10 February, 2023

Peter Mackenzie is a man on a mission! Not content with playing seven courses of golf in one day last summer, this year, he will embark on a 24-hour, 250-hole golfing challenge to raise even more funds for Breast Cancer UK. 

18 months ago, Peter’s mum Jean was given the devastating news that she had breast cancer. It was a difficult time for the family, but the news gave Peter the drive to act, and he organised a charity golf challenge to raise £8000 for Breast Cancer UK. 

This year Peter, a PGA Pro Golfer since leaving school, will travel up to his beloved Scotland and play golf non-stop for 24 hours at the championship golf course, Nairn Golf Club.  

The golfing challenge will start at 6 pm and finish at 6 pm the following day, completing around 14 rounds of golf. Pro golfer, Michael McAllan, will join Peter overnight, and their club captain, Ali Asher, will play the last round with him. 

Talking about his now gruelling training programme to get match fit as the next eight months will be devoted to training, he said:

“I’m not going to lie. It’s time-consuming with all the training as I go out for 30-mile walks, weather permitting, so it’s quite punishing on the body. But I really enjoy it, and the cause is giving me a purpose.” 

He’s consulting a couple of personal trainers and working out what food he needs to eat during the 24 hours to keep him fuelled and hydrated. He’s also speaking to someone about training his brain for those moments when he needs to power through the pain barrier! 

Golf runs through Peter’s family, with both his parents playing golf. He now works at Sale Golf Club, near Manchester.  

Talking about his motivation, he said:

“Because I couldn’t play golf when Covid first hit, it gave me the opportunity to do a lot of walking. Then mum got her diagnosis, and I thought, ‘Why don’t I combine two of my hobbies together to raise awareness and funds for a good cause?’.”  

Peter will combine the trip up to Inverness, where his dad was born, with a holiday with his fiancé, Jan, who will support him throughout the golfing challenge. 

After surgery and treatment, Peter’s mum has now been given the ‘all clear’. But Peter’s determined to continue raising money for charity and awareness about how to reduce your risk of getting the disease.  

Breast cancer is the most common cancer in the UK, but around a third of cases can be prevented. Over 55,000 women and around 400 men are diagnosed with breast cancer each year. Breast Cancer UK provides practical advice and tips on how to reduce your risk. They also campaign for changes to national health policies to support prevention. And fund research into the effects of harmful chemicals on the human breast. 

Before starting this challenge, Peter was unaware that men could get breast cancer too. 

“Oddly enough, when I organised last year’s challenge, one of the male members at the club approached me and said he’d gone through it. He was the first male I’d met who’d had the disease. Don’t get me wrong, the training is hard work, but people go through a lot worse dealing with cancer. It gives me a purpose to do something. I’m just glad I’m doing something good for a great cause and raising awareness about how to prevent it. That motivates me,” Peter added. 

Breast cancer in men is generally discovered at a later stage. So, it is vital that more men become aware of the causes and signs of breast cancer and what they can do to reduce their risk of getting this devastating disease. 

Everyone is born with a degree of susceptibility to breast cancer. Women are more susceptible than men. But the choices you make in your daily life can influence your level of risk. From the things you eat to the chemicals you are exposed to, all of these can help determine whether you’re at higher or lower risk of the disease.  The good news is you have a certain amount of control over these factors. Regular exercise, eating a healthy diet and maintaining a healthy weight can all prevent breast cancer. 

Peter, who now plays golf socially rather than professionally, agrees:

“There are lots of little steps you can take to help prevent this horrible disease.” And he’d encourage others to support good causes by taking part in their own challenge. “I think we’d live in a better world if everybody did a little bit of good for a good cause.” 

The 46-year-old is already discussing the possibility of a further challenge after August. ‘I can’t guarantee it, but fundraising becomes addictive. It’s like a packet of Pringles. Once you’ve started, you can’t stop!’ he laughs. 

The 24-hour golfing challenge takes place on August 21, 2023, at 6 pm. Both Sale Golf Club and Nairn Golf Club are supporting Peter with the challenge and his fundraising efforts. To support Peter and his epic challenge, visit www.justgiving.com/fundraising/peter-mackenzie8  

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