Golf is normally a quiet, patient, calming sport. Crowds quiet and peace of mind is sought as players line up their shot.
Except when you’re trying to play 200 holes in one day. Then it’s full on. No practice swings, no marking the ball, and definitely no waiting for your partner to putt.
“If you can’t keep up, we’ll just leave you behind. There’s no etiquette. It’s gone,” says Taylor Pearcey, who last year golfed 200 holes for the Golfathon for ALS. “Normally with golf I don’t want anyone to move, make a noise, be quiet. On the golfathon, you can be driving right behind and I’ll be in the middle of my swing. We’ll both be putting at the same time.”
The Golfathon for ALS is an annual fundraiser in which golf pros across British Columbia attempt to play as many rounds as possible to raise money for ALS research.
Last year, Pearcey and former Revelstoke Golf Club superintendent Greg Austin played 200 holes together, besting the previous course record of 189 holes set by former pro John Franks in 2013.
This year, Pearcey, the club’s men’s captain, will be joined by club pro Dean Jackson as they attempt to match last year’s result for the annual fundraiser. That means golfing 11 rounds, plus two extra holes, in one day. It means starting at 4:30 a.m., or earlier, and playing by headlamp, if necessary. It means playing a round in about an hour, instead of the usual four.
They take up the challenge on Monday, June 29.
Pearcey said last year’s effort was tiring, but he enjoyed every minute of it. “There wasn’t a point where I didn’t want to keep doing it anymore,” he said.
For Jackson, this is the first time he’s taken up the challenge in more than a decade. The last time he did it, he completed 10 rounds, he recalled.
“When I told Dean, he was a little scared,” said Pearcey.
“I’ve done it before, but it’s been years,” said Jackson. “We’re going to give it a good go, we’re going to get it done. Taylor knows I play really fast.”
Jackson said the key will be to stay hydrated and eat well during the day. He also advised bringing an extra pair of socks and shoes. “I remember blisters last time I did it,” he said.
Supporters can make donations to the cause at the Revelstoke Golf Club or through the Golfathon for ALS website. Pearcey said several club members will be joining them throughout the day, but he warned they’ll have to move quickly or else they’ll be left behind.
Golfers on the course will be warned of the event taking place. Pearcey said if there’s a group ahead of them, they’ll simply yell out, hope they get out of the way, and play through.
And if they have the chance to play more than 200 holes, they’ll go for it.
“It would be fun to beat it, so we’ll see what happens,” said Pearcey.
Pearcey and Jackson have their work cut out for them if they want to beat the world record. An Austrialian pro, Ben Berger set that mark when he played 612 holes in one day in 2010.