24-hour of golf event raises fund for Lung Cancer Alliance
by Bob San
SUN PRESS NEWSPAPERS
What started out as a crazy idea of something fun to do between four golfing buddies four years ago has turned into a very meaningful annual fundraiser.
Curt Groebner, Alex Cole, Ross Miller and Evan Bojar, who met while working at Sundance Golf Course, came up with the idea of playing 24 consecutive hours of golf four years ago just for fun. To help keep them more motivated, they added a charity component to the event and raised funds for a charity.
This year’s event, which took place Friday, Aug. 2 at Sundance, raised funds for the Lung Cancer Alliance. It carries special meaning for Groebner.
“After losing two of my grandparents to lung cancer, I just discovered a few a weeks ago that my uncle, Chuck Groebner, has been diagnosed with the disease,” he said. “All donations this year will be made in honor of Chuck in his fight against the disease.”
Blessed with perfect weather and playing condition, Groebner, Cole, Miller and Bojar were joined by newcomer Matt Geisendorfer-Lindgren, who played the first 11 hours. Groebner, Cole, Miller and Bojar played nonstop for all 24 hours. They completed 135 holes together (7.5 rounds). To keep things interesting, they played different formats throughout the entire day.
“We dabbled with games such as ‘one club,’ ‘team speed golf,’ ‘2-man worst-ball scramble,’ and obviously the glowball rounds to shake things up,” Groebner said.
For the glowball rounds, the four all used Twilight Tracer golf balls, which Groebner bought before heading out in the dark.
“These balls flash a red light for 5 minutes after you hit them,” Groebner said. “They get the job done, but it’s still tough out there driving around in the dark and trying to see what you’re doing. Lots of flashlights were used. Those balls are pretty pricey, so we did our best not to lose too many of them in the dark or in the water.”
Even though it was their fourth time playing 24-hour golf, it was still a daunting task.
“Overall, it’s tough for us to stay feeling healthy and positive all 24 hours, but we’ve gotten pretty good at it by now,” Groebner recalled. “Our bodies have gotten better at handling it now that we’ve done it four times. We all got pretty sore and tired about 10 hours into it, but we seemed to get a second wind and feel fairly decent for the second half of the event.”
Groebner added that playing together as a group made it easier for the golfers, especially in the final stage.
“The last three hours (in the dark again) were generally the toughest,” he said. “It took a lot of focus to play in the dark, and that’s tough after being awake that long. It helped to have all four of us going through it together, though. It’s very good camaraderie out there, and our different formats were always a lot of fun. It’s a rare chance to play goofy games that we normally never would play, so we all look forward to this time every year.”
The golfers were understandably exhausted after completing the grueling venture.
“I am still a little sore and tired, but everything went great for us out there,” Groebner said after getting some much needed sleep. “The weather was perfect the whole time, and we had a lot of fun.”
Groebner, who said the event has met its goal of raising $4,000 for Chuck, also feels a sense of pride that what started out as an idea to have fun has evolved into a fundraiser to help charity.
“This year’s event definitely meant a lot to me trying to raise money and awareness for lung cancer,” Groebner said. “I’ve been very pleased by the support we’ve received in this event, and it’s continued to grow over the years. This began as just a crazy idea of something fun to do, but so many people were shocked/impressed by the fact that we discovered how big of an impact we could make by turning it toward a fundraising focus. My family, friends, coworkers, and the Sundance community have really seemed to take an interest and appreciation for what we’re doing. I see no reason why we won’t continue the tradition next year.”
For more information about Lung Cancer Alliance, visit lungcanceralliance.org/about-lca/. To donate online, visit firstgiving.com/fundraiser/alldaygolf/13.