What a day at the Creek! As my friends at the DSGA said, “The #100HoleHike, has become the #100HolesHiked!”
Thanks to my readers, my golf buddies, my friends, and the members at Cripple Creek Golf & Country Club, I raised just over $6,000 for Youth on Course, and the DSGA total surpassed $13,000. All of this money, 100% of it, will be used for subsidized golf course access to kids in our state. Awesome stuff.
We literally started the day in the dark. At 6AM, Andy Hewitt, Laura Heien and I rode out to #3 to begin our quest to play and walk 100 holes. My buddy, Glen (the Sheriff) Hudson drove one cart and acted as forecaddie for the day. Mark Glodowski, DSGA staffer and 100 Hole Hike participant at Bear Trap Dunes last month, rode with us and provided the social media content, including the Twitter post below – click the link to watch the launch (and turn up your volume).
Using LED golf balls and glow sticks, we played the 3rd hole – a short par 3 of 130 yards – 15 times in the dark. It took me a while to get loose (remember my 66th birthday was on Sunday), but Andy started off hitting the green on his first shot. It was amazing how fast the greens were that early in the morning and in the dark. I found it hard to get going. Try hitting and putting in the dark and you’ll get the idea. It took me about 5 tries before I hit the green, but Andy made a few birdies and Laura almost holed one out – the ball stopped short about a foot from the pin.
I have to say that the highlight of our start was the whole maintenance crew, led by Glen MacDonald, walking out from their equipment shed with flashlights to welcome us to the course. It was quite a site.
As you can see below, we worked hard to fix all of the ball marks on the green, even in the dark. I only wish all of our members and guests would be as concerned about leaving the course as they find it every day they play our gorgeous layout.
By 7:15, we had enough light to move on to the 4th hole and begin the hike in earnest. After trekking back and forth on #3 those 15 times, our shoes and socks were soaked – hard to see all the puddles that had developed with the rain the previous day and overnight. With no one on the course, we blitzed through the rest of the front nine. Also, our legs were still fresh and that helped the pace, even with a damp, soggy conditions.
At 7:48 we had completed 21 holes and started off #1. We cruised through the course and on the 18th hole we decided to play the back nine again, as all of the players on the course were still on the front nine. It was very energizing to be greeted by many of the members living on the course when we passed their homes – shoutouts from windows and doorways, and even applause from Mr. and Mrs. Dieste at 7:30AM from their back deck.
I wanted to give a special shoutout to my wife, Sue, for supporting me throughout this crazy effort. She was even on the back porch of our rental every time I passed #16 and even caught his early on.
At the midway point, I’d changed my socks and golf shoes once, lost only 1 ball and was actually feeling pretty good. I had a light walking bag and only carried a 3-wood, 3-hybrid, 5,7,9, irons, lob wedge and putter. We mixed things up teeing from the forward tees on some holes and were basically just walking up to the ball and hitting – not worrying about score, just hydration, food intake, and not collapsing. The pain was coming but we didn’t let that overshadow the moment.
The DSGA was awesome documenting the Hike on their Twitter and Instagram feeds.
The course was starting to get more crowded and the Sheriff was busy, driving up to groups ahead and telling them what was happening. They always stood aside to let us through and it was much appreciated. We only had to play through less than 10 groups overall during the day, probably because of the overnight rain, wet conditions and the “cart path” only requirement in place for play that day. One group we went through came up to Mark in his cart and gave him a cash donation for the Hike – how about that!
As the day progressed, a bunch of my golf buddies came out to watch and give me some much needed support. Paul Dillion, Tim Hastings, Mark Decker, Don Antonucci, Mike Farrar, Steve Dewey, and Don Boteler – I really appreciate your guys coming out and cheering me on. If I forgot anyone, please accept my apology as I’m a little foggy on some of the details.
It was about this time – 75 holes in – that my legs and back really started to feel it. The combination of wet, soggy turf, walking close to 20 miles, and taking 300 or so swings was killing me. Still, we had 25 more holes to play and I couldn’t let the young ones show me up. Remember, I’m 66 and Andy and Laura are in their twenties.
We skipped 15 and 16 in the penultimate round because of traffic on the course, and moving directly to 17 and then the 18th would leave us exactly 18 holes to go. The final round was a blur to be honest. I lost another ball in the water (can’t remember which hole) and the bones (every single one in my body) were aching. Somehow, we made it and finished on 18 – my favorite hole at the Creek.
Perhaps the best part of the long day was walking off #18 and seeing a bunch of my friends smiling and whooping it up. I then heard something shouted down from the patio behind the clubhouse. “What can I get you . . .” said Andy Beebe (F&B manager). If you know your Hack then you know the answer.
And so it was complete at 5:40PM – 100 holes, 50,000 steps, 2 lost balls, 26.3 miles, and $6,000 raised for a great cause. Thank you again everyone.
[Today is a day of rest for your Hack. I had to get up every 10 minutes or so while working on this post to walk around and prevent even more stiffness in my legs and back. I’m back at it tomorrow with the Contractors for a Cause golf tournament at Ocean City Golf Club. Hope I make it through!]