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Maui's Chris Adam golfs his way into the Guinness Book

By Ann Miller

LAST UPDATED: 9:24 a.m. HST, Jul 16, 2013

Any day now, Maui's Chris Adam should hear from the Guinness Book of World Records. In the scheme of things, receiving a certificate for playing more rounds of golf in one year than anyone in the game's weird and regal history is not that critical.

For a golfer, Adam's feat of playing 850 rounds in one year is a mind-blowing, grin-inducing achievement of matter over mind.

A golfer knows who could possibly be that crazy, and is already breaking down the numbers to see just how crazy … and what it will take to break Adam's record.

Officially, the 6-foot-6 former University of Manitoba basketball player turned in 812 1⁄2 rounds to Guinness. Those were the ones he played in 2012 at Maui's King Kamehameha Golf Club, where his quest could be verified by director of golf Rick Castillo.

It is an average of 2.23 rounds a day, or 40 holes. Adam never went more than two straight days without golfing, on a mountainside course where the wind can often knock a scoop off a cone from the Kihei Aloha Ice Cream Parlor, owned by Chris and wife Diana.

"Looking back at it," Adam said, "I can honestly say that was one of the craziest, if not the dumbest, things I have ever done."

He and Diana have lived on Maui three years. It is a radical departure from Winnipeg, where it's cold, to say the least. Chris was born there 46 years ago. The "Crazy Canadian" has the tenacity of his hometown's winters.

"The thing that kept me going was my pure stubbornness," Adam admitted. "When I put my mind to something I just keep going until it's done."

Golfweek wrote about him in its May amateur issue. A few members talked about him when he blew through their groups in warp-speed rounds that went by in as little as 43 minutes. Sometimes it seems to take pros that long to line up a putt at the U.S. Open.

Adam played 10 rounds one memorable, if bizarre and blurred, day.

His initial goal was to break the record of 611 rounds in one year, set in 2010. Adam had that by October, and upgraded his challenge to breaking it by 200 rounds.

He turned in his information to Guinness in March. "It has been given to one of their adjudicators," Adam said, "but they have told me that the sports section of their book is the biggest and takes the longest to be verified."

His handicap index dropped from double digits to 0.7 last year. He shot anywhere — and everywhere — from 66 to 85. His most memorable shot came when he holed out from 255 yards for double-eagle, golf's rarest shot.

But it was the 10 rounds he rode with Diana, his partner in ice cream but a non-golfer, that gave him the most pleasure. She touchingly told Golfweek "It was fabulous to see someone you love so much pursue and fulfill a dream."

"My best rounds were when my wife would come out with me and ride in the golf cart so we could spend time together," Chris said. "My worst round, believe it or not, was the final round of the year just because at the end of it there was a very empty feeling that it was all over."

Now, some measly 200 rounds into 2013, Adam's handicap index is at plus 0.3. His goal now is a pro-like plus-5 and his focus is on improvement.

"The most fun was actually seeing the improvement in my game …," Adam said. "But like I said, I want to get to a plus-5 handicap some time this year or maybe next year. I can tell you that I will not stop until I get there."

At this point, would anyone bet against him?

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