117 Holes Hiked!!

jrbgolfs's picture

117 holes walked in 2017. I have so many people to thank for their support and pledges. Thank you to Jim Colton for creating this wonderful means to support great organizations like The Champaign Family YMCA Camp Shiffer. Thank you to Jim as well for permitting me to join him at Ballyneal, such a wonderful course with wonderful people. Thank you to my wife, Lindsey, for encouraging me and promoting my efforts to help a place that meant so much to her mother, and thus to all of us. Thank you to my wonderful caddies, my good friend Jeff Cox, who volunteered to carry the clubs and despite not playing golf carried my bag for 108 of the 117 holes. The final 9 carried by one of the assistant pros at Ballyneal who stepped up and helped me get two birdies in my final 9. Thank you to my many friends and family who not only pledged monetary support, but also provided words of support and encouragement throughout my efforts.

Thank you to Ballyneal in Holyoke, CO, what an amazing place to do my hike and spend a couple days. The accommodations, the course and most of all the people who provided all I could have needed, including a Peanut Butter, Banana and Chocolate Milkshake when I finished.

Thank you to all those who donated, truthfully the list is so long, I won’t name you all, but know without your efforts I would not have been able to raise the over $5,500 and it is still going up. Thank you, and The Champaign Family YMCA Camp Shiffer Project thanks you.

Courtesy of Jeff Cox, I have a better idea of what I was able to accomplish on and off the course. I played six 18 hole rounds and one 9 hole round on the Front side. I shot 82, 72, 80, 77, 77, 82 and 38. Not too bad considering I played the course for the first time the night before my hike guided by Jim Colton and Brandon Urban. I did have the benefit of a little glow ball putting with the assistance of Jim Colton, Brandon Urban and my partner in the putting competition Gary Albrecht. Gary and I were able to pull out the win. The putting course at Ballyneal is special for sure.

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As for the hike, I had 13 birdies, no eagles and unfortunately no hole-in-ones (Looking at you Michelle O’Brien). I had 9 doubles, a triple and an 8 with hitting three shots in a row in a deep bunker I should never have been in. Playing a best ball with my scores I would have shot 64 and my worst ball I would have shot 98. I average under par on holes 4 (4.71) and 8 (4.42) with hole 8 being my average best and yielding 4 birdies! My worst hole was hole 9, were I never missed the fairway, but couldn’t seem to hit the green or make a putt, I averaged a bogey or 5.0.

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The time it took for each round was kept by my caddies and was skewed a little as I started on hole 10 and after the first round didn’t stop until I hit 18, so the times are a little skewed. With all that said the rounds went as follows, 1st- 1 hour 39 minutes, 2nd- 1 hour 51 minutes, 3rd- 1 hour 49 minutes, 4th- 2 hours 21 minutes, 5th- 1 hour 59 minutes and 6th- 2 hours 9 minutes and the final 9 in 41 minutes. As with previous hikes I finished the 117 holes with daylight left, but the blisters on the balls of my feet said no more, as I wanted to be able to function on my return to Ohio.

I walked 28.2 miles with Jeff Cox as my caddy and extrapolating the additional nine I walked a total of 30.5 miles. Jeff Cox used his Garmin he uses for cycling to determine for the six 18 holes he carried we climbed 2,172 feet with a max elevation of 3,738 feet down to 3,583 feet. The average temperature was 79 degrees. A pleasant surprise to walking 117 holes in Colorado was the complete lack of humidity! I changed my shirt a couple times, though probably not necessary. I did change sock 4 times and used three pair of shoes and used only about 8 golf balls total. I used only 7 clubs, Driver, Rescue Club, 4 iron, 8 iron, PW, 58 degree wedge and putter. My caddies will attest to my light bag, as I tend to keep the ball in play, usually. All in all, an unbelievably memorable day.

Here are some of the photos of the day including:

The glorious sunrise over the chop hills, beautiful pinks lighting up the sky as we teed off at 4:55 a.m.:
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My caddy Jeff and I ready for the day:
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Morning walking down the first hole and at the first green:
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The cloud cover hung around for about three rounds and provided ideal conditions for playing:
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Throughout the rounds of golf, the wildlife was abundant, though I wasn’t able to capture the fast moving Jack Rabbits:
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The course was fast, firm and truly fabulous. I played plenty of running 4 iron shots off the tee and into the greens, just a FUN course. Well done to Tom Doak and all those who have made Ballyneal such a destination.
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My caddy Jeff walking up to the 11th par 3 where I think I hit the green every single time and just couldn’t get a put to go down!

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Hole 99 was the 18th hole since I started on the first and I just missed a birdie and three putted for a bogey. What a pretty hole.
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Jeff and I with the selfie on my 100th hole!
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A wonderful day ended with an amazing sunset and time spent with Lindsey, Ellie and Claire, I am truly a lucky guy.

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I did this hike to honor Betsy Bohl, Lindsey’s Mom, whose life was taken too soon. My daughters still talk about Bebe, as they called her, and know her influence on their life remains. I can only hope Betsy’s influence on the Champaign Family YMCA Camp Shiffer will be as everlasting as the one on my girls. For any still interested in donating you can still do so through this link,


For those that have donated, you will be getting an email soon detailing how to pay directly to the Champaign Family YMCA Camp Shiffer.

A special mention goes out to Brandon Urban, who walked at Ballyneal with me. His hike was one that was truly EPIC!! Brandon walked 181 holes, yes 181 holes, the most of anyone, EVER. Brandon you are a wonderful man and I am lucky to call you a fellow hiker and friend. I have a long way to go to catch you, but you make me want to work harder for next year.

Thank you, thank you, thank you all for being so generous and supportive of my efforts. Last but not least I will draw a winner of my oil painting on Monday, June 26, so there is still time to donate. I hope I am able to do this again next year...

Love to you all,


This Golfer's Participation