Tiree’s Longest Tee-Off for Charity

The longest and largest round of golf in Tiree’s history has now been completed. After 32 miles, over two days (19 hours), using just three clubs and hitting over 900 shots, three intrepid golfers have successfully managed to circumnavigate the coast of this fair isle, whilst hitting a golf ball, all in the name of charity.

The three friends, Gordon Archibald (Perth), Jonathan Jack and Rory Murray (both Edinburgh), set out on this adventure aiming to raise money for three causes that were important to each individual: Lauren Currie Twilight Foundation for Vasculitus, Cancer Research UK and Sphephelo, a charity that supports disadvantaged women in South Africa. Starting their challenge at approximately 1pm from the first tee of Vaul Golf Club on Friday 3rd August, the trio played towards the renowned beach of Gott Bay before heading in an easterly direction around the island, with the aim of reaching their accommodation for the night: The Mill Hostel, before sunset. The weather gods had been kind and periods of sunshine were coupled with unusually light winds. Sporting some colourful trousers and matching polo shirts, the group were warmly greeted by countless locals and visitors that they came across. Coffee, water and golf balls were kindly offered at every turn and, most importantly of course, donations!

Amassing a total of 14 miles walking on day one, the boys reached the hostel as light was rapidly fading. The tough terrain around the famous Ringing Stone was particularly draining for the group but fortunately they utilised their secret weapon in case of emergency, a tennis ball. Rory tell us, ”The grass was just too thick and long and we were losing balls on every shot, but the tennis ball really saved us.”

Continuing their challenge early the next day from the front door of the hostel, the group set off with the intention of finishing the challenge on the 9th hole of the golf club that they started their journey. “It was tough going on that second day”, Johnny remarked, “The thick drizzle was unrelenting and we didn’t see a soul for a few hours, the enormity of the task was now firmly in our minds.” “A turning point was reaching the beautiful Balephuil Bay”, Gordy described. “The sun appeared and spirits raised accordingly. It was also at this point that we realised we would have enough golf balls to complete the challenge!” In total, the boys lost only 36 golf balls and 1 tennis ball.

In Scarinish, a slight detour to the police station was made to recover Rory’s lost wallet, which of course had been handed in by a member of the public, testament to the wonderful nature and character of those on the island.

At around 6pm on Saturday, some 29 hours after they had set off around the island, the boys putted out their final ball into the 9th hole of Vaul Club and embraced, completing their Golf Marathon. Raising a staggering £500 in cash donations on the island alone, coupled with £2500 of donations made online, the group amassed a total of over £3000. If you still wish to donate, then please visit our Facebook page: “3 Men and an Island”.

The boys wish to thank the committee of Vaul Golf Club for their incredible support in making this challenge a success. “And to the wonderful people of Tiree who donated money, cake, golf balls, coffee, water or just said hello and gave us a wave – a profound thank you, you are amazing!”

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