This morning I fired up YouTube, looking for fresh weekend golfing content and a video thumbnail from Peter Finch caught my eye and stopped me mid bacon sandwich. The title of the video was:
Image: Peter Finch Golf
Peter had just played the three highest golf courses in England, Wales and Scotland in a single day in his latest video that I encourage you to watch. An amazing achievement. But was this a world first golfing record? Well, yes and no.
A world first?
Back in 2007, a long time before PuttBANDIT, my brothers, Neil and Andy, myself and former England rugby union international, Dewi Morris did the same thing. We also played the three highest GB courses in a day.
Peter Finch’s adventure was slightly different to our 3peaksgolf challenge many years ago, but both could still be world firsts. I’ll explain.
Kington v Alston Moor
Seventeen years ago, the highest 18-hole golf course in England was Kington in Herefordshire at 1,280 feet above sea level. If memory serves me right, Alston Moor in Cumbria, which Peter played at 1,476 feet, was being redeveloped at the time, adding more holes and tees. I may be wrong on that, but for some reason it wasn’t available to play.
Peter also faced a challenge we didn’t have in 2007. He did all his travel in an electric vehicle with all the range anxiety that involves. We borrowed a 7-seater van with plenty of fill-up points available.
3 ball limit
Peter made the challenge way more difficult by only using 3 golf balls. I think I burned through 3 balls at Leadhills alone with some wayward wind-blown shots into heather.
The final difference is that Peter was playing alone, and we played as a four-player stroke play game. Takes a bit more time even with a ready-golf attitude.
Andy, Paul and Neil Hart with Dewi Morris
Our 3peaksgolf challenge started with a warm welcome and a cup of tea from club members at Leadhills, Lanarkshire. We tee’d off at 5pm on Saturday 16th June 2007, 1,500 feet up in the swirling mists, wind and rain for our first challenging 18 holes. It looks like Peter had identical weather.
We then drove south overnight, and had a quick nap in the car park at Kington golf club before being greeted by a welcoming committee for a 4:30 am tee off in the dark. That was probably one of the most memorable rounds of golf I have ever played. The views were amazing, the hospitality from the Kington members was fantastic, and the full Hertfordshire breakfast they cooked for us was so welcome. We played decent golf too with the wise counsel of our Kington caddies.
Next, we drove down to West Monmouthshire, Gwent, teeing off at 10:45am, climbing high up the course through the cloud to reach 1,518 feet and into the sunshine. Dewi sank the final putt at 2:40pm to the cheers of gathered friends, club members and well-wishers as Andy celebrated his win by 3 shots. We had done it with time to spare.
21hrs 40mins 31secs
The four of us had managed to play 54 holes in 3 countries, covering 365 miles and 4,298ft in 21 hrs, 40 mins, 31 secs raising £3k for charity. It was one of the best challenges I have ever undertaken and will always treasure the memories and remember the kind and welcoming people we met.
Double record breakers
Did Peter Finch achieve a world first for his challenge? I think he certainly did. Did myself, Andy, Neil and Dewi get a world first back in 2007? I’d like to think we did. But who knows for certain. The record didn’t really matter. It was such great fun to have tried it.
I encourage anyone who would like to attempt this challenge to give it a try and raise some money for good causes. But can you beat our 4-player time? You know you want to.
You can view the photo gallery of our 3peaksgolf challenge on Flickr as Instagram wasn’t launched until 2010. How times have changed.
Play well at altitude.
Paul Hart is a co-inventor of the PuttBANDIT ball marker and helped set a record in 2007, possibly.
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