I have a “40 before 40” list. This is a list of 40 things I want to do before I turn 40. I got the idea from my sister who did a 30 before 30 list and I am still working on mine because I only have 27 items listed.
My list ranges from things like seeing a game in Fenway and going to Cooperstown to having a father/daughter date with my baby girl (will be one of the last things I do before 40 so she is a bit older) to silly stuff like I want to brew my own beer. One of the items on my list was that I wanted to play 54 holes of golf in one day and walk all 54 holes.
I have played 36 holes many times. I have played 36 holes and walked all 36 plenty of times. I have played 90 holes of golf in a four day stretch. I have never played three full rounds of golf in one day.
Why did I do this? Well, I love golf, first of all so why not play golf from sun up to sun down? I am more fit now than I used to be, so I challenged myself by walking all 54 holes (and carrying my clubs – no push cart here).
I knew I had to do a few things: I had to do this during one of the longest days of the year and I probably had to do all three rounds at the same course – preferably a course that is easy to walk.
The summer solstice, or longest day of the year, is June 21st this year. I am going on vacation starting on the 18th so I could not do this on the 21st. However, the days leading up to the 21st are shorter by only a few minutes. When reviewing my schedule I figured Tuesday, June 12th was a good day to give this a shot.
I love golf, but I am not made out of money. I was looking at Aurora Hills and Fitzsimons Golf Course in Aurora. Both are cheap, close to where I live and really easy to walk. They are both older courses so there are not really long walks between green and tee, very few hills and both are pretty slow when it comes to the number of rounds played there daily. I ended up going with Aurora Hills just because it is a bit nicer than Fitz. (And it worked out for my wallet as I only had to pay full price for the first round, the second round was half off and the third was free!)
We were easily able to get three tee times for four individuals. Our first time was at 5:39am, second time was 10:42 and the final tee time was at 3:48. I played with my good friend and dad in all three rounds (my dad road in a cart for rounds 2 and 3) and filled my foursomes with my mom in round 1, brother-in-law in round 2 and wife in round 3.
The forecast for the day called for temperatures near 100 and gusts exceeding 20 mph. The heat I don’t really mind but wind makes it rough. I purchased some new sun screen before the round to be sure not to turn into a lobster during the day, packed my water bottle and headed to the course.
To help keep track of some of the stats I used Map My Run on my phone to track distance walked and a pedometer to track how many steps I took.
Round 1 was pleasant because it was nice and cool that early in the morning and no wind. I shot a 74 and walked just about 8 miles. We finished by 9:45 or so and had about an hour to sit in the restaurant have a bit to eat and cool off.
Round 2 was nice, but the wind really picked up. I shot a 79 and could tell I was getting tired because I shot a 42 on the back nine. I was three over par on my first 27 holes played and six over par in my next nine holes. Between the wind and getting tired golf was getting harder. We played this round in about four hours, too. This round, for some reason, is a blur in my mind.
Round 3 was rough. Even though it didn’t feel like 100 because of the wind, it was still hot. The sun was starting to wear on me and my feet really started to hurt around the ninth hole of the third round. I shot an 84 in the final round and really had a hard time hitting good shots from the fairway. Hitting off of a tee was OK, but when I had to hit off of the ground it was tough. I really struggled to shoot an 84. We finished this round at about 7:45.
All in all I shot, by nine hole increments, 36-38-37-42-42-42. My goal was to shoot under 240 for the day and I shot 237 – goal achieved. We spent nearly 13 hours on the course walking and according to Map My Run I walked just over 22 miles. My pedometer said I took 48,500 steps and my feet told me I better get the f*** off of them. I am guessing I drank close to 300 ounces of water and my worst hole was #10 in which I was five over on the day and my best hole was #8 in which I was three under on the day (first eagle of the year).
I felt pretty good considering what I had just done when we were finished except for my left foot. Somewhere around the ninth or tenth hole I felt a blister developing on the ball of my left foot. It was more like a bruise than a blister. The day after it was really tender, too. My back held up really well and I didn’t feel really exhausted…although I don’t recall my head hitting the pillow after a nice shower that night. I must have been asleep as soon as I saw my bed.
It is one more item I can check off of my 40 before 40 list. I can now say I played golf from sun up to sun down and I can honestly say that there is no way I ever do that again. If I do play 54 holes in one day again it will be in a cart and on a resort. It will be a place where I want to take in as much golf as I can because it is a nice course and not some public course like Aurora Hills. But there is no way I walk 54 holes again.