|Hundred Hole Hike returns to Ballyneal|
|Written by Kyle Arnoldy|
Hundred Hole Hike will return to its birthplace as Ballyneal Golf Club hosts a marathon round of golf for charitable causes for the third straight year, Monday, June 24.
Two years after the Ben Cox 155 took place at Ballyneal Golf Club southeast of Holyoke, a movement has been established, giving those who are passionate about golf a means to turn their love of the sport into a way to help others.
Jim Colton set out to raise $5,000 for Ben Cox, a Ballyneal caddie who was paralyzed in a skiing accident in March of 2011, by walking 108 holes at Ballyneal. When the sun set on the day, Colton had walked 155 holes and raised over $110,000.
The event inspired Colton to create One Divot, a charitable organization behind Hundred Hole Hike. From the initial event, Hundred Hole Hike has blossomed from a single event where just one golfer raised money for a cause into a national network of golf marathons where participants walk 100 or more holes in one day to raise money for various charitable causes.
In 2012, 67 hikers played 7,602 holes to raise $273,000. So far in 2013, 12 golfers have played 1,297 holes, 83 total golfers have signed up for events worldwide and more than $405,000 has been pledged.
Golfers unite for charitable causes
Nine golfers are slated to participate in Hundred Hole Hike at Ballyneal Monday. Each participant will be raising funds for a charity of their choice. Pledges can be made on a per-hole or lump sum basis. Pledges can be made by going to www.hundredholehike.com. The Ballyneal event can be found by clicking on the clubs tab.
Those scheduled to play Monday and the charities they’ve chosen for their pledges are:
Brian Carruthers, Cancer Research Institute.
Doug Write, SungateKids.
Jim Colton, Solich Caddie & Leadership Academy.
John Penny, National MS Society.
Mitch Ehly, Disabled American Veterans.
Rob Rigg, Prevent Cancer Foundation.
Stephen Wright, NCGA Foundation: Youth on Course.
Van Nguyen, NCGA Foundation: Youth on Course/East Bay Asian Youth Center.
Wyatt Halliday, ThriveWell Cancer Foundation—San Antonio 1,000 Cancer Genome Project.
Carruthers, who was Ballyneal assistant golf pro for three years, actually caddied for Colton in 2011 during the initial event. After the event he decided that he would play in a Hundred Hole Hike every year. Last year he completed 108 holes and plans to do the same this year.
“It’s an opportunity to raise money for a good cause while doing something you enjoy,” Carruthers said.
Carruthers also noted that most people pay per hole so there is extra incentive and motivation to play as much as possible and push extra hard to raise even more money.
Colton plans to match his pace of 155 holes he completed in 2011 and 2012. Colton is actually planning to participate in four Hundred Hole Hike events in a three-week span with a goal in mind of completing 500 holes.
Colton noted that the golfers will probably hit the links as early as 4:45 a.m. Last year temperatures soared over 100 degrees, so taking advantage of the cooler weather in the morning is advantageous for those participating. Colton encourages anyone interested to come out and support the cause.
For more information on the organization, events, players and their charities, visit www.hundredholehike.com.
Holyoke Enterprise June 20, 2013