Tech pro to tee off for 100 holes

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Sabino Grijalva will see if one can play too much golf when he attempts to play 100 holes July 28.

Courtesy photo: Tech PGA Professional Sabino Grijalva will get his fill of golf on July 28.

The New Mexico Tech Golf Course PGA professional will tee off, along with friends Andrew Kulaga and Dennis Walsh, to raise money for the Sun Country Junior Golf Foundation as well as the Socorro Junior Golf Foundation.

“We play as fast as we can from sun up. Last year we played 180 holes,” Grijalva said. “That’s the most I’ve ever played in one day. I was very sore and very tired the next day.”

This is the fourth year of the Sun Country Golf Marathon, where golf professionals, amateurs and junior golfers in New Mexico and El Paso, Texas, commit to playing 100 holes of golf in one day, Grijalva said.

Golfers collect pledges and donations. Grijalva said he’s had people donate a penny a hole, a dollar a hole or just flat donations of $10 or $20. He has a sign-up sheet in the pro shop at the course, if anyone wants to make a pledge. People can also call the course at 835-5335 and arrange to contribute. Online donations can be made at http://suncountry.pga.com/marathon.

Proceeds from the golf marathon are shared between the Sun Country Junior Golf Foundation and a charity of the marathoner’s choice. Grijalva managed to raise $1,200 last year.

Money raised will help Socorro junior golfers with tournament expenses and traveling to out of state tourneys, according to Grijalva.

“I think it’s very important to keep the youth of Socorro interested in golf for a few reasons. Overall it helps grow the game locally,” he added. “Having a good junior program funnels down to the high school level. It gives them a good pool of athletes. Then hopefully some of those high school golfers can earn college scholarships.”

The heat and fatigue, of course, are the big obstacles when trying to golf that many holes, according to Grijalva, who played golf at the New Mexico Military Institute and Western New Mexico University before coming to work at Tech in 2004.

Last year, Grijalva and his pals managed to play the first 18 holes in a little over an hour. Gradually, it took longer and longer, though, as the day went on.

“You’re trying to be quick and not trying to think about technique,” he said. “The swing gets short and fast, and timing gets off.”

Grijalva’s least favorite holes are No. 4 and No. 5. Both involve contending with ponds.

“I’m always thinking about the water,” he said.

Granted Grijalva loves golf, but 100 holes may be a little excessive.

“Last year, I took a few days off and then it was back to finding the swing again,” he added.