Emily Adams keeps her head down and eyes on the ball for a short chip shot to the green. (Photo by Don Bodger)

Emily Adams keeps her head down and eyes on the ball for a short chip shot to the green. (Photo by Don Bodger)

Doing his Best for ALS

Mount Brenton Golf Club pro tests the limits in golfathon fundraiser

Most people consider one round of golf enough of an endurance test. To do 10 in one day is just unfathomable.

But Mount Brenton Golf Club pro Jan Best did precisely that, completing 10 rounds of the course amounting to 180 holes Monday, June 24 in the annual Golfathon for ALS fundraiser.

Best has put himself to the extreme golfing test each of the last nine years as part of the Professional Golfers Association of B.C.’s support for those affected by amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and their families.

Golfers have been going from sunrise to sunset on specially designated days throughout June to raise awareness and funds for the ALS Society of BC while golfing as many holes as possible.

Best is more than happy to lend his support.

“It seems to be a well-publicized event nowadays and people are getting really creative with their ways of doing the golfathon,” he said.

Best’s day began at 2:20 a.m. when many were still in their early stages of sleep. With a newborn at home, he’s used to an erratic schedule, but even this was pushing the limits just a little bit.

“I got up, fed the baby and came straight to the golf course,” said Best.

He started on the course at 3:48 a.m., determined to beat last year’s total of eight rounds with two more.

It’s still dark at that time, of course, even during the first days of summer.

“You know your swing well enough,” Best reasoned. “You can tell where your ball goes.”

By about 4:15, “it’s pretty much playable,” he added.

“It’s so silent out there that time of day, you can tell when your ball hits the green.”

As people started to come onto the course later, Best would simply play through until he reached the end of his 10th round around 2:30 p.m.

The enormity of the feat resonates with even the most avid golfers who are used to playing in a foursome where one round takes upwards of four hours.

“It throws people off because they don’t quite understand you can do 10 rounds a day,” said Best.

The day was a marathon in itself for him because playing time is usually limited while he runs the golf operation at Mount Brenton. The chances to actually play have been few and far between this season already.

“I think I’ve played six rounds total aside from the golfathon,” Best chuckled.

He was joined for a couple of rounds each by assistant managers Emily Adams and Eric Butson.

Best wasn’t just out there to bash the ball around. He was focused on results since some his fundraising depended on how well he played.

“I am because people are paying me based on birdies,” Best indicated. “I have to keep it legitimate because of that.”

His performance wasn’t quite as good as last year, but he still averaged a 72 for the 10 rounds. Best’s best round was the third to last with a three-under-par 68 that followed his highest score – an 82 – on the preceding round.

“The better you play, the faster you go,” he conceded. “Hitting it down the middle helps your case.”

Fatigue naturally set in along the way.

“At the end, the last one was a bit of a tough one,” Best noted. “That’s totally normal.”

He estimates his fundraising total will be just shy of $3,000.

Ladysmith Chronicle