Belfast Telegraph

Fairway to go... golfer's four rounds in four nations in one day

By Claire Williamson

He played four rounds of golf in four countries – all in one day.

It's a challenge that would exhaust even the Rory McIlroys among us, but one amateur London player took on the gruelling test of stamina in the name of charity.

Roger Southam completed 18 holes in Northern Ireland, England, Wales and Scotland – starting his day early in Co Fermanagh.

He travelled 1,200 miles in under 18 hours on Tuesday to raise money for Sparks, a children's medical research charity.

The Englishman donned eye-catching golfing attire, complete with shamrock-patterned trousers, and was transported from course to course by helicopter, which was donated. He teed off the Sparks Golf Challenge, sponsored by Royal & Awesome, at Lough Erne first, completing the Faldo Course in under three hours.

Roger (52) said: "It was great fun. The hospitality and generosity of Lough Erne was just fantastic. We hit the course at 4am... as the light rose – it was just delightful, a magical place."

The original plan was to play Lough Erne, then Gleneagles in Scotland, Celtic Manor in Wales and the London Club in England, but changes were made due to weather. The take-off from Northern Ireland was delayed by two hours, but time was made up at Gleneagles, where he played 18 holes in under two hours.

Roger was swiftly transported down to Celtic Manor, where he completed 18 holes on the Roman Road course in just over two hours. The final leg was switched to the Manor House Hotel & Golf Club in Wiltshire to save time.

Roger said: "The Sparks Golf Challenge is a great bit of fun and an excellent way for people to get involved and to help raise money so the charity can fund vital research."

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