Local golfer sets world record: 611 rounds in one year



Bio | Email | Follow: @wfaashelly


Posted on January 19, 2011 at 11:44 PM

Updated Friday, Jan 21 at 12:06 AM

IRVING — Richard Lewis set out to play 600 rounds of of golf last year to get his name in the Guinness Book of World Records.

The 64-year-old warmed up as the sun came up for the start of his final daily trek — up to 56 holes every day.

"These feet have walked 4,000 miles," Lewis said, eschewing a golf cart for his record attempt. "I'm addicted; what can I say?"

He displays a signature hand pump when he's happy with a play. But when he's not... well, that's evident, too.

The emotional journey, ups and downs, change with each stroke. But the goal remained: Get to 600 rounds, and play them well.

His average score: 78.5

"If nobody knew about this, I would be just as satisfied, because I know I did it and no one else in the whole wide world has ever done it," Lewis said. "That is special to me."

Chasing the little white dimpled ball is Lewis' first love. He admits that his obsession with the sport led to two divorces.

But he says, being right here — with the green under his feet — is the place that makes him happiest.

"You have to be a little over the edge to do this," Lewis concedes, but he thrives on the mental and physical challenge.

Lewis basically walks a half-marathon every day. By the time this is all said and done, that will equal about seven million steps.

The Guinness Book of World Records requires Lewis to sign in and out with golf pros to prove he has completed each round.

His score cards have been through rain, sleet, snow — even tornadoes.

"The day we had the tornado and it rained seven inches ... I begged the pro to let me play 18 holes — and I did," he said. "This place was flooded — standing water, lakes in every place ... it was probably four or five feet deep, because that is how big the drains are, and they were backed up; it was a virtual lake."

But after all his troubles (and practice) it doesn't make perfect. Lewis has never experienced that lucky hole-in-one moment.

Balls stopped short, went long, or just plain went missing.

But in the end, he achieved his goal, and then some.

He played 611 rounds of golf, 11 more than he expected. And on the final hole, he got even.

"I almost got a tear in my eye for making that birdie! I swear the golf gods were on my side," he said.

E-mail sslater@wfaa.com