Golf: Aulie sets Guinness World Record for fastest golf hole by an individual
That was the unofficial record-breaking time Rick Aulie cranked out Thursday, July 26, at Whitebirch Golf Course at Breezy Point Resort to smash the Guinness World Record for the fastest hole of golf by an individual.
Aulie smoked the record set by Steve Jeffs of the United Kingdom. Jeffs completed his attempt in 1:50.6 at Tiverton Golf Course Jan. 4 in Tiverton, U.K.
"I just want to thank Breezy Point Resort and (golf pro) Mark Johnson for accommodating all this," Aulie said. "Without him, this wouldn't have been possible. I want to thank my family, my wife (Rachel). I've taken her on every weird journey the last 10 years, whether it's all over the state or around here, and she's always with me."
To be considered for the record, a golfer must finish a hole with the same number of clubs with which they started and the hole must be in excess of 500 yards. Timing begins the moment of the first stroke and ends when the ball settles in the hole.
Aulie shattered the mark on his third attempt on the 503-yard, par 5 fourth hole at Whitebirch, sprinting to each of his shots while carrying a bag that included a driver, 3-wood, gap wedge and putter.
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- Age: Turned 34 Thursday, July 26
- Occupation: Pine River-Backus elementary school principal
- Residence: Pequot Lakes
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On his first attempt, Aulie said he placed his drive exactly where he wanted.
"It was a good 3-wood," he said. "But I clipped a branch on a pine tree. (The ball) kicked out on the fairway and I just didn't recover well."
After taking a few minutes to recuperate, Aulie was ready for attempt No. 2 but he hit in the rough and abandoned the attempt.
"I played all my shots from the rough," Aulie said. "It's hard to do that."
Returning on the tee box shortly after his aborted second attempt, Aulie hit a long drive to get his third attempt off to a promising start.
"I took my time on my 3-wood," he said. "Mark Johnson said I've got to slow down a little bit so I took my 3-wood out and smoothed it. Then I hit a really nice chip on the green, putted in, and got my birdie."
After the ball dropped into the cup, Aulie dropped his putter, thrust his arms upward and shouted, "Yeah. Thank you Jesus."
Aulie, a Whitebirch member who lives near the course, said he got the idea to attempt the feat last winter while watching a video of Jeffs' record-setting feat.
"I looked at it and thought, 'I could do that," he said. "I love to run. I love to play golf. I love a challenge. Put those three things together and here we are.
"I'm not a track star. Speed is not my forte but as you can see I've got the endurance. I did it three times today and was able to keep up the intensity. I'm not fast but I keep going."
On two practice attempts prior to Thursday, Aulie said he bettered Jeffs' record.
"Two days ago I birdied just like I did here," Aulie said. "In fact, I did it today faster than I had done it after trying it twice so I don't know what the deal with that was."
Now he must complete a volume of paperwork and send it to the Guinness organization before it's officially recognized as a world record.
"It will take about four or five months for them to verify it," he said. "I need signatures of all the witnesses, then it will be good to go."
The accomplishment also served as a birthday celebration for the Pine River-Backus elementary school principal as he turned 34 Thursday.
"About a year ago we got this all set in motion," Aulie said. "I picked this day because I knew it would be just a party."
And, it was afterward for Aulie, his family and friends.