Several months ago, I was involved in an uplifting conversation about being involved in a fairly serious way, by supporting MacMillan’s initiative to raise money for their nominated cancer support. The ludicrous idea being mooted about was to play an extraordinary 72 holes in one day, raising money at the same time, through the generosity of members from Leek Golf Club and friends and relations of the four-man team players.

Leek members Mike Andrews, Pete Nixon, David ‘Bo’ Robinson and I agreed to form a team to challenge our physical and mental fortitude, and to raise as much as we could for this worthy cause.

We felt planning was all-important. We asked friends and family to be ball-spotters, we downloaded the appropriate app to deal with scoring, several people agreed to supply food and drink on the day, and we advertised this feat extensively to allow members to give us courtesy of letting us play through, and to raise awareness of the necessary donations requests.

We estimated that if we started just after 4.15am we could be finished by 8.00pm!

The format was a team effort - two from four to score, stableford scoring, no buggies, proper putting out on all the holes (no ‘gimmies’), the results being posted to MacMillan Cancer Support for collating with all the other teams throughout the country, participating in this grand event.

Callum Nixon took responsibility for scoring, and David Robinson Snr, Ralph Harrison, Joe Smith, Jayne Baxter and Carole Nixon were intrepid ball-spotters. Leanne Nixon took turns in caddying.

Our first round took just under three hours, better than forecast, and meant we were ahead of the planned finishing schedule. We had been told to change socks or shoes to freshen up between rounds, advice which did us proud. We also had a set of different coloured golf shirts for each round. To be playing golf at this early hour was amazing and it was so peaceful, except for the shout of a frustrated golfer who had mishit his shot!

Even though the format was two from four to score, we did record each person’s score, and they were as follows:

Round 1 scores were:

• Andy Baxter 37 points

• Pete Nixon 39 points

• Mike Andrews 26 points

• ‘Bo’ Robinson 33 points

Our second round of 18 holes took just over three hours, and took us all to a place where we had never been - yet to survive 54 and then 72 holes in a day!

Round 2 scores were:

• Andy Baxter 34 points

• Pete Nixon 32 points

• Mike Andrews 31 points

• ‘Bo’ Robinson 30 points

We felt good both physically and mentally, and the banter and encouragement definitely helped the cause.

A much needed shower after round two set us up for the ‘back 36’, and with the support team around and in front of us, we set off in good spirits. The course was obviously getting a little busier than at dawn, so many of our fellow members cheered us on as we passed by, fortified by the thought of finishing on time, and enjoying a drink or two on the 19th hole.

Round 3 scores were:

• Andy Baxter 30 points

• Pete Nixon 33 points

• Mike Andrews 34 points

• ‘Bo’ Robinson 30 points

The last round was a relative ‘breeze’. Elated by the anticipated success of finishing before darkness, and boosted by the support team of Carole, Jayne, Callum, Leanne and several others, we accomplished the heroic task of completing 72 holes by 6.30pm, at least an hour ahead of schedule.

Round 4 scores were:

• Andy Baxter 29 points

• Pete Nixon 30 points

• Mike Andrews 30 points

• ‘Bo’ Robinson 33 points

The score as a team which we had to submit to MacMillan was a creditable 58 points ahead of a stableford par score of 288 points, making it 346 in total.

The captain would like to thank everyone for playing, and members supporting the club in this manner by donations or simply assisting on the day. A lot of work in the planning made it the success it was, raising over £1,250 (at the last count) for the charity in the process. It would be nothing without members of Leek Golf Club supporting the captain and the team on this special day.

The course was in wonderful condition, and sincere thanks are extended to John Turner and his staff for the great work the team is currently undertaking.

The donation forms will be available behind the bar for another few days if anyone would like to add anything to the sum already collected, or pay any promised amount. Thank you.

(Proud to be) Captain Leek GC

Andrew Baxter


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