15 hours, 1,300 shots, 150,000 steps… Inside Today’s Golfer’s Longest Day Challenge

What happened when Today’s Golfer took on the Macmillan Longest Day Challenge and tackled 72 holes at world-famous Woodhall Spa on one of the hottest days of the year?

Macmillan’s Longest Day Challenge is a big date in the UK golf calendar when hundreds commit to playing 72 holes on Summer Solstice. This year, Today’s Golfer took part, playing four rounds at Woodhall Spa in Lincolnshire. 

I, TG Editor Chris Jones was joined by Equipment Editor Simon Daddow, Sales Manager Ben Peck and Account Manager Jordan Paylor for the long day, which started with a 3.30am alarm call and saw us take in the sunrise as we made the drive from Peterborough to Woodhall Spa for the first tee time at 5.40am. 

An early start for the Longest Day Challenge at Woodhall Spa.

Stewart Golf generously supplied two Q Follow electric trolleys and two R1-S push trolleys, plus cart bags, to take the strain, and at 5.45am we were marching down the wonderful Hotchkin course’s first fairway, two pushing a Stewart trolley and two using a remote control.

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Our longest day challenge took place at Woodhall Spa.

We could not have picked a better venue for the challenge; the Hotchkin (ranked by Golf World’s Top 100 as the 23rd best course on the planet) is a sensational layout, and even though we lost a few balls in the heather, it was a pleasure to be out on such a gorgeous morning.

Tackling the Longest Day Golf Challenge.

The site of a significant overhaul by top designer Tom Doak, he’s really improved the feel and playability by removing lots of trees, opening up the views off the tees and giving players more options. 

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Even with video to film and drone footage to capture, we scooted round in less than four hours, the trolleys taking the strain (and plenty of water being consumed) as the temperature rose. 

Woodhall Spa played host to our Longest Day Challenge.

Round two teed off at 10am, giving us a chance to stock up on water and get a coffee and a bacon roll at the clubhouse. By now the course was getting busier, but lots of groups asked ‘are you the nutters playing four rounds today?’ 

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As we slotted into the pace of play for our second 18 on the Hotchkin, the golf started to improve; perhaps the key to a good score is to play 18 holes first! 

Stewart Golf supplied two Q Follow electric trolleys to help us in the Macmillan Longest Day Challenge.

We were also getting to grips with the trolleys; the Q Follow is a fantastic piece of kit, which is operated via remote control. Either hook it on your belt and the trolley follows every move, or hold the control to guide it around the course. It’s particularly good if you want to send it to the next tee while you walk to the green with your putter.

Lunch was a somewhat rushed packet of crisps and a Mars bar before we tackled Woodhall’s second 18, the Bracken. It’s not as classically heathland as the Hotchkin, and is more open in places, but it’s still a superb parkland test in brilliant condition. 

Woodhall Spa played host to our Longest Day Challenge.

By now – 36 holes in – legs and backs were starting to ache a bit. We swapped batteries on the Q Follows (even though the Stewart app said we still had 50% capacity in both, we didn’t want to risk it) and set off down the Bracken’s first fairway, which seemed 50% wider than any on the Hotchkin. 

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As the temperature got into the mid-20s and the step count ticked well over 20,000, spirits remained high in our group; we were well up for the challenge, but as tired swings took over and shots got a little more wayward, there was plenty of support from each other.

Stewart Golf supplied two R1-S Push Trolleys to help us in the Longest Day Challenge.

We congratulated the good shots, and laughed at the bad ones; we ribbed each other about missed putts and duffed chips but also offered encouragement and support to each other. Golf brought us together. 

The final round almost went by in a blur; the sun started to set, the steps started to get slower and the golf started to get worse, but by now we didn’t care; the finish line was in sight. 

We putted out on the Bracken’s 18th at around 10pm. The sun had crept below the western horizon, but it was still warm as we collected our thoughts for the video. 

With the Macmillan Longest Day Challenge over, Chris Jones and Simon Daddow discuss the day.


“What an amazing day. We were slightly nervous before we started; would we be fit enough? Would it be too hot? Would we have enough balls? But it was an honour to play Woodhall Spa all day; the weather made it even better; the company was brilliant; and even the golf, at times, was good!

“No doubt it was a long day – as I sat down with a pint of Coke in Woodhall’s wonderful clubhouse between rounds three and four, I could have easily stayed there ­– but the sense of achievement as we shook hands on the 18th was quite intense. We’d done it, and actually enjoyed it.”


“Playing the brilliant Hotchkin at 5.40am, on a beautiful summer morning with the sun coming up and nobody else on the golf course was stunning, a memory I’ll treasure for years to come. Very few people will ever experience the same at a world-renowned Top 100 golf course.

“Having completed the Longest Day Challenge 15 years earlier, this time around was a much tougher task. To take 60K steps, walk 27 miles and burn 5900 calories whilst playing four rounds has to be one of the most epic days I’ve ever spent on a golf course, it will of course never be repeated.

“As a massive pencil bag fan I’m super grateful and glad that I used the Stewart R1 Push trolley, on such a hot day I just wouldn’t have made it, without it.”

Simon Daddow and Ben Peck share a laugh.


“The Longest Golf Day is something I always wanted to do and when I got the chance to do it at Woodhall Spa and with the Stewart Golf, I couldn’t turn it down. The weather was excellent, the company was great and the golf was better than I thought, too.

“With the benefit of using a trolley (I usually carry) I was also able to understand how beneficial a golf trolley was to my physical health when playing golf. After 18 holes carrying, my legs ache, back aches and I feel exhausted. But with a trolley, I barely felt as though I had walked a round of golf, let along four!”


Stewart Golf supplied golf trolleys for our Longest Day Challenge.

The Longest Day in numbers

26.4: The warmest it got (in degrees C), at the start of the third round

15: Hours between the first tee shot and final putt.

46: Bottles of water consumed between us 

250,000: Steps taken as a group, covering more than 170km (just over 106 miles)

1,300: Shots between us (some a lot more than others) and we lost enough balls to last your average professional golfer a full season! 

5: Birdies (mainly by four-handicap Jordan, but Simon bagged one too; Chris and Ben didn’t get any).

Find out more about Stewart Golf

– Find out more about the Macmillan Longest Day Challenge

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