On Monday 20th June, 4 brave but slightly insane colleagues, Sam Bernard, Martin Kowalski, Alex Bernard and Joel Bernard struggled out of bed accompanied by the Dawn Chorus and arrived at the Centurion Golf Club to face the ‘Longest Day Golf Challenge’, a mammoth challenge that was taking place nationwide for the Macmillan charity. It was a task that required much training and dedication to the cause. The day consisted of 4 rounds of Golf back to back – a task that any keen Golfer would struggle with. The 17 hour day involved approx. 27 miles of walking, over 50,000 steps and circa 400 shots per person – that’s a distance from Hemel Hempstead to the London Eye, a truly gruelling feat!
The Gents were supported during the day by 4 great teams of Caddies, all willing volunteers from DBD and our Suppliers. Sam states ‘we simply couldn’t have done it without them both physically and also in keeping our spirits up!’. Mike Taylor, Neil Harvey, Glenn Beardon and Jonny French got them off to a great and early (4.45am!) start. Then they handed over the bags to David Firth-Bernard, Kevin Pettitt, Tom Roberts and Gareth Cox who probably had the toughest shift given the 4 hours of torrential rain! The next team of caddies were Adrian Shepherd, Steve Davey, Ben Lawler and Luke Jackaman who kept them going through Round 3.
“The 17 hour day involved approx. 27 miles of walking, over 50,000 steps and circa 400 shots per person…
Then as the sun came out and a beautiful evening arrived Bob Barnard, Martin Appleyard, Gavin Ferguson and Tom Kenward brought them to the final 18th tee. To keep them entertained and to spur them on Tom had arranged prizes to be won throughout the last round – massages, car cleans, lunches. This definitely helped the Gents to keep upbeat and focused on reaching their goal! Martin adds ‘The last 18 holes and the prizes that the office put together were amazing and provided great banter and took our minds off of those last challenging holes. At first I didn’t want to do it, England were playing Slovakia and I had several niggly injuries, but after much persuasion I gave in. The rain in the first two rounds was relentless and having to change clothes each round and not having any relaxation time was really hard. Like any challenge, it was very tough and I was extremely anxious leading up to it, but I felt great to have succeeded and to have completed it with some of my best mates (both playing and supporting).’
One of the four Golfers Joel Bernard says: ‘I would like to say the day went as well as it could have but…. The weather made it as difficult for us as it could. Even just playing 1 round in bad weather is soul destroying but thinking that we had to potentially play 4 rounds in it wasn’t that appealing to be completely honest. We had driving rain from 7am-12:30pm which made the conditions extremely difficult, but the caddies supported us immensely through it and it made the afternoon sunshine 100 times more enjoyable. As my dad says “the bad times make the good times even better” and that’s exactly how it felt, even though we were feeling it by the 3rd round tired wise, the weather and caddies made the afternoon a brilliant experience because of the early start and hard morning we’d had. It’s no understatement to say that if we didn’t have new caddies for each of the 4 round, we simply wouldn’t have been able to complete it that day. They were immense! The first 2 sets pulling us through the horrendous rain, they were soldiers in that cold and soaking weather, and the last 2 sets really kept our spirits up as we really could have started to fade physically and lose morale. Everyone who kept us fed and watered were excellent as well, I think one of the guys even said that the food we got was better than what he usually gets, don’t know if that’s a complement to the food on the day or an insult to his mrs!’
They had so much support on the day, thank you to everyone who donated drinks, breakfasts and lunches and also a thank you to sweetness Catering who supplied some great energy filled burritos for the final leg. sweetnesscatering.co.uk
We would also like to say a huge thank you to the Centurion Club who were so accommodating and generously allowed them to play without cost and who kept the course open for them despite horrendous weather conditions. Alex comments ‘The course was amazing and although a long course, (so it involved more walking than you average course) it coped with the weather conditions so well! I would definitely do it again for Macmillan, rain, snow or sunshine!’
Thank you also for all those who sponsored DBD. We are overwhelmed by the support that was shown, raising a fantastic sum of £1,160.00! Macmillan is a super charity and every penny helps then to provide Cancer care and support to patients and their families.
Well done Gents, we’re very proud of you!
If anyone would still like to donate just go to our JustGiving page:
To see some of the highlights of the day checkout this video filmed by Sam Bernard:
DBD Golf Challenge 2016
From left to right-Samuel Firth-Bernard, Joel Bernard, Alex Bernard and Martin Kowalski