80 Hole Charity Golf Challenge
A 6 a.m. rendezvous at the Tudor Park Marriott Hotel and Country Club in Bearsted for the seven intrepid golfers - Bob Baker, Steve Beale, John Cooper, Adam Forrest, Richard Forrest, David Mayne and Nick Sparks - and a quick photo call before the first ball on the 80 Hole Charity Golf Challenge was struck by Bob Baker at 6.15 a.m.
18 holes later and after a short stop for a well earned coffee and roll and an unexpected but welcome if brief meet-up with former Casuals players Dale Glazier and Martyn Goldfinch it was off to catch the 11.50 shuttle to France.
After losing an hour on arriving on the Continent as our watches were put forward and a drive to Lille it was time to tee-off on the next 18 holes at the Blue Green Lille Metropole Golf Course.
36 holes completed and a long drive to Belgium, a welcome few hours sleep at the Henri Chappelle Golf and Country Club near Liege and it was up bright and early for holes 37 to 54 on Les Viviers Course at Henri Chappelle.
A short trip to Germany and the next round with a 1.40 p.m. tee-off at the Haus Kambach Golf Course in Eschweiler before another short drive and with many aching limbs to play the final 8 holes in Holland at International Golf Maastricht where the final putt was sunk by David Mayne at 9.30 p.m. local time and completion of the 80 hole challenge in 38.5 hours.
It was a tiring but rewarding two days - many weary legs, a few blisters, very little sleep but some great camaraderie and most importantly £3733.17 raised to date for the Alzheimer's Society and the Motor Neurone Disease Association.
Steve Beale was champion golfer over the two days (according to Steve anyway!) and he duly arranged for a member of staff at Henri Chappelle to present him with one of their own trophies to mark his performance!
A huge thank you to Adam, Bob, David, John, Nick, Richard and Steve who completed the challenge and we must give a special mention to John of 19th Hole Golf Getaways who put in all the hard work and research to find the courses to allow not only the challenge to take place but for it to be completed within the target time. Our gratitude also goes to Adam, Bob and Steve for doing the driving.
A massive thank you to everyone who supported the event by either sponsoring a hole or donating through the Virgin Money Giving page. It was your generosity that made the challenge worthwhile and provided the incentive to keep going when our limbs told us otherwise! Thank you as well to all those who backed the Golf Day held in May.
The Virgin Money Giving page will remain open until the 25th September so there is still time to make a donation to the Alzheimer's Society and the Motor Neurone Disease Association. The link for the page is http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/team/IckleshamCasualsFootballClub