In an extraordinary display of endurance and passion, thousands of golfers from across the state have already participated in the 2023 ‘The Longest Day’, a unique event that pushes both physical and mental limits to help raise funds for the Cancer Council.
The Longest Day officially took place on Monday, 11 December, but participants can take on the challenge at their local golf club anytime during December and January. Those who feel they are up to it are challenged to play four rounds of golf (72 holes) in a single day at their own club with friends and fellow members.
This year 111 golf clubs are supporting the cause, with 2,056 people taking part to already raise almost $930,000.
The numbers are just shy of last years, which saw 115 supporting clubs, 2,156 participants and $1.26 million dollars raised.
Naomi Watson, Director of Marketing & Fundraising said The Longest Day is an ultimate golf marathon that tests skill, strength, and stamina.
“Participants will be helping the almost one in two Australians who will be diagnosed with cancer by the age of 85 by raising funds for Cancer Council’s life-saving cancer research, prevention, information, and support programs that help the thousands of families affected by cancer each year in Australia.
“It’s estimated that there are currently more than one million Australians living with and beyond cancer, so funding for the next cancer research breakthrough takes all of us,” Ms Watson said.
Wollongong local Josh Carlson, who took part in The Longest Day at Wollongong Golf Club alongside three of his mates from the Balgownie Hotel Social Golf Club, said he’s been preparing by playing one to two rounds of golf a week since October.
“We’ll take our time, slow down our swings and opt for a 3/4 swing with a club or two more on the holes that need it. Keeping up the pace of play will be key by just keeping moving,” he said.
“All four of us are keen for a good time and a good challenge. It means a lot to have the opportunity to raise money and support the Cancer Council.”
Carlson, who is taking part for his second year, said he’s not afraid of a physical challenge.
“I am looking forward to the test and having a great time out there with some great people. As a professional mountain bike athlete who races all around the world, I am constantly faced with physical challenges competing to be the best in the world. Having a great event like this close to home for a bit of fun and for a great cause is an awesome off-season activity.”
Carlson and his crew have managed to raise over $3,000 thanks to online donations and the Balgownie Hotel Social Golf Club Christmas presentation.
“Taking on 72 holes of golf is daunting, hard, gruelling, intimidating and a long slog… similar to cancer. This challenge is our way of showing our support and letting those know who are affected by cancer that they aren’t in this fight alone and there are a lot of people out there who support you and are behind you.”