John Burns midway through his marathon round of golf in 2015. (File photo: Tom Zillich)

John Burns midway through his marathon round of golf in 2015. (File photo: Tom Zillich)

Surrey pastor to golf 100 holes for charity – while running with his clubs through the night

John Burns’ annual fundraiser for Mercy Canada gets going at 9 p.m. Sunday at Peace Portal course

Surrey pastor John Burns will attempt to golf 100 holes this weekend during another of his marathon rounds for charity.

He’ll tee off at around 9 p.m. Sunday (Aug. 20) at the hilly Peace Portal club in South Surrey, and will golf through the night – running with his clubs from hole to hole.

Burns, 64, pastor at Relate Church on 152nd Street in Surrey, does his yearly “PJ’s 100 Hole Golf-A-Thon” (mercycanada.ca/category/local-events) in support of Mercy Canada, a Surrey-based organization that aims to help young women who are going through tough times.

He does the marathon round of golf at night because nobody else is on the course at that time, and temperatures aren’t as warm.

“But can you believe it?” he said Tuesday. “I just checked and on the one night I want the moon to shine, it’s a new moon that night and there’s no moon, it’ll be pitch-black. That’ll make it harder.

“I’ve done the night thing a couple times and, in general, I like it because there’s nobody on the course, it’s nice that way. But when it’s dark you can’t see the greens, you can’t see anything.”

He’ll wear a headlamp and will use a glow-in-the-dark ball, too. He’ll also have his brother-in-law driving a cart along the way, just in case.

“The lamp will light up maybe 20 feet in front of you, but what about when you’re trying to hit a 200-yarder to the green? You don’t know where the green is, where the flag is,” he explained.

SEE VIDEO FROM 2012:

PJ's 4th Annual 100 Hole Golf-a-Thon for Mercy (with testimony) from Relate Church on Vimeo.

“Every penny” raised goes to Mercy, he said.

“I’m still a long way off (my goal), but I’d love to raise $300,000, because if I did, that would look after their needs for the rest of this year,” said Burns, who began doing his annual golf marathon in 2009.

The marathon effort used to see him play as many holes as he could in a 24-hour period, but the number has been capped at 100 holes in recent years – quite an accomplishment, regardless.

“When I get out there, and I’ve done this enough times, I know I am gonna hurt, there’s no two ways about it,” Burns said. “You hit about 50 or 60 holes in, you hit a wall. The only thing that keeps me going is thinking that I’m helping somebody.”

tom.zillich@surreynowleader.com