Like most golf outings, the numbers tell the story.
8 ½ rounds in about 14 hours.
Not a bad day Tyson Bowen noted, although the best number from last month’s marathon golf fundraiser at Sage Lakes Golf Course is around $20,000.
That’s the amount Bowen was able to raise through donations, pledges and a GoFundMe page set up for the family of Bonneville County Sheriff’s Deputy Wyatt Maser, who was killed in the line of duty last month.
The marathon golf fundraiser is nothing new to Bowen, who’s been at Sage Lakes since 2006 and worked as assistant golf pro the past nine years. His previous two marathon golf fundraisers were for the Make-a-Wish Foundation. In 2015, he completed 108 holes. He tallied 126 holes in 2016, but this time around he made it through 153 holes.
“Who knows, maybe next time it will be more,” Bowen said, adding the generosity of the golfing community inspired him during his marathon day. Approximately $14,000 of the $20,000 raised or pledged came from the golf community, he said, with most contributions coming the day of the event once people knew what Bowen was doing on the course.
“The original goal was $10,000, which I thought might be a stretch, but we blew that out of the water,” Bowen said.
He said the fundraiser for Maser felt a little more personal than his other marathons. Bowen said he had no ties to law enforcement and didn’t know the deputy, but felt it was a local tragedy that touched the community and he saw an opportunity to help a grieving family.
While the day-long marathon does take a toll, it is an interesting twist to a regular round of golf, Bowen said.
“A normal round of golf you hit your ball, let your playing partners hit. You get to your ball and you have to wait for the group in front of you. It’s really a pretty slow game,” he said.
“The cool thing about my marathon is everybody just moved out of the way. I was able to get to my ball and hit. You actually create a kind of rhythm throughout the day. I started swinging pretty good and once I found it it was pretty easy. Just one swing after the other. There’s not much thinking about it.”
Even as fatigue set in, Bowen said he played his best rounds toward the end of a day that started at 6 a.m. When he finished at 8:30 p.m. he had carded 65 over the last two rounds and 15-under for 153 holes.
Bowen said he’s open to suggestions for his next golf marathon fundraiser. He’d like to keep it a local cause. There are also other opportunities if other area assistant pros want to challenge him in another golf marathon for a good charity or cause, he said.
In the meantime, the memorial fund for Maser has been set up at the ISU Credit Union in Idaho Falls. The GoFundMe page is still active at GoFundMe.com. Search Tyson Bowen.
Bowen said he felt he’d be able to play another 36 holes in his next marathon round.
200 holes? Sounds like a challenge.
“Maybe if there’s enough daylight,” he said.
And all for an important cause.