Golf from dusk until dawn
July 10, 2012
From dusk until dawn, they’ll play.
At this year’s "Longest Day in Golf: 100 Holes Charity Event," four golfers will tee off in the dark at the Promontory Golf Club on Wednesday, July 25, in hopes of putting a golf ball into 100 consecutive cups. In its third year, the event is a charity benefiting the Playing for Life Foundation, which has raised more than a quarter of a million dollars since its inception seven years ago.
The money raised by various charity events go to the Huntsman Cancer Institute of Utah in Salt Lake City as well as Park City-based Image Reborn, which helps women recover from breast-cancer surgery.
"Last year we raised over $5,000, so the sky is limit," said Playing for Life Foundation board member and event manager Erin Williams. "We’d love to raise more, and getting another player out to ask for donations to go toward the charity is a big help — any challenge is helpful to us. Our goal is to at least hit $5,000, and if we get more this year, we’d be thrilled."
Joining the trio of professional golfers who participated in last year’s event is Park City Golf Club professional Vaughn Robinson. He’ll be accompanied by veterans Luke Martin, professional at Promontory, Cynthia Brown, a Promontory member and professional at the Park City Golf Club, and guest player Sean Dahmen.
The foursome faces the fearsome task of not only completing 100 holes of golf in the middle of the dog days of summer, but is also open to various requests for certain types of shots and achievements in exchange for donations.
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"We’re not just playing 100 holes, we’re trying to score for people to sponsor us," said Brown, who is the executive director of Playing for Life and is in her second year competing in the event. "Whether it be birdies, pars or eagles, each shot is important, which becomes a very important task. When we tee off in the dark, it’s so early there are no tins in the cups. We play nonstop unless you have to go to the restroom. We just keep going."
Last year, the trio of Martin, Brown and Dahmen finished their 100 holes of golf in 15 hours and 56 minutes.
"It is 100 percent mental first off," Brown explained. "You really have to stay focused and pay attention to where your mind is, especially as you get into your third or fourth 18. Your body starts to get a little tired. It’s a lot of concentration; it’s the most incredible thing to do. It takes everything you have."
Brown said she has carved out time to find a way to play golf at least twice a week in the time leading up to the event. The Pete Dye Canyon course, along with the Jack Nicklaus Painted Valley course, are considered among the most difficult links in the state.
Williams said she enjoys watching the golfers participate in the event and try to deliver on requests for certain shots on certain holes.
"It makes it more of a challenge: $10 for a birdie or $50 for an eagle," she said. "They like that pressure on their shoulders.
"I’ve looked into it at other golf courses that help host these types of events, and some have teams of golfers to help raise money. Right now, we have four golfers just willing to do so in the one day."
Williams said the event is still looking for volunteer golf-cart drivers to drive the players around the courses at Promontory on July 25. For more information on how to volunteer or donate to the 100 Holes of Golf or Playing for Life Foundation, visit http://www.theplayingforlifefoundation.org .