Date: September 27, 2016
Author: Christian Puccini (Twitter: @CAPooch4)

#whatdrivesyou Michael Smith plays 450 holes in 5 days!

Michael Smith has remarkably completed 450 holes on foot over 5 days to complete his golf feat of endurance.

In the process, Smith put the spotlight on the Riverland golf courses and raised over $11,000 for ‘Kick Start for Kids’ a charity which helps disadvantaged school children in South Australia, by providing breakfast and lunch programs and a mentoring program.

Smith’s fundraising will allow the charity to supply ten schools with Kick Start for Kids programs for over 12 months.

The feat was accomplished by completing 99 holes at Renmark on Monday 19 September and then a further 99 at Berri the following day. Battling knee swelling, Smith pushed through the pain barrier to then play five rounds at Barmera, then five at Loxton, before returning to Barmera on 23 September to play four rounds, to reach the 25 round target.

Smith was joined for the final round by ex Crows legend Wayne Weidemann and Drummond Golf Director Shane Hodby, who he has ties with through the Broadview Football Club.

Smith was no doubt pretty happy with finishing the 450 holes.

“Absolutely the challenge was there, it feels good to finish.

“Initially getting through the first day was good. I was pretty tired at the start of the second day and I said to my wife what’s going on, but once I loosened up and got going I was fine.

“The knee packed up on the third day quite badly, probably just through a lot of use it hasn’t had previously, like swinging the club so many time ending up on the left side. I just struggled through the pain, but got through it in the end. The only bad thing is I don’t get to play golf tomorrow.” Smith said.

Smith couldn’t speak highly enough of the Riverland Clubs and local community who supported his efforts.

 “Firstly, the clubs have been amazing, the support has been fantastic. Everyone who was on the golf courses knew what was going on, the members and even people who had come from different areas around the Riverland.

“The clubs have been fantastic, even people running coffee out from time to time, they couldn’t do enough for you. They are very lucky to have what they’ve got in the Riverland, the community spirit is gold.”

“My family were here and two sisters, nieces and nephews are from the Riverland, they basically stopped what they were doing and couldn’t do enough for me.”

Smith battled his way through each day and relied on a smooth swing to get him through the week.

His best round was at Barmera on day three, firing an 82 and over the 5 days played 2,177 strokes averaging 87 per round. A fair average for a 14 handicapper.

“My game is based around consistency; I knew I could go the distance it was just whether the body could stand up to it.

“Consistently I drove well. I just knew my swing could get me to where I needed to. I didn’t try to over hit it, just played a normal swing, a lot of the time off the tee I was down the middle which gave me a chance.

“I knew what I wanted to do leading up to the event and my fitness was good. Once you are fit in the mind everything comes together. I just worked on technique more than anything.

“I’m extremely happy with the end result but just a bit embarrassed by people coming up to me and congratulating me. Once you break it down it’s not the hardest thing in the world to do, people run marathons all the time only mine was over 10 or 11 hours a couple of days in a row.”

See two videos below: Michael Smith on the SA Sports Show Fri 16 Sep and a message from Ian Steel from KickStart for Kids.