Four firefighters from the Yorkshire region are looking to burn up the fairways at Aldwark Manor, in York, as they hope to set a new record in Macmillan Cancer Support's Longest Day Golf Challenge.
Every year, around the longest day, sponsored golfers from across the UK take part in the fundraiser in teams of four, teeing off at the crack of dawn as they try to complete four rounds of golf in just one day.
But the firefighting foursome are hoping to do better than that and play a staggering eight rounds of golf in the day, beginning at 4.30am and finishing, hopefully, around 9.50pm … or as long as the light will allow.
Rob Goodman, 46, and Paul Hillaby, 47, who between them have nearly 40 years' service with North Yorkshire Fire & Rescue, will be joined by 42-year-old Neil Spratt, from West Yorkshire Fire & Rescue, and Humberside Fire & Rescue's Pat Howdle, 55 - a former Winter Olympian - as they attempt to set a record for the event.
Organiser Goodman, a five-handicapper, explained: "I've always wanted to do the challenge but never had the opportunity because of other commitments, such as work. This year was different and I decided I wanted to raise the bar of the challenge.
"Being a firefighter, we often work in extreme conditions and, I have to say, being a reasonable golfer, I wondered if, although four rounds was certainly no pushover, we could possibly double the normal attempt, which would mean playing non-stop competitive golf for nearly 17 hours.
"We reckon we will have 16 hours 32 mins and 19 seconds, approximately, to complete the marathon task, which will mean playing rounds in a fourball in less than two hours. What's more we hope it will be recognised as a record for the event - and maybe even some sort of world record."
He added: "Macmillan nurses do an amazing job and can only do so with public support through events like this and I hope people will help support us and, more importantly, Macmillan Cancer Support in this attempt."
Aldwark Manor's head of golf, Anthony Moore, was keen to support the quartet's efforts.
"To complete four rounds in a day is a great achievement; to complete eight would be astonishing … and exhausting. The guys are all extremely fit - they need to be in their job - but they will be tested to the limit doing this and we all wish them well. I was asked if I wanted to take part, but I suddenly discovered I needed to do an urgent stock-take of our wooden tees …," laughed Moore.
Aldwark Manor Golf & Spa Hotel - managed by RBH, the UK's leading independent hotel management company - is set within 120 acres of parklands. It is a delightful mix of the old and new, with a contemporary wing attached to the 17th-century manor house.
The beautiful River Ure meanders through Aldwark's easy-to-walk course, in the breathtaking Vale of York, creating a par-72 layout that may prove as testing as it is aesthetically pleasing .
As the largest golf resort operator in the UK, RBH manages nine championship and tournament golf courses across the UK, hosting events from the European Tour, European Seniors Tour, Ladies European Tour and the PGA.