I think we all know by now the Bunker Mentality friend Luke Willett (AKA The Iron Golfer) loves a challenge. In what is looking like his final major challenge of the year, Luke set out to climb the three highest peaks in England, then playing three rounds of very good yet very fast golf in the Lake District. Below is his account of the challenge, and an insight into how tough it truly was.
With the wind driving the rain close to horizontal my final ‘Marathons of Golf’ challenge truly did not start the way I had in mind, especially when it was head first into an assent on England’s highest mountain. And yet here I was, like a child in a sweet shop, eager to get going. The welcome I enjoyed to England’s Mountain capital and home to the great outdoors was dark, moody, and awash with wet adventurers. I am not going to hide my apprehension to this challenge with the past days seeing close to 100 mph winds, however this was my window, it was now or never.
This final 24-hour adventure had it all: Tackling England’s 3 highest mountains and playing the 3 golf courses in the Lake District National Park in rain and strong winds was yet another true test.
Playing 3 rounds of golf, each in well under an hour, may sound extreme but in truth the experience could not have been more joyful. From the most peaceful and tranquil round at dawn running damp but remarkable fairways carved out of the rolling tree lined hills, to a breath taking course who’s next door neighbour is a mountain with a membership who came out in force to applauded my completion of my middle round, to that fitting final round to sign off the adventure on a course that is perched high on an upturned bowl with 360 views of the incredible wilderness.
The 3 Peaks may have hidden their views but being the bucket list mountains for many, they were full of people winding their way up. Each and every person I saw was a real boost and those little one liners never stopped to make me smile. On the final mountain, a lone hiker even become the lifeline for my good friend and photographer, when he hit rock bottom, offering him her energy bars to keep him going. It reminded me just how much we depend on one and another and how the mountains are alive with pain, suffering, generosity and so much joy. In many ways the pulse of life.
Starting off feeling excited yet anxious and unsure of what lay ahead, I completed the ‘Peak Potential’ challenge in 23.5 hours. Yes, I had jelly legs, had to push hard and keep telling myself one more step over and over again. Yet remarkably after everything that had happened, like so often before, my final 9 was my best golf shooting +1. Surely a positive sign of all the preparation. And best of all, despite being ready for the pain and aching that follows extreme challenges like this, my legs and body felt great thanks to my new stretching regime. It has not only kept me pain free but it has actually helped me get stronger!
Driving home, as I said goodbye to the Mountains in the rear-view mirror and looked forward to the prospect of all the smiles and noise of family life, I had a thought come over me - ‘I have never been so complete’.
Peak Potential Tally:
The mountains; Scafell Pike 3 hours, Hellvelyn 2 hrs, Skiddaw 3.5 hrs
Golf; Windermere 42 minutes score 75, Keswick 55 mins score 80, Cockermouth 49 minutes score 76
Overall; Assent 2900 meters, Distance 47 km, holes played 54, 23 hours 34 minutes
‘Peak Potential’ was my final ‘Marathons of Golf’ Challenge of the year, its safe to say it was my most adventurous round of the year and a fitting conclusion to completing 12 golf themed marathons in 12 consecutive weeks. My aim was to get young people talking about health and fitness through golf to help them reach their peak potential. Please donate to my charity The Golf Foundation who help young people from all backgrounds Start, Learn and Stay in Golf. Details can be found on my bio.
Until next time….
Be sure to follow Luke on his adventures over on his social media channels