Capel Golf Club to host PK Cup charity event on December 19

Shaun Knott
Shaun Knott

Shaun Knott grew up playing golf with his late father, Percival, also known as PK, who was a member of the Carey Park Golf Club for over 25 years.

Despite sadly passing away in 2016, Knott said he can still hear PK's voice when he plays golf today.

"When the ball goes over there instead of there I don't even have to imagine what dad would say to that - I can hear him in the back of my head," Knott laughed.

"He really was a great person to play golf with and be around, but he would really shake his head when he saw where the ball was going."

In honour of Knott's father, 2021 marks the seventh year of the annual, PK Cup, a charity golf event held at the Capel Golf Club which both raises funds for and awareness of MND.

MND, or motor neurone disease, is a rare condition that affects the brain and nerves, causing weakness over time.

Something that I found quite impressive with dad was that in his last few years, and with the disease the way it was, he still came out here to play golf. He just loved it."

Golfer Shaun Knott

There is no cure.

Knott still remembers the symptoms PK had of MND shortly before he was diagnosed in 2013.

"First he had muscle deterioration, which just continued until eventually he became paralysed," Knott said.

"But something that I definitely found quite impressive with dad was that in his last few years, and with the disease the way it was, he still came out here to play golf.

"He could have shied away - because it was definitely hard for him to get around - but each day he tried to do something different, even when it went all the way down to just being able to putt."

"The average life span for someone with MND is something like 2.5 years and dad did just that."

Meet the golfers: 14-year-old Layla, 16-year-old Eli and nine-year-old Corbin Johnston. Photo: Pip Waller

Meet the golfers: 14-year-old Layla, 16-year-old Eli and nine-year-old Corbin Johnston. Photo: Pip Waller

Knott said the event began around the time when his brother Joel rode his bike from Melbourne to Perth in 20 days.

To commemorate his arrival, Knott organised a golfing event at the Capel Golf Club for family and friends.

"We had a lot of people here when Joel arrived, including dad, and it was a great way to celebrate," Knott said.

"Dad loved golf, and I came and joined him as much as I could.

"It's a great sport because you can switch off and just focus on your ball and ignore everything else.

"For me it's also about friendship and being together. Being able to slow down and chat during a sport isn't a very common thing."

In addition to the nine holes of the event, Knott has this year introduced 'best ball', an opportunity for anyone from small children to the elderly to have a go at chipping and putting.

He said it was part of his desire as the event organiser to promote inclusivity for all, which is something PK also promoted as a golfer.

READY: Layla and Corbin Johnston will enter the PK Cup for the first time this year, while Eli will enjoy his second year. Photo: Pip Waller.

READY: Layla and Corbin Johnston will enter the PK Cup for the first time this year, while Eli will enjoy his second year. Photo: Pip Waller.

"It's quite an old school thought that golf clubs are not accepting if you're not an older man, but Capel Golf Club is really nice and friendly," Knott said.

"I really want to try and reach out to everyone - if people just want to come out and have a go they are most welcome.

"If you only want to play three holes that's more than enough, and if you want to stay for only 15 minutes, that's fine. We've got beginners here, and we always welcome them to the PK Cup with a big smile, a nice afternoon and a steak sandwich when we finish."

The PK Cup will be held at the Capel Golf Course on Bussell Highway from 2pm, Sunday, December 19.