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Student aspires to break Guinness World Records for miniature golf

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Cole Hetzel has been fascinated with the Guinness World Records book since he was little.

Since graduating from Beechwood High School in 2021, the former two-sport star with the Tigers has found ways to combine his love of sports with his love of records and helping others.

The past two summers, Hetzel and her father, Chris, have hosted a day-long marathon Wiffle Ball session for more than 30 hours in their backyard to break a Guinness World Record and raise money for charity.

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They’re going to do something similar next month, but on a bigger scale, at another popular pastime: miniature golf.

The Hetzels will attempt to set a mark recognized by Guinness World Records for the most holes of miniature golf played by a quartet in 24 hours beginning Sunday, July 31.

The record is 1,440 holes, with a total of 80 rounds, and was set in 2005 on an indoor course in Germany.

“We’re doing this,” Cole Hetzel said. “We are raising money for charity. Also, we love Putt-Putt and we want to try our best to see what we can do, try to break a world record.”

Beechwood senior Cole Hetzel, 842, shown at the 2020 KHSAA Cross Country State Championships, will attempt to set a new mark in the Guinness World Records book.

The attempt will begin at 8 am on Sunday, July 31 and continue until 8 am on Monday, August 1.

Hetzel ran cross country and played tennis for Beechwood, finishing 40th in the 1A state cross country meet in 2020. He will be a sophomore this fall.

The Hetzels play weekly tournaments on the course and will team with fellow competitors Bob Schoettinger and Tony Centers to complete the quartet.

Beechwood senior Cole Hetzel watches the ball during the KHSAA Region 9 boys’ tennis tournament on May 15, 2021, at Covington Catholic High School.

“It’s a great place, a great atmosphere,” Hetzel said. “A lot of good people. Great place for families. It brings out the best in me athletically.”

The event will be a fundraiser for Matthew 25: Ministries, a Blue Ash-based organization that works with the poor and disaster victims.

Supporters can make donations on the organization’s website. Enter the code “PUTT” in the special purpose field for the Hetzels to get credit for it.

Donations will also be collected on the field the day of the event. The group also plans to solicit hole sponsors from local businesses.

Field owner Kevin Shea said the primary motivation for working with Matthew 25: Ministries is to provide relief to areas of western Kentucky devastated by tornadoes several months ago.

The record attempt will take place on one of two 18-hole courses at the facility, which annually also hosts professional tour events. The other 18-hole course will be open to the public during the day.

Shea said her class will have live music and other festivities throughout the day.

“Part of the reason we were doing it is that we are one of the oldest courses in the nation,” he said. “I thought why don’t we try to get to the registry and coordinate it with some kind of charity. We always try to do something with the community.”

The Hetzels have been working on this for several months when they first applied with Guinness World Records and were approved.

Guinness World Records is famous for being strict when it comes to new entries in its world record book. The Hetzels have been working with Guinness World Records officials for weeks to make sure everything follows the rules and that the record is punished if they break it.

As part of the requirements, the Hetzels have to give Guinness an exact measurement of the course they will be playing on. Multiple witnesses must be present and observe each hole played, and players must keep score. There must also be cameras set up for video evidence.

The quartet will have to average almost 3.5 rounds per hour to break the record. They will walk at least 11 miles in their 80 trips around the field in addition to staying awake for 24 hours.

“It’s quite serious but also very funny,” said Hetzel. “We’re having a good time here trying to break a world record, but it’s about raising money for a good cause.”

Shea has organized similar charity events in recent years, including a fundraiser for her nephew Alex Shea, a St. Henry District High School graduate who survived cancer several years ago and is now on the baseball team. from the University of Cincinnati.

“It’s getting a lot of attention,” Kevin Shea said. “Cole and her dad have done 95 percent of the work. I think it will turn out very good and very funny.”

Hetzel and her father raised about $1,000 last year with the Wiffle ball event and finally realized they could do things on a larger scale with miniature golf at a public facility.

“A couple of years ago, my dad and I built a makeshift Wiffle ball field in our backyard,” he said. “We loved playing there. We both wanted to be in the Guinness Book of World Records and we thought what we could do. Then we found out there was a Wiffle Ball record, and we went after it and broke it.”

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