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American Shatters Guinness World Record For Most Rounds Of Golf Played

KELLY MCEVERS, HOST:

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

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

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.

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