Sunday, December 17, 2017
They say any day on the golf course is better than a day at work. While that is certainly true, there are a few golf courses I played this year that are heads and shoulders above the rest. Courses that I will remember for a very long time. Check out the list and let me know what courses you played this year in the comments!
10. Warren Golf Course
Often ranked one of the best courses in Indiana, I can't see what can top it. The back 9 is spectacular and the front 9 gives you the best of parkland golf. The staff is super friendly and I can't wait to play this again after they host the US Senior Open in 2019.
Aviara is one of the prettiest courses I have ever played. In amazing shape, the shape of the course leads to amazing shots and everything here is just fantastic. I was looking forward to playing the 18th hole and it didn't disappoint. It is a real capper to the round and I highly recommend playing here if you are in the San Diego area.
8. La Quinta Mountain
This course has it all. An amazing routing, crazy mountain views and really fun greens. I am such a fan of this course you might call me a fanatic. Every time I go to Palm Springs I ask, can we play the Mountain? I hope the answer every time is "yes"!
Perhaps my favorite parkland course I have ever played. I am originally from Upstate NY and while I don't see myself relocating back there from California, if I did, I would join this course in a heartbeat and try to play it as much as possible. In a state with world-renowned golf courses, En-Joie holds its own with the best of em and is a must play if you are in the Southern Tier.
6. Old York CC
There are plenty of top tier golf courses in New Jersey but OYCC flies under the radar and shouldn't. The course is super interesting to play and engages all facets of your game. I want another crack at this apple when I am back East which is a great testament to the course!
5. Sand Valley
What can be said about the Top New Course of 2017 that hasn't already been said? Well, it is a bear but a fun bear with a tremendous amount of sand, one of the best routings I have played since Sand Hills and one of the best 19th holes in the business. As the course matures, it is going to be really something.
4. Mission Hills- Dinah Shore
This course is a classic and home to an LPGA major for good reason. Tight fairways, tough pin placements but it adds up to a whole lot of fun. It is perhaps my favorite Palm Springs course and definitely one of the top 10 courses I played in 2017.
3. Mammoth Dunes
This course might be one of the most fun golf courses I have ever played and I only played half the holes! There are so many ways to play each hole that you could just play this course over and over again and never play it the same way twice. Truly a gem I can't wait to get back to play.
2. Black Sheep
I had such high expectations for Black Sheep and they met and exceed them. The club is friendly, the logo is fantastic but more than that, the course is sublime and mindblowing (a links-style course amongst the corn). If I lived in Illinois, I would be a member in two seconds.
1. Clear Creek Tahoe
This course has it all. Pine trees, mountain views, serenity, fascinating hole layouts, undulating greens. As soon as I played it, I wanted to play it again. It was the most relaxing/engaging round of golf I have played in a long time. If I could play this every day, I would!
Well that is it for the list! I had a great 2017 on the links and can't wait for 2018!
Wednesday, November 29, 2017
Have you ever seen a golf shoe like that? I mean, that is one beautiful shoe. I love me some golf shoes but they have gotten away from the classic black leather of FootJoys past and have trended more toward racing stripes and other technical colors that look ok on the course but definitely not in the bar.
Cannos is a brand based out of Massachusetts that tries to bring back some classiness to golf shoes by modeling them after docksiders. I really dug the concept and recently tried out their special Walker Cup version with canvas tops.
The real superstar of these shoes (as you can tell I have worn them a bunch) is the mix of soft nubs and softspikes. It gives you the best of both worlds, strategically placed softspikes for stability, nubs for on and off course use.
The shoes work just like normal golf shoes even if they don't look like golf shoes and that is fantastic. The styling is subtle but classy with some great scripting details from Cannos.
The sizing is spot on (at least for me) and I appreciate that the shoes have a slightly wider toe box which fits my ever growing (apparently?) feet really well.
The rawhide laces do take a little getting used to and definitely are not your traditional shoe laces. Also, I have not tried these out in adverse conditions so I can't tell you how the canvas holds up on rainy mornings but I look forward to trying them out!
Overall, if you are looking for a different look on the course that is also at home in the bar or the boardroom, definitely check out these shoes!
For more information about Cannos, check them out here: https://www.canoos.com/
Disclaimer: These shoes were provided to me as part of being a Cannos Ambassador. That being said, above is my honest review of the product and this is the internet. Take everything with a grain of salt and learn from it what you will.
Wednesday, November 1, 2017
Welcome to Carson City, a true rugged, western town in Northern Nevada which is home to several world class golf courses including Clear Creek Tahoe and Montreux.
I had heard tell of a great public course in Carson City, Silver Oak, a course where the front 9 and back 9 were two totally different experiences and boy, they weren't wrong!
The front 9 side might be short but what it lacks in length it makes up for in elevation. Every hole seems to use the severe terrain to its advantage and while you might laugh at playing a sub-500 yard par 5, when you see the mountain you have to climb, you start sweating.
The course was in fantastic shape. The fairways were running fast, the greens were in excellent condition and the views were outstanding.
Speaking of outstanding, I don't think I have ever played a hole quite like the 337 par 4 5th hole.
The hole is a severe dogleg right but don't go too far right or you do down into the canyon. You aren't quite sure how much room you have to maneuver around the dogleg as you are partially blocked out by trees. Your best bet to stay far left and hit about a 200 yard shot.
The downside of that strategy is then you are faced with one of the most severe second shots I have ever seen.
Hmm, that doesn't quite show the craziness, let me see here...
ah yes, there we go. Basically I hit 3 iron, 8 iron, and prayed to the golf gods I hit my SW close (I did) and I escaped with a par. Of all the holes at Silver Oak, I would love to play this one over and over again.
Upping the craziness factor after that par 4 are back to back par 3s one, set on top of a plateau
and the next one going down a wild and wooly mountainside
Alas, the crazy front side cannot last and the course settles down into somewhat normality for holes 8 and 9.
Eventually all good things must come to an end and you come to the disappointing backside. I am not a huge fan of Palm Springs because most of the courses feel wedged into a housing development. Silver Creek takes that concept to the extreme by putting houses not just on one side of the fairway, not just two side of the fairway but rings the houses around all sides.
Especially when compared to the front 9, I have never felt like I had been playing in a fishbowl until I played the back 9 at Silver Oak.
After slogging through the claustrophobic back 9, 18 brings it home with a fantastic par 5. A blind tee shot (with no houses!) leading to a risk/reward second shot to an island green. Walking over the bridge to the green and looking back over the course, it gets you energized to play Silver Oak all over again.
Overall, Silver Oak's front 9 is a crazy, hilly ride which is almost completely marred by the back 9 until the last few holes brings it home. If you ever wanted to play the definition of a schizophrenic course, Silver Oak is it.
For more information about Silver Creek, check out this link: http://silveroakgolf.com/
Wednesday, October 25, 2017
Colorado is an underrated golf state. Sure you don't get any ocean views in Denver but there are plenty of great golf courses and the mountains frame so many shots. On a recent trip to the Mile High City, my buddy suggested we play the City Park course which is closing soon for a massive $40 million dollar overhaul by Hale Irwin.
Wanting to see a classic course before it goes under the knife (or the chainsaw considering what I have heard about the renovation) I checked out 9 holes. What I found was a course with amazing views of Denver and while it has a rather standard parkland routing, the holes use the terrain well giving a golfer many different up and down shots.
Clearly though, the City of Denver dominates the proceedings and the holes maximize the views to the golfer's delight. As the course moves down to flatter terrain there is excellent use of trees and city landmarks to supplement your round.
I wish I could recommend playing the course but alas it will be closed until 2019. Once it re-opens I look forward to playing all 18 and seeing how they made a good course even better.
For more information on City Park, check out this link: https://www.cityofdenvergolf.com/golf-course/city-park
Tuesday, October 17, 2017
Tuesday, October 10, 2017
Hey everyone! I checked another Coore and Crenshaw course off my bucket list so head on over to my quest page to see how I get it on Colorado-style!
Tuesday, October 3, 2017
Resting in the middle of the country, Warren is a heck of a golf course and a worthy site for the upcoming US Senior Open. Check out my thoughts by clicking the link below!
Wednesday, September 27, 2017
A golfer can dream can't he? If I had unlimited money, what courses would I join? Welp, if I had the money and lived in Illinois, sign me up to be a member of Black Sheep Golf Club, a 27 hole gem in the middle of Illinois that is one of the best tracks I have played in a long time.
Designed by the criminally underrated Dave Esler, BSGC uses a former corn field to amazing effect, creating a links-style course that is both fun and challenging to any golfer.
My favorite holes would be the ones running on the North side of the property which bisects and runs parallel to a creek and irrigation pond. The setting serene, the routing sublime, the course is magical.
The clubhouse constantly frames the proceedings which reminded me a lot of Shinnecock and National although with more corn surrounding the course than the ocean (seriously, there is nothing BUT corn in Sugar Grove Illinois).
The ribbons of fairway amongst the fescue is inspired and while there is plenty of room on the fairway, don't go too far off of it or else you are going to be hacking out of some thick stuff.
Dave Esler created as masterpiece here and also a thinkpiece. Second and third shots need to be contemplated with care as there are a lot of bunkers and carries that necessitate your irons and wedges being sharp.
The green complexes roll true and with speed but not crazy speed. It is a very fair test once you get to the green and wedge shots will hold on the greens despite their speed.
While many members use carts, the course is very walkable and the only time you will be huffing and puffing is each of the ninth holes which trudge back up the course to the clubhouse.
Triple bonus points for perhaps one of the best logos in golf!
For more information about Black Sheep, check out the link here: https://www.blacksheepgolfclub.com/
Feel free to sponsor me for membership :P!
Monday, September 25, 2017
This is one of several posts about my attempts to play the ultimate course, the Cypress Point Club. If you have any tips for me or want to invite me to play (!!!) please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org I promise total discretion for anyone who helps. Thanks!
Ok here we are, well over 2 years into my quest to play the top course in the world. What has been happening since the last update?
I have not found a member for a direct invite so I continue to try and find more circuitous routes onto the course with people who know people who know people. This has been bolstered by social media and for all the naysaying about how nothing gets done via social media, it HAS connected me to certain people who know the people.
For everyone who has offered to help over the last 200+ days since the last update, I say THANK YOU! It is amazing to find golf nuts willing to help other golf nuts achieve their dreams.
I also learned that Rory McIlory himself is questing to play Cypress Point. This comes from No Laying Up's fine podcast interview with him which is well worth a listen.
Thanks to @NoLayingUp podcast I've learned that @McIlroyRory also is questing to play #cypresspoint! Somehow I think he'll get on before me— ReGripped (@ReGripped) September 20, 2017
In an attempt to get physically closer to CPC, I have decided for my 40th birthday year (screw the day, I am celebrating all year!) I am going to go up and attend the Pebble Beach Pro-Am for the first time. I have always wanted to go and while I am up there, I am definitely doing the 17 mile drive and cruising past Cypress. Who knows, maybe I will meet a member or even meet up with Rory? Stranger things have happened.
Finally, my love for CPC knows no bounds and I have complied some great old timey photos of the course culled from various sources. It is fascinating to see MacKenzie tour the course he built photographed from interesting and not often seen angles. The composition of the photos really brings out the stark contrast between the rocky coastline and the golf course (even in black and white!). Enjoy Cypress' past while I look to the future of playing there!
Disclaimer: I do not own any of these photos but offer them here for news and commentary purposes only.
Tuesday, September 19, 2017
Mammoth Dunes is the second course to be developed at Sand Valley but it is set to eclipse its older brother Coore/Crenshaw course to become one of the best, fun golf courses in the state of Wisconsin.
Where to start? The routing is fantastic going over hill and dale while offering a few straight ahead holes as well. The fairways are wide which allow you to try a variety of routings to the hole all while keeping golf balls in your bag.
The bunkering is intoxicatingly beautiful and has a great mix of naturally occurring sand blowouts along with more traditional bunkers.
Speaking of the bunkers, I love the disguising David McLay Kidd does here on this par 3 where neither bunker is in play but yet frames the golfers eye like few others.
The green complexes are huge, absolutely gargantuan. They still have enough undulations to make you think but not enough to make you rip your hair out.
The main takeaway from the course is that it is fun. Golf is challenging enough as it is and no golfer really wants to play Oakmont every round. They want to hit the ball and have fun and this course has the F word in spades. I haven't been this impressed by a course in a long time and even though I only played 9 holes, I checked out several others and can attest that this place is going to be very special.
Once the fairways are grassed, run don't walk to Sand Valley to play this course.
For more information about Mammoth Dunes, check out the link: http://www.sandvalleygolfresort.com/mammoth-dunes/