ORONO, Maine — With the summer solstice upon us, two Bangor High School sophomores are going to try and milk every minute of daylight out of Penobscot Valley Country Club on Thursday.
Cavan Hagerty and Drew Powell plan to hit the links at the crack of dawn to give themselves plenty of time to complete their challenge: To play 100 holes of golf.
“We’re thinking [we’re going to start at] 4:45 a.m., and we’re going to try and make it until 9 p.m,” Hagerty said.
Powell and Hagerty have solicited pledges and will be raising money for The First Tee, an organization that promotes golf among young people.
The golfers thought of the idea in May on the drive home from a tournament in Portland.
“We were trying to think of something fun to do this summer, and we thought, ‘the summer solstice, how many holes can we play?,’” Hagerty explained, “and [we] said if we can do 100, why not raise money doing it. If we’re doing it for fun, let’s make it worthwhile for an organization, and we thought The First Tee was absolutely deserving.”
According to its website, The First Tee formed in 1997 when the LPGA, The Masters Tournament, PGA of America, The PGA Tour, the United States Golf Association and corporate sponsor Shell Oil wanted to create an initiative for younger golfers that would, “bring golf to kids and teens that otherwise would not be exposed to the game and its values.”
Since its inception, The First Tee has served 6.5 million young people. And because the organization caters to kids in their age group, Hagerty and Powell thought it was the best choice for their fundraising efforts.
“We were thinking of different charities, and thought since we were kids it’d be smart to give to an organization that helps other kids out,” Powell said. “Since we love golf, it’s always nice to help incorporate golf into helping people out and with First Tee, we can do that by giving to them.”
“We thought it would be an interesting thing to do to help promote the game for young people, and First Tee is a deserving organization, and it’s something fun to do,” Hagerty added.
People have already started donating to their cause, and those who wish to support the pair will have a chance to make donations during the day on Thursday. Hole-by-hole pledges and up-front, lump sums are accepted.
“They can come right here and pledge [Thursday]. There will be forms in the pro shop. We already have people that have pledged,” Powell said.
“People are giving pledges for each hole we play and each birdie we make. People can also donate up front. If people do pledge per hole and per birdie, we will contact them after the event,” Haggerty added.
Both young men got their golf start at an early age. They are members of the Bangor High School golf team that finished fifth in the Class A team state championships last fall.
“I started right here at PVCC when I was 4 years old. My dad took me out one day, we played nine holes and I’ve been hooked ever since,” Hagerty said.
“My dad took me out when I was not even a year old, and I’ve played ever since,” Powell said.
In preparation for the event, Powell and Hagerty played a lot of golf Tuesday to try and simulate conditions. They also participated in the Twilight League on Wednesday night.
With their previous high being 54 holes of golf in one day, they know they can expect more of a fatigue factor.
“[After the 54 holes] we couldn’t feel our legs. It was very tiring,” Hagerty said.
“We tried to play a lot of holes [Tuesday] to see how it would affect us, but it was nothing like we’re going to do [Thursday],” Powell added.
Usually they walk all of their holes on the golf course, but Hagerty and Powell insisted they will be using a cart during their 100-hole challenge.