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January 31, 2024

Can you play 580 rounds in a year?

By Alabama Golf News Staff
Patrick Koenig played 580 rounds of golf in a calendar year

He walked 70 percent of the time

Patrick Koenig — golf fanatic, photographer and blogger — recently smashed the world record for the highest number of golf courses (580) played in a calendar year, and walked for the majority of rounds played.

Koenig traversed the United States in an RV, playing 18-hole rounds (sometimes more) on 580 different golf courses in 41 states. His journey started at the outset of 2023 and was capped on Jan. 2, 2024, when he played a round at Chambers Bay in the state of Washington, site of the 2015 U.S. Open. He helped raise $40,000 along the way for charities.

His effort was aided by Stewart Golf, which provided him with a remote-controlled golf cart. He walked 70 percent of the courses he played, accompanied by ‘Stewie’, his trusty Stewart Golf Q Follow electric caddie.

“I love to walk, and I always prefer to walk,” Koenig said. “I like rolling with my guy Stewie. You feel like you accomplish more. Everybody takes a cart here and there, at least in America, but when you’re rocking with Stewie and you’re done, you’re like oh yeah, that was a good 18!”

Throughout his challenge, Koenig continued his work as a professional golf course photographer, swapping clubs for a camera between golf shots. Having “Stewie” following behind allowed Koenig to be completely handsfree, giving him the freedom to get those photos.

The equivalent of walking from L.A. to Houston

“Walking a golf course is probably five to 10 times more immersive than getting in a cart,” he said. “As a photographer, walking the course takes me to places and angles that I might not see if I’m in a cart. I love to walk over riding, that’s for sure.”

Breaking down Koenig’s stats reveals: The 1,523 miles walked equates to a staggering 58.1 marathons, 245.7 laps around Central Park, or a leisurely stroll from Los Angeles to Houston. Understandably, Koenig needed to be in excellent shape to break the record — he chalked it up to healthy eating, no alcohol, a stretching regimen, slowing down his swing speed, and, of course, Stewie.

An independent study released last fall debunked the myth that carrying a golf bag for 18 holes provides a greater workout than using an electric caddie or golf cart. The study, published in the European Journal of Sports Sciences, concluded that the real health benefits come from walking and not how the clubs are being transported.

Mark Stewart, CEO of Stewart Golf, says that golfers looking to emulate Koenig and walk more rounds of golf this year, should consider an electric caddie as the answer to help play the course as it was intended — on foot.

“Not only will walking the course provide a great exercise boost,” Stewart said, “but it’s also proven to significantly improve mental health, allowing you to fully take in your surroundings and be at one with nature.”

Have a story idea or a news item to report to Alabama Golf News? Email gregg@alabamagolfnews.com

Featured image of Patrick Koenig courtesy of Stewart Golf

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