Headlights were beaming onto the green as Brittany Ferrante dropped to her knees and burst into tears. She had done it. The LPGA Apprentice accomplished more than she thought was possible.
“I was speechless because I couldn’t even imagine how much money had been raised,” said Ferrante.
Helping people and golf; when you put the two things together, it sounds like a dream to Ferrante. On one summer day in Long Island, New York, these two things combined in a way that no one could wrap their head around. Not even Ferrante.
Ferrante directs the Junior Golf Program at The Village Club of Sands Point. Not only does she help children every day, but she helps raise money for Babes Against Cancer every year; an organization that funds breast cancer and prostate cancer research, which lives underneath the American Cancer Society.
In 2020 fashion, Ferrante’s club was not able to have its annual golf tournament that helps fight breast cancer. So instead, Ferrante stepped up to the plate by participating in a golf marathon.
“I was the first woman to do it for the American Cancer Society,” said Ferrante. “I knew that the record was 151 holes, and I couldn’t sleep the night before. I thought to myself, ‘You know I don’t even think I can play 100 holes. I play 18 holes in 2 hours; I’m never going to get it done.’”
Thankfully, Ferrante was wrong.
“When I made that putt on the 200th hole, I dropped to my knees and I started crying,” explained Ferrante. “I knew how much we were playing for, but I didn’t realize how much the charities had struggled. It was one of the best days of life.”
After 12 hours, 30 birdies, one eagle and 200 holes – More than $52,000 had been raised for Babes Against Cancer.
“I didn’t really count how many holes I was playing,” said Ferrante. “I had members out there watching and women from the Babes committee asking me what my favorite food was, and they were running out there with peanut butter and jellies which I absolutely love.”
Ferrante started playing golf when she was eight. She played on the boys' varsity team at her high school and received a Division I scholarship to play at the University of Hartford. Yet in those 200 holes, Ferrante says she played the best golf of her life.
“I started with a 76, then I had a 72 in the second round and then five 75’s,” said Ferrante. “It made me fall in love with the game even more which I didn’t even think was possible.”
With 50 or more members following her in their carts, she felt her adrenaline indescribably pumping through her veins. Maybe it was the PB&J’s or maybe it was the magnitude behind the 200 holes, all she knew was it was the best day of her life.
“It was really special how so many people came together during a time when everyone was so distanced,” she said.
In 2018 the club raised $16,000; in 2019 they raised $30,000. Now in a year like 2020, Ferrante said since they counted the $52k, it has continued to grow.
Although it was the 836 strokes that came off her clubs, she refuses to take all the credit.
“It brought everybody together,” said Ferrante. “I give all the credit to the members and the people that donated because I couldn’t have raised that kind of money without the support of people pledging. I was just out there doing something that comes naturally to me; swinging a golf club.”
When the emotions fled over her when that last putt dropped, several people came to mind.
“I never met my dad’s mom, she passed away when he was 17 and my other grandma is a breast cancer survivor,” said Ferrante. “I’ve lost some aunts to cancer and my best friend's dad has cancer.”
The act of kindness and pure selflessness Ferrante accomplished hadn’t fully sunk in yet, but one person had 200 holes to think about what his daughter was doing.
“The first person I hugged was my dad and he started crying because it meant so much to him.”
When the adrenaline wore off and the tears dried up, a member had one thing to say to Ferrante: “You know you’re doing this on the longest day of the year next year right?”