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Golfer With Prostate Cancer Takes on Epic Big Golf Race Challenge

By: Golfshake Editor | Fri 28 Jun 2024

You may have heard of The Big Golf Race - Prostate Cancer's UK largest golf fundraising challenge - which we recently covered, but if you're unsure about whether you wish to participate this year, then the story of Mike Bee should inspire you to have a go.

Living with a prostate cancer diagnosis himself, Mike, 58, and has raised over £36,000 over the last three years taking part in The Big Golf Race, where typically golfers will play, 36, 72 or sometimes 100-holes a day.

Recently, Mike put together a special event at his local club of seven-years, Donnington Valley in Newbury where 72 golfers aimed play 18-holes in under three hours.

"The day went really well and although some groups didn’t quite make it under three hours, all the golfers took away the key messages from the day, which is what it is all about,” said Mike.

"Prostate cancer is now the most commonly diagnosed cancer in the UK, killing one man every 45 minutes in the UK. That's roughly the same time it takes to play three or four holes of golf.

"Having been diagnosed with prostate cancer three years ago I was determined from day one to overcome it. Fortunately, it was found early and I am doing fine and being well monitored, however, some men aren’t that lucky or leave it too late, which is why raising awareness is so important. I work in the pharmaceutical sector so I’m well aware of the more structured screening programmes in other cancers, less so with prostate cancer, hence why the fundraising is important to get to a national screening programme in place. 

"We need to act faster to fund research into rapid diagnostic tests and more effective treatments, plus encourage men, particularly over 50 to get a PSA blood test. That’s why we take on The Big Golf Race every year to keep men in the game for longer," he added.

Prostate Cancer UK

Since The Big Golf Race was launched in 2020, more than 11,500 golfers have raised over £3.4m to help fund life-saving research to radically improve the way prostate cancer is diagnosed and treated.

This year, the leading men’s health charity is urging more golfers to take part in The Big Golf Race to help save dads, grandads, brothers, uncles and friends from a disease that affects 1 in 8 men in the UK.

"We had a good mix of ages who took part in the challenge, but the majority are of around my vintage, but if one of the guys took the message home and gets checked or tells one of their friends to get checked, then it’s job done for me," added Mike. "During my last visit to my doctors for a medication check-up, she asked if I was doing a golf challenge this year as she’d had people in after hearing about my other fundraising efforts, which is amazing and I’ve already booked a date for next year’s challenge too!"

Golfers around the UK can raise money to help fund research to find better tests to save men’s lives by taking on the Marathon, which consists of four rounds and 26 miles of walking in a day/Half Marathon, two rounds of golf in a day and 13 miles of walking/Ultra Marathon, which consists of 100 rounds in a day and a whopping 35 miles of walking.

Prostate Cancer UK ambassador and former Masters champion Danny Willett is also backing the epic challenge and hopes 2024 is another record-breaking year for The Big Golf Race.

He said: "The golf community’s response to The Big Golf Race has been incredible, so it’s no surprise that it’s now the biggest golf fundraising challenge in the UK. It just goes to show just how far golfers will go to raise money for an incredible cause and I’ll be doing all I can to help them this year."

Seren Evans, Head of Events and Community Fundraising at Prostate Cancer UK, said: "We’re delighted with how many golfers, clubs and partners have embraced The Big Golf Race and helped to build it into a fun yet challenging way of helping to help save men’s lives.

"Prostate cancer is a disease killing one man every 45 minutes - roughly the time it takes to play three holes of golf - and it sadly exists in every golf club. 

"But with the support of Mike and the thousands of others like them who have conquered The Big Golf Race, we’re able to continue to fund research into better tests and treatment for prostate cancer and keep men in the game for longer," she added.

To join the thousands of other golfers in taking on Prostate Cancer UK’s Big Golf Race, please visit prostatecanceruk.org/TheBigGolfRace.  

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Join Thousands of Golfers in The Big Golf Race to Help Save Lives

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