PATRICK KOENIG’S Golf Year to Remember


It all started at Monarch Beach Golf Links in Dana Point on Jan. 3, 2023. The dramatic setting overlooking the Pacific Ocean was an idyllic spot for Patrick Koenig to begin what became a 365-day, 44-state, near-35,000-mile odyssey in his outfitted recreational vehicle.

The Laguna Beach resident went on to spend 23 more days in California, playing a different golf course each day, including four layouts at PGA West and finishing with a $29 round at Blythe Golf Course, where the general manager also works the grill.

But the Golden State was only the beginning of what Koenig dubbed the RGV Tour 2.0 (RGV an acronym for Recreational Golf Vehicle). He had places to go, or more accurately, golf courses to play. Nearly 600 of them, in fact. And not in a lifetime, but in one calendar year.

The talented golf photographer and blogger vaulted himself into the record books by playing 18-hole rounds on 580 different golf courses, the adventure coming to a compelling end on January 2, 2024 at Chambers Bay Golf Course, located near Tacoma, Wash., site of the 2015 U.S. Open. The final stroke was a simple two-foot par putt, followed by a celebration with many friends who wanted to be there to mark the occasion.

“This year has been one of the most challenging and rewarding years of my entire life,” Koenig said. “From Walmart parking lots to Shinnecock Hills, I have experienced many highs and many lows. But without a doubt, the most rewarding part of my journey has been the people that have joined in along the way.”

He didn’t just break the record, he obliterated it. A Canadian couple had set the previous record in 2008-09, playing 449 different 18-hole courses over 365 days.

Koenig tied that record in Denver at Green Valley Ranch Golf Club on Oct. 16, then broke it 24 hours later — on day No. 287 of his tour — at Omni Interlocken Golf Club in nearby Broomfield.

“I am an equal opportunity golfer; I love to play anywhere, any time,” Koenig quipped. His tour took him everywhere from municipal courses to revered private county clubs, purposely showcasing the quality and diversity of golf in America.

He even found time to venture outside the United States in summer, notching seven courses in Finland and Sweden. Teemu Ruuska — a co-creator of the RGV Tour 2.0 — is Finnish, and his company, Golf GameBook, which co-sponsored the tour, is among the top digital scorecard and social golf apps. Koenig used it to record all his rounds and uploaded exclusive content.

“I was very proud to have partnered with him on this great adventure,” Ruuska emphasized. “Patrick is a person you want to have close, putting a smile on your face; he’s always positive.” 

“Golfers know how hard this is to do,” Ruuska added. “Playing almost two rounds per day, every day, but doing that always on a different golf course is something that makes this record almost impossible to break.” 

Additional tour sponsors provided footwear (Ecco), apparel (Breakfast Balls), and a remote-controlled golf cart (Stewart Golf).

Koenig also raised $40,000 for various youth based golf charities across the country with the majority of donations going to First Tee. Koenig ended his journey at Chambers Bay with $15k going to Greater Seattle and Puget Sound chapters of First Tee.

Along the way, Koenig suffered a few RV breakdowns, the failure of his first drone, and a broken wedge mishap. But his body managed to get through unscathed, which he attributes to healthy eating, no alcohol, a stretching regimen, slowing down his swing speed, and a trusty electric caddie that he affectionately named “Stewie.” He walked 70 percent of the courses he played.

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

The 580 total rounds in one year were easily the most aggressive golf schedule ever created. (There was even one day he played 72 holes on four different courses at Trump National Doral Golf Club in Miami.) That’s 10,440 holes, with the scratch golfer’s best round a 67 on the Boulder Course at Cimarron Golf Resort in Cathedral City, Calif.

For now, Koenig is back home in Laguna Beach. He’s still teeing it up, just not every day. And he has a new moniker, thanks to a headline in The Wall Street Journal: “The Hero Maniac Who Played 580 Rounds of Golf in One Year.” Hero Maniac… yep, sounds about right.

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