The man behind YouTube’s biggest golf channel is in the midst of an epic 150-mile fundraising march to celebrate The 150th Open.
PGA professional Rick Shiels is walking from Prestwick Golf Club – host to the first Open in 1860 – to the Old Course in St Andrews which will stage next month’s landmark championship.
Dubbed ‘Walk 150’, the Manchester-based pro’s challenge began on June 14, to coincide with the second day of Men’s Health Week, and, all going to plan, will see him cross the finish line in St Andrews on Father’s Day, June 19.
It’s all for a good cause, too, with Shiels raising money for Prostate Cancer UK. At the time of writing, more than £48,000 had been donated to the charity via his JustGiving page.
“Like millions of others, I grew up watching The Open as a child and was inspired to dream of one day winning it,” said Shiels. “It has always been my favourite tournament and I wanted to do something to celebrate its landmark 150th year. I couldn’t think of a better way than walking from where it started all those years ago to where it is now.
“Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men and Prostate Cancer UK’s work, especially in golf, is so important in making men more aware of their risk of the disease.”
DAY ONE #Walk150— Rick Shiels PGA (@RickShielsPGA) June 14, 2022
31 Miles walked ✅
55,000 steps ✅
£28,000 raised for @prostatecanceruk ✅
Very sore feet ✅😆
We smashed some records today and I couldn’t be prouder 🙌
Eat - Sleep - Repeat 😉 see you tomorrow pic.twitter.com/PVdXVNoCFn
Shiels is no stranger to huge fundraisers, having previously staged the world’s first YouTube Golf Day in May 2019, raising over £10,000 in the process. He admits, however, that ‘Walk 150’ is “a challenge unlike any I’ve undertaken before” - and is made all the harder by the fact he’s carrying his golf bag!
Nicola Tallett, Director of Fundraising & Supporter Engagement at Prostate Cancer UK, said: “Golf has been so influential in spreading the word about prostate cancer, but sadly as it affects one in eight men in the UK, this disease is still present in every golf club.
“We need to continue to drive home this serious message and ensure conversations are being had about prostate cancer in every clubhouse.
“We’re delighted that Rick is supporting us through his walk. His fundraising efforts will go towards life-saving research and supporting men affected by prostate cancer and their families. We wish Rick all the best and hope he can put his feet up and enjoy The Open after his epic walk.”
To donate to Rick’s fundraising efforts, click here.