Courses, Destinations & Lifestyles

GolfStyles Competition

GolfStyles Spotlight


The Golf Decathlon's

Final Four




MANY THANKS
TO OUR DONORS

Michael Aitken, Rockville, Md.
Melissa Ard, Temecula, Calif.
Edward Augustine, Middletown, Md.
Mark, Barnette, Alexandria, Va.
Laura Boyer, Friendsville, Md.
Rob Buhrman, Tracey's Landing, Md.
Pete Cannon, Pleasanton, Calif.
Daniel, Chwirut, Rockville, Md.
Tim Clark, Gaithersburg, Md.
Heather Clifford, Annapolis, Md.
Renee Cooley, Durham, N.C.
Jim Crim, Clarksburg, Md.
Caitlynn Dennie, Clarksburg, Md.
Clarence Dennie, Rockville, Md.
Jeff Dennie, Raleigh, N.C.
Lynn Dennie, Clarksburg, Md.
Rowland Dennie, Clarksburg, Md.
Dennie Family Trust, Rockville, Md.
Bonnie Donohue, Freehold, N.J.
Robin Duncan, Leesburg, Va.
Deborah Dunham, Annandale, Va.
Tricia Edmonds, Ashburn, Va.
James Evans, Gainesville, Va.
Robert Evans, Melbourne, Fla.
Tim Fong, Fairfax, Va.
GolfStyles Media Group, Fairfax, Va.
Jamie Gonsalves, Annapolis, Md.
Cordell Hansen, Stone Ridge, Va.
Ben Harvey, Bristow, Va.
Patrick Herwig, Columbia, Md.
Kristin, Hilbert, Fairfax, Va.
Louis Hoelman II, Silver Spring, Md.
Louis Hoelman III, Silver Spring, Md.
Lisa Honsberger, Woodbine, Md.
Jaime House, Manassas Va.
Ken Howes, Monrovia, Md.
Allison Jenkins, Poolesville, Md.
John Keating, Bellaire, Texas
Jon Keating, Herndon, Va.
Michael Keating, Fairfax, Va.
Andrew Keeney, Alexandria, Va.
Dan Keslar, Alexandria, Va.
Jim Kirby, Mount Pleasant, S.C.
Darryl Korynta, Centreville, Va.
Jeff Krauss, Tucson, Ariz.
Bob Krol, Farmington, Conn.
Rene LaVigne, Upr Marlboro, Md.
Melinda Long, Alexandria, Va.
Randall Mackey, Yorktown, Va.
Jana Mason, Butler, N.J.
John Meier, Phoenix, Md.
Craig Mueller, Clifton, Va.
Kevin O'Bruba, Leesburg, Va.
John Odey, Ofallon, Ill.
Hap Peden, Rockville, Md.
Mike Raymond, Reston, Va.
Steve Schoonover, Adamstown, Md.
Scott Sherman, McLean, Va.
Jackie Shriver, Puyallup, Wash.
Eric Silvernail, Phoenix, Ariz.
Will Spangler, Burke, Va.
Eric Strauss, Clifton, Va.
David, Sweigart, Frederick, Md.
Sharon, Talberg, New Brighton, Minn.
Tracy Tischendorf, N Berwick, Maine
Frank Tropea, Silver Spring, Md.
Dee Dee Tsai, Leesburg, Va.
Matt Venditto, Westminster Md.
Daniel Vesek, Manassas, Va.
Heather Vimba, Ridgewood, N.J.
John Wells, Mt. Airy, Md.
John Whitlock, Fairfax, Va.
John Wiley, Lewisburg, W.Va.
Eric Younkin, Woodbine, Md.

 

If ever there were a sign that the golf apocalypse is upon us, it was evident at GolfStyles’ 18th annual Golf Decathlon. It seems you just can’t find many people who want to play 10 rounds in a day anymore. Not that there was ever that many to start with, but there were fields of 24 at one point before dwindling to a fearless four this year. Which is too bad, because 10 laps around Swan Point Yacht & Country Club in Issue, Maryland, is nine more than most get to experience on a very good golf course.

An avid mountaineer will invest $100,000 and two months to climb Mount Everest. Heck, he’ll spend five grand and two weeks to walk up Mt. Kilimanjaro. An avid runner will log 500 miles to prepare for a 26.2-mile run and there are thousands of cyclists who ride 100 miles in a day, and some who ride 500 in a week and some who cross the country in a month. But we can’t get golfers to play 10 stinkin’ rounds in a day at one of the region’s most underrated courses, the lowlands gem that is Swan Point? I don’t know what that says about today’s graying golfers, but just about any of the weekend golfers-as-athletes clichés fits. The economic and participation numbers bear it out: golfers just aren’t as passionate as they used to be.

A previous golf decathlete once noted, “anything worth doing is worth overdoing,” but this event takes that motto to the extreme. Whatever your passion, it is difficult to do it non-stop for 15 hours, give or take a few minutes. Still, the Golf Decathlon goes remarkably quick, once the excruciating rounds of five through seven are complete.

The Guinness Book of World Records doesn’t yet recognize it, but take our word for it, the Golf Decathlon is the world record for most competitive rounds by a multi-player field in a single day. Players hole out 180 times and do not play holes multiple times in the same round as other “marathon” events do. The Golf Decathlon is pure golf, from the first shot at 5:30 a.m. to the last around 8:30 p.m. Players play in twosomes with their own carts. There is no running, really no rushing, but the play is persistently purposeful.

There is a charitable component to the Golf Decathlon and the event has raised nearly $1.5 million since its inception. Regardless of motivation, it’s a lot of golf in one day. Michael Keating, publisher of GolfStyles, has played in all 18 events – some 3,225 holes (15 short of the maximum) – but playing golf is almost his job. What’s more impressive is that Jim Evans just completed his 17th Golf Decathlon and another prolific round of fundraising.

“The Golf Decathlon is one of the events that I look forward to annually,” says Evans, an account executive who sells information technology to the Department of Defense. “I don’t have to do this – I get to do this. The Decathlon fulfills two requirements for me every year – awareness and support of an important charity and a lot of golf.

“I am humbled by the support my friends, family, and industry colleagues have provided to the charities over the past 18 years,” continued Evans. “I know a challenging day at the golf course is far easier and more enjoyable than most challenges that many of the beneficiaries of the various charities are faced with routinely – especially the warfighters. It is a special day that I get to support, and as long as GolfStyles conducts the event I will support it.

“As for the golf competition, if you truly like to play golf, you can do this. It is a true personal challenge.”

Relative newcomers Deborah Dunham and Rowland Dennie rounded out this year’s final four. Dunham, 65 and a geriatric social worker, just completed her fifth Decathlon.

“The Decathlon is an incredible 15-hour test of physical, mental and precision endurance,” says Dunham. “Knowing that so few people, especially women, compete at this level of golf makes it a day of special importance to me.”

Dennie, 49 and president of a landscaping company, also just completed his fifth 10-rounder. “I look forward to this day every summer,” says Dennie. “It’s a good opportunity to raise money for a good cause and play golf all day long – and I mean ALL day long.” [END]