Hiking 100 holes for a good golf cause

I'm participating in a Youth on Course 100 Hole Hike this summer. Why aren't you?
At 85, Bruce Baker (middle), the Youth On Course Co-Founder and Board Chair Emeritus, plans to complete the Premier 100 Hole Hike at The Hay, where he and his team raised $720,000 last year.

My mind has always been willing. Just not my body.

I've always wanted to attempt the holy grail of golf charity fundraisers - playing 100 holes in one day. A balky back has always said no.

I'll get my wish this summer thanks to Youth on Course. I'm participating in a YOC Premier 100 Hole Hike this July at The Hay at Pebble Beach, one of 11 exclusive events around the country from June through November where donations will benefit young golfers. All of these Premier events are at short courses like The Hay, taking some of the physical grind out of the experience. My body can handle walking nine holes of 670 yards 11 times (plus one extra hole).

Don't worry. It will still be a grind. I'm planning on making things interesting by instituting a "one-club challenge" every nine-hole round, rotating every club in my bag, from 3 iron to putter. At some point, I'll be hitting out of bunkers with a 3 iron and putting with a sand wedge. It should be a blast.

More than 250 hikers took on the challenge last year, walking more than 3,300 miles at 27 courses across the country. They raised nearly $2 million for Youth on Course, which was enough to subsidize nearly 300,000 rounds of golf for YOC members. This year's goal is $3 million.

I'd love for you to join me as a hiker. If you can't, please donate to my cause (or someone else's). Here's how.

What is a Premier 100 Hole Hike?

The Premier sites are open to those who commit to raising a minimum of $10,000 per person per hike, with some sites holding a higher fundraising threshold. The hike experience will make all the effort in fundraising worthwhile. Hikers will be treated to nice local accommodations, a round of golf at an exclusive local course and a team dinner with fellow hikers at the location. Hopefully there's a site near you:

For adrenaline junkies and extreme golfers who want to play 100 holes the hard way on a regulation-sized course, they can sign up for the Premier hike at Sweetens Cove or wait for other hikes to be announced later in the summer with lower fundraising requirements.

If you're not familiar with Youth on Course, the non-profit based on California's Monterey Peninsula subsidizes rounds of golf for junior golfers who pay just $5 to play at member courses. In 2021, Youth on Course subsidized 435,000 rounds for more than 130,000 boys and girls aged 6-18 in all 50 states, plus two provinces in Canada. This is the next generation of players and hikers.

I'm going to start training for my hike by walking my local short course at Santa Teresa Golf Club in San Jose, while hitting various clubs. I'm also doing a lot of regular hiking on weekends on the beautiful natural trails in the Bay Area. Follow my training and fundraising on my Twitter account @WorldGolfer. I'd love a follow and a donation. Remember, it's for a good cause.

To donate to my hike, click here. To join a hike, register at the website 100holehike.org or contact Rachel Miller at rachel@youthoncourse.org.

Jason Scott Deegan has reviewed and photographed more than 1,000 courses and written about golf destinations in 20 countries for some of the industry's biggest publications. His work has been honored by the Golf Writer's Association of America and the Michigan Press Association. Follow him on Instagram at @jasondeegangolfpass and Twitter at @WorldGolfer.
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Hiking 100 holes for a good golf cause