-old war veteran...the blisters on my feet were huge and I had a couple of them burst which made putting any weight on my feet almost impossible.

JK: Great. Maybe could have done without knowing that... gulp. Now that the challenge is in the past, what have people's reaction been like?

JM: I received a lot of support leading up to, during, and after the event. I have had several people approach me since doing it (even a friend of mine a couple weeks ago who just heard about it) and I have received a lot of congratulations from people and comments of how inspiring it was. I still hear from some people about it now which is pretty cool. Before the challenge I had a PGA friend of mine (who worked with my uncle at the time) tell my uncle that I was 'all sorts of crazy and wouldn't complete the ten rounds'. This comment served as motivation to complete the challenge and after completing it he was one of the first to congratulate me. The comment he made was never meant to be a put-down or anything like that, but he just thought something like this was 'NUTS'.

JK: Haha, nice to prove people like that wrong. I remember telling a group of my grandpa's friends about my challenge last year, and they voted 9 to 2 that they thought the idea of the 10-round challenge at Mortonhall Golf Club was impossible.

So with 3 days to go for me, what's your advice for the day?

JM: Try not to think about it too much. Don't wear your body out by playing too much golf. It is going to be a long day and you're not doing this for the golf score. Take one hole at a time, stay hydrated, and if you can, get some supporters to come walk and/or play with you throughout the day. Their support and simple conversation with them will help you to get through the holes and will serve as a motivating force.

JK: Noted. Although 6 rounds last week and the onset of shin splints is making me think I should have asked you earlier... oh well!

Before I let you go, I need to know... what will you give me if I make a hole-in-one on the day?

JM: A giant sloppy wet kiss when you come visit me in the US, haha.
JK: Ok. So here's hoping for no hole-in-ones! 

Thanks a lot for your time mate, great motivation for me and appreciate your time. All the best to you and your Mum. Talk soon!

JM: My pleasure mate. All the best with your challenge and I look forward to hearing all about it.

Still plenty of time to donate, or enter the Mizuno "Guess My Score" competition. Keep the support coming, it really does make a massive difference.

2 days...

Wednesday, 20 June 2012

1 Week To Go

One week left. Gulp.
Most of the prep has been done now, just a case of final preparations and hoping for good weather. Weather has been very mixed recently, so it could be anything, and I will be packing for all outcomes. Mist and rain would be the killers on the day, but I'll just have to wait and see. Predicting Scottish weather is much like selecting winning lottery numbers.
Found another golfer doing a similar 180-hole challenge tomorrow in England. Managed to contact him so we have a £10 wager on our score+time for the ten rounds. He is a pro, so it may be a tall order, but I can't let an Englishman beat me.
Few things left to organise before next Wednesday: getting a bin to use as a temporary ice bath on the day, making my own trail mix and gathering supplies, steadily altering my body clock to allow me to be on my game at 3.30am and a few other minor details to make sure the day is a success. 
Couple of long runs and walks planned over the next 4 days, then as of Monday, I am shutting it down and resting up for the 27th. 
Had a good few responses to the Mizuno competition. If you want to win a set of Mizuno irons worth £700, simply donate £10 and guess my score for the 10 rounds. More info here.
Thanks again for supporting. Stay tuned on Twitter and Facebook for more updates and notes from throughout the day.
7 days...

Monday, 18 June 2012

£10,000 Raised!

After finally adding the proceeds raised at the Masquerade Dinner, I am proud to announce that my target of £10,000 has been reached with 9 days left until the challenge.

I can remember constructing the idea for this mad-golf challenge and considering a target. I obviously wanted to raise as much as possible for the Make-A-Wish Foundation to help them as much as possible. However, when I chose £10,000, even I thought that was an ambitious target.

Thanks to the support of so many people, that goal has been reached. Whilst I realize I still have a lot to do next week to validate the support, the support I have received thus far will certainly keep me going throughout the day of the challenge.

Hopefully, I will get a chance to thank each of you that has donated in person, but for now please know just how grateful I am. I know everyone gets a lot of requests for donations, and money can be tight, so I am just very humbled by the support. The money raised will mean a lot to the Make-A-Wish Foundation and even more to the kids and families it will benefit. On behalf of those families, the Foundation and myself... thank you.

9 days...

Wednesday, 13 June 2012

2 Weeks To Go

Seemed like a couple of weeks ago, I was telling people about this golf challenge had planned in 3 or 4 months. Well now, it is just 2 weeks away.

Training has cooled off since the 8-round practice day. I have been playing quite a bit and continue to do around 10-15 miles of walking a day, I am just being careful not to do too much and be fatigued when the challenge-week comes around.

Still organising a video call with Josh Marris to get some last-minute tips from someone that knows what it's like to play 10 rounds in a day. I got a nice emails of support from both my former University and also Gavin Hastings. It's great to hear from people that have read about or seen the challenge and want to support, donate or help.

Plan for the next couple of weeks is to continue a lot of stretching and walking to prepare for the physical challenge of the day. Also beginning to adjust my body clock, and getting up earlier in the day to allow me to feel wide-awake and ready at 3.30am on June 27th. Other than that, keep spreading the word and raising money.

Sitting at 50% of my target with just 2 weeks to go. It may well take a miracle to get to £10,000 by June 27th, but fingers crossed the challenge continues to inspire donations and support. The Make-A-Wish Foundation deserve every penny raised. Here is a look at their latest wish:

14 days...

Monday, 11 June 2012

Guess My Score Mizuno Competition

To enter, email me at and pay £10 via my JustGiving page

No limit on number of guesses and each guess needs a tiebreaker guess also, in the result of a tie. The tiebreaker is guessing the score of the last (10th) round. 

16 days...

Tuesday, 5 June 2012

8-Round Practice Day

Round 1. Hole 1.
4.11am. Usually I would be leading the Masters on the back-nine at Augusta, in my bed. But not today. Today, I am on the first tee at Mortonhall Golf Club, preparing for 8 rounds as a warm-up for my 10-round challenge.

On a strangely mild morning, and with plenty of sunlight already glazing over the course, I sent a slightly thin 3-wood down the fairway and off I went.

With 6 clubs in my Titleist pencil bag, I marched down the fairway with just an audiobook for company (Catching Fire, the Hungers Games sequel). With a strange sense of excitement and eagerness, I moved quickly hitting shots almost in-stride around the 6,500-yard course.

76 minutes gone and I tapped in a short putt on the 18th for a 76. Remarkably, I was managing to play pretty solid and eliminate any shots that would a) hurt my score and b) hurt my time.

With the clubhouse not open for another 3 hours, I reloaded my bag with water and food from my backpack, hidden behind the clubhouse, and headed back to the first tee.

Another good opening tee shot was joined by another good round. 14 pars, and 4 bogeys added up to 78 minutes, and I was flying around. The round was highlighted/lowlighted by an eagle putt on the 12th.

A relatively short par-5, I hit my 5-iron approach to 20-feet. In order to play fast, my plan was to hit long putts up to the hole then remove the flag. Looking at this 20 foot putt, I thought to myself “just hit it up close, remove the flag, and take a birdie” and therefore left the pin in. Of course, I rolled the putt dead-weight into the hole for a 3, but with a two-stroke penalty for leaving the flag in, I walked to the next with a 5.

Round 3. Hole 38. Company!
Just over two and half hours into the day, I was two rounds down and flying. The only cars at the club were some of the greenstaff slowly arriving for an early morning start on the course. However, I did finally have company on the course.

I made a birdie on the first hole for my first birdie of the day and walked confidently onto the second tee. I was ready to pull the trigger when I noticed an elderly man casually walking down the right-hand side of the hole. I waited patiently throughout the second and par-3 third hole, before he noticed me and waved me through.

After informing him of my goal to play 8 rounds on this fine day, he giggled and said “Forgive me for not joining you son.” Forgiveness was granted and I battled on having felt I lost time admiring the old man’s carefree amble down the opening holes. Just over an hour later and round 3 was in the books. 75, the lowest score yet with 4 bogeys and my opening birdie, all in 88 minutes.

A few members were beginning to gather at the club to try and be first on the tee on this holiday Monday. Whilst I smiled in the knowledge that I had already completed 54 holes, I marched back to the first tee to join in and continue.

Round 4. Hole 72.
Perhaps slightly over-confident, I took a lazy swing off the first tee, and sprayed it into the trees on the right. Knowing anytime looking for a ball is wasted time, I hit a provisional ball from my pocket and marched on. I glanced into the trees on the way up the hole, but conceded to the fact that my yellow Titleist NXT Tour was the first casualty of the day.

Held up a little early on, I played through 2 or 3 groups to get in front of the pack and finished in 101 minutes. 2 double bogeys, 2 bogeys and 1 birdie tallied up to a 77 and perhaps the mileage was finally catching up with my game.

Four rounds down, not even 11am, I took time to recharge. Recharge my phone which I was using to track my mileage, time etc and recharge my body which was beginning to feel the effects of the day.

A quick shower, change of clothes, some food and a visit to the gents, and I was back on the first tee, in the midst of a busy period of the day for golfers, as the sun continue to shine.

Round 5 will probably be remembered for the round in which I played through 8 groups of golfers as word got around the course that I was attempting 8 rounds. A poor double bogey on the short third hole, was off-set with birdies on 15 and 16, but ultimately another 75 was in the books, in a pretty slow time of 149 minutes.

Round 6. Hole 95. First Eagle.
The club was now officially busy. I knew round 6 had potential to be slow and I was right, but little did I know what it would produce otherwise. Simply stated, the bad news was 163 minutes is not the type of pace I was hoping for. The good news is that 65 shots in my sixth round of the day was pretty bloody good. With the pace slow, I settled into shots more and played the four par-5s in seven under par, eagling the first three!

So after playing 90 holes already, I tied my lowest score ever at my home course with only 6 clubs in my bag, and a double bogey! Proof that this really is a stupid game.

Six down and two to go, I need to recharge my phone some more to make sure I could gather all the data from the day, and I finished the last of 4 homemade rolls I prepared the night before. In fact throughout the day, I managed to consume 13 bottles of water, 2 bottles of Powerade, 4 rolls, 5 bananas, 6 apples, 2 chocolate bars and 1 packet of Jelly Beans.

Round 7 started fine. The course was busy as people headed out after a day in the office, or a day with the family. I got through 3 groups by the tenth hole and thought I might be able to improve on round 6’s time. But that was not going to happen.

Round 7. Hole 119. The roadblock.
I walked up the hill to the 12th tee and stood next to 4 middle-aged men playing a foursomes tie. As I had done all day, I didn’t impose on them, or “ask” to play through, but simply stood ready for the approval. For the next seven holes, I waited on every shot, and stood by them on every tee, and they didn’t acknowledge or speak to me once.

Caught up in their match perhaps, or possibly irritated by my continued pace behind them, they went about their business and didn’t bat an eyelid in my direction. Needless to say, I wasn’t overly impressed with their attitude, and whilst I managed a level-par 72 score, the 162 minutes was going to help my timing. 

The round was highlighted by a close hole-in-one attempt on the par-3 17th, that hit the hole and finished a couple of feet behind the hole. Safe to say if it had dropped, there were four middle-aged men that would not have been offered a drink in the clubhouse…

Round 8. Hole 130.
With the clock on the clubhouse reading 8.45pm, and light already dwindling, I gave my dying phone one last boost and waddled back towards the first at 9pm. Knowing I was going to be in a battle against the light, I broke into a light jog between shots and followed back into my opening round routine of keeping my bag on to putt and removing the flags only when needed.

My legs were fading, and my jog was more of an limped skip as I just did whatever I could to get done. 2 lost balls and a loss of enthusiasm resulted in my worst score of the day. In fact, my 8 foot par-save on the last hole capped off 80 shots in 75 minutes. Time: 10:15pm.

My dad was there to meet me at the end, both to make sure I survived the final round and to transport my body back to my flat.

I really didn’t feel terrible, just mentally and physically fatigued. My right heel had started to hurt during the middle of the day, so I changed from my golf shoes into my trainers for the last couple of rounds.

Chaffage had been the main obstacle throughout the day. The heat and constant walking had taken it’s toll and gave me a good indication of how it will be on June 27th. Shopping list priority: Baby Powder.

In total, I had played 144 holes, needing 598 shots, scoring 98 pars, 24 bogeys, 12 birdies, 7 double bogeys and 3 eagles, whilst loosing 4 balls on the day. I walked a total of 45.4 miles, in 18 hours 8 minutes, climbing 4,274 feet and burning in the region of 8,000 calories.

And that was just the warm-up! Stay tuned to hear how the final weeks of preparation go for the 10 round challenge in 3 weeks.

My donation page is almost at 50% with 3 weeks left. Please, please share the challenge and help the Make-A-Wish Foundation. Thanks, as always, to everyone for supporting. 

21 days...

Wednesday, 30 May 2012

4 Weeks To Go

4 weeks to go until the challenge and my legs are starting to feel the effects of training. 8 miles of walking up and down the hill to work each day, usually with my backpack and my golf bag, is causing some relationship conflicts between me and my legs. Add to that a round or two of golf, a gym session, a 10k run or a Yoga class each day, and you begin to understand why. 
Whilst it is hard to prepare for playing 10 rounds in a day, I am trying to get in as much walking and running as I can. Predictably, my knees, calves and feet are going to be hating me towards the last couple of rounds, so any preparation I can do to get them used to that is effective in my book. 
As well as building up my strength and endurance, working on my flexibility is key also. Being supple and being able to swing throughout the day without added strain or stiffness will help no-end come June 27th. I am 6 weeks into my yoga and feeling the difference it is making. Whilst am I no guru when it comes to downward dog or shoulder stands, I can feel improvement and feel the post-yoga fatigue in my core, legs & shoulders.
So what do I have in store for the last 4 weeks. First goal is to climb Ben Nevis. The 10-round challenge day will involve climbing 5000ft+ throughout the day, a shade more than the height of Ben Nevis, the UK's largest peak. So to me, and perhaps only me, it makes sense to climb Nevis... with my golf bag.
My first planned climb was cancelled due to bad weather. The talk of "ice axes, crampons and climbing equipment" was enough to take a rain-check last month. But I am hoping with the holiday weekend ahead, I can celebrate the 
Queen's jubilee by climbing the highest mountain in her 
Other than that, I have a few interviews to do. I'm talking with Josh Marris on Thursday, the Australian pro golfer who walked 10 rounds in a day last year. I have an interview with a Florida TV Station to do and I am also going to talk with PGA Tour pro, my former college roommate and the highly opinionated, Russell Knox (pictured), to get his opinion on the challenge.
Finally, I will be talking with a local group of physios to get their take on how I should be finishing my preparation, dealing with the day itself and how to cope with the post-challenge recovery.
Anyway, that is the update for today. Check back later this week for my interview with Josh and as always please keep the support and donations coming!
28 days...

Thursday, 24 May 2012

Mishcon de Reya Law Firm

Massive thanks to the Mishcon de Reya Law Firm. They considered the challenge for one of the causes that their company could support and decided to donate £250 to the challenge.

Founded in 1937, Mishcon de Reya is a law firm with offices in London and New York offering a wide range of legal services to companies and individuals.

They operate in every area of the law and pride themselves in providing a best in class service to its clients. Specifically we offer the following legal services: corporate; dispute resolution; employment; family; private client; and real estate.

For more information on Mishcon de Reya, visit:

34 days...

Thursday, 17 May 2012

Fellow 10-Round Challenger: Josh Marris

Many of you have heard me mention that more people walking the planet have walked on the moon, than walk 10 rounds in one day. Well, one of the men that has is Josh Marris, an Australian pro golfer, who completed the challenge in September 2011.
I have been in touch with Josh to discuss our similar interest in golf and over-confidence in thinking we are fit enough to last 180 holes. He has kindly agreed to do an interview with yours truly, so stayed tune for that coming here soon.
Until then, I encourage you to read through his challenge via the link below. Josh was raising money for the Queensland Institute of Medical Research after learning that his mother was diagnosed with breast cancer, just days after his Aunt underwent her final chemo treatment for the same thing. 
Tip of the cap to you Josh!

Monday, 14 May 2012

Fund Raising Masquerade Dinner

What a night.

After weeks of planning and nagging friends, family and colleagues to attend, the fund raising dinner was a massive success.
125 masked guests attended and all were extremely generous on the night. Speeches from myself and Make-A-Wish Scotland manager, Carolyn Thornton, preceded a great dinner at the MacDonald Holyrood Hotel. Many people came up to me talking about the impact the Make-A-Wish video had on them, and how they were moved by the stories they heard.
Willie's after dinner speech
Willie Hunter, 32 years after giving the best man's speech at my father's wedding, gave a very entertaining speech following the dinner and then lead the auction and raffle which raised a lot money for Make-A-Wish. Lots of interest in the auction items, and the they were heavily bid on, raising more than £2,000 combined.

4-ball day at Gleneagles - £500 (Ian Carruthers)
Signed Chris Hoy World Championship Skinsuit - £450 (Atholl Duncan)
Signed & Framed Chelsea Shirt - £300 (Stuart Mack)
Man Utd Tickets - £300 (Scott Kennedy)
Signed Rangers Shirt - £200 (Ashleigh Colquhoun)
Bolton Wanderers Day for 4 - £175 (Jonny Jenkins)
Signed Edinburgh Rugby Shirt and Heineken Cup Ball - £150 (Simon Watson)
Special guest appearance from Justin Bieber. Great to have you there Justin!
I cannot thank everyone enough for everything that went into, and will come out of, the dinner on Friday. Carolyn from Make-A-Wish worked tirelessly with me in planning the dinner and yet took very little of the credit. Without her, and the Foundation, the night would have been not nearly the success it ended up being. Big thanks to Carol and Philip, also from Make-A-Wish, for attending and representing the Foundation.
Carolyn & Philip from Make-A-Wish with Philip's girlfriend, Sarah.
The Clarke family, that have been through the Make-A-Wish process with their daughter Hannah, were the guests of honour and were wonderful. All five family members turned up looking great, kitted out with decorate masks for the Masquerade theme. Hannah brought the photo-book from her visit to Disneyland Paris last December and all that looked through it could tell just how great a trip the family had enjoyed, thanks to Make-A-Wish. It was an honour and a privilege to have them all there, and I know it made a big difference to the night.
Clarke Family
The staff at the MacDonald Holyrood Hotel were first class and put up with my rookie dinner-planning skills. At one point I was asked if I wanted to do a final check of the tables as the guests were arriving. Despite telling them I was confident it was correct, we did a check. I had forgotten 4 people. The staff went to work creating extra spaces and by the time the doors to the hall opened, you would never have guessed there was any late-minute changes. Throughout the night, the staff were friendly, efficient and made everyone feel very welcome.
Lucia, Fiona, Louise and Jenny
I had a conversation with a family member on Thursday and was asked what I hoped to raise from the night. Apart from raising awareness of the amazing work that Make-A-Wish do, I was hoping to raise between £3,000 and £4,000 in total on the night. With some last minute stressing and perhaps an air of pessimism, I reduced that expectation in my own mind to £2,000 to £3,000. In the end, the evening raised over £5,000 for the Make-A-Wish Foundation and could not have been more of a success.
Pete Whitelaw is one lucky man!
Thanks again to everyone that attended, everyone that donated prizes, everyone that bid in the auction, everyone that helped put the night together and everyone that organised tables. The night alone raised enough money to fund a Wish for a local Scottish child, which is an incredible achievement. So thanks.
Laura Houston, Steph Tulloch & Jonny Jenkins and Neil and Carrie McCreath

Now... time to start training for the challenge.
38 days...

Wednesday, 9 May 2012

Third Of The Way To £10,000

After a busy few weeks of work, training and dinner planning, I have surpassed a third of my £10,000 target. 
Currently received a total of 93 donations, which is a staggering amount with 7 weeks still to go. People from all across the country and the world have donated very kindly and gradually my, once ambitious, target of £10,000 may well be attainable.
Dinner plans are under way, masks have been purchased, prizes have been ready and table plans are made. 130 people will head to the MacDonald Holyrood Hotel on Friday to support Make-A-Wish and enjoy an evening with speeches, prizes and great food & drink.
Big thanks to all of those attending on Friday, and to all who have supported or donated thus far. Seems that people are really behind the challenge and the Foundation and it is great to see. 
49 days...

Wednesday, 25 April 2012

Power Cut At Work

Along with some bad weather outside, we lost power in the office today. Rather than letting that down-time go to waste, I decided to get some practice in thanks to this Powercut Stress Ball Challenge:

Plans for the dinner continue to come along nicely. Just about filled all the tables with just over 2 weeks until the night. Donations continue to come in, with the £3,000 mark just a few pound-coins away. Thanks again to everyone supporting the challenge, keep the donations coming!

63 days...

Tuesday, 24 April 2012

Raffle Prize

With Chelsea facing off with Barcelona tonight for a place in the Champions League final, it seems an appropriate day to give a sneak peak at one of the many raffle prizes I have for the Fundraising Dinner on May 11th.

Motivation: 100 Marathons in 100 Days

Whilst I am beginning to get anxious about the challenge and trying to prepare for the longest day of my life, I often find motivation or inspiration from outside sources. Whether it is a new Make-A-Wish Video or reading about someone battling a life-threatening condition, I appreciate that what I am doing is simply pushing myself over the course of one day, and that the effort and organisation required will be more than balanced by the reward of raising money for Make-A-Wish.

The most recent story of motivation came through a friend-of-a-friend, Matthew Loddy. Describing himself as "not a long-distance runner" and having never run a marathon in his life, Matthew took on the challenge of a lifetime to honour the loss of a close friend that passed following a rare stomach cancer.

Last weekend, Matthew competed in the London marathon, clocking a time of 3 hours 9 minutes. Quite an achievement right? Perhaps even more so when you learn that the London marathon was his 100th marathon... in 100 days.

“Pain, I can cope with. I’ve got injuries that will probably stay with me for months, years and possibly longer. But whatever happens, happens. I don’t worry about what’s going to happen to my body after this.”

Wow. What an effort.

64 days...

Wednesday, 18 April 2012

10 Weeks To Go...

Today marks 10 weeks until the challenge. What does that mean, time to step it up! 

Well and truly into diet and exercise mode now. Need to drop some weight over the coming weeks to make the walking easier. Currently pushing 215lbs (15st) on the scales. That number needs to be around 195lbs come June 27th, with a lot of core strength and flexibility to match.

So, no more walking the 4 miles to work, time to start running. No more stretching before I play, tonight I start an 11 week Yoga class. No more 18 holes of casual golf, this weekend I am going to play 5 rounds on Sunday and see how that goes/feels. 

The donations have been incredible recently. The 18 days of April have raised £1,600 and I am now sitting at £2,168, 21% of the way to my (ambitious) £10,000 target. 

Plans for the dinner are keeping me extremely busy, but the response has been good. Got a lot of good raffle prizes to thank those that come out on May 11th.  

70 days...

Tuesday, 17 April 2012

Nicholas' Wish

When I originally spoke with Make-A-Wish about doing the challenge for them, they sent me a DVD with information about the Foundation and some of the young people they help. Nicholas was the first boy on the DVD, living his wish to have his own set of golf clubs.

From that moment, I immediately knew Make-A-Wish was the perfect charity to benefit from the challenge. Here is the video of Nicholas and his family on their Wish day.

To be honest, judging by Nicholas' impressive swing, I wouldn't fancy taking him on!

Monday, 16 April 2012

Aberdeen Asset Management

Fantastic to have the support of Aberdeen Asset Management. A generous £250 donation to the challenge, taking the total raised so far over £1,500.

Aberdeen Asset Management do a lot of work with Scottish golf and raising the profile of the game across the country, so it is great to have them supporting the challenge and I thank them for their donation.

15% of the way there, and 72 days left until the challenge!

Wednesday, 11 April 2012

£1,000 Raised So Far

It's been a great week for the challenge. Along with some great media exposure, tables are filling up for the dinner on May 11th, I had my first Make-A-Wish Foundation meeting and I reached £1,000 in fundraising putting me at 10% of my target of £10,000.

17 donations in the last 4 days totalling £380 shows the momentum the challenge is starting to get. Many thanks to everyone who has donated so far, and for those that have shared the challenge with friends and family.

I am continuing to train hard and have signed up for an 11-week Yoga class to improve my flexibility and core-strength. I have done Yoga before and it was great for my golf, so I am hoping it will help me down the last few holes of the 10 rounds.

Until next time, please continue to support the challenge and Make-A-Wish. Donate via:

Tuesday, 10 April 2012

Media Coverage

Great to see some of the papers picking up on the challenge.

Please spare the jokes about the photo....

The Sun (Tuesday April 10th): 
Iron Man! I like that

Good weekend of donations too, with 9 new donations. Starting to feel the support and momentum for the challenge. Keep the donations/support coming:

Tuesday, 13 March 2012

Personal Trainer - Training Advice

I contacted a trainer that I used to work with in Florida, Jason Anthony from Zen Fitness. I told him about my plan to play Ten Rounds in One Day and asked for his advice on how I should be preparing. True to his form, he provided me with the following information...


First, you should be in top physical condition at all times, not just when an event is coming up. In order for the body to be healthy, have the capacity to adapt, rebuild and regenerate, there is a pecking order for what your body needs. This order is as follows:


You need to be consuming no less than ½ your bodyweight in ounces/day. So if you weigh 200lbs, you need 100 ounces/day minimum.

This would equate to 12.5 glasses each day. So divide your weight in half start there. If activity is involved and you are sweating a lot, this number goes up. Your urine should always be clear. Not yellow or even tinted. Quality of water is just as important.  The water you drink should be filtered via Reverse Osmosis or a Two-Stage Carbon Filter. To increase absorption you can add a pinch of quality sea salt (Celtic Sea Salt is a great choice).

Here is a link which has good info on the need for filtered water and the different types of filters. If you scroll down towards the bottom you will see the countertop filters. Easy to install, inexpensive and important for our health: For about 145 dollars (U.S.), you will have filtered water for a year.

Also, don’t drink out of plastic, use glass. The chemicals in plastic seep into the water when digested cause all sorts of potential problems long term.


We all need good quality sleep to function at a high level. No matter the fitness goal, adequate amounts of sound sleep are necessary for the body to repair and regenerate.

In today’s modern world, many of us are sleep deprived. Our lives revolve around productivity,  information and money. Our brains and bodies are tired and worn out. What we need is good quality sleep, but instead we drink lots of coffee, energy drinks and continue the crazy cycle of GO, GO, GO. While training hard, sleep is even more important. The body just cannot recover, rebuild or progress without adequate rest. The body adapts to the stress of exercise during rest and without it, the body struggles to keep up.

Wanting to lose weight? The fat regulating Growth Hormone gets released during sleep so if you aren’t getting much of it, weight loss is also hard to accomplish. Sleep is also when your brain recharges. During deep REM sleep, information gets sorted out, memorized and organized. Without enough of this quality sleep, the brain cannot function at a high level. How much do you need? 7-8 hours of quality sleep. No alcohol or sugar before bed as this will affect sleep quality and lead to fat storage.


(some of this I got from Chris White over at Go Primal. I took a course last year which he helped put together/teach and nutrition was part of it)

Avoid Processed Foods Processed foods can easily be identified using the following rules: 

Don’t eat it if you can’t pronounce a word on the food label
If it wasn’t here 10,000 years ago, avoid it.
Stay away from any foods that are fortified or enriched. This is un-natural.
If it can stay “fresh in a box” or bag, avoid it. This means it has preservatives in it which are toxic to your body.
Stay away from high fructose corn syrup, partially hydrogenated oils, food colorings, preservatives, and artificial flavors.
Avoid Genetically Modified Foods (GMO)
Avoid irradiated foods      

Avoid the following 4 things as much as possible

White Sugar
White Flour
White Table Salt (a.k.a. Sodium Chloride) – We do need salt in our diet however, but not refined salt. Celtic Sea salt is a great option as it has over 80 trace minerals per grain and helps to regulate fluid levels in your body.
Pasteurized, Homogenized Dairy Products – see below for dairy guidelines     

Choose Organic Produce As Much As Possible

Vegetables provide many important phytonutrients, however the pesticides, herbicides and fungicides that are sprayed on them are a major concern. Eat lots of vegetables (avoid the starchy ones while losing weight, i.e. potatoes) which haven’t been sprayed or genetically engineered.

If you must buy commercially grown produce consider lower pesticide products:
Lowest Pesticide – asparagus, avocados, bananas, broccoli, kiwi, onion and pineapple.
Highest Pesticide – apple, bell pepper, celery, cherries, potatoes, spinach and strawberries.   


Meat provides us with many benefits but you need to be careful about the quality of meat you consume. Commercial farms give Growth Hormone to animals to make them bigger and these hormones remain in the meat and then we consume it. Cancer/disease risk is a major concern here.

Try to eat 100% pasture-raised animals who have not been given antibiotics or hormones. Beef should be grass-fed, organic, no antibiotics or hormones added. Chicken should be free range, vegetarian fed chickens, no hormones or antibiotics. Eggs should come from the same type of chickens. Same holds true for other animals. Fish should be wild caught, etc.

*If you do consume meat raised commercially, make sure you cut off all the fat. Toxins are stored in fat stores and these animals are TOXIC.    


If you are going to consume dairy, your best option is local, 100% pasture-raised, raw dairy. This means DO NOT consume pasteurized or homogenized dairy. The pasteurization process kills all the good enzymes and bacteria which our bodies benefit from.

You also want to avoid any dairy which comes from cows who have been given bovine growth hormone or antibiotics for obvious reasons. So go green and go organic.

*side note – you do not NEED dairy to be healthy, so if you don’t want to consume raw dairy, don’t. Just stay away from the commercial stuff.    


If you are an O-Blood Type, avoid grains. O-types have a slower metabolic rate and need to stay away from higher glycemic foods. IF you are going to eat grain, follow these guidelines:

Eat organic, stone-ground IF you are going to eat grain & stay away from white flour, bleached, enriched or fortified

The majority of Caucasians are allergic to gluten, a protein found in all grain EXCEPT buckwheat, millet and rice. You can check yourself for this allergy simply by avoiding grains for 2-3 weeks. If you notice an improvement in how you feel, your body composition, energy etc, you are probably allergic.     


You need fats in your diet. There is a common myth that we should avoid fats.

Fats actually play many important roles in the body and you should consume the highest quality fats available to you. Good examples are nuts, avocados, cold pressed olive oil, coconut oil, etc. 




Yes, exercise is number 4 on the list. Believe it or not, the body cannot change/adapt much without the top three things being in compliance. I would prefer to do a complete movement/mobility/fitness evaluation before programming out 3 months for you.

Obviously, I cannot do that from here. Basically, we would program by focusing on which biomotor abilities are in need of improvement. You will need good/balanced muscular endurance in all the muscles that surround your spine and that stabilize your hip complex.

You will also need good endurance/stamina because of the duration of this event. The stronger your legs and ability to translate that power generated to the upper body, the farther your drives. Flexibility is huge in golf so that needs to be adequate, etc… I will think more about exercise prescription for you. A little hard to do from afar, not exactly the right way to do it. 

I hope some of this helps you get started right. I would focus on leaning up as much as possible. We should all be lean and you will be carrying less weight around on this journey with less bodyfat. Feed and hydrate your body well always and the sky is the limit."

Once again, a big thanks to Jason and the all the folks at Zen for their support. If you are in Florida or specifically Gainesville, there is no better place to train and get in shape. Great fun, great modern training in a relaxed, laid-back atmosphere. Cheers guys!