How to be a True Golfaholic: Play America's Top 100 Golf Courses
July 3, 2014
Only an individual with a severe golf addiction would even consider tackling the herculean and expensive quest to play America’s Top 100 public golf courses. Are you a golf addict? If you answer yes to eight of the ten questions below you may be afflicted. Nine out of ten makes you a sure fire addict and if you answer in the affirmative to all ten you probably have some mental illness and should be institutionalized.
Do you listen to golf on the radio? (If yes, you already have a problem)
Can you name at least four members of the last US Ryder Cup team not named Tiger or Phil?
Can you name the 5th major?
Do you subscribe to two, or more golf magazines?
Do you have more than three “retired” putters in your garage?
Can you identify Winn McMurray and Holly Sondors?
Can you name five U.S. Open Venues
Do you know the three options for playing a ball after it enters a lateral water hazard (excluding playing it as it lies)?
Do you collect any of the following: Golf hats, golf balls, ball marks, bag tags, golf logo shirts or any other golf paraphernalia?
Have you looked into purchasing Bubba Watson’s hovercraft? (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z5u_2bGPdUY)
Having successfully identified yourself as a golf addict you can now consider whether you wish to take the dive and play America’s top 100 public courses. As someone who has done so, I strongly recommend against such a foray. As described in the last posting, there are 132 top 100 courses. There is good consensus on the top 25, and general agreement on the top 50. Beyond this, opinions differ greatly. Instead, I would focus on specific golf vacations that will allow you to knock multiple courses off the list. Unless you live in such unlikely locations as Choctaw, Mississippi, Biwabik, Minnesota, Gothenburg, Nebraska or Worley, Idaho you should probably address the hotbeds of golf first. Nine of the top ten and 21 of the top 25 Golf Magazine courses are available via 10 dedicated vacations. Granted, many of these are expensive and some travel between destinations will be necessary, but unless you are OCD like myself and need to play them all, the top 10 golf vacations should suffice.
If you have rejected my advice and are adamant about playing each of the rated venues, let me give you a few numbers to keep in mind. My tour of Golf Magazine’s top 100 courses involved visiting 44 states, landing at 46 different airports (many on multiple occasions). I passed through TSA 64 times and rented 28 automobiles. I flew 87,814 miles and drove another 17,051. Ultimately, I had to return to five locales because of weather, course closures or my own incompetence. I was on the road for approximately 150 days. My out of pocket costs for travel, green fees and accommodations were $69,691, but with meals, , travel companion tickets, wife’s shopping and spa days, other tourism, and bonus days this figure was nearly $100,000. Good luck.
Weekly Observation: Tiger’s pending return to the tour is welcome news to the networks and casual golf fan, however, I, for one, am not looking forward to television coverage of “All Tiger all the Time”. There are so many other great players and great stories, but I suspect the media will continue to put all their eggs in the Tiger basket, thus creating the handwringing that occurs when he does not participate.
By Paul Laubach
Paul Laubach is completely unqualified to provide expertise with respect to golf course rankings and design, however, he is a highly opinionated golf addict who believes everyone should be entitled to his thoughts. He is in the process of completing the story of his journey to play America’s top 100 courses. Please visit this website regularly for more useless information.