There are no bunkers or water hazards, no out of bounds or thick rough either. Sounds easy, right? Well, no fairways or greens exist on this golf hole and it doesn’t play as a par three, four or five.
It’s approximately 1,500 miles in length and two men are on a journey to complete the world record for playing the longest hole in golf. If you’re wondering how long that truly is, it’s about the distance from Massachusetts to Miami.
The challenging part: it’s in Mongolia, a country with rugged terrain and ever-changing climate. Between 160 to 180 shots are taken each day with nothing to aim at except the spacious mountains or rocks which intercept their path across the nation.
Scratch golfer Adam Rolston and his caddie Ron Rutland began the voyage in late June and plan to complete it in September. That’s right. Rutland is tasked with carrying a cart weighing over 200 pounds, filled with Rolston clubs, extra golf balls (about 400) and the team’s food and water supply.
Very much a team game out here in Mongolia!
— The Longest Hole (@TheLongestHole) August 1, 2017
The goal for Rolston and Rutland is to raise money for the sports charity Laureus. The 400 golf balls sponsored by TaylorMade can be tracked online via GPS so supporters can track each shot Rolston makes. Once completed, the balls will be auctioned off for a minimum payment of $100 to help the cause.
“Ron and Adam’s inspirational challenge brings to life the true value of sport,” golf legend Gary Player said.
“They are taking the incredible sport of golf to the wonderful people of Mongolia and raising funds for a hugely worthwhile charity in Laureus Sport for Good in the process. I’ll be following their journey with interest and I wish them the best of luck.”
Rutland is a cyclist who once biked from South Africa to England, which inspired Rolston’s idea to begin the trip after meeting one another in Kenya after Rutland delivered a speech. It only took one hour for the two to compromise on a plan by combining their strengths – Rolston’s golf game and Rutland’s endurance – to do good for many people.
Rolston first teed off at Khüiten Peak on June 28 with their end target sighted on the 18th green of Mt Bogd Golf Club in Ulaanbaatar by September 17. Five clubs are being used throughout the expedition: a 3-wood, 4-iron, 8-iron, wedge and putter which will only be used once – sinking the final ball at the conclusion.
— The Longest Hole (@TheLongestHole) August 17, 2017
Along the way, the Mongolian people have embraced the golfing pals, although the sport is completely unknown to them.
“They don’t know about golf, but they absolutely love it,” Rolston said. “The first time we came to Mongolia — we did a sort of recce trip — and everyone’s eyes seem to light up when you drop a white ball. They’re super curious. You put this white ball into the sky and they just want to have a go. Mongolians absolutely love golf; they just don’t know it yet.”
There’s only one month remaining of fending off mosquitos and dealing with hand blisters. Rolston and Rutland are on the verge of completing one of the greatest sports occurrences of all-time, and it’s hard to imagine this world record being topped anytime soon.
To follow the team’s trip across Mongolia, visit thelongesthole.com.