Intrepid Golfers Take On “Fore Nations Challenge” For British Heart Foundation

Fore Nations Challenge - A group of four brave golfers will attempt to play four rounds, in four countries on 20th June – We got the crazy lowdown.

Fore Nations Challenge - One of the rounds will be completed at Sandiway Golf Club
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Charity golf events are a great way to raise money for good causes and many, varied examples have been attempted and achieved over recent years. Challenges often revolve around the longest day of the year with participants attempting to play four rounds or as many holes as possible in a 24-hour period. But, as more groups set themselves (and complete) these improbable golfing missions, being creative enough to capture people’s interest and cough up some cash has become increasingly tricky.

That was a topic friends Barry Ross, Crawford Anderson-Dillon, Dave Kerr and Chris Conway, discussed when they considered how they might raise some money for the British Heart Foundation in memory of their pal George Brown who was a fellow member of their golfing society: the “Royal & Ancient Company of Dishonourable Golfers,” (RACDG).

What they came up with was “The Fore Nations” – a sort of cross between the three peaks challenge (without mountains and with a four at the start rather than a three) and a standard summer solstice golfing challenge… Their plan is, on the 20th of June, that they will play (in a single day) a round of golf in each of the home nations of the United Kingdom – Royal Belfast Golf Club in Northern Ireland, Portpatrick Golf Club in Scotland, Sandiway Golf Club in England then Wrexham Golf Club in Wales.

You can find out all about the challenge and donate money at the team’s Just Giving page with more details from and on those taking part below...

The Fore Nations Challenge

Golf Holidays in Northern Ireland

Royal Belfast

(Image credit: Rob Smith)

We spoke to participant Barry Ross to get the lowdown on the ambitious challenge. Here it is, in his own words:

“It started in the same way all good challenges start… in the pub. It was early 2022 and there was a conversation about the longest day, the three peaks challenge and whether we could play all four rounds in the UK home countries, NI, Scotland, England and Wales.

Things spiralled rapidly out of control, and we committed to getting ready for the event for June 2023. We looked at all modes of transport, the order in which to play the courses, what areas and courses we should play, using flashing golf balls for the dark, taking a RIB boat between Ireland and Scotland, what time dawn was and when the light would fade… and whether that mattered or not!

Barry Ross

Barry Ross

(Image credit: Barry Ross)

The aim is therefore to play one course in each of the home nations, only travelling by land and sea, within a day and in the fastest possible time.   

We are all part of the RACDG society, (often referred to as The Flock.)  Members are affectionately known as flockers, as a result. One of our number, George Brown, sadly suffered a cardiac arrest and passed away last year, so we are doing this in his memory and to raise money for the British Heart Foundation

It appears that no one has been foolish enough to attempt this before (we certainly can’t find anything) We are still waiting on Guinness confirming that they will recognise the challenge (and achievement!), but we are hopeful that they will assist. This is very much secondary though. The exact rules, whether it will be Stableford, Strokeplay, tweaks to transport requirements etc, will be subject to what they say. 

We are all flying into Belfast on the 19th and hopefully going to play Royal County Down, the day before. Some might argue that more golf is perhaps foolish, but would we be true golf fanatics if we didn’t try and squeeze a little more golf in? 

Everyone is very excited about the event, most importantly because it represents a wonderful opportunity to try and recognise a friend who is sadly no longer with us and do something amazing in his memory.”   

The Itinerary

In terms of the challenge itself, the running order is loosely:

3.30 am – Royal Belfast Golf club – flashing golf balls in the dark for the first hour! 

6.45am – Boat to Portpatrick

8.00am – Portpatrick Golf Club

11.00am – Road to Sandiway 

3.30 pm – Sandiway Golf Club

6.25pm – Road to Wrexham

The Fore Nations Protagonists starting with; Barry Ross aka Baz

Barry Ross

Barry Ross

(Image credit: Barry Ross)

Player: Barry Ross

Age: 40, though still very much believes he is 21

Handicap: 2, but with two children under 5, this feels more like an aspirational target than a reality these days.

Description: A putter and golf accessory afficionado who spends more time buying golfing paraphernalia than actually playing. A member at Stoneham and Burnham and Berrow, and a proud owner of one of the flattest and shortest back swings in golf, he makes John Rahm look like he gets to parallel. Partner and director at Crossland Employment Solicitors.

Crawford Anderson-Dillon

Crawford Anderson-Dillon

Crawford Anderson-Dillon

(Image credit: Crawford Anderson-Dillon)

Player: The artist formerly known as The Notorious CAD

Age: who can really say

Handicap: 16

Description: Member at Royal Dornoch, a disciple of the one plane swing and claw grip. Long and loose, though mostly loose. Capable of moments of magic or playing so poorly he will walk off the course.  Perhaps better known for being the director of Sharknado 5 or the founder and President of the RACDG.

Dave Kerr

Dave Kerr

Dave Kerr

(Image credit: Dave Kerr)

Player: Dave Kerr

Age: 46 (but looks 20 years older, it was a tough paper round)

Handicap: 11, but willing to accept as many shots as he can get

Description: Member at St Andrews and Archerfield Links. Widely known as being the finest exponent of the low power fade on the East Coast of Scotland and has already played 30 different golf courses this year before the end of April. Owner of Morton Golf, who have been welcoming golfers to these shores for over 30 years and co-host of the 1457 Society/Where golf began podcast.

Chris Conway

Chris Conway

Chris Conway

(Image credit: Chris Conway)

Player: Chris Conway

Age: 43

Handicap: 15

Description: A wizard with a wedge in his hand, Chris be found wandering the hillsides of the Lake District at Ulverston Golf Club. A golf obsessive who will travel the length and breadth of the country (or four) in search of his next game.   

Golf Monthly will be following the Fore Nations Challenge so check back here to see how the boys get on.

Fergus Bisset
Contributing Editor

Fergus is Golf Monthly's resident expert on the history of the game and has written extensively on that subject. He is a golf obsessive and 1-handicapper. Growing up in the North East of Scotland, golf runs through his veins and his passion for the sport was bolstered during his time at St Andrews university studying history. He went on to earn a post graduate diploma from the London School of Journalism. Fergus has worked for Golf Monthly since 2004 and has written two books on the game; "Great Golf Debates" together with Jezz Ellwood of Golf Monthly and the history section of "The Ultimate Golf Book" together with Neil Tappin , also of Golf Monthly. 

Fergus once shanked a ball from just over Granny Clark's Wynd on the 18th of the Old Course that struck the St Andrews Golf Club and rebounded into the Valley of Sin, from where he saved par. Who says there's no golfing god?