Brisbane’s Mick McLoughlin tees off on countdown to world record challenge

To play 2001 golf holes in seven days (that’s 286 holes or 16 rounds per day), raise $250,000 and take the world record: that’s the aim of Brisbane businessman, philanthropist and Ronald McDonald House Charities South East Queensland (RMHC SEQ) supporter Mick McLoughlin. And those that know Mick well, know that this crazy idea will be achieved.

After Covid-19 brought the usual fundraising efforts of RMHC SEQ to a halt, Board member and huge supporter Mick McLoughlin was inspired to fill the coffers by pushing himself – and from November 21 to 27 this year, this is exactly what he’ll do. After almost 12 months of training and preparation, he will take a tilt at the world record of playing the greatest number of golf holes in seven days (cart assisted).

Today at Golf Central Mick marked the official countdown to his challenge. He was supported by AFL and Brisbane Lions great, Daniel Merrett, NRL and Broncos legend, Sam Thiaday and star Australian Netball player, Beryl Friday, who all had a hit with Mick.

Mick started serious training in December last year, and is now hitting 1,000 balls a day at Golf Central, which has made him an ambassador and is supporting his quest. He has a coach in Quinten How to refine his skills, he works out to build his core and shoulders and has a personal trainer. Mick’s 58 years of age and has never shied away from a challenge.

“The world title is one challenge, raising $250,000 for RMHC SEQ is the other. They go together, and I’m calling on Queensland businesses and individuals who can, to dig deep and come on board. Supporters can donate as little or as much, or they can bid to come out on the course during the challenge, buy a ball and more.”

HOW IT CAME ABOUT: “I was sitting in a RMHC SEQ Board meeting in late 2020 listening to how difficult Covid-19 was making operations and fundraising. Our usual fundraising events weren’t an option, and the biggest event of the year – the annual ball – was cancelled. So, I made myself think outside the square, and decided to challenge myself as an individual and make the charity the beneficiary. I just needed the idea!”

“Then a little later, I was in Tenterfield in November 2020 and saw memorabilia on the wall of a golfer from that area, who created a World Record of 1800 golf holes in seven days (cart assisted), and thought, that’s it, that’s me. I investigated the record further and found it had been broken by a golfer from Idaho, Geno Bonnalli, who holds the current record of 2000 holes. I decided then and there that’s my idea, I’m going to go for the world record and raise money along the way.”

“I called the current record holder Geno Bonnelli and he said, ‘while I don’t want to lose my world record title, if I have to, then I want to lose it to you in raising funds for Ronald McDonald House,’ which made me even more determined.”

Geno set the record at the Lewiston Country Club in Idaho from 27 June to 3 July 2011. He averaged 71.802 per round on a par 72 course with a round low for the week of 64 which included 9 birdies and eagles. In a message to Mick for the challenge launch, he said if Mick took the title he would be back to challenge again!

So, Mick applied for the record and his challenge has been accepted: he has to play 2001 golf holes in seven days, which equates to 286 holes or 16 rounds per day (with other terms and conditions to be met).

It’s not Mick’s first foray into fundraising; that was some 40 years ago in Ireland when he took part in his first charity bike ride. The charity bug bit him hard, because now he’s aiming to play golf for 16 to 18 hours a day to achieve the world record, and raise $250,000.

Ronald McDonald House Charities South East Queensland (RMHC SEQ) CEO Dr John Gilmour said Mick’s World Record challenge was an incredible fundraising opportunity for the charity that supports thousands of children and their families each year.

“The funds raised through this event will assist us in providing essential accommodation and support services to families travelling to Brisbane to receive vital treatment for their seriously ill or injured children. Our role is to keep families together and close to the care their child needs,” said Dr Gilmour.

“Mick is a wonderful supporter of RMHC SEQ and has been a Board Member with the charity for a number of years. His commitment to this event and his fundraising goal is a testament to his character and his love for our charity. We know our families, staff and volunteers will be cheering Mick on as he approaches his world record challenge and we wish him all the best.”

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