Typically golf professionals play one round of golf in a day but on the longest day of the year, golf professionals in the Valley played as many rounds as possible. Golf pros across the province of British Columbia spend one day a year testing their endurance for the Golfathon for Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS). Copper Point and Windermere Valley Golf Course both participated in the Golfathon raising funds for patients with ALS.
We did 162 holes which is nine rounds. We were hoping to do a little bit more but there was some thunder and lightning that rolled through about 10 a.m. so we had to pull off for about an hour, said Windermere Valley golf professional Micheal Midyette.
The Windermere Valley Golf Course raised a bit more than $2,000 during their golfathon with a group of six participating. Playing that much golf can be challenging so to keep focused, the Windermere golf pros keep it fun by switching clubs with each other and playing different games. Both courses are open to the public during the event so coming up with a system to complete as many rounds as possible was vital.
We each get our own cart, theres a flag thats put on the cart, and theres just one person in each cart. Youre not allowed to take a practice swing, you dont pull the pins. Everyone on the course is notified that youre going to be playing through, so they know to watch out when we come around, said Mr. Midyette.
The golfathon for ALS started 11 years ago after a golf professional in the interior was trying to raise money for one of his members. The next year other golf professionals around B.C. decided to get involved growing the event to what it is today.
Over the last 10 years, that fundraiser has been the largest money raiser for ALS B.C. These B.C. golf pros that have gone through this the last 10 years weve cumulatively raised more than a million dollars over those 10 years. For us its important to be part of that, for some of us, its hit closer to home, said Copper Point head professional Scott McClain.
With two courses at Copper Point Resort, the team of professionals opts to complete their golfathon on The Ridge course, allowing them to complete more rounds during the day helping them raise even more money for the cause.
We can either be pledged per hole or just a flat fee, the donations dont have to be just on the day we do the Golfathon, they can be done anytime online at http://www.golfathonforals.com/courses-dates, said Mr. McClain.
Much like Windermere Valley Golf Course, the Copper Point team informs other members about the event, they cant have any practice swings and keep pins in. The goal is to keep moving.
This year we started in our first tee shots at 4:55 a.m. and finished our last putts at 11:11 p.m. 18 hours and 16 minutes, and we accomplished 262 holes of golf in a row which is 14.5 rounds of golf, said Mr. McClain.
Copper Point has so far raised $5,000 for ALS this year with an extra special incentive thanks to one of the courses investors.
One of our investors at Copper Point is Brett Wilson formerly of Dragons Den and he has been gracious the last couple years and donated $1,000 and if we played more than 250 holes he was going to donate another $1,500. Because we did 262 holes he helped us with $2,500 towards to our efforts, said Mr. McClain.
The golf professionals at Copper Point keep it competitive throughout the day by keeping score and aiming to add to their hole in one total for the event.
Over the last 10 years all those golf pros across the province have of course raised over a million dollars and theres been eight holes in ones over those 10 years during that event. Four of those hole in ones have been at Copper Point with our professionals, and two of those hole in ones have been mine, theyve all been on The Ridge course so theres something special about that day when we play all those holes that magic can be found, said Mr. McClain.
This year Golfathon for ALS had 32 golf courses across the province participating in the ALS fundraiser. The fundraising efforts can still be supported online at http://www.golfathonforals.com/courses-dates.
The ALS patients and their families theyre motivating us. The saying is ALS doesnt sleep so why do we? Thats the idea behind the longest day of golf so we just keep our bodies moving, said Mr. McClain.