A True Marathon Test

Well, I've run the Marine Corps Marathon the last 3 years and I'm not saying running 26.2 miles is easy but right now I feel a greater sense of accomplishment having completed the Hundred Hole Hike.

Kris Anderson and I started at 5:30 on the 10th at Holly Hills. My first drive into the semi-darkness felt like a good one but whether it was slightly left or slightly right I'll never know because I never saw that ball again.

The first 9 was tough, I shot 50 - my secondary goal was to stay below 90. Kris and I had different strategies, I used a push cart and 12 clubs, Kris carried 3 clubs: Driver, 8 iron and putter (later adding a wedge as a 4th club). I bounced back and managed to shoot 81, 80*, 82, 84, 85 (lost the score for the front nine on the 2nd round). Not many birdies to be had despite plenty of chances. Long game held up well most of the day but with focus on time not quality first putts were difficult to get on target.

Ryan Ballengee from the GolfChannel joined Kris and I after 8 holes and brought a new strategy, he played with a 4 iron. Seve would have been proud. We enjoyed Ryan's company for the next 60 holes until he blistered out. He continue towards his goal by playing the 12th hole 33 times in his bare feet. I know that is not quite within the rules of the event but Ryan walked the length of the 12th hole 66 times so hats off to him for sticking with it and not packing it in.

We struggled all day with the weather, it was 90F in the afternoon and staying hydrated and not getting sunstroke was a big challenge. Our course is called Holly Hills for good reason, on the back 9 alone the total climb is 197 ft. Cold showers and a change of clothes helped. Big thanks to Rick Hillbrecht (one of our pros) who brought us umbrellas when the sun was at it's strongest.

My stretch goal had been 108 but coming up the 81st hole I decided that I'd be very happy with 100 and sure enough that was all that available light would give us. Once more in the semi-darkness we hit our drives down the 10th and 100th hole. No lost ball this time. From the fairway we managed to convert our drives into two great birdie chances. Kris went first and just missed. For the first time that day I read my putt from both sides. As it left the putter I was sure it was in, it hit the cup a shade too fast, did a 180 and I tapped in for what was really the better score - not matching my partner on the last hole wouldn't have felt right.

My TRUE Linkswear shoes and Kentwool socks had been my savior all day long but it felt wonderful to finally take off my socks and shoes and walk barefoot back to the clubhouse where we enjoyed a glass of champagne with friends.

Thanks to all at Holly Hills who supported us. The green staff who were rooting for us all day long. The members who let us play through. Elizabeth for keeping the kitchen open late. Friends and family who cheered us on - it was a real thrill to have my wife Victoria and my kids Eric and Caroline walk the last 10 holes with me. Many thanks to all who made pledges - I'm still tallying up but the final number is around $2500. Lastly many thanks to my playing partners Kris and Ryan and especially Kris our membership director at Holly Hills who made this whole thing possible.

This Golfer's Participation

Comments

Congratulations, Ken! What a great accomplishment.

Congrats Ken. Thanks for a great write-up.

hi ken, i'm kris' dad, and congratulations to you on a job well done. from talking to kris after the hike, it sounded like you two were perfect partners . you were a great support for him, and i expect he was the same for you. perhaps it was the scotland connection. i don't know if he mentioned it, but his great grandparents came to the u.s. from glasgow in the early 1900s. kris' grandfather, my father, was passionate about the game, playing for many years at the wonderful garden city golf club on long island, ny. i hope that we meet up sometime when i'm down visiting kris. perhaps even play a few holes; something less than 100 , though. george anderson

ben.carey's picture

Thanks for posting about the event and taking up the challenge.

It sounds like it was a great day!