Pin High Pro

Guinness World Record

April 23, 2012
To hit at least 20k golf balls into a target area within 24 hours.
The challenge:
The Challenge presented by Guinness was for a team of twelve to hit the most golf balls into a specific target area over a 24 hour period. Since this was a new category created by Guinness, they set 20,000 balls as the minimum amount needed to set the record.
When Pin High Pro was applying for the opportunity to set a Guinness World Book Record, it was going to be in conjunction with Mission impossiball. Both events were going to be held at Fairways and Greens in Knoxville Tennessee; however the property contours at Fairways and Greens was not conducive to the challenge. After searching several different venues, Joe Parker, the owner of Dead Horse Lake agreed to have the Guinness challenge at his course. After selecting April 23, 2012 at 9:00 am as the 24 hour starting date, ending at 9:00 am Tuesday, April 24, 2012. Guinness course requirements were started.
The 12 member team chosen by Carl Papa was, John Owings, Rock Saraceni, Jim White, Bill Cross, Gordon Bruner, Tom Slagle, Mike Thompson, Kai Thomas, Zane Hagy, Jason Nelson, John Roethlisberger and team captain, Carl Papa.
The group was divided into two teams of six.

Team one, consisting of Carl Papa, John Owings, Mike Thompson, Rock Saraceni, Jim White and Jason Nelson would start the challenge at 9:00 am April 23rd and finish the first segment at 9:00 pm that evening. Team two consisting of Gordon Bruner, Bill Cross, Zane Hagy, Tom Slagle, Kai Thomas and John Roethlisberger would begin the second segment of the challenge 9:00pm on the evening of April 23rd, and finish the event 9:00am Tuesday morning, April 24th.

To meet the 20,000 mark, it was determined that each golfer would need to hit at least 14 balls per minute. We started out in 10 minute segments however toward the end of each 12 hour segment ten minutes was reduced to about 7 minutes. Weather was also a factor. On April 23rd 59 degrees was predicted to be the high and 40 degrees the low. On April 24th the high was predicted to be 64 degrees and low 38 degrees. The wind was a killer! On the 23rd, we started the challenge at 9:00 am with just a slight breeze and sunny. We had a potable awning over the tee box area to shade the golfers from the sun. By 12:00 noon, however the wind started blowing much harder and actually blew over the scoreboard. The awning was swaying significantly in the wind so we attached cinder blocks to hold the awning in place but it too soon blew over. We were trying to conserve energy for ball striking and soon realized we would have to hit balls in the direct sun instead of expending energy to keep the awning upright .

The second team had a different set of challenges. They had to get used to the very bright light of the flood lights, and noise associated with the light generators. It was also very cold at night, so after the participant hit balls, he usually huddled around the propane heaters until it was his turn to hit again.
The Challenge:
We kept encouraging each other which really made a difference. After hitting golf balls for several hours the muscles in your hands get so stiff you can barely hold the club!

We were all very tires, but each time a reported form the local TV station or newspaper came by our adrenalin kicked in and we got a second wind. After the first team finished their tour of duty, most went home saying they would return the next morning to see if team Pin High Pro set a new Guinness record.

At around 8:00am Tuesday April 24th, team one returned to watch the last hour of ball hitting to see if we set the new record. Also in attendance was Bob Pitts and Andrew Lake from the law firm, Pitts and Lake(pin high pro’s patent lawyer) and approximately 30 other friends, family and just interested individuals.

Once all of the challenge verification was completed and sent to the Guinness headquarters in London, Certificates were issued listing the new Guinness World Book Record and the names of all participants.

A certificate and team picture was presented to Golf Course Owner Joe Parker and Alex Hunt, the PGA Pro from Dead Horse Lake Golf Course. Our success would not have possible if not for Joe and Alex!!
The target:
Bill Davis, a certified surveyor, marked the target requirements using modern laser surveying equipment as directed by Guinness. The tee box area needed to be 15 feet x 15 feet. The target zone would begin at a point at the tee box and extend out at a 30 degree angle. A line parallel to the tee box and 100 yards out was the point that each ball had to pass. The 30 degree angle would continue out from the tee box creating the rest of the target area in which the hit balls needed to remain.

Employees of Dead Horse Lake marked the target area with white paint so as to be visible from the tee box for the participant and spectator alike.
The team:
Row 1, left to right:
John Roethlisberger, Zane Hagy, Rock Saraceni, Gordon Bruner, Tom Slagle
Row 2, left to right:
Jim White, Mike Thompson, Carl Papa, John Owings
Back Left-Joe Parker
Back Right-Alex Hunt
Not Pictured: Kai Thomas, Jason Nelson and Bill Cross

Carl Papa, Team Captain. Retired Chief Pretrial Services officer for the Eastern District of Tennessee, Inventor, Entrepreneur, President Pin High Pro
Gordon Bruner,Owner of VMC Facilities a construction and facilities company that supports national restaurant chains.
Bill Cross, Contract writer/media Specialist.
Zane Hagy, Owner of z11 Communications
Jason Nelson, Director of Instruction and Center Manager of GolfTEC-Knoxville.
John Owings, An attorney with the law firm of Robertson, Overbey, Wilson& Beeler in Knoxville.
John Roethlisberger, Co-Owner of Flipfest and Mudderfest, 1996-2004 Olympic Gymnast.
Rock Saraceni, Member PGA, President of Athletic Printers and Embroidery.
Tom Slagle, Retired law clerk for the Honorable James H. Jarvis, ED/TN., Writer.
Mike Thompson, Golf Product innovator, College Professor.
Kai Thomas, Machinist, Real Estate investor, 10 handicap golfer.
Jim White, A US Navy Veteran, Retired Criminal Investigator US Internal Revenue Service.
The Certificate:
In the end our team hit 35,761 golf balls, 2,292 were outside the live area and 33,469 qualified for the record attempt. Only 20,000 golf balls were required for the record. The terrific people at Guinness worked with us to create this new category.

Photo Gallery

See below for pictures from the event.