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American Shatters Guinness World Record For Most Rounds Of Golf Played


There are people who love golf, and then there is Barry Gibbons from Austin, Texas.


When we caught up with the 57-year-old yesterday, he had just finished his 704th round of golf in 2016. According to Gibbons' Fitbit, that adds up to...

BARRY GIBBONS: Ten-point-three-million steps, 1.25 million calories and just over 5,200 miles, which is kind of New York to L.A. and back and then some, so that puts it into perspective a little bit.

SIEGEL: Just one question you might be asking - why?

MCEVERS: Gibbons loves golf. He's been playing since he was seven. But with a demanding job and four kids, he hasn't been able to play golf much in recent years. So after he retired a couple years ago, he got busy.

GIBBONS: I've tried to make up for lost time, I guess, by packing in as much golf as I can, you know, now that I have the opportunity to play as much as I'd like.

MCEVERS: Then there's the record.

GIBBONS: I'd seen that a gentleman in Dallas, Texas, had set a record for most rounds of golf walked in a year. I kind of said to some people, shoot, I could do that and kind of laughed and said yeah, right.

MCEVERS: So just about every day, he heads to the course and puts in one, two, sometimes three full 18-hole rounds of golf. He's trying to play as many rounds as he can this year.

SIEGEL: No caddie, no card, and he carries a full set of clubs. He says his bag weighs 30 or 40 pounds. It's been good for his game. He had a handicap of eight when he started the challenge. At the moment, it's down to almost one.

MCEVERS: Says he's gone through 13 pairs of shoes since the start of the year and lost more than 30 pounds, but there have been drawbacks.

GIBBONS: I am punishing my body. I feel the pain in my feet - also, wear and tear on my left elbow and my left shoulder.

MCEVERS: All that said, Barry Gibbons hasn't stopped yet.

GIBBONS: He's got his sights on the Guinness World Record for most full rounds golfed - period - with or without a card. That number is 809.

MCEVERS: He's aiming for 850 rounds so he can hold onto the record for a long time.

GIBBONS: If somebody wants take a shot at breaking my record, I wish him all the luck. But I'm trying to put it so far out there that maybe they won't try, or maybe they'll have a really hard time. But, you know, since I'm never doing this again, I'm going to go as far as I can go.

MCEVERS: In the meantime, if you're looking for Barry Gibbons, check the golf course. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.