HUNDREDS of golfers turned out at Cairndhu recently to take part in a fundraising golf challenge – with one important difference.
Larne brothers Glenn and Ricky Mann came up with the unique idea of playing nine holes at the course blindfolded, with support from BBC sports presenter Steven Watson and professional golfer Barrie Trainor.
And despite a waterlogged course on the morning of the event, the pair forged ahead with their fundraising mission and raised an incredible £7,500 for their chosen charity, Guide Dogs for the Blind NI.
This is not the first golf-based fundraiser that the Mann family has undertaken in aid of the charity. Back in 2010, Glenn and Ricky – along with pals Aaron Wilson and Brian Galway – undertook a mammoth 12-hour golf marathon, playing at 27 different courses in a single day. The unique event raised a whopping sum of over £15,000 - enough to buy three puppies that were then trained as guide dogs.
The brothers dedicated their latest fundraiser to their father Ron, who sadly passed away last year. It was an emotional day for the family, as they got to meet the guide dogs that their previous fundraiser helped pay for. One of the pups is named after Glenn, while another was called Carol after his mum, who herself is reliant on a guide dog. The third pup was named in memory of Ron.
Thirty-three-year-old Glenn told the Times: “Despite the course being waterlogged in the morning due to heavy rain, we ended up having a fabulous day. We had to make a tough call as to whether or not to go ahead with the event due to the condition of the course, but we decided to go out with some buckets and clear up some of the water. We lost a couple of hours of play because of this, but thankfully it didn’t rain the rest of the day and everyone had a great time.
“About 140 golfers turned out to take part and it was good banter. Steven Watson was a really good sport and although he struggled a bit, he took it all in his stride and seemed to really enjoy himself, even posed for photos with us and some of the spectators.
“Out of the four of us, Barrie and Ricky seemed to handle themselves best. Barry even managed to score a birdie on one of the holes – although I am claiming a moral victory as I lost the least number of balls throughout the day,” Glenn joked.