When four junior golfers volunteered to participate in the “Longest Day of Golf” they knew they were in for a full 14 hours of golf at Lake Ripley Country Club to help raise money for cancer research at the Carbone Cancer Center at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Aided by United States Olympian Matt Hamilton, Cooper Harrison, Dane Jensen, Mary Hommen and Nick Buckmann played a combined total of 223 holes of golf from 5 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Monday, July 1.
“When we totaled up the pledges before we started golfing, it ended up being $31 per hole,” said Jon Zellmer, the Lake Ripley Country Club head pro. “When Matt came, it was a big lift for the kids. To have him show up and share his gold medal with them and play a couple of rounds was awesome. The kids were starting to slow down after having already played five rounds, but they got some momentum when he got there.”
Hamilton won a gold medal with the US Curling team at the 2018 Olympics. He is a McFarland resident.
The “Longest Day of Golf” is an event that started with Blackhawk Country Club in Madison and has expanded to four courses in the Madison area. The current four courses are Janesville Country Club and Pleasant View Golf Course in Middleton.
The Cambridge foursome raised $7,050 and the four-course projects as a whole raised around $25,000 in its third year of existence.
Matt Hartmann, the head pro at Blackhawk Country Club, started the event as part of his efforts as President of the Balance and Believe Foundation, a foundation focused on raising funds to help juniors afford both equipment and training.
Hartmann and Zellmer were college classmates in the golf management program at Southwest Wisconsin Technical College in Fennimore.