Professional golfer and Cancer Council NSW ambassador, Paul Gow is encouraging golfers across the state to take part in The Longest Day.
Paul Gow started playing golf when he was just 10. His mum and dad were avid golfers, and since he is one of six children, playing golf meant more attention!
Paul was first diagnosed with skin cancer about six years ago, and has since had about 20 different parts of skin cut out. “I want people to protect their skin and prevent this from happening. So, with my own personal experiences aside, being an ambassador is about spreading the word to golfers and the golfing industry that sun protection really is something everybody needs to take seriously.”
I encourage everyone to have a go at The Longest Day because you get to know yourself a lot better. 72 holes really tests you on the day, and it’s probably helped my golf to this day, to be able to really dig deep and get through the pain barrier of all that walking. It’s enjoyable too, spending the full day on the course with just you and your mates. It’s rare you’ll get an opportunity like that."
For anyone thinking of taking part in The Longest Day, Paul recommends you start playing 18 holes regularly and take up walking – if you’re going to the gym, get on the treadmill and get your feet ready, do a lot of stretching!
Annabel Rolley is an Australian Golf Professional and Television presenter. She began playing golf at 17 years old, competing extensively as an amateur throughout Australia whilst on a Queensland Academy of Sport Scholarship.
After gaining invaluable experience as an amateur in Australia as well as in America, Annabel turned professional in 2009 to both play tournaments as well as to assist others to improve their golfing prowess as a proficient teacher.
Annabel has completed her formal qualifications under the guidance of the PGA of Australia and she is also a member of the Australian Ladies Professional Golf Association. Off the course, Annabel has hosted a variety of television programs commentated at Major PGA Tour events.
"I’m so excited to be an Ambassador for The Longest Day and for Cancer Council NSW. Firstly, for my love of golf, and sharing that love with others. But secondly, being Australian I realise the impact cancer has on so many lives. I’m extremely fortunate to not have experienced skin problems personally, but for my whole life I’ve had a really good understanding of the importance of looking after your skin and I’m passionate about spreading the word to people both on and off the course.
My advice to others taking part in the challenge would be to mentally prepare. This isn’t going to be a regular day of golf, so that idea needs to go out the window! This will be less about power and more about keeping the ball in play. It’ll be like a marathon – a steady, consistent plod instead of a sprint."
Our young ambassador, 19-year-old Grace Kim is taking part in The Longest Day this year and urging young golf fans across NSW to get involved!
19-year-old Grace Kim is ranked number 83 in the World Amateur Golf Ranking.
"I started playing golf when I was ten years old, but I probably didn’t start playing seriously until I was about twelve. My dad played golf, and still does, and he’s the reason why I started. To be honest, I hated golf when I started because it took time away from friends and it was effort! Which is funny because now it’s my passion and something I love doing. Looking back now I don’t what I’d do if I wasn’t doing golf. When I’m not playing golf (which really isn’t that often), I like to spend time with my friends as I don’t get to see them much.
Working with Cancer Council NSW is important to me. I want to prevent people from suffering from cancer. And it’s so important in golf, as most athletes are out here in the sun and unknowingly putting themselves at risk. If I can help people see the benefit of supporting this great cause, and of looking after their skin then I’ll be happy."
Nick is the Development Coach for Sydney Swans who started playing golf as a young kid. Being a professional sports person, the competitive side and the challenge of trying to play 72 holes in one day appealed to him on a lot of levels.
"I’d recommend people to get involved - for the challenge, but also for the comradery I got from playing with the other guys. In sporting life I’ve done some memorable things, I’ve played in AFL grand finals, but this is definitely something that’s right up there!
I would suggest a couple of nice long walks in the weeks leading up to the day. It’s also important to make sure you have the right, appropriate clothing that’s easy to play golf in and easy to walk in. You’ll need to make sure you’re covered up from the sun, too – reflective gear, sunscreen and hats! It’s a long way around, so keep hydrated and keep eating to keep the energy levels up."
Nick is taking part again this year and will be setting a few challenges of his own; like playing some holes with just one club or playing left-handed!
Travis takes part in The Longest Day with his friends each year as his way of giving back and raising awarenesss around cancer. Travis has now been clear of cancer for five years and enjoys life with his two-year-old boy.
"I started playing golf when I was a young fella. When I was 28 I thought I had full health, looking back on it I realised I hadn’t been to a GP for 12/13 years before this – being sick wasn’t even on my radar. I’d noticed a lump not long before and didn’t think much of it.
Over the weekend the lump doubled in size. I went to the doctor and by the end of the day I was booked into surgery to remove what I then found out was a testicular cancer tumour.
After we finished (The Longest Day), me and the boys just said no matter what happens, lets make sure as three mates we’ll do it every year. And just with us doing it the first time has inspired so many other people. It really is such an accomplishment and there’s not many things quite like this in life. So I’d recommend to any golf enthusiasts to test yourself and see how well you can play, switch off from the world, don’t worry about emails, your boss, your family – just go outside with three mates and enjoy the day.
My tips to people taking part: lots of water, change of shirt after 36, lots of sunscreen, and a few spare balls!"