Sports

St. Francis golfer plays 100 holes in single day

100 hole hike
Courtesy of Ryan Oberweis-Manion
Max Oberweis-Manion, right, participates in Youth on Course’s 100-Hole Hike, aided by his brother, Ryan, last week in San Jose.

For Max Oberweis-Manion, playing 100 holes of golf in one day was like a marathon and a sprint.

With the days getting shorter, he and the other members of his foursome last week had only 12 hours to accomplish the 100-Hole Hike, a fundraiser for the nonprofit Youth on Course.

“We tried to play fast golf,” said Oberweis-Manion, a sophomore at St. Francis High. “They want you to do the first 18 holes in an hour and a half, but we lost five minutes, and the first two rounds in three hours, and we were 10 minutes behind. Then we were able to slow down.”

It’s a good thing, because the Los Altos resident noted that by the third round, he “started feeling it in the legs from all that walking.”

That’s right – walking. No carts allowed in this annual challenge to raise money for Youth on Course, which makes golf more affordable for kids by subsidizing their greens fees.

As the day wore on, Oberweis-Manion said he and the other members of his golfing group – all adults – began to wear down.

“It became more of a mental struggle to keep going than a physical one,” he said. “We were eight hours in and there was no end in sight. With nearly 40 holes to go, we were told to pick up the pace; I wasn’t sure we could do that. But I never hit a point where I thought I wouldn’t make it.”

When it was all over, Oberweis-Manion had actually walked more than a marathon on the San Jose Municipal Golf Course Oct. 12.

“(The app on) my phone said 30 miles, just over,” he said. “That’s a record for me.”

It wasn’t the only mark Oberweis-Manion set that day. The 16-year-old also became the youngest golfer – and only current member of Youth on Course – to participate in the 100-Hole Hike.

Family support

Originally, Oberweis-Manion planned to take on the daunting task with his dad, Josh.

“My dad was the one who found out about it and suggested it,” said Oberweis-Manion, who joined Youth on Course two summers ago. “He was going to do it with me, but he was busy with work and taking care of my brothers, so he suggested I do it and he would help with fundraising.”

Oberweis-Manion received support from other family members as well. His brother Ryan, a freshman at St. Francis, carried the golf bag for the first 13 holes and followed him in a cart the rest of the way.

“He was there all day for me,” said Oberweis-Manion, who teed off at 7 a.m. “He got me water and food. I’m not sure how I would have done it without him.”

Ryan described the day as “extremely exhausting” – especially from the 97th hole when the cart’s battery died and it had to be pushed back to the clubhouse – “but on the whole, the experience was very fulfilling for me and I loved being able to help my brother.”

Their youngest brothers, 6-year-old twins, stopped by for a few hours with their mom, as did a cousin.

Shots to remember

Dad Josh rode in the cart for a while with Ryan and witnessed what Oberweis-Manion called “probably the highlight of the day.” Twice on the same hole – which he described as “an easy par 5” – Oberweis-Manion drove the ball into the trees yet recovered to make birdies.

“I couldn’t birdie it from the fairway, but I could from the trees with a 4-iron,” he said. “My dad was laughing at me.”

On another hole, Oberweis-Manion thought he might have made a hole-in-one. That is, until he approached the green.

“It rolled past the hole and was 3 feet coming back,” he said. “At least I had an easy birdie.”

Oberweis-Manion had yet to add up his score when interviewed by the Town Crier, but he guessed that his best round was when he bagged three birdies – with only two bogeys – toward the end of the day.

“It was not my best golfing, but it was a good round,” he said.

On St. Francis’ junior-varsity golf team last spring, Oberweis-Manion has become a serious player since taking up the sport just more than two years ago. A five-day-a-week player over the summer, Oberweis-Manion said he now plays four days a week at the Stanford Golf Course.

He took a few days off after last week’s 100 holes, however. He needed to recuperate.

“When I got home that night, I took a shower, ate a pizza and went to bed at probably 8:30 or 8:40,” Oberweis-Manion said. “I was mentally and physically drained (the next day).”

But don’t be fooled – he would gladly do it all over again.

“It was really fun,” he said. “I got to bond with the other guys (in the foursome) and I got to try something new. I loved it. I love golf, and I got to play all day.”

Not only that, but Oberweis-Manion was able to help Youth on Course. With nearly 100,000 members, the organization enables youth to play a round of golf for $5 or less on any of the 1,400 participating courses in the U.S. and Canada.

“This summer was really hard on them to subsidize the rounds because so many kids were playing so many rounds,” he said, attributing the surge to the
COVID-19 pandemic.

As of Friday, his fundraising page showed he had reached $7,045 toward his goal of $10,000.

“We were asking for $1 per hole, and not everyone could do that,” Oberweis-Manion said. “But anything helps.”

To make a donation, visit 100holehike.org/national/MaxOberweisManion. For more information on Youth on Course, visit youthoncourse.org.

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