Bear Mountain golf sales manager Chris Currie, left, poses with resort owner Dan Matthews (centre) and assistant professional Jaegan Patron after the trio completed their third hole of their third round of golf of the morning, which had them nearly halfway to their goal of 100. The long day of golf was part of the PGA of BC’s annual golfathon, which raises money for the ALS Society of BC. (Joel Tansey/News Gazette staff)

Golfathon raises funds for BC ALS Society

Bear Mountain golfers play 100 holes at Langford course

For Bear Mountain golf sales manager Chris Currie, Wednesday was equal parts fun, gruelling and emotional.

Currie was grouped with the resort’s owner Dan Matthews and assistant professional Jaegan Patron as they hit a few shots – 100 holes worth to be precise – and shared some laughs during the the PGA of BC’s 12th annual golfathon event, which raises money for the ALS Society of BC and provides support services to patients and their families.

But the event always hits particularly close to home for Currie, who lost his father Leonard to ALS in 2014.

“On a beautiful day like this you’re having giggles and you’re having great food and beverage as well but every so often I think of my dad, who pretty much introduced me to the game…It is a tough day but it’s obviously rewarding,” he said.

The Langford course was one of 36 to participate in this year’s event across the province and as of Wednesday they had just about hit this year’s fundraising goal of $10,000 thanks to the genorisity of their members and the broader public.

Currie believes that the Ice Bucket Challenge in 2014, a viral social media campaign, has really done wonders to raise awareness about the deadly disease.

“Before the Ice Bucket Challenge the ALS Society just didn’t get the same type of exposure as [other] diseases,” he said. “But oddly enough, you just talk to one or two people and everyone knows someone who suffered with this illness.”

As for the task at hand, it turns out 100 holes of golf in a day isn’t for the faint of heart.

The group got underway at 4:30 a.m. with a goal of being done around dinner time. Last year, some slower play meant they didn’t finish until around sunset, but by 11:00 a.m. Currie was encouraged by the pace that they were keeping this year.

“You’re still having a lot of fun playing golf…however when you’re hitting your fourth or fifth round of the day, that’s when your muscles start saying, ‘hey, you haven’t been doing this your whole life’,” he laughed. “I remember last year on my last round I could barely get my arms around.”

But it’s the next day where the full effect of the golfathon is really felt.

“You wake up and you’re just crawling out of bed.”

To donate for this year’s campaign, visit golfathonforals.com/node/238.

joel.tansey@goldstreamgazette.com

Twitter: @joelgazette

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