Another in the books - Can't wait till next year

will's picture

Monday was a long and grueling day at Suacon Valley but when all was said and done, we are able to complete 111 holes.

Colin and I were first out of the gate at a little before 5:30 am and raced through the first 18 in about 1:30 minutes. The weather was cool and clear, just about perfect. The first obstacle that arises though, is the dew. There is not a golf shoe made that can combat a dewy course at 5:30 in the morning. Even if the shoes do a good job of keeping out moisture, the wetness will splash on your legs and run down into your feet through your socks. By the time we completed the first hole, our feet were soaked. The next four hours were all about trying to keep or get our feet dry. Colin would take off his shoes, dry his feet and change socks after every 18. Despite all of this, we had 36 holes completed by a little before 9:00 am and 54 done by 11:00 am. We were making great time even if we were struggling with our golf games. After a solid 79 to start, our next two rounds were not nearly as good.

We decided to get in a few more holes on the relatively flat Grace Course before moving over to the hilly Weyhill course for the afternoon. This led to my best shot of the day. The Grace is currently undergoing a bunker renovation project which is behind schedule because of the wet winter and spring. Monday happened to be the day that they were working on the first hole, a mid-length par-five. The hole requires a tee shot down the left side in order to have a look at the green in two. Unfortunately between the tee and the ideal landing area were about thirty workers who were removing sod, installing drainage and doing all the things that I did in a former life. After a quick "Fore" call, I stepped to the tee, aimed directly at them and somehow managed to hit my best drive of the day, the ball soaring over their heads. Colin managed to hit the next shot on the green. It was the second straight time that we had an eagle putt on the first. Because of the eagle bonus, each one of these putts were worth about $300 for LIFT. Unfortunately, we were unable to make either one. To make matters worse, we missed the come backers leaving even more money on the table.

We played 14 more holes on Grace before hopping over to Weyhill. We made a couple of birdies on our first round there but after that we were just trying to get around. The combination of the hills, a little bit of heat and Colin's water blisters sapped any hope of going for seven rounds (126). Rich Levine came out to caddie for us for the last 14 holes and it was great having him along. Thanks Rich.

In the end we stopped on 111, the same as last year. We only made four birdies all day as we both struggled with the putter.

I get to play a lot of golf, but I think my favorite two rounds of the year are the first round of the 100 Hole Hike at dawn and the last at sunset after reaching and surpassing your goal. The sense of anticipation during the first round and the sense of accomplishment are equally thrilling. Thank you all for supporting me in my journey.

I would also like to thank Andrew Warner for arranging the day at Saucon Valley and to Gene Mattare and his staff for all their help. Saucon Valley is a truly special place with 54 holes of wonderful golf. The steak and lobster dinner afterwards was tuly first rate. I can't wait to return.

I would be remiss if I did not thank Melissa and Mario Bellomo for all of their work leading into and on the day of the event. It went very smoothly and they made sure we were all well hydrated and nourished. You guys are the best.

My mind has already started to wander to next year's Hike. Where can we hold it? Can we do even more holes? How can I keep my feet dry? Any suggestions.....

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