Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University golfer Mike Usendorff will soon embark on his longest round of golf yet: an attempt to play 180 holes in just 10 hours.
But it’s all for a good cause. Half the money raised during the BTech Marketing student’s golfing challenge on May 16 will be put towards NMMU’s costs to participate in the upcoming University Sport South Africa (USSA) golf tournament. The other half is going towards the Ernie Els Centre for Autism.
Usendorff, 23, a member of NMMU’s KPMG Madibaz Golf Club, is the son of South African golfing celebrity Dave Usendorff. He remembers watching his father play 256 holes in a day to raise money for a children’s charity – and yearned to do the same one day. The opportunity has finally arrived.
“For me, family comes first – I’ve always wanted to be like my dad, and to be someone who can give something back.” Dave will be flying in from Pretoria to support his son.
“I’m very excited. I know it’s not going to be easy. But even if I don’t reach 180 holes, I know I’ll still be proud, as this is going towards something good,” said Usendorff, who has been visiting the gym and playing a few more rounds than normal to prepare for the marathon event at Humewood Golf Club. “Every Sunday, I’ve been playing 36 holes without a cart.”
As the event approaches, Usendorff and his KPMG Madibaz team mates are rallying around to raise sponsorship, approaching companies and individuals to sponsor an amount per hole played – or give a donation.
On the day, the whole team will be involved, taking turns to drive Usendorff between holes in a golf-cart, and making sure he has plenty of water.
“The students are very eager to perform well at this year’s USSA tournament, which will be hosted by Humewood Golf Club, but their willingness to donate a portion of the funding raised to the Ernie Els Foundation for Autism, shows emotional maturity well beyond their ages,” says Karl du Preez, President of the KPMG Madibaz Golf Club.
Usendorff said his inspiration came from many sides: “I’d like to thank my mother Vanessa and my father for all the support and for being such an inspiration to my life. My parents have moulded me into the person I am and if it wasn’t for them, it would not be possible for me to achieve my goals. A big thank you to my brother Adam for always giving me a reason to do better at everything! Lastly, a thank you to my girlfriend Eryn for all your support and for walking with me around the course, giving me that extra motivation has gone a long way!”
The public is welcome to come and watch Usendorff’s progress during his golf marathon, which will start at 7am and finish at 5pm.
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