Keen golfer's 72-hole challenge in memory of 'bubbly' sister

Chris Coates on his 16-hour golf marathon

A keen golfer from Sudbury has completed a 16-hour golf marathon to raise funds in memory of his sister. - Credit: Sean Seddon/Chris Coates

A keen golfer from Sudbury has completed a 16-hour golf marathon in memory of his "incredible" and "bubbly sister".

Chris Coates, 36, played four rounds of golf at Newton Green Golf Club starting at 5am and finishing at 9pm on Saturday, July 2.

Golfers standing on a golf course

Chris embarked on his first round with Gareth Evans, Emily Evans and Tim Bowman. - Credit: Sean Seddon

He has raised over £2,000 for the St Nicholas Hospice in Bury St Edmunds in memory of his sister.

Chris' sister Jane Benson was diagnosed with liver cancer in October 2021 and sadly passed away on Wednesday, May 25 2022.

A family photo of Jane Benson and Chris Coates

Chris Coates is raising money for St Nicholas' Hospice in memory of his sister who passed away in May. - Credit: Chris Coates

Chris said: "My amazing sister was an incredible woman. With her intoxicating laugh and bubbly personality, she lit up every room she was in. Words cannot explain how dearly she will be missed."

On Saturday, July 2, Chris completed four rounds of golf, which equates to 72 holes and 16 miles.

Golfers on a golf course

Stephen Park, Cail Horner and Sean Cracknell played on Chris' second round. - Credit: Sean Seddon

Each round he played was with a separate group of friends, some of which set him comedic fundraising tasks to complete, such as receiving £5 for every ditch he hit and 5p for every time he hit the ball.

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He also made a personal challenge of making it "as hard as possible" by carrying his clubs around himself.

Chris said: "I was an absolute state by the end of the four rounds. I almost had to be carried off the pitch."

Golfers on a golf course

Chris was accompanied on his third round by Matt Hill and Karl King. - Credit: Sean Seddon

Chris attributed the £2,000 he raised to the help and support he received from the community, including his two helpers on the day, Sean Seddon and one of Jane's sons Alex Benson.

His golfing mission was live-streamed on Facebook and shown on a television in his father's guest house in Lincolnshire.

Golfers on a golf course

On Chris' final round, he was joined by Scott Ledieu, Karl Tanswell and Ben Grimwood. - Credit: Sean Seddon

He also received donations from other golfers at Newton Green Golf Club and from a hog roast fundraiser at Mablethorpe fire station.

Though Chris did not have the opportunity to visit Jane in the time she spent with St Nicolas Hospice, his mother Julie Park said "the love and care they gave to Jane until the end was amazing".

Jane Benson

Chris' sister, Jane Benson, was diagnosed with liver cancer in October 2021 and spent her final months with St Nicholas' Hospice. - Credit: Chris Coates

Chris added: "If there is any way I can repay and thank them for everything they did for my sister, my family and so many more, I will."

He will be leaving his JustGiving page open until Saturday, July 16 for any further donations to St Nicholas' Hospice.