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Headline: Mike Michel Enlists the Help of Friends as He Prepares to Play 24 Hours of Golf at MGA Links in Norton To Raise Money for Local Charities
Mike Michel (center in blue) will play golf for 24 hours to raise funds for local charities.
For Immediate Release: May 15, 2017
Norton, MA — Nearly 30 years ago, the late Tom Keyes, an assistant golf professional under Drew Chapman at Attleboro’s Highland Country Club heard some members conversing about raising money for local charities.
Knowing the charitable impact of the game, the young professional offered to play golf for 24 hours at the club to help raise money for the respective charities, a feat he accomplished in both the summers of 1989 and 1990 before his untimely death in the fall of 1990. Chapman continued the trek in his honor during the 1991 and 1992 seasons.
In early June, an Attleboro native who grew up playing golf in the same town where Keyes started his 24 hours of golf tournament will take on the challenge for the sixth year in a row, raising money for local charities.
Inspired by the concept brought to his attention nearly three decades ago, Mike Michel, a local insurance agent, will look to play golf for 24 straight hours on the weekend of June 3 and 4 at MGA Links in Norton, the local par-3 owned and operated by the Massachusetts Golf Association. The sixth annual 24 Hours of Golf Marathon will take place at MGA Links in Norton, the chapter headquarters for The First Tee of Massachusetts junior golf program.
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This year, like it has nearly every year since its inception, Michel will be joined by two-time Super Bowl Champion Devin McCourty and other New England Patriots teammates for part of the festivities surrounding the annual early summer event.
While the idea of playing golf for 24 hours may sound like a difficult task to some and a dream for others, Michel has become an expert of sorts when it comes to this challenge. This year, alongside his longtime friend Kris Carrier, the former Bishop-Feehan standout Michel will look to build on the more than $100,000 that he has already helped raise since 2012 for The Michel Golf Fund, funds that support free golf, lessons, tournaments, and equipment for children in southeastern Massachusetts, regardless of their family’s finances. The 24-hour golf marathon is the organization’s signature event.
"As many of you know, the game of golf holds a special place in my heart and has had a tremendous impact on my life," wrote Michel on the GoFundMe page that he has set up for individuals and organizations to donate to his cause. "I came from a family where my parents were divorced at a young age and golf provided me an outlet to stay out of trouble and learn a game that I could enjoy for the rest of my life while learning some of life’s most important lessons."
Through golf, individuals are able to learn valuable life skills and lessons such as etiquette, patience, honesty and maturity describes Michel. The experiences he has gained is something he wants to see passed onto others.
The sport has been good to him, as it has allowed him to compete in top events as a youth, provided him a full scholarship to college and even led him to eventually meeting his wife, Kellie. Now he looks to ensure that future generations can enjoy the game that he picked up at a young age, a game introduced to him through the generosity of the people in his community.
"The real reason that I originally got involved was because I was a gentleman that grew up on a public golf course," explained Michel. “Golf took me pretty far. I grew in Attleboro. Played at a public course. I had dreams of playing in college and getting a scholarship. And I did. I earned a scholarship to play golf at Rutgers University and it was a huge thing for me and my family. It got me to play some of the best golf courses in the country. After school, I came home and started in business and I started thinking about the things that helped me get to where I am at this point in my life. A lot of it came back to golf and the people I had developed relationships with."
The golf marathon is something that Michel says is different than the traditional fundraisers that pop up through the game, but just as efficient.
"This is unique," explained Mike. "Six years ago, people backed it and I liked it. It celebrates the game in a different way and I thought it would be something a lot of people would gravitate towards. A lot of people have."
Beginning at 12 noon on Saturday, June 3rd, Michel and Carrier will have almost nine hours of daylight, weather depending of course, before switching over to glow-in-the-dark golf balls and illuminate flagsticks, which will light the 18-hole course that measures at 3,010 yards. They’ll play several hours in pitch black with the glow in the dark objects as their guide before the sun rises. The last third of the tournament will wrap up on Sunday, June 4 at 12 noon.
The duo expects says they average nearly two hundred holes of golf over the 24-hour period, and despite the experience at completing the annual event in the past, Michel says that playing golf for such a long period of time is no easy task.
Carrier’s the third person in six years to compete alongside Michel, and much like an elite runner would prepare for a 26.2-mile trek, certain preparations too must be made for an event such as this.
"The biggest thing is that when you play for 24 hours, you can’t imagine how much fatigue comes into play," says Michel. "You start off the day and you may be hitting seven irons 175 yards and by the end of the competition, the end of the 24 hours, you are legitimately hitting seven irons 140 yards."
To prepare for the week, he plans on getting a week’s length of great sleep and then "pigging out on pasta, Gatorade and water" the night before to ensure he can physically handle the long day ahead.
In addition to the wildlife that the pair may have to fight off in the late hours, jokes Michel, he and his playing partner Carrier will be spending the time competing against each other to see how many birdies the pair can record while also holding back and forth competitions to help the time pass.
At the end of the 24-hour event, MGA Links in Norton will open up for a special event specifically for the kids who benefit from the organization’s mission. The club will offer free golf for all kids and will host a barbeque at the club house located on West Main Street.
McCourty, a Rutgers alum himself, and select teammates will be signing autographs, playing catch with the kids and even participating in driving and putting competitions. A live auction with sports memorabilia and tickets to sporting events will also be taking place.
"Devin is a person I have a special connection with because he was a scholarship athlete at Rutgers University," said Michel, who graduated from Rutgers in 2003. "He was younger than me but after he got drafted [by the Patriots in 2010], I had the opportunity to be introduced to him via a mutual friend down at Rutgers and since that initial meeting, he told me that he would do everything he can to help the charity and the foundation. He stood by that. He’s helped with every foundation that I’ve been a part of and accepted with open arms. He gets different associates on the team to go and it’s made a huge difference. From creating interest in the event to getting kids to the event, Devin McCourty’s involvement has made a huge huge difference. I would like to publically thank them and the Patriots for that. They call me and ask when the event is so that they can mark their own calendars and that says something about their character."
For more information, visit The Michel Golf Fund Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/michelgolffund/) or make a donation to the organization via their GoFundMe website at https://www.gofundme.com/24HoursofGolf2017
Any questions can be directed to Mike Michel via email at: email@example.com
The Massachusetts Golf Association and MGA Links are happy to partner with The Michel Golf Fund to help grow the game.