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Playing Golf Digests Top 100 Public Courses. **looking for playing partners in Michigan 6/7-6/9**

 KG_II ·  
KG_IIKG_II Members  180WRX Points: 37Handicap: 11Posts: 180 Fairways
Joined:  edited Mar 3, 2020 3:12am in Courses, Memberships and Travel #1

Last year I got the chance to play the Ocean Course at Kiawah Island, and I was enamored when our caddie told is it was in the top 5 of public golf courses according to Golf Digest. From that point forward all I could think about was what the other 99 courses were, and how could I play them. After my trip I became obsessed and well, here I am attempting to play all 100 of the 2019-2020 top 100 courses.

Of course there are a lot of things that go into this. One of the biggest things was to pick just one year. The list changes year over year so if there was any way to play all 100, I had to pick one list. I decided that the 2019-2020 list would be the one. I created a map to visualize what my travel will have to look like, and apparently 40,000 golfers wanted to take a look.

In this thread I will document my experiences, the ups, the downs, the logistics, and the planning that go into trying to play 100 of the best public golf courses in the US. I hope that along the way I get the chance to play with some WRXers, make some new friends, and get to enjoy life.

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  • jvincentjvincent Members  1642WRX Points: 894Posts: 1,642 Platinum Tees
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    Admirable goal. Good luck.

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  • MindtheGAPMindtheGAP Members  86WRX Points: 35Handicap: 5-10Posts: 86 Fairways
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    Best of luck to you. Do you have a timeframe you hope to complete this in?

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  • KG_IIKG_II Members  180WRX Points: 37Handicap: 11Posts: 180 Fairways
    Joined:  edited Feb 16, 2020 12:33am #4
    4) The Ocean Course at Kiawah Island - October 2019

    The first course I played and where it all started was at the Ocean Course at Kiawah Island. I had the opportunity to visit in October on a family golf trip. In my mind, Kiawah Island is heaven for a golfer. Between the 5 public golf courses, the long beaches, and the relaxing bike rides you can't ask for much more. The Ocean Course was built by Pete Dye for the 1991 Ryder Cup, becoming the first golf course made for a specific event. Build along the South Carolina coast, the Ocean Course lets you enjoy both the wetland nature, and the beautiful coastline all in 18 holes.

    The experience at the Ocean Course begins on a long winding road to what feels like the end of the island. Arriving to the clubhouse you get the feeling of home, very serine and beautiful but the best view is just inside the front door. As you walk in you are greeted by a large picture window and a view of the Atlantic Ocean. from the pro shop to the Ryder Cup bar, the clubhouse has everything for before and after your round. After picking up a rain coat for the morning water, we made it to the range and to meet our caddies. The Ocean Course at the time was walking only in preparation for the 2021 PGA Championship, but you shouldn't experience the course any other way. Our caddies prepared out bags for the walk as we warmed up, getting a good idea of the abilities of each golfer in our group. after a short break under cover from the rain we were on the transportation cart to the first hole.

    For those who have not visited, the Island of Kiawah Island is marsh land. Pete decided to build up the front 9 in the marsh creating what feels like island holes. Tee boxes and fairways are wood edged, as if they rose out of the marsh. there are no bunkers at the Ocean Course, only wasteland, and boy there is a lot of it. flanking the edge of fairways, the wasteland became a very common location for my golfball. The memorable portions of the front 9 were things like long carry of the par 5 2nd, the Plateau green of the par 4 3rd, and the wasteland carry of the par 3 5th. the walk from tee to fairway to green gave great opportunity to learn all about the island, the course, and the wonderful caddies we had the pleasure of walking with.

    After a very fun marsh land front 9, we get to the turn. When you're there, don't forget to grab a bite for your caddies, they'll really appreciate it. On the back 9, youll learn why they call it the Ocean Course. Beginning with the 10th you can feel the wind off of the coast start to pick up. The wasteland no longer becomes the only challenge faced and where the marsh once was, sand now prevails. As you start down the back stay left, as the right leads to a river form which you will never recover. If you're playing from the more forward tees (don't be ashamed to, golf to have fun) take my advice and play from the back tees on 13. The carry across the river creates one of the best fairway views on the course.

    As you turn back to the clubhouse, the advice remains the same. Stay left, as an errand shot right will cause you to yell 'FORE' to those relaxing on the beach. keep the ball low and enjoy the challenge created by the wind as you work your way back to the beautiful clubhouse. On the par 3 17th, don't be afraid to be long of the flag, but do everything to avoid the large wasteland green side left of 16. As you make your way up the final fairway take one last long breath of ocean air, You've just had a chance to walk one of the most beautiful golf courses. When the round is over, stop for a drink at the Ryder Cup and tally your score with the ocean view. I'm sure it won't be your last time out.

    All in all, The Ocean Course at Kiawah Island is one of my favorites, and every hole has a signature vibe. If you have the chance to play, the rateof $385(and rising) is well worth the experience. I would put it above some other courses I will write about later.

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  • blink3665blink3665 #TwistFaceExperience Members  6405WRX Points: 519Posts: 6,405 Titanium Tees
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    This sounds like an epic adventure! Best of luck!

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  • KG_IIKG_II Members  180WRX Points: 37Handicap: 11Posts: 180 Fairways
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    Not neccessarily. I have already played 2 since October, with a snow out of a 3rd (Pumpkin Ridge in Portland). Next month I am playing 3 courses in Vegas. I also live in chicago which makes the 9 in Wisconsin, the 9 in the mitten, the one in Chicago and the two in Indiana very easily accessible. The plan is to be the most efficient, it is more expensive to travel back to somewhere than to stay an extra day to play a second course. I expect to be at 20 by the end of next year. from there... who knows!

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  • tdog3tdog3 PaMembers  26WRX Points: 26Handicap: 9Posts: 26 Bunkers
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    I have thought about doing something similar; however, the trade off is spending time on courses ranked lower on the list compared to some attractive international destinations (cabot, Scotland, etc). I opted for the latter. That said, ill join on those high on this list. Let us know about your adventures.

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  • CanadaCalCanadaCal Members  113WRX Points: 91Posts: 113 Fairways
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    Firstly love the Patek. Love the idea of this and have subscribed. If you travel a lot for business it make this much more achievable in 5-10 years? Might be able to tag along, whenever you make it to Upstate NY.

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  • KG_IIKG_II Members  180WRX Points: 37Handicap: 11Posts: 180 Fairways
    Joined:  #9

    My first love is an aquanaut, I sell high end watches and my first sale was the aquanaut travel time. I’m hoping to do it 10 years. I’m in my mid 20s and would like to achieve it before starting a family. Definitely would enjoy the company during the two courses in Verona NY!

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  • KG_IIKG_II Members  180WRX Points: 37Handicap: 11Posts: 180 Fairways
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    Europe and the rest of the world definitely isn’t off the list. I played under the lights in Dubai two years ago, I’ll play in Australia next year, also a bit in Germany. I should have a post shortly about my time at Pebble Beach.

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  • CanadaCalCanadaCal Members  113WRX Points: 91Posts: 113 Fairways
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    You're certainly in the market at the right time regarding selling, especially anything steel/sports. Arcadia Bluffs is high on my list as well, can easily do that and Forest Dunes.

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  • jvincentjvincent Members  1642WRX Points: 894Posts: 1,642 Platinum Tees
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    @KG_II I've played 28 of the current top 100, including 14 of the top 16 (missing Shadow Creek and Arcadia) so if you need any pointers LMK.

    I've been picking them off over the course of many years since I started when the kids were still at home.

    I can also give some insight on the "World" list since I've hit a bunch of the Scotland and Ireland courses as well. Definitely add those to you list.

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  • Argonne69Argonne69 Members  23639WRX Points: 7,512Posts: 23,639 Titanium Tees
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    Good luck with your travels. I've played 54 of them, including 22 of the top 25. I plan to head out in an RV this year, and hopefully I'll hit most of the remaining mainland courses over the next four years. Maybe we'll cross paths at some point.

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  • KG_IIKG_II Members  180WRX Points: 37Handicap: 11Posts: 180 Fairways
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    I manage a large preowned inventory of about 600 pieces as well as 9 new brands and a 3 brand boutique. Things are going strong which is very nice. Arcadia Is an easy drive for me which is nice. There are a few up in Michigan that I can play on a drive.

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  • KG_IIKG_II Members  180WRX Points: 37Handicap: 11Posts: 180 Fairways
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    Thanks for letting me know! I actually just booked shadow for next month. My pending posts right are 1) Pebble beach, my failed attempt at Pumpkin Ridge, and the logistics of 3 days of desert golf.


    I’ll definitely circle around for some pointers when I get stuck

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  • KG_IIKG_II Members  180WRX Points: 37Handicap: 11Posts: 180 Fairways
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    That would be great! I am Chicago based so if you’re going through Chicago wisconsin or Michigan let me know!

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  • KG_IIKG_II Members  180WRX Points: 37Handicap: 11Posts: 180 Fairways
    Joined:  #17
    Looking for playing partners in Las Vegas 3/15-3/17

    Hi everybody! I the next leg of the trip is coming up and the destination is LAS VEGAS, NV. This trip will include rounds at 53)WOLF CREEK, 62)CASCATA AND 5)SHADOW CREEK. At this time I am looking to see if there are any WRXers or Redditors interested in joining me for a round. If you are available to golf those days please send me a direct message and I would be glad to coordinate with you.

    Logistics

    The logistics of trying to play 100 different golf courses can become quite tricky, and this trip is increasingly more difficult due to Shadow Creek. If you don't know, Shadow creek is one of the more difficult and cost prohibitive courses on the list. In order to book, you must stay at an MGM property and be lucky enough that they have an opening on the course. Because of this, I had to start here. I contacted MGM concierge with a few potential dates and we were able to make one work, I then had to work the other rounds around that day. Thankfully I was able to get everything sorted.

    The big key to this whole journey is to be as efficient as possible. I wasn't really planning to play all 3 courses, especially with the high cost of Shadow Creek. That said when you run the numbers, just the cost of having to fly back to Las Vegas ($300) and staying in a hotel ($100) you're adding a lot of expenses. At this point, it is a no brainer to play all 3 courses in one trip.

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  • Dr. HackDr. Hack Members  107WRX Points: 59Handicap: MidPosts: 107 Fairways
    Joined:  edited Feb 16, 2020 8:48am #18

    Good luck in Vegas! I've slowly started this myself. Have played about 10, recently Kiawah in October and will play Plantation course in Maui in 2 weeks! Excited for that one. Will be moving to NYC in a few months. Maybe we can give Bethpage a whack?

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  • KG_IIKG_II Members  180WRX Points: 37Handicap: 11Posts: 180 Fairways
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    totally! I'm really looking forward to bethpage. It is on my list as the #1 value in the top 100

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  • KG_IIKG_II Members  180WRX Points: 37Handicap: 11Posts: 180 Fairways
    Joined:  #20

    1) Pebble Beach Golf Links

    Pebble Beach Gold Links is the pinnacle of public golf in America. Sitting upon the southern coast of the Monterrey Peninsula, Pebble Beach is home to the most famous 3 hole stretch in golf. Before you get to those cliffside holes, you've got some hoops to jump through. For those who don't know, Pebble Beach is one of a handful of courses on the 100 Greatest list that you can't just call and make a tee time... or can you? To book an advanced tee time at Pebble Beach you are required to stay on property for at least two nights. Though for some this is a small price to pay, the typical nightly rate is $1000 a night. There is a little wrinkle that can still get you on the course. If you call at opening the day before, you may get lucky with a tee time at Pebble Beach. This is what I did.

    Over the week of thanksgiving I happened to be in San Fransisco for work with a free days. I set an alarm every morning for 6:55 in preparation to ask for a tee time. The first day I called and got the bad news... all booked. The second day was more of the same. Finally, for the last day of my trip I was given the chance to play Pebble Beach. Thankfully I lucked out for a late morning tee time for two reasons, the drive, and the rain. The trip from San Fransisco to the Monterrey Peninsula is a beautiful 2.5 hour trek along the California coast, and the excitement of the golf to be had made it absolutely fly by.

    after a long trip down the highway I finally arrived to the toll booth on 17 Mile Drive. This is where it all beings. This is where it finally becomes real. After showing the toll attendant my tee time confirmation I was inside. After following the winding road I pulled up to the bag drop under the archway that donned "Pebble Beach". It's important to get to your tee time early, the promenade that surrounds the tee boxes and putting green contains and endless row of shops that will fulfill your holiday gift shopping for a year or two. Before you know it you'll be rushing off to the driving range to make sure you hit a few before you get on the tee.

    I am sure we are all familiar with the course from either TV, Video games, or our own dreams. On our day, the rain was coming on and off, but it wasn't going to stop us from walking and enjoying our change to play one of the best tracks in the world. There were a few moments that really stick in my memory. The first is the tee shot on the par 3 7th. Said by many to be the most photographed hole in golf, the 7th plays anywhere from 90 yards to 150, depending on the wind off the ocean. As you can see above, my first ball sailed over the green and right into the ocean giving me the opportunity to enjoy this tee box a second time. The second moment that I'll always remember was just one hole later. After a hybrid to the edge of the cove on the par 4 8th, I reached for it again and roped a second shot 230 yards to the front of the green. Standing on the edge of the cliff the scale of the cove is not easily understood as you are focused solely on the green ahead but standing at the green, you can turn around to get a true understanding of the accomplished carry. Lastly, playing from behind the cypress tree that cuts through the 18th fairway is a memory that could not be duplicated anywhere else.

    While the 6-7-8 at pebble may be the best 3 hole stretch in golf, in my honest opinion the 9 holes that do not adorn the cliffside leave a lot to be desired. If the name above the Rolex clock did not say "Pebble Beach" these holes would be a footnote at any other course. Combine this, along with the large price tag at $550 a round (and expect to spend at least that much in the pro shop) I would prefer to play 18 at The Ocean Course at Kiawah Island instead.

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  • Drwoods2017Drwoods2017 Members  154WRX Points: 125Handicap: 5Posts: 154 Fairways
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    If you travel to Wisconsin you can knock a bunch out at one time because most are within driving distance of each other. Sand Valley, Erin Hills, Sentry World, Lawsonia, and Whistling are all within 2 hours of each other. Take 4-5 days and there would be 8 or 9 courses off the list.

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  • KG_IIKG_II Members  180WRX Points: 37Handicap: 11Posts: 180 Fairways
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    I live in the Chicago suburbs so I’ll get in all 9 of Wisconsin this year and hopefully a few Michigan. Also French lick is an easy drive too.

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  • Drwoods2017Drwoods2017 Members  154WRX Points: 125Handicap: 5Posts: 154 Fairways
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    Troy burne might be a bit of a drive for you because that's almost in Minneapolis but theres a few Minnesota courses to hit as well so maybe play it on the way to the others. That's such a great area for golf though it makes it worth it.

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  • KG_IIKG_II Members  180WRX Points: 37Handicap: 11Posts: 180 Fairways
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    There are two up north of Duluth in MN that I would spend the night in Duluth. TB I would stay in Minneapolis and play one MN course and TB

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  • Drwoods2017Drwoods2017 Members  154WRX Points: 125Handicap: 5Posts: 154 Fairways
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    All three courses are about a 2-3 hour drive from Minneapolis. I would suggest staying in Brainerd when you play The Classic at Maddens because it's an awesome area with a lot of great golf around there. Madden's is a really cool resort also that has a lot of amenities. The Quarry doesn't really have much around it so you could probably throw that in with TB. The last course is way north and on a resort so you might wanna stay there also.

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  • KG_IIKG_II Members  180WRX Points: 37Handicap: 11Posts: 180 Fairways
    Joined:  edited Mar 3, 2020 3:20am #26

    PLANNING

    One of the hardest parts of trying to play all of these courses is planning. You have to be very efficient with time and travel. This year I have 14 different courses booked. Thankfully a large portion of courses are local, so starting with both courses as Sand Valley on April 24th, I play a top 100 course every two weeks until I travel to Europe the week of July 19th. This includes a three day - four course trek through Michigan 6/7-6/9. I've also looked at planning courses for 2021 as well to try to get another 10+ courses in a year.

    Looking for playing Partners

    Currently I am looking for playing partners on the following dates:

    6/7 Tullymore / Stanwood, MI

    6/8 The Loop and Forest Dunes / Rosscommon, MI

    6/9 The Loop (the other direction) / Rosscommon, MI

    I would love the chance to get to meet other Golfwrxers, DM me if you are interested in booking a tee time.

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  • Ritzer81Ritzer81 Members  136WRX Points: 55Posts: 136 Fairways
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    If you are looking for a playing partner for Greywalls in Marquette,MI let me know. We can discuss golf goals. I am currently at 30 states played with the goal of 50 States before I turn 50. I have 11 years to golf in 20 states. I only count top 10 public courses for each state. Good luck with your goal and let me know if you want a playing partner for Marquette (Greywalls).

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  • KG_IIKG_II Members  180WRX Points: 37Handicap: 11Posts: 180 Fairways
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    I see Marquette Golf Club as 54, but I don't see Greywalls. That is a 2021 course so far. Planning to go up and around the lake.

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  • beckjg135beckjg135 bay city michiganMembers  92WRX Points: 75Posts: 92 Fairways
    Joined:  #29

    are you planning more trips to michigan, youll miss a few to the north

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  • KG_IIKG_II Members  180WRX Points: 37Handicap: 11Posts: 180 Fairways
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    Beck,

    unfortunately I cannot play every course at once. I also don't want to play all the driveable courses in one year. Spreading them out will help with consistently playing these courses year over year. next year I'll make the loop and play Marquette along with two more up north by Grand Traverse.

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  • HappyGilmoresBootsHappyGilmoresBoots Green Balls MichiganMembers  202WRX Points: 79Handicap: 18?Posts: 202 Fairways
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    Marquette Golf Club has 2 courses: Heritage and Greywalls. I did a quick 9 at Heritage last summer, and would love to fill out the 18 or play a whole round at Greywalls this summer.

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