Updated: Nov 16, 2018
Tonight I find myself sitting in the Golf Quest War Room looking at the map.
I bought a map of the US to plot out this journey of mine.
After some extensive research and finally narrowing down a list of about 20 golf courses, and I expect this list to grow as folks chime in with other great golf courses to play, I began plotting my routes.
I have pins stuck in locations across the US marking golf courses, airports, and friends I will try to see while playing the oldest public golf courses in the US. Lines are drawn between locations; yellow lines mean round trip flight routes, and white lines mean driving routes between golf courses. I have even developed nicknames for certain locations and routes; Horseshoe, Lobster roll, NY Rivalry, California Kick Off, and the Portland Coast. Others nicknames will come as I plan them out.
Now the question I have been pondering is when should I go? When should I begin this journey and how do I break the trips up into bite size adventures. I have to manage work hours, home, hours , adventure hours, and golf hours. What does this look like? I think, and this is a moving target right now, and please all comments are welcome, I have the journey broken into 8 trips spread over 3 years and 20 golf courses.
I know it can be done faster. I know it could be done in a month, and if I had the time off from work and the sponsorship to step out and take this journey in one shot...I would do it tomorrow. Ok, maybe I’ll have to wait until next spring...winter is looming in most of the areas I will be going to.
Playing golf is not the only item on the agenda. I want to meet with the local golf historian to learn first hand about these public golf courses a what their place in history is. How did they survive over the years and what we can do to keep them going. Also, I would like to get some time with the local golf pro and ask similar questions, and maybe even get a golf tip of the day from them? While figuring all that into the plan I’m discovering that there are two types of travel plans developing as well. The long weekend and the full immersion. The long weekend plan is just that, a long weekend. This plan consists of playing one to two courses and the is very little driving between each location. The full immersion plan consists of about seven days on the road, playing four to five courses and driving up to four hours between tracks.
By mixing weekend plans with full immersion plans, starting out on this journey slowly, and taking weather into consideration, I’ve begun to see a tentative phase 1 plan for 2019. So for the first time I would like to share with you the adventure that is taking shape:
Long Weekend - California Kick: (March)
Friday - Play Mare Island G.C. / Drive to Monterey, CA
Saturday - Play Del Monte G.C / Meet with Historian and Golf Pro
Sunday - Sightseeing
Monday - Head Home
These courses are somewhat local to me. This is a low impact kick off to the journey.
Long Weekend-Portland Coast: (May)
Thursday - Arrive in Portland / Drive to Gearhart G.C.
Friday - Play GearHart / Meet with Historian and Golf Pro
Saturday - Sightseeing
Sunday - Back to Portland-Sightseeing
Monday - Head Home
This introduces medium impact; air travel, rental cars, and some driving. It’s a good warm up for the The Horseshoe.
Full Immersion-The Horseshoe: (July)
Sunday - Arrive into Toledo, OH
Monday - Play Ottawa Park golf course / Meet with Historian and Golf Pro / drive to Youngstown, OH
Tuesday - Play Foxburg Golf Club / Meet with Historian and Golf Pro/ drive to Lewisburg, WV
Wednesday - Play Oakhurst Golf Links / Meet with Historian and Golf Pro / drive to Middleboro, KY
Thursday - Play Middlesboro Country Club / Meet with Historian and Golf Pro / drive to Nashville, TN
Friday - Sightseeing in Nashville, TN
Saturday - Head home
This is a true test for the journey. Why “The Horseshoe”? If you look at the locations of the golf courses I’m playing and if you trace out their locations they sort of trace out a horseshoe shape on it's side.
Please keep in mind that these dates are still works in progress. Keep an eye out for more solid dates to populate on the events page on the website. I hope to see some if not all of you out on the road ready to tee it up at one of these great historic golf courses!