Golfs Longest Day


On June 21, the longest day of the year, four golfers and their caddies will play what will be the longest round of the year. To be specific, the plan is to start at San Franciscos storied Olympic Club at the crack of dawn and play one hole at 18 different courses. Their goal is to finish at Riviera Country Club before darkness settles in Southern California.
No helicopters, no NetJets. Just a lot of Mapquest, a lot of local knowledge, a lot of hustle and a lot of heart. All for a good cause.
Im betting they will make it. They are calling it The Longest Day and the proceeds will go to the cancer center at Community Hospital of the Monterey Peninsula.
As of late April, The Longest Days Mike Lehotta had secured 16 of the 18 courses needed for cooperation. When TLD gets 18 on board, he says, it will be time to choose the players. The goal is to raise a minimum of $10,000 for the event from corporate sponsors and anybody else who wants to chip in. Participant spots will cost $3,000, a portion of which will go toward covering expenses.
Lehotta, an accomplished artist and longtime caddie at Pebble Beach, has it all figured. The logistics are ambitious, to say the least. The mileage for the trip is 475 miles. Daylight on June 21 on the California coast is about 15 hours.
The goal, Lehotta says, 'is to average playing each hole in seven minutes, coming out to 126 minutes for the day. There are several holes, he adds, that are near roads.
If we conservatively add 12 minutes at each hole to unload and reload the players and equipment, that will take another 216 minutes away from our drive time, Lehotta says.
Driving directly from the Olympic Club to Riviera on a normal traffic day, he says, takes just about seven hours and 40 minutes. That, he adds, will give his event about two hours of cushion time for the detoured route his group must take.
The more people tell Lehotta and his pioneers his group cant get it done, the more he gets excited about proving them wrong.
To play one hole of golf at 18 different golf courses from San Francisco to Los Angeles in one day seems rather ambitious, crazy, impossible and every other You cant do it phrase ever uttered, Lehotta says.
Lehotta isnt shy about his personal stake in The Longest Day. His wife is fighting a battle against cancer. Last October doctors told her the odds werent good. One operation, three oncologists, several other doctors, five rounds of chemotherapy and 100,000 milligrams of IP-6 later, Jan Lehotta is close to remission.
She will beat this, Lehotta says emphatically.
So dont even think about telling him he cant get four players through 18 holes on 18 different courses in one day in a state where traffic can be an epidemic.
This event thoroughly parallels what cancer patients go through every day, Lehotta says. It is human drama about human life. What is better than that?
It is also about challenging the human spirit with imagination. Not much better than that, either.
(Ed. Note: Mike Lehotta can be reached at
Donations can be made to:
635 Pine Avenue
Pacific Grove, CA 93950
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