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‘Marathon’ 72-hole golf challenge to be held for third year in memory of much-loved golfer


By Niall Harkiss

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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 are preparing for a “marathon” at the Kings Club this June, 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 begin on Wednesday June 19.

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It will be the third year that the club has hosted the event.

A group of Kings 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.

“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.

“We set out to secure various prizes as we also wanted it to be run as a 4 round competition as we found the first year it helped us all mentally having the challenge of different formats and the lure of bragging rights of not only competing but winning against our friends.

“In the end we managed to get 25 of us together on the day we have raised just under £13k which in context is an average of £520 per golfer so in some respects we achieved the aim.”

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

Organiser Tom McLennan said: “Prostate Cancer UK are the sole beneficiary of our fundraising. They are so supportive and have helped us a lot with posters and money raising techniques.

“One thing that we realised after doing the challenge last year is that nobody could celebrate completing it on the night as we all so tired, so what we are doing this year is holding a race night as well, which any member of the public can come along to.

“So, again, all the proceeds from that will be going to Prostate Cancer UK too. There will be a BBQ on the night and a chance for a flutter. That will be held on the Friday after a day’s rest.”

Golfers will begin their 24-hour stint at around 3.30am, and will take part in four rounds of golf, including an individual stableford, then a pairs better ball, followed by foursomes and then a Texas scramble.

Donations can be made to the event fund at justgiving.com/page/thomas-maclennan-1716485292108.

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.


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