Charity Golf Competition Goes to Extremes

Furnace Creek: That's so hot!

Participants in unique golf competition will go to Hell, rise to Heaven, over the course of a single day.

It sounds like golf’s version of a mood swing, with the lowest of lows and highest of highs showing up in quick succession. But where mood swings aren’t your friend, this inaugural California golf competition to benefit the Prostate Cancer Foundation is one adventurous golfers will consider a marriage made in, ahem, Heaven.

The Hell 2 Heaven Golf Challenge (commencing on June 20-22),which is the brainchild of longtime golf writer and photographer Robert Kaufman and sponsored in part by LinkedGolfers, includes a touch of Sin City followed by a motor coach caravan, a unique museum BBQ, an awards ceremony, and other memorable moments. Each could stand on its own but in this context they’re but window dressing for the main event: a first-of-its-kind, one-day 36-hole competition on two courses that aren’t only nowhere near one another, they’re about as different as two courses located in the Golden State could possibly be.

Welcome to Hell

The first 18, Furnace Creek Golf Course, is located in Death Valley National Park. At 214 feet below sea level it is not only situated at the lowest altitude in California but the golf course is reportedly the lowest altitude course in the entire world. Furnace Creek, however, gets its name not from its elevation but rather because the area gets ruthlessly pounded by the sun. Summer temperatures here routinely reach 125 degrees (F) but it can get even hotter. Furnace Creek, in fact, holds the world record for reaching the highest temperature in recorded history: 134 degrees.


For some, 18 holes in a kiln would conclude the day. But for participants of the Hell 2 Heaven Golf Challenge, it’s not even the half of it. Part 2 of the doubleheader will feature 18 holes at Sierra Star Golf Course at Mammoth Lakes, which, at 8,000 feet, is the highest elevated course in the Golden State.

Players will have plenty of time to prepare to atone for previous mistakes during a four- or five-hour drive that transports them from the desert inferno into another universe featuring ideal summertime temperatures and healthy doses of fresh mountain air. After first teeing off in the valley of death, this is a heaven to die for.

The move to higher ground won’t just provide relief from the heat, it will bring healthy performance benefit’s to one’s game. At 8,000 feet above sea level, balls travel upwards of 10 percent farther. A 150-yard shot, for example, should come to a stop at around 165 yards. That’s nice and all but to play well requires some significant club-selection adjustment. Why? You do the math.

Up For The Challenge?

The Hell 2 Heaven Golf Challenge is a benefit for the Prostate Cancer Foundation and is open to all golfers of any skill level. In the interest of pace of play (and it will be enforced), the format will be a two-person team scramble. There will be a boatload of prizes and surprises. The grand prize? A three-night/four-day golf getaway package for four (yep, 4!) at the Boulders Resort & Spa in Arizona. Solid!

For more details and to register, head over to the Hell 2 Heaven Challenge Official Site.

Sean T. Kelly
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