There may well be a fair way to go until life gets back to normal, but an array of golfing and sporting personalities have teed up their support for a new golf fundraiser from Prostate Cancer UK.
The coronavirus crisis has paralysed the beating heart of industry, with many offices, including that of Prostate Cancer UK, currently closed, not to mention all golf courses.
But the leading men’s health charity has been working on a number of creative ways to give its supporters a little bit of light entertainment during the lockdown and motivating them to continue raising money.
Launched over the Easter weekend, the #StayPuttChallenge involves golfers of all abilities showcasing their best golf putts, as easy or difficult as desired, and donating £5 to Prostate Cancer UK by texting GOLF to 70004.
Among the first to take on the challenge was former Masters champion Danny Willett, who almost four years to the day of his dramatic success at Augusta, conquered a tricky putt over a looping train track and into a hole surrounded by toilet rolls and a homemade monster golfer.
Former European Tour professional and Prostate Cancer UK ambassador Andrew Murray went close with an audacious chip across his garden and down the steps to his patio, while ITV presenter Mark Pougatch bypassed two watching goats and a tricky camber as he attempted to find the middle of a Masters cup.
The world’s 25th-ranked golfer Matt Fitzpatrick, also answered the challenge, sinking a putt via a gate and a tricky shoe-shaped hazard while former Southampton and England man Matt Le Tissier attempted a long putt over his decking. Another former England man, Lee Dixon, also chanced his arm on an undulating upstairs landing.
The challenge also lends itself to non-golfers too, with equipment not essential as some early attempts have showcased skateboards, fruit, ping pong balls and baseball mitts. All that’s needed is a creative imagination and a good eye.
To help spread the word the charity is asking everyone to share their video on social media, nominate three people to do it and donate £5 to Prostate Cancer UK by texting GOLF to 70004
Fittingly, the first shot of the #StayPuttChallenge was taken by John Brownless, a long-term supporter of Prostate Cancer UK who has raised more than £50,000 for the charity having been diagnosed with the most common cancer in men in 2004.
It was at his most recent golf day, in Shipley, West Yorkshire, that a chance meeting inspired a golfing star to join the fight. John’s passionate address to a packed room of golfers caught the attention of fellow Yorkshireman John Muff, who had played with friends that day.
Unbeknown to John, Muff is manager to former Masters champion Willett and so inspired was he by the speech that he decided to get Danny involved.
Fast forward to the opening event of the season in Abu Dhabi, and Danny was sporting Prostate Cancer UK’s iconic ‘Man of Men’ pin badge with plans to sport the eye-catching icon on his golf bag when the golf season resumes.
Willett said: “Prostate Cancer UK have done a fantastic job in raising awareness of the disease within the golf community. The disease sadly exists in every golf club, and there’s still a lot more work to be done.
“One in eight men in the UK will be affected by the disease – that means that one in eight families will have their lives changed by prostate cancer. It’s important for men to know their risk of the disease and to support the charity in its fight against prostate cancer.”
Brownless added: “I have a passion for the charity and saving the lives of men, and the work Prostate Cancer UK do in golf is second to none. I’m proud I got the chance to kick off the #StayPuttChallenge and nominate Danny to show his support.
“It’s fantastic that Danny is involved and so much credit goes to him and his manager for sorting this out. It’s amazing to see him wearing the Prostate Cancer UK pin badge.”
To take part in the #StayPuttChallenge and donate £5 to Prostate Cancer UK, text GOLF to 70004.
Many people are unaware that prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men. Over 400,000 men are living with prostate cancer in the UK. Covid-19 will have implications for everyone, and men with prostate cancer will be affected.
The charity’s dedicated team of Specialist Nurses remain on hand to speak to and reassure men and their families currently affected by prostate cancer in the UK, and the implications of COVID-19. To speak to a specialist nurse or for more information call 0800 074 8383 or visit prostatecanceruk.org.