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May 06, 2013

From Tee to Shining Tee: Law student to hit golf ball across country

Posted at 4:52 PM by Josh Sens |

MapLuke Bielawski estimates he'll take 48,000 swings to golf from California to South Carolina.

Student_200Final exams at law school are over at last, and it’s time for Luke Bielawski [right] to play a little golf.

Ok. Make that a lot of golf.

On Tuesday morning, in Ventura, Calif., the 24-year-old attorney-to-be will strike the opening tee shot of a long-distance round that won’t wrap up for nearly four months.

Unlike most golf outings, this one will take him in one direction: East from California toward Charleston, S.C., banging a golf ball the entire way.

A 6-handicap who graduates this fall from Indiana University’s Robert H. McKinney School, Bielawski took up the game in college and quickly drifted into golf addition.

But his cross-country journey isn’t driven by his jones.

His goal is to raise $100,000 in charitable donations to fund scholarships for Providence Cristo Rey High School in Indianapolis.

Bielawski dreamed up the idea for his epic round last summer while watching Forrest Gump.

Before long, he was mapping his own coast-to-coast route.

His estimated 110-day, 48,000-swing trip will take him from Ventura toward Phoenix, Ariz., then east through El Paso, Dallas, Tuscaloosa, Atlanta and ultimately, Charleston, where he’ll celebrate with a round at the Ocean Course at Kiawah.

Maybe then he'll be golfed out?

"I'm sure I'm going to still want to play some more," he says.

Playing his shots from wherever they lie (from atop a manhole cover, say, or a muddy gutter) Bielawski expects to do some damage to his sticks, so, he says, he’s bringing “60 or 70” beater clubs on his journey.

He’s also prepared to lose around 3,000 balls.

He expects the early days to present the greatest challenge, as he cuts a path through densely populated Southern California.

Car windows could be an issue, so he’s taken out insurance in case of errant shots.

“I’m a law student,” Bielawski says. “That was pretty much the first thing I thought of.”

Bielawski will have a team of volunteers traveling with him. He’ll also have a laptop, and he’ll be blogging and Tweeting about this trip. To follow along, visit www.getonthegreen.org.

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