Hillandale pro kicks off 24-hour charity golf marathon

Sep. 03, 2013 @ 01:24 AM

With Ron Schmid driving his golf cart and an American flag that once flew over Kandahar, Afghanistan flapping in the breeze, Karl Kimball embarked on his annual endeavor to help military families on Monday night.

Kimball, Hillandale Golf Course’s director of golf, began his 24 hours of golf marathon at 6 p.m.

After raising $10,100 last year, Kimball hopes to raise $25,000 this year for the Folds of Honor Foundation, which gives scholarships to spouses and children of military members who have been killed or wounded.

Folds of Honor was founded by Major Dan Rooney, a PGA Professional and an F-16 pilot who served three tours in Iraq. A major fundraiser for the foundation is Patriot Golf Day, which encourages golfers to donate during Labor Day weekend.

“It’s gonna be a good ride,” Kimball said as he headed toward Hillandale’s first tee.

Indeed it was.

Kimball birded his first two holes and fired a 66 for his first 18 holes, which took him one hour to play. His goal is to play 350 holes by the time his 24 hours are up tonight at 6 p.m.

Last year, Kimball played 334 holes during his 24-hour marathon.

Schmid, the executive director of the Carolinas PGA, was behind the wheel of the golf cart that carried Kimball around the course. Hillandale’s director of instruction, Fran James, was scheduled to take over those chores at 2 a.m.

“I’m the night owl,” James said.

For Kimball’s overnight rounds, glow sticks were placed at each tee as well as around the 150-yard mark and at the pin to give him targets to hit through the darkness.

This is the fourth 24-hour golf marathon Kimball has participated in as he continues to show how much the sacrifices military members and their families make mean to him.

The flag that is attached to his golf cart flew over Camp Nathan Smith in Kandahar, Afghanistan. It survived all the hardships that come with war. Now it will accompany Kimball for what he hopes is 350 holes of golf.