For those of you who don’t know, the idea of doing 100 holes of golf in ONE DAY stemmed from Covid-19. We were trying to find a way to continue fundraising during the pandemic so we could continue to fund kids who need speech therapy. Mike Balzano came up with this brilliant idea.
Personally, I am not passionate enough about anything to do it for 12 consecutive hours. Okay, maybe lay by a pool…but to take 500 swings of a golf club? Just wow.
To top it off, the now third annual event started with some annoying rain. You know the kind that is just enough to make you consider a raincoat but it doesn’t seem that bad–until you are in it for an hour and then realize you are soaked. Yeah, that kind. But all 24 participants powered through, most completing the first 18 in about two hours.
Then, it was like the faucet turned off and the skies were clear and bright for the rest of the day. A perfect 70 degrees in May in Cleveland. (We don’t get to say that very often!)
For the third year in a row, I have been present at the golf marathon for the entire day, pumping golfers full of caffeine, sugar, breakfast, lunch, and dinner. It’s the least one can do for them as they progress through the challenge of their day. It’s actually a really fun position to be in. You learn a lot about a person’s style and resilience.
My favorite things are when the golfers set goals for themselves. For example, “I get a beer after hole 72,” or “let’s try and do this 18 holes in under 2 hours.” Or, the running jokes from golfers like my friend JK, “Hey, we’re on the back 50 now!”
Side note for those of you who don’t golf – there is usually the front 9 and back 9, hence why back 50 is entertaining to joke about.
Each year, around 2pm or 3pm, usually about 60 holes in, the golfers become visibly tired. They aren’t close enough to the end to get a second wind, maybe lunch was a bit too heavy and they just want to take a nap, or they just start to question their decision to take on this challenge. Either way, we bust out a Snickers bar and that often does the trick. Once they get to hole 80 the end is in sight!
Then, upon completion, they truly look and feel victorious. After all, they should. They are in a very elite group! Not many people can say that they golfed 100 holes in one day. For some, this means golfing for as long as 13.5 hours without stopping. Sunup to sun down. What an incredible achievement. They each receive a medal as you would for completing a running marathon.
On top of that achievement, each of the golfers asked their family and friends to sponsor them, and each raised at least $1,500. Of this, every dime will go to a child who needs speech therapy or a tech device, so that they may communicate their wants and needs to their family and caregivers.
What an amazing gift these golfers have given their community. All of us at the Orange Effect Foundation thank you for your hard work to fundraise and give your day to support our cause.