PGA man MacKenzie counting down the days to latest epic charity drive

PGA man MacKenzie counting down the days to latest epic charity drive


Time flies when you put your heart, soul and everything else into an epic charity drive. “It’s amazing how quickly the days disappear,” said Sale PGA Professional Peter MacKenzie as the clock continues to tick-tock away like that oversized timepiece on an episode of Countdown.

Not long after completing a seven-course marathon in East Lothian last summer to raise funds for Breast Cancer UK, MacKenzie plunged himself into arranging yet another golfing odyssey. On Monday, 21st August, he will tee-off at Nairn in northern Scotland at 6pm. And he will keep thwacking away at a little dimpled ball for 24-hours non-stop.

What was it Jack Nicklaus said again? “Golfers have a tendency to be very masochistic, they like to punish themselves for some reason.”

MacKenzie, of course, is not viewing this latest charity push as a punishment. Instead, it gives him great purpose. His drive and dedication for a cause very close to his heart – his mother Jean suffered from breast cancer – remains unwavering. As the build up to the challenge intensifies, and he ups the ante on the training front, there are one or two sacrifices that need to be made too.

“I’ve already stopped the crisps, chocolate and sweeties,” he said with a wry chuckle. “And with five weeks to go I’ll stop the booze too. All the nice things in life will be gone for a bit.”

MacKenzie’s training regime remains robust. “I’m probably averaging around 100 miles a week,” he said of the daily yomps he embarks on in his local parish. “I’m just trying to cram it all in. It’s almost like a second job now. Last year’s challenge was tough but there’s a lot more intensity to this one. It’s golf for 24-hours solid, plus the walking and jogging for that same period. It will be upwards of 14 rounds.

“I’ve done a bit of night golf training too. I can actually play a full round in the dark with my head torch on in an hour-and-a-half which is pretty good.”

MacKenzie’s regular training treks at all sorts of hours have led to one or two intriguing incidents. “There was one time in the dark when I was walking down a country lane with my head torch on and I saw all these little glimmering lights and thought, ‘what’s that?’,” he recalled. “The next thing I heard was bleating and it was a flock of sheep. There must have been 20 or so. They were on the road and I’m thinking there could be an accident here so I spent about half an hour trying to rustle them to safety. I’ll get a job as a shepherd next.”

In addition to the main event at Nairn in August, MacKenzie is hosting a charity dinner and auction in July and remains eternally grateful to the various clubs and companies who have donated rounds and equipment for the occasion. The Bonnie Badger Hotel in Gullane, which bolstered his funds last year by donating a portion of its bills to the cause, are back on board for August while the Holdcroft Motor Group in Stockport have provided a set of wheels for MacKenzie’s trip north.

“I’ve had some great support from everybody and I can’t thank them enough,” he added.

With the countdown very much on, MacKenzie is relishing another test of his physical and psychological resolve.

“Getting used to being on the move constantly for 24 hours will be different,” he said. “Mentally it will be tough. Golf can be a mental test at the best of times but this will be the ultimate challenge.

“It’s very rewarding doing what I do and I love the process of having to dedicate myself to something like this. Even now, I’m already thinking about something for next year. People say I should have a year off but it’s very hard when you’ve done fund raising to suddenly stop. It gives you a great sense of fulfilment.”

CLICK HERE to visit Peter's JustGiving fundraising page.


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