A Day to Remember

Yesterday was a day I'll remember forever. First tee at 5:12am - not my longest drive ever, but certainly one of the most significant. Thus began my 100 holes hiked to benefit Seattle Children's Hospital.

My body was not quite awake yet, so the early morning swing thought was simply to turn through the ball and let the club do the work. I knew I had to get as many holes as possible in before the morning regulars started out, and it paid off. With no wasted motion, I completed rounds 1 and 2 by 8:41am, averaging under 1 hour 45 minutes each. There is definitely something very liberating about switching off the golf cortex in your brain, moving from shot to shot, and just playing freely.

By mid-morning, I was starting to run into groups that were taking advantage of the beautifully mild sunny summer weather we enjoy here in the Northwest. Fortunately, I never had to wait too long before they would let me play through, as the wonderful folks in the pro shop gave people a head's up that there was a single out there doing a golf marathon for charity. To give people a better understanding of the event, I had some cards printed up beforehand that I would hand to groups as I was playing through.

After round 3, time management was my main concern. Knowing that 100 holes is 5 and a half rounds + 1 hole, I decided to play the "half round + 1 hole" on the back starting at hole 9, a short par 3 not far from the clubhouse. This strategy would also set me up nicely to finish my 100th hole on 18 at the end of the day.

By round 4 is where I started to feel the physical and mental stress of what I was undertaking. My hamstrings were getting too tight, and my swing was getting too loose. Staying hydrated was key to keep from cramping up, staying "in the moment" focused on each shot was key to keep from spraying the ball too far off line.

At 4:00pm, I was ready to play my final round. Reviewing the previous rounds, my scores had been slowly creeping up, and I wanted to finish off the day with something special. I started off the round with par (a hole that I'm pleased to walk away with par on any day), and drained a 30 footer on the second hole for birdie. A couple of bogies and a par later, I was standing on the tee box for number 6, a short par 3 with bunkers left and right. With my tee shot pushed slightly, I found myself setting up for my next shot in the bunker, pin high on the right with a shoulder-high lip to clear. The good news is that this gave me the perfect vantage point to watch my sand shot arc high over the lip, land softly about 10 feet away and curl perfectly towards the cup, dropping in with its last revolution. Sandie bird to get me back to even par!

Unfortunately, either the excitement or fatigue (or a combination of the two) set in and the next two holes brought me back to reality with a quad and a triple. Still, the rest of the round went well, I ended up shooting my course handicap, and the best round of the day.

The tremendous feeling walking up the 100th hole knowing what I was about to accomplish is indescribable. The sore legs and body will only last a day or two, but the memory of this event, seeing the generosity of those who pledged, and knowing that we're helping a cause that brings so much to families in our community is what I'll savor for a long time to come.

I'd like to thank those who pledged through me to Seattle Children's Hospital in this event, as well as the pro's, staff, and crew at Aldarra Golf Club for their support. Special thanks goes to my great friend Rich Choi for caddy services and for being there at o' dark thirty for my first round. Most importantly, I'd like to thank my beautiful wife Lyrma for her support throughout this entire venture - without you I could not have done any of this!