Cancer Information Helpline Call 0800 226 237 | Email an Information nurse | Fundraising & Donor Care Helpline Call 0800 467 345

Longest Day Golf Challenge - A great success on the fairway

The Cancer Society is excited to announce the success of this summer’s Longest Day Golf Challenge, which has raised $542,815 in essential funds from more than 600 players to support people affected by cancer.

We invited participants to test their skills and endurance on the golf course by completing four rounds of golf – a whopping 72 holes - in just one day on one of the longest days of the year.

The Cancer Society once again collaborated with Golf New Zealand to promote the Longest Day Golf Challenge, which had considerable uptake across the country.

There are 390 golf clubs in New Zealand, 500,000 players, and 120,204 registered golf club members. Golf is among the most socially and demographically diverse sports played in New Zealand. And approximately 25,000 New Zealanders are diagnosed with cancer each year.

Chief Executive Lucy Elwood says the funds raised will allow the Cancer Society to continue to be there for New Zealanders during one of the most difficult times of their lives: “We are extremely grateful to the golfers across the country who came out to fundraise for us this summer. Thank you for your generous support, which will allow us to provide safe transport to and from treatment, counselling services and accommodation for cancer patients, as well as fund life-saving research”.

The Golf Gods, a team of 11 from Timaru, took on the additional challenge of playing 24 hours of non-stop golf, including in the dark overnight with glow in the dark golf balls. Several of the Golf Gods’ teammates have been personally affected by cancer, either with their own diagnosis or those of friends and family, and the team raised a massive $22,000.

Team member Ian Cartney describes the exhilarating and emotional challenge of playing 24 hours of golf without stopping: “50km and 24 hours of golf definitely takes its toll. The body is very sore after the Challenge, but it is a reminder of when I was going through chemotherapy and radiation like so many other people.

“Thank you to the Cancer Society for everything you do. You are amazing at a time when life is at a low point and your support is overwhelming. It was well worth going through this so you can continue to be amazing”.

Golf New Zealand group Chief Executive Dean Murphy agrees that it has been a highly rewarding experience to hear about big-hearted golfers from around the country getting in behind the Cancer Society’s Longest Day fundraising initiative.

“We’ve heard stories from scores of groups and individuals around New Zealand taking to the fairways for what is not only a fun experience in a sport loved by so many, but also a physically challenging commitment that truly tests the endurance of participants. And all for a very worthy cause,” said Murphy.

“Golf New Zealand and its many member clubs throughout New Zealand have been proud to have been part of the Cancer Society’s achievements, and I know many of those who took part in this year’s Challenge will be eagerly lining up to give it a crack again next year.”

Media Contact

Wendy Billingsley
Communications Manager | Cancer Society of New Zealand National Office
027 66 66 552 |

Scott Cordes
Public Relations & Communications Manager| Golf New Zealand
021 922 750 |

About the Cancer Society of New Zealand

The Cancer Society of New Zealand is the country's leading organisation dedicated to reducing the incidence of cancer and ensuring the best cancer care for New Zealanders. We are committed to working with communities and decision makers by providing leadership and advocacy in cancer control, with core services in information and support, research and health promotion.

About Golf New Zealand

Golf New Zealand is a not-for-profit charitable trust established in 1910. It is the governing body for golf in New Zealand responsible for leading, growing and supporting the game. The organisation is governed by a dedicated group of volunteer Directors, the majority of whom are elected by the 14 District Association members. Golf New Zealand's office is in Auckland and is located at the Remuera Golf Club.