Belfast Telegraph

Golfer finds home for stray dog who followed him for 1,700km

By Kate Buck

An intrepid Northern Ireland sportsman who sent golf balls flying across more than 2,000km of Mongolia while accompanied by his long-suffering caddy and a stray dog has been nominated for a prestigious award.

Adam Rolston broke a world record after spending 80 days playing the longest hole in history across untamed wilderness.

Alongside team-mate Ron Hutland, who hauled a cart weighing more than 100kg over mountains and across rivers, Adam's 'fairway' spanned 2,011km. He used 135 balls in 20,094 shots.

Adam also revealed the remarkable story of how he helped rehome a stray dog he and Ron met on the adventure.

On day two of their remarkable journey, the dog began following them and didn't leave their side for the rest of the trip.

They named him 'UB' after their final destination, Ulaanbataar, where they finished on the 18th green of Mt Bogd Golf Club

The elderly dog stayed with them for more than 1,700km and followed them across the northern Gobi desert and through the Khonghai mountains.

Adam said his four-legged friend had "seen more of Mongolia than most Mongolians".

Sadly, the two adventurers could not bring UB home with them, as they feared the journey and change would be too much for him. But they did find him a home where he can retire in peace.

Adam said: "As much as this story was about two blokes' struggle to get a white ball across a country, it was also about an incredibly special dog.

"We have lined up what we hope is an amazing home for him on the outskirts of Ulaanbaatar where he can hang up his walking boots forever and ease his way into a well-earned retirement.

"We found UB the most amazing home in the Terelj national park, where he will live out his days in wonderful open space with a loving couple.

"As much as we are heartbroken and devastated now, we will get over that soon, knowing we did what was right for this magnificent animal, wild as the land and fearless like the people. He was a true Mongolian nomad.

"One of the most incredible things about this expedition has been the welcome of the people of Mongolia. They've fed us, laughed at us, opened their homes and played golf with us.

"The people we meet have no idea what golf is or where in the world we come from, but as soon as they see a golf club and ball, they're intrigued.

"Mongolians love golf, they just don't know it yet."

Adam and Ron's journey, called The Longest Hole, has now been nominated for the Laureus Best Sporting Moment Award, which recognises qualities such as fair play, sportsmanship, drama and dedication, rather than a leaderboard position or podium finishes.

The duo had used the expedition as a platform to showcase the work of, and raise funds for, Laureus Sport for Good and the South African Golf Development Board (SAGDB).

Votes for the The Longest Hole can be cast at www.mylaureus.com

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