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‘Gruelling’ 72-hole challenge tees off in memory of much-loved Inverness golfer


By Annabelle Gauntlett

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This year, organisers have upped the ante by introducing a race night after the challenge, to raise more for the charity.
This year, organisers have upped the ante by introducing a race night after the challenge, to raise more for the charity.

Golfers in Inverness started their “marathon” at the Kings Golf Club this morning at 3.30am, as part of a Prostate Cancer UK challenge in memory of a much-loved former player.

The 26-mile day of golf, which is part of a UK-wide challenge to take on 36, 72 or 100 holes in one day to raise money for men affected by prostate cancer, is set to finish late this evening after almost 24 hours of playing.

Kings Golf Club professional Nikita Murdoch, who is currently taking part in the fundraiser, said: “I was absolutely knackered at the start and was still yawning until the seventh hole, however I did enjoy the calm morning and glorious sunshine.

“It was brutal knowing I had to do three more rounds after the first.

“Now on my last round, I’m starting to feel fatigued, but it’s all worth it knowing that it’s raising so much money for charity.”

Nikita Murdoch, Kings Golf Club golf professional, is taking part in the 72-hole-challenge.
Nikita Murdoch, Kings Golf Club golf professional, is taking part in the 72-hole-challenge.

It is the third year that the club has hosted the event, with around 40 participants.

A group of Kings Golf Club golfers first arranged the charity day to raise funds in support of one its members, Billy Andrew, who was diagnosed with the disease in 2021.

In December that year, the friends held a Christmas Jumper golf day, which Billy was able to participate in. That night they resolved to set out on a 72-hole “marathon challenge” playing golf for 24 hours straight in a bid to raise money for Prostate Cancer UK.

The challenge was held in June the following year with eight members taking part, and a total of over £3000 was raised.

Club captain Andrew Stokes, who played in the first competition, said: “Billy had been in regular contact throughout the day as he had been recovering from all of the treatment he had been through to fight the cancer.

“But after the elation of completing the challenge, we were brought down to earth with the biggest thump you could imagine when Billy sadly passed away the next day.

“We were all devastated but from this adversity we talked about making the fundraising bigger for 2023. Over many beers we decided on two things - first, that we will celebrate Billy’s life each year with the Christmas jumper competition.

Nikita playing at the 72-hole-challenge.
Nikita playing at the 72-hole-challenge.

“The second was that we make the prostate cancer marathon a charity day with the aim of filling the golf course with 72 like minded golfers to raise as much as possible for this very worthy charity.”

However, this year, organisers have upped the ante by introducing a race night after the challenge, to raise more for the charity.

The race night is planned for Friday, June 21 at the Kings Club, with a planned start of 7pm. Tickets are available from the club bar at £5 per person.

Donations can be made to the event fund here.


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