The old saying from Mark Twain is that golf is a good walk spoiled, but try telling that to Adam Rolston and Ron Rutland who extended that walk to 80 days and had the experience of a lifetime.
The adventurous duo got together and were keen to try and set a new world record for the single longest hole of golf ever played: 2,011km – which equates to 1249 miles – from a makeshift tee box high in the Altai mountains, all the way across Mongolia for 80 days, to finally putt out on the 18th green of the only championship golf course in the country on the outskirts of the capital city Ulaanbataar.
Sounds crazy to some, amazing to others and a pipedream to most, but they amazingly made it happen last year and have now produced a feature length film – The Longest Hole – about the epic journey.
And the great news for Scottish golf fans and people who love a great human interest story is that the film will be showing in Carnoustie, very near where The Open is being played, from July 16 to July 22.
Details regarding the film screenings here
The first thoughts of taking on an adventure came into Adam’s mind when he was on a rugby tour in Kenya with the Hong Kong national team.
While they were there Ron, a South African, was brought in to talk to the playing group as a motivational speaker.
Ron had spent more than two years cycling across Africa and Europe so he could watch his beloved South Africa in the World Cup in England in 2015.
He timed his 26,700 mile trek so he could arrive in the UK just in time to watch the Springboks play Japan in the 2015 group match, a game in which his beloved Springboks lost in a big upset.
Despite the poor rugby result, Ron had loved the challenge and, after his talk, he and Adam stayed in touch and hatched the golf plan together.
The longest hole was a long time in the making, planning had to be meticulous and everything had to be organised in a very detailed way.
Adam, who is originally from Northern Ireland, is a determined character though and with Ron as caddie he teed off at 1am on June 27 last year from the base camp of Khüiten Peak, the highest and most western point in Mongolia.
“I am quite a good golfer, but hitting that shot was probably the most nerve-wraking of my life,” Adam admitted.
“We had put so much effort into planning this thing, to then have actually played a shot meant a lot to me and it was quite emotional, but we had to take all emotion out of things and concentrate as we had a real job ahead on our hands.”
Two days into their journey and after a shaky start in the rough terrain and cold weather, the duo were joined by a wild Mongolian dog – named UB.
UB acted as a bit of a catalyst for tension between the two contrasting characters, but the trio soon built up a great bond and continued on their merry way.
And of course it was not just about them, over the days and weeks of following a little white ball across the country they enjoyed countless experiences with the curious locals who had never seen the like before.
“There were so many highs and lows,” Adam stated.
“We had to deal with so much, but I really would not change it for the world and this was about far more than just golf.”
Despite the hurdles, he managed to roll in the final seven foot putt on the 18th green of the Mt Bogd Gold Club on the outskirts of the capital city of Ulaanbaatar on September 16.
“It was the hardest thing I’ve ever done in my life, I’m in awe of the fact we did it, but it is great that we are now able to bring the story to a wider audience thanks to the film,” Adam concluded.
“And the fact that we are able to bring the film to the town where The Open is being played is massively exciting, we hope to see as many people as possible next week and share our story with them.”
Sounds amazing – the only downside for Adam? His score of 20,093 shots was 6,093 over the par of 14,000 set at the start of the challenge!
And think of poor Ron having to keep score all the way along the 2,011km hole…
What an effort by the duo and a fascinating tale.
For more information visit thelongestholefilm.com
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