Longest Golf Day Challenge: Bishop's Stortford Golf Club fourball complete 72 holes in a day to raise almost £5,000 for Macmillan Cancer Support
A Bishop's Stortford golfer who was shocked to lose his friend, Indie columnist Beth Purvis, to bowel cancer, having himself survived the disease, was part of a team who completed a gruelling golf challenge in aid of Macmillan Cancer Support.
Steve Edwards, 50, who owns Stort Blinds at the Peek Business Centre off Dunmow Road, is a stage 4 cancer patient who is four years into remission. He was diagnosed at around the same time as 42-year-old mum-of-two Beth, who died last week.
"I knew Beth quite well. We both had the same issues at the same time and so became quite pally. It was a real shock to the system to hear that she had passed away," said Steve.
He made up a fourball with golfing buddies Ross Nash, Will Baxter and Anthony Oram – whose families have all been affected by the disease – for their second 72-hole Longest Golf Day Challenge, having completed their first in 2019. Their latest effort raised almost £5,000 for the charity.
Starting at 5am on June 21, the golfers set off in wet conditions to play four rounds of Bishop's Stortford Golf Club's course in Dunmow Road in a day.
"We did it two years ago, couldn't do it last year because of Covid and now I'm never going to do it again," laughed Steve, who described the challenge as exceptionally tough.
"We covered 29 miles (47km) in a day. And it was raining. We play a lot of golf together anyway, so it was a good laugh and we had little competitions and side bets throughout the day, and friends came along to walk with us, which helped to keep us going. But it was definitely a challenge."
The club's pro shop provided team shirts for the players and donated balls to help raise money. The four finally made their way off the course at 7.45pm.
Steve described Macmillan as "a cause very close to our hearts", having made use of its services many times himself. His mother-in-law Sue Harkins is undergoing treatment for throat cancer and has relied upon the charity for help.
"Ross is doing this for his grandad, Ronald, a lifelong Arsenal fan who is currently fighting this nasty disease to see his 90th birthday. Will is raising money in memory of his mum, Rita, who died aged 45 to lung cancer. Anthony is doing this challenge for his wife’s gran, Jean, who recently succumbed to this horrible disease, and all those that are similarly having to deal with cancer in all its guises," he said.
"Without Macmillan's support at various stages along my journey, I would have felt lost and alone. I found so many new friends through the love of golf that gave me the support to fight this terrible disease."