More than 4000 golf enthusiasts will be swinging for a good cause this month when they take part in The Longest Day. Golfers will put their skills, strength and stamina to the test by completing up to four rounds of golf to raise funds for the Cancer Council.
If you’re tee-ing off in the ultimate golf challenge, see our tips for staying the course and, with a stroke of luck, you’ll be acing a hole-in-one.
1. Get pitch perfect
The Longest Day is, as the name suggests, a long day. Whether you’re taking on 36, 54 or 72 holes, you’ll be walking between 20km and 40km. To rough it out that long, you should make sure your golfing skills and fitness levels are up to par.
Practise multiple rounds in the lead up to the event and aim to complete a few rounds in one go. Pick various targets left, right and centre, even if it’s a spot on the grass or a tree, so that you can practise a range of motions. Check out The Longest Day ambassador Paul Gow’s tips on how to improve your game.
Good technique and form are crucial, but your physical ability is equally as important – even if you’re not a competitive player. You should warm up properly before playing and do strength and flexibility exercises in between rounds to reduce your risk of injury. This will also help with your performance.
2. Bunker down the night before
Get plenty of rest the night before your event. By sleeping well, your body will be in tip top shape and you’ll play better too.
3. Round up your essentials for the day
Ensure you pack all the essentials you’ll need for the day. You don’t want to end up on the green realising you forgot to pack a hat or enough snacks. To help you, here is our checklist of items:
A wide brimmed hat
Change of shirt or two
Comfortable golf shoes
Your woods, irons and putter
A towel and sweatbands
Blister kit – just in case
Spare balls, tees, pens and pencils
Vaseline – to help prevent chafing
4. Be sun smart
UV levels are at their highest during December and as you’ll be spending all day exposed to the sun, sun protection is very important. You can protect yourself in five ways:
Slip on sun protective clothing that covers as much skin as possible, especially your shoulders.
Slop on SPF30 (or higher), broad spectrum, water-resistant sunscreen and reapply it every two hours.
Slap on a broad-brimmed hat or one that covers your head, face, neck and ears.
Seek shade throughout the day.
Slide on close-fitting sunglasses with a sun protection rating of 2 or higher.
In addition, you should drink plenty of fluids before and on the day. Aim for 250ml, eight times a day, or more if you are sweating.
We recommend starting your event as close to 5.30am or first light as possible. This is so you can finish your challenge before dark. It should take no more than 14 hours to complete 72 holes, and it’ll take less time if you are completing 36 or 54 holes. Each round should take about 3.5 hours and will be faster by playing in pairs.
Swing over to our Longest Day website for more information, including tips and FAQs, to get you ready for your challenge.