100 Hole Hike Recap

What a long, grueling, amazing and gratifying day. I woke up at 3am, showered, got dressed and started the drive down to Laurel View Country Club. I arrived at Laurel View around 4:15am. My first caddy, Joe Downey arrived about a half hour later and we were ready to go. I teed it up at approx. 4:58 am with the sun just rising over the mountain.

I hit my first shot into the semi-darkness, looked at Joe and said, “Do you have any idea where that went?” Joe’s response was something like, “I think it went that way” (pointing to the left center of the fairway). We got down the fairway and sure enough, my first shot landed in the fairway, surely a good omen to start the day. I made a decent chip shot and 2 putted for a par on the first hole. Not a bad way to start.

The first 18 holes went very fast, I finished with an 86 in about a 1:50. Joe left shortly after to take care of his sick daughter and I played the next 4 holes solo. My father in law, Neil McHale, arrived and I played a few holes but were soon called off by the course staff because of lightning (Lightning Delay #1). We were holed up in the pro shop for about 30-40 minutes. It was raining like I haven’t seen in a long time, windy, even hailing at times.

Once the delay ended, I played through the rain for another 5 holes or so, when Lightning Delay #2 occurred. We were holed up for 10 minutes, then got to go ahead to keep going. I played the next 10 holes or so in the rain, with the bunkers and greens covered in standing water. I would hit a putt as hard as I could and it would only go 10 feet, spraying water everywhere! We forged on playing several more holes, honestly I can’t remember how many I had played at this point, but I was playing very well.

Lightning Delay #3 occurred and Neil packed it in (for a little while at least). After waiting out another delay, Neil was replaced by my friends Sally Williams and Jen Joy. This was a fun round. Once the lightning subsided, the 3 of us proceeded back on the course in the rain where Sally commented about how safe it was (or wasn’t) to be playing with thunder still heard from a distance. Just a side note, Jen had never been on a golf course before, but both her and Sally were awesome caddy’s. My wife Alexis showed up on the 8th green and walked with us up through the 9th hole to the clubhouse. This is where Jen and Sally had enough of the weather/rain/me and packed it in for the day, soaking wet.

A quick lunch brought by Alexis, and back at it.

Matt Kabrick, an intern (and former Wish kid), took over and caddied for the next 3+ hours. Alexis walked the next few holes with us, and the sun actually came out for a nice 2 hour stretch. We were joined again by Neil and his wife Mary for another 5 holes, until that stretch of 9 was complete and Alexis had to head out to pick up Jake (my oldest son) from school. Matt and Neil got me through the next long stretch until Lightning Delay #4 occurred at around 4:30pm (with 96 holes in the books).

Matt had to pack it in and head home to a birthday party, but it was an absolute pleasure to be around this young man for 3.5 hours and he truly gave me the inspiration I needed to keep going! I sat down for about 10 minutes (what a huge mistake that was), and when I got back up to finish the final 4 holes I was stiff as a board. Neil took me home for the final 4 holes. A very special thanks to Neil, who was with me for a large portion of the day through some terrible weather. I don’t know how many holes he was there for, but it was a lot! I couldn’t have done it without him!

I will always remember the final hole. I got to the #10 tee box and there were 4 groups waiting to tee off for their Monday night league. I hit my drive (which may have been my best shot of the day), right down the center of the fairway and received an ovation from the 10 or so people on the tee box. I shook all of their hands and they congratulated me before I ventured down the last fairway of the day. At this point, walking downhill to the fairway, my right knee was in excruciating pain (walking flat was fine but going up and downhill was getting hard), I had 2 blisters on my toes (from all the rain and being wet all day), and one on my left thumb. There was no way I wasn’t going to finish this and finish strong. I hit a decent chip shot onto the green and 3 putted (argh) for a bogey. My ball splashed (literally) into the cup and I was done! Here is a picture of my ball in the final hole. You can see the water covering the entire cup, and if you look close enough you can see my ball in the hole. This picture typified my day.

I popped a bottle of champagne and refused a cart ride back to the clubhouse. I finished and I was going to enjoy my walk, blisters and all back to the clubhouse, to complete my day.

13.25 hours, 4 lightning delays, 30.2 miles, 504 shots (+104), 5 caddies and soaking wet, I was done! 100 HOLES!

In total, I raised $4,009 for the Make a Wish Foundation of CT. This was by far my greatest athletic accomplishment of my life. As I am writing this, my entire body aches, but every second of it was worth it for the true heroes - the children that the Make a Wish Foundation supports and the volunteers that make it happen! Many people have asked me if I will do this again next year. I can honestly say without equivocation, YES!

Top 5 Favorite Moments (In order of appearance)

1. Having Jen and Sally caddy for me. I am fairly confident in saying that the golf course has and never again will see a twosome like this. I am also confident is saying that never has anyone worn footwear like Jen on a golf course!

2. Having Matt Kabrick from Make a Wish (and a former Wish kid) caddy for me for 3+ hours. He is truly an inspiration and I was honored to spend time with him.

3. Somewhere around hole 90, two older men came up to me, shook my hand and each handed me a $20 donation. They had no idea who I was but were amazed at what I was doing and who I was doing it for. One of the guys said to me, “Thank you so much for what you are doing! Simply amazing!” I am not sure if it was what he said, how he said it or that I was mentally exhausted, but I did shed a few tears.

4. During Lightning Delay #4, I text messaged Joe (my first caddy of the day), and told him I was about an hour from finishing. Joe sent me the following message, “Picking up kids now.” Fast forward about 45 minutes later, (I just finished #9, my 99th hole of the day), and I see Joe barreling into the parking lot. He looks at me and I said, “1 to go”. I teed off at 10, walked to my ball and was about to hit my approach shot when I see Joe driving down the cart path (with his 2 girls in the cart and his young son on his knee) carrying a bottle of champagne. I couldn’t help but laugh, Joe at his finest! The 4 of them got out of the golf cart and I finished my round. We popped a bottle of champagne and Joe, Neil, Eddy (the head pro) and I celebrated (all with Joe’s 3 kids looking on)! Thanks Joe, I will always remember that!!

5. The entire day. The staff at Laurel View Country Club was incredible. I couldn’t have asked for a better partner than everyone involved. Eddy was cheering me on for the last 4 holes and provided any assistance I asked for (including clearing a path for me when the course got a little busy during the few hours of sun we had). I didn’t know what to fully expect going into this, but whatever my expectations were it was not close to the experience I had. This day was everything I could have asked for and more. The support from my family and friends was amazing. 100 HOLES! YEAH!!!

Next year? YOU BET!!

Pete Monaco

Stats & Random Thoughts
- Holes – 100
- First Tee Shot – 4:58 am
- Last Putt – 6:15 pm
- Lightning Delays – 4
- Low Round / High Round – 86 / 102
- Best Ball / Worst Ball – 75 / 110
- Birdies / ‘Snowmen’ – 2 / 5 (not a good ratio … but at least you know I’m honest) All the ‘snowmen’ were on the last 25 holes!
- 3 pairs of golf shoes (TRUE Linkswear are awesome!)
- 5 pairs of socks
- 14 bottles of water
- 1 turkey sandwich
- 1 peanut meal replacement bar
- 4 packs of Gu Energy Gel (Mint Chocolate)
- 1 bottle of Chandon champage
- 3 Blisters
- Most important, I now know what Body Glide is and I am very happy I had it!!!

This Golfer's Participation

Pete Monaco

Greenwich Country Club
July 25, 2017
Pledge to this golfer