IT was once famously remarked that “golf is a good walk spoiled”.
If that is true, then one enthusiast is setting out to spoil not just a walk, but the equivalent of two marathons.
Scratch golfer Jamie Kennedy, 26, who lives in Bruntsfield, is set to play an amazing ten rounds of golf in one day on June 27 in a bid to raise £10,000 for the Make-A-Wish Foundation UK.
On the day, Jamie, the youngest son of former Scotland rugby international Euan Kennedy, will be teeing it up around 4am at his home course of Mortonhall and will then play 180 holes around the long, hilly, par-72 course in the south of the Capital.
When he rolls in the final putt of the challenge in near darkness, he will have walked for more than 52 miles.
“I wanted to set myself a challenge that was both testing and unique,” he said. “I have done charity runs – 10km and half marathons – in the past. Whilst they are certainly testing they have become pretty common, and with my passion for golf I wanted to think of something equally testing on the course.”
Jamie has been a golf fanatic since he was a youngster at George Watson’s College, learning his trade on the children’s course in North Berwick during summer holidays before progressing to Mortonhall.
He then headed to university in Jacksonville in the United States and, since returning to his home city, he has worked as equipment editor for golf website Golfalot.com, which is based out of Swanston Golf Club.
Make-A-Wish Foundation UK grants wishes to children and young people fighting life-threatening conditions. Since being established in the UK in 1986 it has granted more than 7500 wishes, and when Jamie watched a promotional DVD for the charity recently he knew he had to do his bit to help.
“The first little boy they showed on the DVD had a wish of wanting to own a set of golf clubs and, having been lucky enough myself to have played the sport from an early age and getting so much pleasure out of it, I was pretty much sold on the charity,” he said.
“They do so much good work and if I can just do my bit to help then that will be great.”
Most of the ten rounds will need to be played at a speed that will get him round the course in less than two hours. For at least part of the challenge he hopes to have physios on hand in case he incurs any injuries, with blisters a likely problem.
Over the next few weeks, he will be building up his training by playing five or six rounds in one day.
In addition to the challenge on the day itself, Jamie is hosting a fundraising dinner on May 11 at the Macdonald Holyrood Hotel. He hopes to host more than 150 people for a Masquerade-themed event with speakers, prizes and raffles.
The hole challenge
To try to play ten rounds of golf in one day, Jamie Kennedy will face a tough test of his physical abilities.
Each round will be around 5.2 miles and will involve a climb of about 500 feet. The challenge will see him walk more than two marathons and climb the equivalent height of Ben Nevis.
He will be carrying a 10kg golf bag all day, and is preparing by walking four miles to and from work with a 10kg weight in his backpack. And during all that, he will have to hit around 800 shots.