Brothers prepare for blindfolded golf challenge in aid of guide dog charity

Guide dog puppy in training Carol meets Carol Mann, Ricky, Glenn and Ethan Mann back in November 2011. Also pictured are puppy walker Sandra Taggart and Guide Dogs for the Blind District Fundraiser Kathy Peart. INLT 45-325-PR
Guide dog puppy in training Carol meets Carol Mann, Ricky, Glenn and Ethan Mann back in November 2011. Also pictured are puppy walker Sandra Taggart and Guide Dogs for the Blind District Fundraiser Kathy Peart. INLT 45-325-PR

LARNE brothers Glenn and Ricky Mann are set to tee off on another incredible fundraising golf challenge in their quest to raise money for Guide Dogs for the Blind NI.

As previously reported, the pair – along with pals Aaron Wilson and Brian Galway – undertook a mammoth 12-hour golf marathon back in 2010, 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.

One of the pups was 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 Glenn’s dad Ron, who sadly passed away last year.

The Mann family has already come face to face with one of these Golden Labradors, and will finally get to meet the other two on Friday, August 17 at their next big fundraising challenge.

Glenn and Ricky will be joined by BBC sports presenter Stephen Watson and professional golfer Barrie Trainor for nine holes of golf at Cairndhu Golf Club – but with one important difference.

“We are all going to be blindfolded,” Glenn told the Times. “It has taken a lot of organising and it will be difficult, but hopefully it won’t be as frantic or exhausting as the challenge we did last year.”

The 33-year-old revealed that he has not hit a single golf ball since his last fundraiser two years ago, partly because he has become a father in the intervening period.

“I used to play a lot of golf when I was younger, but my wife and I had our first child in October 2010 and we are expecting another this year, so I haven’t had much in the way of practice,” he added.

“But it is all in the name of a good cause and we are urging as many people as possible to come along and either take part in this open event, or just show their support by spectating. There will be music and food served in the clubhouse that evening, along with a tombola, ballot and an auction of some great autographed memorabilia, including a Chelsea FC shirt signed by Gianfranco Zola and Roberto Di Matteo, an Arsenal FC top signed by Ian Wright, a Liverpool shirt signed by Kenny Dalglish, and a golf bag signed by Rory McIllroy, Darren Clarke, Graeme McDowell and Padraig Harrington. We also have a rather delightful framed Snow Patrol picture, signed by the band.

“Each hole will be sponsored by a different local person or business, and any donation on the day or before hand will be greatly appreciated,” Glenn said.

While Glenn and Ricky are excited about their upcoming challenge, the real icing on the cake for the Mann family will be finally getting to meet puppies in training, Glenn and Ron.

“Seeing the pups will make all the effort we have gone to seem worthwhile,” Glenn said.

As with the last fundraising challenge, the Mann family have set themselves a target of £5,000. And while they raised over three times that amount last time, Glenn is unsure whether that fantastic result can be repeated.

“We were so taken aback by the amount we raised last time. Everything just seemed to fall into place and we couldn’t have asked for more. It would be lovely to be able to raise such a huge amount all over again. We will just have to wait and see,” he added.

Anyone who would like to take part in the open golf competition and help support the Mann’s cause can book their place by contacting Cairndhu pro shop on 028 2858 3324 or online at www.cairndhugolfclub.co.uk

You can also make a donation by contacting Glenn at glennmann@hotmail.co.uk