Copper Creek golf pro Zach Dobrota plays 100 holes in one day
20-mile, 12-hour feat raises $2,000 for Breckenridge Outdoor Education Center
COPPER MOUNTAIN — On July 27, Zach Dobrota’s fitness tracking band rated him at 19.6 on a scale of 20 gauging daily strain. He’d burned more than 6,000 calories over the previous 12 hours of activity, refueling himself with pre-made peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, fruit snacks and Clif Bars.
But the avid backcountry skier wasn’t executing a hike or tour of the mountains. Dobrota, a Frisco resident and the golf professional at Copper Creek Golf Course at Copper Mountain Resort, had just completed a 100-hole “hike” of the course to raise $2,000 for the Breckenridge Outdoor Education Center.
“I backcountry ski a fair amount in winter, so I’m used to carrying a pack and stuff on my back,” Dobrota said. “I told myself ahead of time to take clubs out and weight out of the bag, but I decided not to. I picked up the bag that morning and played. Probably the biggest challenge was trying to not, as I got tired, walk differently. I tried to maintain posture as I walked because I knew that was what was going to kill my back.”
Commencing at 6:29 a.m. and concluding at 8:15 p.m., Dobrota’s mega round was the equivalent of 5 1/2 rounds of golf. It was also equivalent to 19.46 miles of walking over an elevation gain of 2,300 feet.
Dobrota wore a special two-strap golf bag to lug around his full club set, which weighed in at 30 pounds. Over the course of the day, he switched out his golf shoes and socks three times, but not enough to prevent blisters from forming on each of his little toes.
But he said the atypical athletic endurance achievement was worth it to benefit the Outdoor Education Center.
“Anytime anyone like Zach does a third-party fundraiser that is done completely on their own, (Breckenridge Outdoor Education Center) could not be more appreciative of that,” nonprofit spokesperson Barry Rubenstein said. “In Zach’s case, the feat that he attempted was monumental so just the amount of work and effort that he put into raise was simply awesome and that money will go a long way toward providing adaptive outdoor programs for participants when safe to do so. It’ll also cut into the deficit from the loss of ski season and this summer due to cancellations from COVID-19.”
Playing 100 holes of golf in one day for charity is a tradition among some golf professionals at various clubs. Dobrota decided to do his second career 100-hole hike to raise fund for a local organization that could help with youth golf and sports. After local youth golf initiatives were canceled in spring, Dobrota reached out to Copper Mountain Resort coworker Jeff Inouye, who’s also the Outdoor Education Center ski program director, to get the idea rolling.
After starting on the course’s first tee shortly after 6 a.m., Dobrota played several 18-hole laps before beginning to skip holes strategically for efficiency to play as many holes as he could during the course’s peak crowds.
As the day progressed Dobrota said his core and lower back experienced the most fatigue. To maintain endurance, Dobrota didn’t take a practice swing the entire day. Then, later in the day, he opted for a shorter-distance club. To Dobrota, once he was 60 holes in, it made more sense to hit a 7-iron straight into the fairway off the tee and take an extra shot or two before reaching the green rather than shanking a drive into the woods when going for more distance.
“It does become more of a monotonous movement versus trying to play golf at that point,” Dobrota said. “It’s about staying steady, swing easy and don’t try to do anything crazy.”
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