Foursome achievement – Stratford’s marathon men raise £10k

One hundred and twenty-five holes played in the 16-plus hours that spanned dawn until dusk, 155 birdies recorded and 35 miles walked.

No wonder that at the end of this fundraising golfing marathon the four golf pros involved walked as though they had just spent months on horseback.

Saddle-sore they may have been but for Dan Hacker and Fred Jewsbury, PGA Professionals at Stratford-on-Avon Golf Club, three-time European Tour winner Andy Sullivan and recently turned pro and longtime club member, Rob Copperthwaite, the pain was worth every penny of the £9,500 they raised.

(from left): Andy Sullivan, Rob Copperthwaite, Dan Hacker, Fred Jewsbury

Moreover, they enjoyed every minute of an event designed to tie in with the club’s 125th-anniversary celebrations.

“It was a brilliant day,” said Jewsbury. “We had fun and raised a lot of money.

“Getting up in time to tee off at 4.30am was a bit of a shock to the system. Having said that, I started with a birdie so that’s the earliest birdie I’ve ever had.

“Our target was 125 birdies but we achieved that on the 107th hole. What’s more we took ready golf to the next level by completing what was almost seven rounds of golf in 16-and-a-quarter hours.

“I’d like to do it again but I’m not sure about the others. Not too so soon, though – maybe next year.”

The bulk of the money raised will go to Victim Support, the charity nominated by Sullivan.

“It’s a brilliant charity that helps people affected by crime and traumatic events,” explained Sullivan, who lives locally and is an honorary member.

“My family have experienced the support they offer and it’s invaluable. As for the golfing marathon – I can’t believe we’ve done it.”

Some of the cash raised will also benefit Echoes, a charity associated with the Shakespeare Hospice that supports children and young people facing or experiencing loss.

“It’s club captain Jim O’Halleran’s chosen charity for the year,” said Hacker, a PGA pro and the club’s general manager.

“And it was the beneficiary of the club’s 125th anniversary pro-am which was staged in the same week.

“More than 180 golfers, including 46 PGA pros played in it and I understand it may well be the best supported pro-am in the Midlands this year.

“More than £5,000 was raised for Echoes and, as the money is still coming in from our 125-hole marathon, it means we raised more than £15,000 in a week.

“That’s a huge credit to everyone involved, not least the club’s members who have been so supportive for both these events.

“That was great fun and very rewarding. I’d like to do something similar in future but I’m not sure if we can top that!”