Headingley’s ace marathon day has raised £10k for Wakefield Hospice

Players gather for a group photograph ahead of Headingleys marathon golfing day, which saw 25 players play five rounds.
Players gather for a group photograph ahead of Headingleys marathon golfing day, which saw 25 players play five rounds.
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HEADINGLEY’S marathon day of golf raised more than £10,000 for charity – and produced a contender for the earliest hole-in-one on record.

To celebrate the club’s 125th anniversary, it was decided that 125 holes would be played in a day – five rounds for each of 25 people.

Headingley club professional Oliver Hunt had a hole-in-one.

Headingley club professional Oliver Hunt had a hole-in-one.

The men’s captain in Headingley’s quasquicentennial year is Adrian Arnold and all the receipts from the event will go to his chosen charity, Wakefield Hospice.

“We got all the rounds done in good time,” says secretary Jon Hall. “The first round we did in something like two and a half hours average. We got a little slower after that, but we did really, really well.

“Conditions were favourable as it was warm, but overcast – very, very nice indeed, although it got a little bit breezy late on.”

The players involved – 24 men and one lady played all five rounds and a number of ladies completed one round each in a five-round relay – met at 3.30am and the first group teed off just before four o’clock.

The days organiser Terry Hill in action.

The days organiser Terry Hill in action.

“I was the first one to tee off and we saw the sunrise on the seventh hole, which was beautiful,” says Hall.

“We were playing in effectively teams of four and you had to have two people out of four to score on a hole.

“We ended up doing an informal tally on who had scored what and the second team, which was the one that included the lady member, was a phenomenal 70 under for four rounds.

“We played on average sub-three hour rounds so it shows it can be done. We played what is called ready golf – if you are ready you play.

“We have quite a good culture at Headingley concerning slow play – we don’t like it.

“A lot of the lads know how to get on with it and that helped us a lot.”

A moment that helped speed up play came when Headingley’s professional Oliver Hunt aced the 17th hole.

“With all the screaming and shouting that went on I would think they possibly woke up the whole of Adel and Alwoodley,” laughs Hall.

“So we knew something had happened.

“That was about 6.30am because we were going down the first in our second round.”

A second professional was involved, Danny Wilkes, a former junior member who is assistant professional at Garforth.

“We also had a number of category one golfers, and I think the highest handicap would have been somewhere around the region – excluding the ladies – of about 14”, adds Hall.

“I think the last player finished around 8.45pm, so we did it in really good time and were ahead of our schedule.

“We were stretched out a little bit towards the end and the last team were probably about an hour behind our first team. But we were in six groups.

“There were a lot of people who played on Friday who played the following day in the President’s Prize, which is one of our big competitions.

“I think a lot of people were pleasantly surprised at how well they coped although I did see one of the young lads with a huge blister on his foot on Saturday when he came to the club.”

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