Golf trick shot performer snaps up marathon place
Kevin Carpenter, one of the UK’s leading golf trick shot performers, has snapped up a charity place for the 2020 Virgin Money London Marathon.
The 45-year-old golf professional, who lives in Copford, in Colchester, ran the London Marathon in 2012 and 2014 but he was desperate to complete a hat-trick of races at the 2020 London Marathon.
Unfortunately, he was one of the many runners who were left disappointed after the ballot for places were drawn in October.
But thanks to a tip-off from Nell McAndrew, the model, television presenter, and accomplished amateur athlete, he’s secured a charity place with Caudwell Children, the national charity that provides practical and emotional support to disabled children and their families.
“I met Nell a number of years ago at a golf day at Stoke Park Golf Club in Buckinghamshire,” reflected Kevin. “We’d both recently completed the London Marathon and we chatted about our times and how we’d found the event.
“Since then we’ve kept in touch on social media and when I posted a picture of the cover of my ‘Unlucky you’ve not been successful’ magazine recently she got in touch with me to tell me about Caudwell Children’s charity places, where she’s an ambassador.
“I did a bit of research on the charity and when I discovered that they provide funds to allow disabled children to access a range of services, and specialist equipment, that helps them to lead happy, active, and independent lives I immediately knew that I had to run for them.
“Luckily they still had a small number of places available and I was really happy to secure one for a registration fee of just £100.”
Kevin, an ardent West Ham United supporter, says that his parents always encouraged him and his brother to be active in sport.
“Both me and Paul, who’s also a professional golfer, took the traditional football route into sport,” said Kevin. “We played for Stanway Villa FC in Colchester and we played to a reasonable standard.
“Paul actually had trials with West Ham but unfortunately didn’t quite make the grade.”
At the age of 14 Kevin was introduced to golf by a friend who, along with his father, were members of Colchester Golf Club.
“It was a bit old school back then,” rued Kevin. “You had to be introduced to the club and you even had to be interviewed if you wanted membership.
“But I managed to get in, despite not having any background in the sport; my parents didn’t play the game at all but I loved it from day one.”
Kevin started working weekends in the pro shop at Colchester Golf Club before going on to do a leisure and recreation course at Colchester Institute. Not unsurprisingly he gave up football at the age of 16.
At the age of 20 Kevin began his PGA training at Chelmsford Golf Club, where he studied for three years covering business studies, the rules of golf and sports science.
“After completing my PGA training at Gleneagles, having secured an Assistant Pro position there, I moved to Bahrain for two years,” exclaimed Kevin. “Gleneagles had opened a new venture in the country and I had a fantastic time there as a professional.
“As I’ve grown older and had my own children, I have one boy and two girls, I’ve started to realise how important sport is and how a number of sporting individuals inspired me.
“I remember watching the great Nick Faldo, at Woburn Golf Club as a child, and it made me want to do what I do today.”
When Kevin found out that Caudwell Children also provide funding support for specially adapted sports equipment he was delighted.
“This has made me even more determined to smash my target of £2,500,” enthused Kevin. “Every child should have the opportunity to play sport, whatever their ability.
“I’ve been told that it can cost up to 100 times more to participate in sport if you have a disability and Caudwell Children are going some way to addressing that by eliminating the financial barrier.”
To boost his charity coffers Kevin intends to be more pro-active on his social media platforms with regular updates about his fundraising.
With over 4,000 followers on Instagram, and almost 3,000 on twitter, he has a great platform to engage with friends, family, colleagues and followers.
He’s also enlisting support from the members of Hintlesham Golf Club, in Suffolk, where he is the club professional.
But it is in his job as a golf trick shot performer that he hopes to raise even more money and awareness of the charity’s cause. As he explained: “I was Head professional at The Celtic Manor Golf Resort in 2005 when the first ever World Trick Shot Championships took place at the course.
“I was so impressed with what some of the competitors were doing that I wanted to give it a go.
“I thought that I could develop my own show, drawing on my golfing ability and personality, and 14 years later I’m travelling the world, visiting many fabulous locations, performing The KC Golf Show.”
Through the winter months of 2019 and 2020 Kevin will be travelling with Golf’s European Tour, performing his show at the Race to Dubai, HSBC Abu Dhabi, and Oman Open.
Along with other tournaments in Saudi Arabia and Qatar, the competitions will give Kevin the perfect opportunity to spread the word.
“I’m lucky in that I have got to know some of the leading players in the world and I count them as my friends,” said Kevin. “They will be keen to support me in completing the marathon and will undoubtedly donate to the charity.
“I’m determined to raise as much as I can for Caudwell Children as their work is invaluable!”
Kerrie Davies, Associate Director of Events at Caudwell Children is delighted that Kevin will be running for the charity. As she explained: “For Kevin to take the time out from his busy schedule to raise money for Caudwell Children in this way is amazing.
“He is one of the most sought after golf trick shot performers in the UK, and is in demand around the world.
“Having Kevin, and the elite of the golfing fraternity supporting Caudwell Children will undoubtedly raise awareness of the charity and the work that we do.”
There are still a limited number of Caudwell Children charity places available. Registration costs £100 with a fundraising target of £2,500.
To find out more and register for a place visit the web page here.
You can support Kevin through his Just Giving page here.