Sampson winds up during his 202-hole marathon.
Bill Sampson probably wouldn’t say that 72 holes over four days is a challenge. In fact, he probably wouldn’t say that double that was tricky.
Sampson, the director of golf at the Old Tabby Links golf course on Spring Island, S.C., played a marathon 202 holes in 12 hours and raised more than $40,000 for charity over Labor Day weekend, which works out to just slightly more than an hour per round, and about $208 per hole.
This is the fifth year Sampson has hosted the charity-based golf marathon. All proceeds go to Folds of Honor, an organization that provides post-secondary educational scholarships for children and spouses of women and men in the military who are killed or disabled during their service. Sampson credits his inspiration to his late high school friend, U.S. Army Master Sgt. Donnie Davis, who was killed in Afghanistan in 2001.
Going into the event, Sampson had set what he called a “lofty goal” of $50,000 to fund 10 separate scholarships. This year’s tally was $42,000, a clear jump from the previous year’s total of $37,000, and enough to fund five full scholarships.
“Anything more than we had done last year I feel is just a great accomplishment,” Sampson said in an interview with The Island Packet.
Sampson completed 180 holes last year, and 114 in his first maratho. According to the Island Packet article, he doesn’t attempt it alone. He enlisted his staff, which included two forecaddies who guided his golf cart around the course in record time (just over half an hour for nine holes). His family is a big part of it too; they joined Sampson for the last 40 holes and celebrated with a big cookout for 70 after the marathon was complete.
The support team: (back, L-R) Keith, Joe, Scott, Bill, Steve and Cliff (front L-R) daughter Elizabeth, son Ben, wife Wendy
“Without the support of my family and staff, I couldn’t do what I do,” Sampson said in an email interview with Golf.com. That, and a full shoe rack.
“I wish I had a picture of my shoes,” Sampson said. “I used three pairs of Footjoy shoes during the day.”