The Longest Hole

A 2,011km Golf Odyssey Across Mon­go­lia

HK Golfer - - Contents - By Adam Rol­ston

Re­view of a 2,011km golf odyssey across Mon­go­lia that de­fies logic to golf.

For­mer Hong Kong rugby player Adam Rol­ston with cad­die-friend Ron Rut­land cov­ered 2,011km from the base camp of Khuiten Peak – the high­est and most western point in Mon­go­lia to fin­ish at the 18th hole of the Mt Bogd Golf & Coun­try Club in Ulan Ba­tor. The epic odyssey took 80 days and more than 20,000 strokes, has de­fied logic to golf and played the pair into the Guin­ness Book of World Records. In this photo story se­ries, Rol­ston re­caps how the pair has com­pleted what they named “The Longest Hole”.

“It be­gan when I met up with Ron in Kenya. We dis­cussed Ron’s pre­vi­ous char­ity es­capade: a 26,000km cy­cle through ev­ery coun­try in Africa be­fore ar­riv­ing in Brighton, Eng­land to watch his beloved Spring­boks face Ja­pan in the 2015 World Cup. I came up with the idea of a sim­i­lar golf­ing chal­lenge, and we set­tled on Mon­go­lia be­cause it was an enor­mous coun­try with few peo­ple, no fences and the largest fair­ways in the world. Ron agreed to be my cad­die, and eight months later we be­gan our jour­ney.”

"We first went to Mon­go­lia to plan our trip in March. We spent a lot of time on the route to make sure we would be pre­pared for what has to come, and the jour­ney would pos­si­bly work out. Our big­gest con­cerns were the grass length, wa­ter through the dessert and river cross­ing the cart."

“I first teed off on June 29, 2017, in Khüiten Peak, the high­est and most western point in Mon­go­lia. We had a five-hour trek to the top of this glacier, and it just started chuck­ing it down with sleet and snow. Up there we found a shrine from where I hit the first shot. That was the last time we saw the sun for four days…”

“The first four days were the tough­est thing I’ve ever done I think – the moun­tain­ous ter­rain and atro­cious weather re­strict­ing me to mainly chip shots. We were only do­ing 10km a day, and our quota was 25km. This is real, is it even pos­si­ble to keep play­ing golf? I told so many peo­ple I am go­ing to do this. And now, we are so far be­hind af­ter the first four days, how on earth are we ever go­ing to catch up?”

“We found this stray dog af­ter two days, and it just fol­lowed us for 2,000km. We named him U.B af­ter Ulan Ba­tor, our fin­ish point. He is prob­a­bly ten years old, and he has just walked the whole coun­try. He looks like a black wolf and fends for him­self by hunt­ing rab­bits. He’s not do­mes­ti­cated in any way but still shows af­fec­tion and love like any other dog. And he’s a great guard dog - we could leave the cart which is loaded with all our gear out­side in any town, and we know it will be fine be­cause U.B fe­ro­ciously de­fends it.”

“We stayed pre­dom­i­nantly in tents and eat­ing a mix­ture of dry food and lo­cal cui­sine. I ate ev­ery­thing from horse and goat stew, and Ron is a ve­gan has lived on rice, noo­dles and as many vegs as they could find. I have also tried horse milk vodka, a home-made Mon­go­lian al­co­holic drink!”

Ron Rut­land (right) and Adam Rol­ston (left) are for­mer rugby col­league in Hong Kong. Tay­lorMade spon­sored the pairs golf equip­ment and balls.

Rol­ston and Rut­land have so far raised £15,000 for char­ity Lau­reus Sport for Good, which uses the power of sport to end vi­o­lence, dis­crim­i­na­tion and dis­ad­van­tage and sup­ports over 100 projects in 35 coun­tries. They are await­ing ver­i­fi­ca­tion from...

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