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Chasing Glory: How Fast Can You Walk 18 Holes At Penn State’s White Course?

Have you ever wanted to get in a round of golf during the day but didn’t have enough time? Have you ever wondered if you can barely squeeze in nine or 18 holes before class? If so, we’ve got some good news for you.

I was sitting at my desk on a cool Monday morning in early April when I looked out the window and saw the sun begin to peek through the clouds. I knew that could only mean one thing: Spring is here.

I quickly checked the weather and saw it was perfect for a relaxing round of golf. I was about to grab my clubs and head out the door, but I realized that I had class in two hours and couldn’t make it back in time.

Even though some people might say that’s a minor inconvenience, I couldn’t accept “no” as an answer. I became determined to prove that you can run walk 18 holes at Penn State’s White Course in under two hours.

I scheduled a tee time at 8 a.m. on a foggy Tuesday morning. My class began at 10:35 a.m., so I had no time to waste. Upon my arrival, I needed to make sure I got my warmups in. After a few practice swings at the range, I was ready to hit the first tee and start the clock.

(Connor Donohue | Onward State)

After hitting the first fairway, I was off to the races. The first hole started a bit shaky as I sported a light jog between shots. I missed the green but was able to salvage a par with a solid start.

(Connor Donohue | Onward State)

The second and third holes didn’t go according to plan. I ended up with a three-put bogey on the third and was falling behind my goal pace of six minutes per hole. After three holes, I had been on the course for 25 minutes. I then regrouped on the fourth tee box and gave myself a pep talk for some extra motivation.

(Connor Donohue | Onward State)

Unfortunately, it didn’t seem to work that well. I ended up in a fairway bunker.

A not-so-fun day at the beach (Connor Donohue | Onward State)

After three-putting the fourth hole and making another bogey on the fifth, things were looking dreary. I checked the clock only to see that I was just under 40 minutes into my round after five holes after a poor tee shot on the sixth.

(Connor Donohue | Onward State)

I couldn’t let down the rest of the golfing community. After finding what some people may call a “runner’s high,” I began to roll. Following a par on the sixth hole, a 15-foot birdie putt on the seventh found its way to the bottom of the hole and turned everything around.

(Connor Donohue | Onward State)

I then made two pars to finish the front nine with a score of 39 (three over par) after being +4 through five holes. My time through nine holes was one hour and two minutes. There was hope.

The back nine began with a little bit of a sprint.

Run, Forrest, run! (Connor Donohue | Onward State)

Unfortunately, a crucial putt for birdie wasn’t able to fall on the tenth hole, which carried over into a bogey on the 11th.

Look at that view! (Connor Donohue | Onward State)

After a poor tee shot on the 12th hole, I was facing more adversity as my pace was behind once again.

(Connor Donohue | Onward State)

Luckily, I got a lovely bounce off a sprinkler head that guided the ball to the middle of the green. After a par on the 12th and a surprisingly great tee shot on the 13th, I was rolling once again.

Yes, those are skulls on my shorts. (Connor Donohue | Onward State)

I salvaged a bogey after getting up and down from an errant tee shot on the 14th hole, but I was back on pace at one hour and 27 minutes. I left the 15th with a chance to birdie the hole but missed the 8-foot putt by a mile. After another par on the 16th hole, I stood on the 17th tee at a time of one hour and 39 minutes and a score of +5. A gutsy drive led to another great birdie look on the short par 4, but the putt barely missed.

Pain. (Connor Donohue | Onward State)

I then stood on the 18th tee with only 15 minutes left to beat my goal. The finish line was in sight.

(Connor Donohue | Onward State)
(Connor Donohue | Onward State)

A shaky tee shot led to a solid second and third shot into that par 5, and all I had left was two putts after sprinting up the fairway. At more than 30 feet long, the first putt wasn’t an easy one, but I was able to lag it up to three feet and tap in the final putt for par with a final time of 1:52:01 and a score of 77.

(Connor Donohue | Onward State)
Success! (Connor Donohue | Onward State)

After running/walking a combined six miles on a chilly Tuesday morning, I decided to take a few minutes to rebuild my energy before heading back to campus.

Nap time. (Connor Donohue | Onward State)

Even though it may not be as relaxing as you want it to be, I, an unathletic, lanky man from Long Island, have proven that you can play 18 holes at the Penn State White Course in under two hours. Take that, world.

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About the Author

Frankie Marzano

Frankie is a senior accounting and economics major from Long Island, NY. You can probably recognize him as the typical Italian-American with slicked back black hair. He is an avid fan of the New York Rangers and Mets, along with every Penn State Athletics team. Follow him on Twitter @frankiemarzano for obnoxious amounts of Rangers and Penn State content or email him at [email protected].

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