Middlesex golfer John Loffler became the first HowDoWeBEATit champion at the stunning Trump International Golf Links – but the real winners were men of all ages with the competition raising more than £31,000 for Prostate Cancer UK.
Loffler, from Teddington, a member at Hampton Court Palace GC, in Surrey, won the inaugural HowDoWeBEATit grand final with Prostate Cancer UK, organised by HowDidiDo – one of Europe’s largest golfing communities – at the award-winning Aberdeen venue, ranked in the UK & I’s top 10.
Between April and September, golfers who elected to donate a minimum of £5 to participate in the competition, had their best scores on all 18 holes at their golf course logged by the HowDidiDo system, with the ‘eclectic’ score resulting in their best theoretical scorecard – a format which gave every golfer a chance of competing at the once-in-a-lifetime grand final venue.
And the top 16 golfers were treated to two days of golf – including a practice round – a night’s stay at the resort’s five-star accommodation, and a winner’s presentation and dinner, when officials from HowDidiDo were able to hand over a cheque for £31,100 to Prostate Cancer UK.
More than 1,000 HowDidiDo golf clubs participated, with a total of 4,586 golfers registering. Drumpellier GC, in Coatbridge, near Glasgow, topped the contributor list with £230 donated, and four other clubs – Teignmouth GC, Whitley Bay GC, Orsett GC, and Deeside GC – also contributed more than £200.
View the video of why golfers signed up to HowDoWeBEATit with Prostate Cancer UK
A delighted Loffler said: “I signed up because, one, it’s a good charity; and two, it was a great opportunity to come to a course I would normally not have the chance to play at. The eclectic format for qualifying was great and certainly good fun.
“The only reason I am here is because I had a ridiculous round where I had about four birdies which I’ve never had before. Then I realised I had never had birdies on those holes before and I went from about 200th to the top 20!”
Barry Dyett, a spokesman for HowDidiDo, said: “To raise more than £30,000 in the first year of the event has delighted us, as Prostate Cancer UK resonates with us at HowDidiDo, because it largely affects men over the age of 50 – and our average golfer is a 51-year-old man.
“We hope, given the success of this year’s competition, we will see an increase in participation in 2018 and a subsequent rise in the amount we can hand over to a brilliant cause at the end of next year.”
In the UK, one in eight men will get prostate cancer at some point in their lives. Older men, men with a family history of prostate cancer and black men are more at risk – and if you are the latter, the statistics are even starker: one in four.
People are largely unaware that prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men. It’s a huge issue that cannot be ignored. In 2018 one man an hour will die from prostate cancer in the UK. That’s more than 11,000 men per year. Prostate cancer is set to become the most commonly diagnosed cancer of all in the UK by 2030, and competitions such as HowDoWeBEATit are helping to raise awareness about the disease.
HowDidiDo has become one of the largest online golfing communities in Europe, with new, engaging and exciting content for golfers everywhere to enjoy, accessible through either the mobile app or on the industry-leading, social media-influenced website. It is also used for official CONGU handicapping and competition results and continues to bring golfers together both online and offline from around the UK with thriving events like the Titleist Order of Merit.