Royal Dornoch Pro Shop pair Bradley Smith and Calum Paterson have raised an incredible £14,000 for charity after successfully completing a Longest Day Challenge.
With the club again pitching in to help organisations during the COVID-19 pandemic, the duo completed their energy-sapping challenge on Saturday 20 June. Bradley, Retail Manager, and Calum, Retail Supervisor, started out at 4.12am and finished almost 18 hours later, playing a remarkable 129 holes across the Championship and Struie Courses!
Having initially set a fundraising target of £5,000, they have now raised £14,000 for the valuable work of the NHS and Chest, Heart & Stroke Scotland (CHSS). CHSS is the chosen charity of Club Captain, Rob Murray, and Ladies’ Captain, Norma Fleming. Murray and vice-captain Willie Mackay were on hand to see the pair tee off at sunrise, with local members also showing their support throughout the day – some acting as social-distanced caddies and others providing much-needed food and drink!
Photographer Matthew Harris was up early too to take images, while Bradley and Calum’s progress was updated throughout the day via the Pro Shop Instagram account @royaldornochproshop
Bradley said: “Calum and myself achieved something truly special. Coming down the 18th on our last few holes, the crowd that appeared was truly inspirational and kept us going towards the end of a very long day.
“This whole project was Calum’s crazy idea and what an idea it was! He kept me going all the way through, played amazing golf and won against me by a considerable amount. Thank you to all who have donated to the great causes. It has been nice to rest our legs over the last few days!”
Prior to the challenge, Bradley and Calum also held a ‘Guess how many holes we play’ competition for all those who donated before the event, with only person guessing the correct amount. That was David Offin, who also came out and supported the opening tee shots with his wife, Linda.
Calum added: “The Longest Day Challenge came to us as an idea in light of the recent events in the world, as well as raising money for the Club Captains’ charity at Royal Dornoch. It was an incredible day, one I’ll never forget, and thank you to everyone for their donations. It’s amazing to raise £14,000.”
The challenge builds on Royal Dornoch’s support of local groups and the NHS earlier this year, using a percentage of the net green fees from visiting players. With the club and most other groups closed during the coronavirus crisis, the Dornoch Area Resilience Project was given £5,000 for various projects, including providing every young person in the town with an activity pack. Another £5,000 was donated to the NHS in Sutherland.
In addition, the club donated five tablet computers to Dornoch’s two care homes to enable residents to keep in touch with relatives during lockdown.