“It’s either a golfer’s dream or a golfer’s nightmare.”
That’s the phrase one local golfer is using to describe his upcoming cross-country road trip that will see him play 100 golf courses in 100 days, a distance of 9,368 miles from the first course to the last, in hopes of raising $100,000 for Alzheimer’s Research.
Beginning on March 14, Needham resident David Blakelock will begin his journey in southern California with a 1:00 p.m. tee time at JW Marriot Desert Springs Resort and Spa in Palm Desert – the start of a trip that will see him tackle golf courses in 25 states, as well as Washington D.C., over the course of the next 3+ months, with one 18-hole round being played each day – all while raising money for the Alzheimer’s Association and the Cure Alzheimer’s Fund.
His journey will take him from California to Nevada, down to Arizona, Texas, across to Florida, up the east coast, over to the Midwest, and through the northeast corridor before finishing his trip with three courses in his home state of Massachusetts in June – including his 100th and final round at Pinehills Golf Club in Plymouth on June 21 – the longest day of the year and one that has extra meaning in the Alzheimer’s community.
Inspired by a friend and former neighbor who took a cross-country bike trip a few years back, Blakelock, a retired entrepreneur, will pack up his clubs and head west with the ultimate goal of bringing awareness across the country to a deadly disease with no known cure.
“My mother-in-law died of Alzheimer’s back in July and my mother has early stage Alzheimer’s, so it has impacted both sides of my family,” said Blakelock, who has never taken a journey like this before, but knows the effort will bring much needed attention to a cause close to him. “I decided that I wanted to do something big and do it for Alzheimer’s, so I came up with this idea to play golf for 100 days, to get people’s attention and to try to create some awareness all over the country.”
It’s a disease that according to the Alzheimer’s Association currently impacts 5.7 million Americans – including nearly one in every three seniors – with numbers only expected to rise. Researchers say that the current trend will see as many as 14 million people with the disease by the year 2050.
That’s the reason that Blakelock is using this platform as a way to bring awareness to the disease – a disease he says impacts everyone in one way or another.
With plans having been in the works since last September, Blakelock’s “100 days, 100 courses” mission has gained even more recognition thanks to the generosity of Tee Off by PGA Tour, a company that connects golfers with tee times at courses across the country and the world. They’ve donated a foursome at each of the 100 courses he’ll play over the next three-plus months and have taken the reigns on the golf course logistics – which have helped him schedule courses he says he otherwise wouldn’t be able to get to.
“I gave the parameters to Tee Off and they said they’d select the courses and try to keep the drives reasonable so that I’m not driving too much every day,” explained Blakelock. “Having that off my plate allows me to focus on the other logistics – like hotels, cars, those type things to make sure I can get around.”
It has also allowed him to focus on raising money towards his $100,000 goal.
“One of the ways we are raising money is three of the four-spots in the foursome is being sold to people who make donations to these charities,” he added. “It will be 18 holes every day. We will play rain or shine. The only caveat is that if the pro closes the course, I won’t be playing. Other than that, I will be playing.”
As he explains, golfers can make a donation to play at any of the 100 courses along his route – many of which have received national recognition for their conditions. Each competitor who makes a donation to join Blakelock’s group at one of the hundred courses will receive a gift bag from with offers from 100 Days 100 Courses sponsors, including TeeOff.com, Troon, Golftec and William Murray Golf.
100% of the donations, including those for the bookings themselves, will benefit the Cure Alzheimer’s Fund and the Alzheimer’s Association.