Toppling a Guinness World Record doesn’t come easy

Editor’s note: On Feb. 10-11, University of California, Santa Barbara freshman Mike Sale played disc golf for 24 hours, breaking the Guinness World Record for most holes played in a day. His total was 1,310, which still needs to be verified by Guinness. Sale shares his experience here.

By Mike Sale — For Rattling Chains

It’s not often somebody has to be carried to the car after some rounds of disc golf.

But I was in that position. Carried to the car. Carried to the couch from the car. Throughout the day, I didn’t move unless I had to go to the bathroom. And even then, I had to be carried there. At about 11 p.m., we went to Jack-In-The-Box. I used a baseball bat as a cane and that was the first time I had stood up in 14 hours.

Before that, I slept the majority of the day. It took me more than an hour and a half to initially fall asleep because my body was so physically exhausted that I was shaking for about an hour and a half before my body finally calmed down.

Nearly two days earlier, I spent the entire day in Isla Vista, California, at the home of Mike Schnell, my college teammate. All I did was hydrate, rest, eat pasta and watch movies. At about 11 p.m., I headed back to my dorm to try and fall asleep to get some rest, but I couldn’t fall asleep until about 2 a.m.

Morning arrived quickly. Anticipation was high. I was going for a Guinness World Record and the time was upon us.

Mike Sale tees off on the record-breaking hole. (contributed photo)

Mike Sale tees off on the record-breaking hole. (contributed photo)

The event was slated to start at 9 a.m. As my teammates set up and got everything we needed to gather for evidence to submit to Guinness, I sat in the car eating a final bowl of pasta as my breakfast. I also started mentally preparing myself. I listened to some music to get me pumped up and focused on the goal — 1,306.

I also wrote four things on my arm to carry with me for the day. They said: “The only limit is the one you set for yourself;” “The will to win comes from within;” “#76” (which comes from the movie Wedding Crashers — Rule No. 76, no excuses, play like a champion); and, lastly, a cross on my wrist. Those were with me all day and, mentally, helped me immensely.

As the start time approached, I simply stretched and stepped up to my first hole ready to go. There was nothing to be nervous about at this point — it was a marathon, not a sprint.

The first five holes ended up not counting because my teammates messed up the camera work. Five birdies were wiped out quickly. But it was a good warmup and got rid of any jitters I had.

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That’s a disc. On the wire.

It can -- and did -- happen! (photo courtesy Kody O'Neill)

There are things that happen in this world where one has to question if it really could happen.

Kind of like if someone told you they got their disc stuck on a power line.

Would you really believe it if someone told you that?


Insert Kody O’Neill, who went out to play a casual round with his friends Salamen Butler, Levi WhiteEagle and Travis Duncan at Lake Bella Vista Course in Bella Vista, Arkansas.

Yes, it's WAY up there! (photo courtesy Kody O'Neill)

O’Neill said the course is pretty new and is a pro-level course. The beginning could have been a warning of what was to come as three discs were lost (water hazard throws) through the first five holes.

“We made a joke coming around to hole 15 that we could not lose any more Frisbees,” O’Neill said.

Then came hole No. 17, a par-4, 750-foot straight hole. O’Neill took out an Innova Tee Bird and said he threw it as far as he could.

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