Naas man Jamie Butler completed a marathon task on Monday as he completed a 100 hole challenge to raise funds for The Jack & Jill Foundation.
Butler set out at 6am on Monday on the first tee at Naas GC and just over 14 hours later, with a huge crowd cheering him on, he holed the final putt of this mammoth undertaking after carrying his own bag for close to 60km over the 100-hole trek.
“I’m just relieved,” admitted an exhausted Butler. “It was a long day. It’s something that not very many people have done so I wasn’t quite sure how I would fare. But I’m just relieved to get it done. We had a great turnout here and that support got me over the line the last couple hours, so it was great. It was a long day and I’m glad it’s over.”
Far from just a one day endeavour, Butler began planning the 100-hole marathon over six months ago and chose the Jack & Jill Children’s Foundation as a worthy beneficiary who have a base close to Jamie’s Kildare home.
“It was the 17th of December last year when I sent the first text to the General Manager at Naas,” Butler recalled. “I wanted to do something for a charity, you know, I’ve been fortunate enough to have a lot of great things. I’m over in the States in college and a lot of people have been very good to me, not everybody is that lucky.
“So I wanted to give back. Jack and Jill are a local charity who deal with sick children and allow them to be treated at home rather than in a hospital, and as a local charity, it’s very close to my heart.
“I got the idea last year and it was something different and it just snowballed really. We picked a date and then all of a sudden, a couple of days ago, I was like, ‘oh my goodness, I actually have do this now!'”
Far from the dry days of June, the Irish weather threw all four seasons at Butler on Monday but he kept going and had the full support of all the staff at Naas to get the job done.
“At times we were thinking, how are we going to get this done as the rain was so heavy, some greens were starting to flood,” he says.
“But look, we kept going. I have to give a special shout out to Dave Behan the greenkeeper here at Naas who was great. He gave us squeegees and he moved a couple of the pin placements on top of ridges so the water wouldn’t affect the hole placement which enabled us to keep going.”
As Butler mentioned, he’s home for summer from college at the University of Toledo in Ohio where he competes on the NCAA circuit with his colleges team “The Rockets”. And make no mistake, he’s a serious competitor. Not happy just to complete the task of playing 100 holes in sometimes atrocious conditions while carrying his bag, he was also intent on keeping score.
“We actually had a guess the score competition here between the members and the guesses ranged from 10 under to 73 over!
“I didn’t know what was going to be a good score because I didn’t know how tired I was going to be. I’m stubborn though and a competitor at the same time so I always want to put on a show and make some birdies. A couple of sponsors were giving money for every birdie so I had an incentive to keep going and push hard right to the end and I’m so happy I did.
“It was becoming repetitive going around and around playing the same holes and you can lack steam and lack a bit of motivation. But when you see a crowd gather it made all the difference.
“The weather cleared and having so many members, family and friends come out for the last 9 holes was a huge adrenaline burst. It’s not as easy when you have played over 90 holes and you are having to make adjustments as the ball is not going as far; I’m not swinging as quick and running on empty.”
However, that kick from the crowd really helped Butler over the finish line as he rallied by carding an eagle on his 97th hole, backed up with a birdie on the 98th to pull back to level for the day which was 395 strokes. “I thought around even par would be a really good score and that’s how I finished which I am absolutely delighted with,” said Butler.
“I am totally blown away by the support I have received both online and from all the sponsors. We had over 50 companies get involved on course, as well as so many individuals online. I’m so grateful.”
As of today the fundraising had reached over €11,000 and counting. The link to donate will be left open for a week so you can still donate anything you can HERE with all proceeds going to the Jack & Jill foundation.
From all at Irish Golfer, congrats Jamie. Well done.
View this post on Instagram
View this post on Instagram