reader Liz Napier was one of nine determined golfers who raised £10,000 for MacMillan by playing 72 holes in a day. Here's how they did it

I was one of nine lady golfers aiming to raise £9,999.99 for Macmillan by playing 72 holes in a day. It was an experience I will never forget.

We all play at Langdon Hills Golf Club, which in Horndon on the Hill, Essex.

Everyone has been touched by cancer – that indiscriminate, vicious, wicked disease that is part of our lives. We are all affected by it in some way.

We have, as a group, been affected by various forms of cancer.

In recent years we have had ladies who have fought and won their battles; but we have also lost two dear friends and it was for them that we accepted Macmillan’s challenge.

In fact, one member of our team of ladies is currently fighting this disease: she is an inspiration to us all.

Seventy-two holes in one day is tough– it is 24 miles of walking while being challenged by the course as well as the elements.

Overnight before our challenge there had been lightning flashes and thunder crashes and by morning the weather was no better.

We had agreed to meet at Langdon Hills  at 4.45am, intending to tee off at 5am.

We arrived to a welcome from the greens staff who informed us that there was no way we could do so – with lightning flashes still to be seen on the horizon it just wasn’t safe.

We had a cup of coffee and waited…and waited.

At 550. the greens staff gave us the all clear.  They headed out to prepare the greens for us and we had a group hug.



The three teams set off to start the challenge at a cracking pace.We all completed our first 18 holes in just over 2 hours 15 minutes.

Our helpers were in evidence all day: Josie in her buggy, dashed between the teams with food, water and any medical items needed; Adrian directed us in terms of where we needed to be on the course and by what time; Phyllis was our super supporter, driving Jan in her buggy throughout the day; and Martin was the official photographer.

There were also many ladies from the Club who arrived at various times to give support and encouragement.

We held a putting competition in front of the clubhouse which was a roaring success.

All we can say is a huge thank you to everyone, too numerous to mention individually. There is no way we could have done it without you.

Without slackening our pace, we continued and by midday we had completed 45 holes: 45 holes – we couldn’t believe it!

Determined to keep going, we decided to have a short break to change shoes and grab a cold drink. Not stopping to eat lunch helped us.

Our team of helpers grew, and the weather was also improving.

It was late in the afternoon when we heard some amazing news; Redrow had donated £999.99.

This single donation meant that we would almost certainly reach our ambitious target for Macmillan.

The teams and supporters were elated and even more determined to complete the challenge.

After 12 hours and about 10 minutes the first team headed up the 9th fairway and were astounded to see a large crowd waiting at the green.

As planned, we gathered on the green of the 9th hole of the Langdon course.

The first team to arrive, Lady Gems III, marked their balls. Lady Gems II came next and marked their balls. And then Lady Gems I arrived, receiving a tumultuous welcome from the amazing crowd.

The final putts went in and we had done it!

We had completed the 72-hole challenge in 12 hours and 20 minutes.




Then it was time to party, finish the raffle and auction and roughly work out our sponsorship total.

We knew that with the donation from Redrow our target had been reached.

The members and friends of Langdon Hills had contributed throughout the previous three months of preparation, donating to our cake sale, raffles and an auction.

Colchester Golf Club donated a fourball which was auctioned and raised an amazing £120.  Thank you, Colchester Golf Club – your support is greatly appreciated.

Last, but definitely not least, we would like to send our sincerest thanks to everyone at Langdon Hills who supported us. 
We danced and partied on at the club until we were ready to drop.

All of us felt elated and so happy that we had achieved what we had set out to do: raise a very large amount of money for one amazing charity – Macmillan.

We said goodnight, all agreeing that it had been an honour to be part of this amazing team.


How to donate

• You can still donate to our Macmillan Cancer appeal here:

Liz Napier

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