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216 holes of golf, and counting, for those facing cancer

The Cancer Society's annual fundraiser, the Longest Day Golf Challenge, tees off next month and will see hundreds of keen golfers around the country complete a golf marathon (72 holes) to raise funds for people living with cancer.

For most participants, one year of the challenge is enough, but Rob Lockhart from Wellington is about to take it on for the third year in a row.

The Cancer Society's 'Longest Day Golf Challenge' is a golfing endurance event that tests the skill and stamina of its participants. The challenge is to complete four rounds of golf in one day to raise funds for the Cancer Society. This year, a half marathon option (36 holes) is also being introduced. The event takes advantage of the increased sunlight hours during summer, but participants can take part on any day in December or January.

"When the Longest Day came along, I saw an opportunity to combine my love of golf with my interest in supporting people with cancer," Rob said.

Rob has raised thousands of dollars for the Cancer Society over the years and over $5,000 for this year's challenge alone.

Like many people around Aotearoa, the cause is close to home for Rob and his family - his father, grandfather and great-grandfather all passed away from cancer at the age of 58.

"It's such a great cause", he said. "The Cancer Society helped quite a bit when my father was facing cancer. Even things like a place to park during treatment helped a lot, and it took an extra worry away, which is a huge help when you're going through it."

As a Longest Day veteran, Rob has some tips for those considering the challenge.

"Definitely don't go more than two rounds without a shower, and change your shirt and socks between rounds. It's important to stay hydrated, too. Last year, we covered more than 43km in one day – so yeah, it's a marathon".

This year's event is the biggest yet, and it's not too late to get involved. Choose the day, the course, and the team - or play solo if you prefer.

Every dollar raised will go towards cancer care in our community, education and awareness programmes, and life-saving cancer research.

This year, Rob will be teeing off with his teammate Matt at Paraparaumu and Royal Wellington Golf Club, who have generously waived their green fees. If you wish to support their cause, click here