A local teenager is taking part in an event described as “an endurance golf marathon” to raise funds for the Cancer Society.
Fifteen-year-old Callum Wall’s first golf club was actually a stick, which he used to fire back the golf balls that ended up in the family’s garden, alongside Gulf Harbour Country Club’s 11th fairway.
Free introductory coaching sessions at the club followed and Callum’s enthusiasm for the sport grew.
“Mum made a deal with me where if I hit the ball past the 110m sign, she’d buy me a set of clubs,” Callum says.
After quite a bit more coaching, he eventually hit the sign and got the clubs – as well as a free set that the Country Club provided and had shortened for him.
The Year 11 Wentworth student has now been playing golf for three years and tries to fit in a daily game. His increasing skill is reflected in a handicap drop from 54.4L to 9.5.
He was immediately keen to take part when he heard about the Cancer Society’s new fundraiser – The Longest Day.
This involves people playing four rounds of golf (72 holes) in a single day, while raising funds. Some will play on the longest day of the year, December 22, but golfers can choose any day in December or January that suits.
Callum will tee off on December 10 at Gulf Harbour Country Club at dawn, and expects to complete the challenge at dusk, taking around 3.5 hours to play each round. Normally he takes 4h15mins to complete a round. Using a cart instead of walking will speed things up, he says.
As he goes, he will be thinking of his grandmother and great grandmother who both died of cancer last year, four weeks apart.
“I want to raise funds to help find a cure and support those going through this awful disease, because no one should have to endure what they did,” Callum says on his fundraising page.
Cancer Society Auckland/Northland division’s fundraising assistant Sophie Hancock says the Longest Day is a trial – most of the more than 80 golfers who are currently signed up to take part are in Auckland. She says the success of the idea means it will go nationwide next year. As at November 20, $26,860 had been raised.
To support Callum’s Longest Day, search for The Longest Day at www.everydayhero.com/nz/ and select Callum Wall.