Golf enthusiasts been available in all shapes and sizes. Some play for fun, some play for cash, some delight in the fresh air, some play to get fit.
Then there’s Luke Willett – an expert golf enthusiast who does all of that, in some cases at two times the rate, and still maintains a practically childlike passion for the video game he likes.
On Friday at 07: 30 BST, at Carnoustie in Scotland, Willett will tee off on a 10- day journey which will carry him around Great Britain.
He will play all 14 courses to have staged golf’s earliest major, the Open Champion, in its 159- year history. And he will do it all on his bike, biking in between each course with his clubs strapped to his back.
Willett will cover 804 miles and play 252 holes before he finishes in Kent at Royal St George’s, Sandwich, the house of next year’s Open.
He is doing do it all to help raise cash for his sport at grassroots level – by starting this journey on behalf of the Golf Structure, the national organisation that supports the growth of golf at a junior level.
” I’m restless, to state the extremely least,” stated the Buckinghamshire-based 35- year-old daddy of three. “The fire’s still burning in me.”
It is a fire that has actually burned in Willett since he initially used up the game as an 11- year-old, simply as Tiger Woods will inspirationally break on the scene.
” There’s no doubt the timing of Tiger’s arrival had a big effect on me,” he stated. “He won his first Masters the year I started playing. However there have actually been other inspirations too.
” And one of my dreams, even more down the road, is to do something amazing like this however get among golf’s top gamers involved, whether it’s a Rory McIlroy or a Francesco Molinari. I’m sure they could have a lot of fun with it.”
Luke’s Open schedule
- Fri 18 Oct: Carnoustie/St Andrews
- Sat 19 Oct: Musselburgh/Muirfield
- Sun 20 Oct: Royal Troon/Prestwick
- Mon 21 Oct: Turnberry
- Tues 22 Oct: Royal Portrush
- Weds 23 Oct: Royal Lytham & St Annes
- Thrs 24 Oct: Royal Birkdale/Royal Liverpool
- Fri 25 Oct: On the roadway (Lancashire to Kent)
- Sat 26 Oct: Royal Cinque Ports
- Sun 27 Oct: Prince’s/ Royal St George’s
‘ What can I do?’
As an Expert Golf players Association-qualified mentor specialist, Willett may not have scaled the career heights of his unrelated however more popular namesake Danny, the 2016 Masters champion.
But, in shaping the swings of the next generation of golf enthusiasts, initially at Burhill in Surrey where he began, and now at Hampstead in north-west London where he is mainly based as a PGA coach, Willett can have a probably even bigger effect.
And his mantra is all about merely making the ancient game as enjoyable and attractive as possible.
He continued: “Individuals discuss golf declining and I just thought ‘what can I do’?
What Luke does is to do all of it a bit differently. There is definitely no threat of anybody ever putting the clock on him for sluggish play.
He routinely attempts Speedgolf, running round an 18- hole course in 40 minutes, not the four or 5 hours that some rounds can take.
It did not affect his scoring too severely either. When he took part in the British Speedgolf tournament at Fingle Glen in Devon, he shot a four-over-par 74.
The weekend prior to that, at The Belfry, he did a 40- mile cycle ride, one-mile swim and 18 holes round the Ryder Cup (Brabazon) course.
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And he headed to the Lake District for his ‘Iron Golf Enthusiast Challenge’; a three-mile swim in Wastwater, a trek to the top of England’s highest mountain, Scafell Pike, and its steepest roadway, the Hardknott Pass, and 18 holes at Windermere Golf Club – all in one day.
This time, he will be away for 9 nights – he will sleep the penultimate night in his own bed when he breaks his journey from Lancashire to Kent – with the assistance of Willett’s clothes sponsors Bunker Mentality ensuring he will not need to stress over his cleaning along the way.
” I’m not a big fan of the fitness center,” he said. “For me, it’s practically being active, eating healthy food and taking excellent exercise whenever you can. If that’s cycling to the stores and back frequently, that’s terrific.
” I want to think that, by doing this, it will help to highlight the health advantages for youths and likewise the sense of personal adventure that the sport can bring.
” It need to not be just about numbers on a scorecard. Individuals can be too results-focused. It’s not everything about whether you’re one or two shots better than last week. A lot of weekend golfers can lose sight of the pleasure of swinging a club, striking a ball in the fresh air in gorgeous surroundings.
” I just wish to help other individuals to get as much out of golf as I do. Golf is a wonderful sport with long lasting physical and mental health benefits, and we ought to be yelling this from the rooftops.”
The Open Championship rota
- Royal St George’s, Sandwich, which will stage the 2020 Champion (16-19 July). It will host the event for the 15 th time, after being the first English course to hold the Open in 1897.
- The 150 th Open Champion will be at St Andrews in 2021 (15-18 July), the 30 th time the Old Course has staged it. The first was back in 1873.
- The Open will be at Royal Liverpool, Hoylake in 2022 – the 13 th time it has actually been held there, and third since going back to the rota after a 39- year absence in 2006.
- After St Andrews, Prestwick, on the Ayrshire coast, has actually held the most Opens (24) beginning with the very first in1860 However it has actually not held it because 1925.
- The Honourable Company of Edinburgh Golf Enthusiasts, at Muirfield, which initially signed up with the rota in 1892, have hosted the Open 16 times – the most current of them in2013
- Royal Lytham & St Annes, on the north bank of the Ribble Estuary, Fylde last held the Open in 2012 – the most recent of its 11 hostings, which began in 1926.
- Royal Birkdale, Southport, where Jordan Spieth won in 2017, has staged 10 Opens since initially being selected in1954 For over 30 years it was ‘the latest Open venue’ till Turnberry in 1977.
- Simply north of Turnberry and Prestwick, Royal Troon staged the most recent of its 9 Opens in 2016, when Henrik Stenson just held back Phil Mickelson.
- Carnoustie on the north coast of the Firth of Tay, has actually had eight Open winners because first being utilized in 1931, but will always be remembered for one loser – Jean van de Velde’s final-hole collapse allowed Scotland’s Paul Lawrie to win the 1999 tournament.
- Now a community course, Musselburgh staged the Open six times between 1874 and1889 But the location, near Edinburgh, was never ever utilized once again.
- Turnberry has held four Opens. The very first, won by Tom Watson in 1977, and the most current in 2009, when Watson almost won aged 59, are the most remarkable. The Ayrshire course was bought by Donald Trump in2014
- Royal Cinque Ports has actually held the Open two times, in 1909 for among the excellent JH Taylor’s five Open wins, and again in1920 Located at Deal, on the Kent coast, on Sandwich Bay.
- When Shane Lowry won at Royal Portrush in July, it was only the 2nd time that the Open had actually crossed the sea to Ireland, having first hosted in1951 The only Open place not in England or Scotland.
- Prince’s belongs to the stretch of fine courses on the Kent coast including Royal St George’s and Royal Cinque Ports. The only Open staged there remained in 1932, won by Gene Sarazen.
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