Patrick Koenig gives us all something to shoot for

The number is 580. When his last putt dropped January 2 at Chambers Bay Golf Course in Washington, Patrick Koenig had played 580 different 18-hole courses in a year’s span, long-surpassing the old record of 449.

Koenig was hoisted on shoulders of friends and sponsors at the end of his epic journey, which took him to courses in 41 states — and a few rounds during a brief Finland and Sweden jaunt—traveling in his RV home for a year, the Recreational Golf Vehicle.

Patrick Koenig drove more than 35,000 miles in his RV — or Recreational Golf Vehicle — that was supplied by Golf GameBook.

Since he’d attempted something similar in 2018 to beef up his golf photography portfolio, this odyssey was dubbed the RGV 2.0 Tour. It encompassed 10,440 holes, over 35,000 miles, some 1,200 fellow players and more than $40,000 raised for various charities. 

Patrick Koenig

Koenig had a few equipment sponsors, but Golf GameBook footed the main bill for the RV. The scoring and social app CEO, Mikko Manerus, was among the 70 or so players helping Koenig wrap it up: “Mikko was the reason this whole thing happened, his willing support to give me this experience,” Koenig says. “He was blown away with the final number, and that when I reached 500 I just kept going.”

It was impossible not to note he was just shy of 600, a nice rounds number. “I wondered about it,” Koenig says. “I would have had to do 36 a day for the last two months, just not as possible heading toward the winter solstice.”

Koenig usually played 36 a day, once 72; he considered 18 a day off. “Looking back, I think 600 rounds is possible. If someone played courses all in one state, say, or nearby, I think so. Or even 700. It wouldn’t be fun, but it’s humanly possible.”

Well, it’s a goal. Koenig was fortunate to remain free of injury or illness. “Sure, I got tired plenty of times. Most people used to a desk job wouldn’t be ready to jump into it,” he says. “But, if you’re playing golf regularly, your body does acclimate.”

Was there anything a once-a-week golfer and average traveler might learn from Koenig’s massive trek? Had he learned anything?

“Yes,” he says. “That it’s all mostly attitude. You have to learn to relish and roll with the roadblocks and mishaps. It’s only when your plans go wrong that the adventure really begins.”

Patrick Koenig picked up more than a few collectibles during his 12-month travels.

Koenig said his most popular social media posts were ones about the RV breaking down, like the day he pulled into the parking lot at Desert Willow Golf Resort in Palm Desert, California, and he caught — something — that managed to rip off his entire exhaust system. 

The way Koenig looked at it: “Fortunately, I was in the parking lot, where I could park, and play golf. So I played golf. I still had to drive around for a day with the exhaust system in my living room, but when I found a place to have it rebuilt, I went off and played another round of golf.

“Now, that could have happened a zillion different ways. But I would encourage people to use the unforeseen as an opportunity rather than a problem.”

It’s also about the alacrity to invite others into your adventure. “The road is filled with 150 stories about bumping into people unexpectedly,” he says. “One of the wildest was a friend of mine, Eric Sedransk, who runs a charitable golf organization called Member for a Day. He had moved to South Carolina, unbeknownst to me. One morning his daily jog took him right past the RGV. 

“He saw it, found me, and said about what you’d expect: ‘Let’s play some golf.’ We played that afternoon at Palmetto Hall Plantation. Fun little match.”