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Endurance golf pays dividends for Cancer Society

Four local golfers shot 72 holes each and walked a combined distance of 120km at Martinborough Golf Course to raise over $7000 for the Wairarapa Cancer Society last week.

Friends Tavita Isaac, Marc Jurlina, Hayden Schrijvers, and Cam Elers endured temperatures exceeding 29° degrees on Thursday to take part in the golf marathon, called the Longest Day Challenge.

The golfers left home in the dark to tee off just after 5am and played golf for the next 13 hours, taking an hour’s break for lunch.

Following the challenge, Isaac was “a bit knackered”, he said.

“We probably underestimated the challenge. You know golf is supposed to be a fun sport but four rounds consecutively definitely takes its toll on the body.”

After a couple of “enjoyable and straightforward” rounds of golf, the “mental challenge started” and “we had to emotionally support each other”, Isaac said.

Friends and family helped ease the pain and the heat of the final round with supplies of ice blocks and cold drinks.

Far from letting the scale of the challenge affect the quality of their golf, “the guys actually played some of the better golf and had some the better scores they’ve shot”, Isaac said.

Playing golf to raise money for the Cancer Society “was a cool initiative” and had personal resonance for Isaac.

“Everyone is touched in some way, shape, or form by cancer”, he said. “My father passed away a couple of years ago, and he loved golf, and I found it quite fitting – he would have liked the idea of this challenge.”

Wairarapa Cancer Society centre manager Amber Arkell said the funds raised will help meet the growing demand for the organisation’s services.

“It is heartening to know that the money raised locally stays within the community. We express our deep gratitude for the support received.”

The experience hasn’t put Isaac and his teammates off either golf or further golf challenges.

“One hundred per cent we’d do it again. It was an awesome day.”

Donations can be made by visiting www.longestday.org.nz/t/golfs-longest-day-21st-dec-23-martinborough until the end of January.

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