Tuesday, March 27, 2018
There is a subsect of golfers that go after the best of the best. No midsized, sensible sedan for them. They want the Bentley of golf and will travel all over the world to get it. You can pick any quest you would like, a world top 100, a top 100 for the US, heck even a top 100 for the UK, Australia, etc. there are lists any golfer can pursue.
I have only played 2 of the Top 100 golf courses in the world (using the list from Top100GolfCourses) almost by accident. They have been Sand Hills and Ballyneal which I played as part of my Coore/Crenshaw quest. While each had their pluses and a few minuses, they were each clearly top golf courses with unique design aspects that makes a golfer crave additional rounds (which most golf courses frankly fail at).
I haven't been really pursuing any type of top 100 anything. Sure I have my quest to play all the courses designed by Coore & Crenshaw and I have my Cypress Point quest but what has become clear is by trying to play a limited amount of top courses, I have meet a whole bunch of people who can open doors to many other top courses.
Golf nuts find each other that is true and I am hoping to turn my 2 Top 100 into quite a few more here over the next few months. First up, my trip to Bandon Dunes which packs a lot of bang for the Top 100 buck. BD has 3 courses in the Top 100 which basically doubles my haul overnight.
Next up is my trip to San Francisco where 3 Top 100 courses reside and I hope to get at least 2 of em.
Additionally, I am lining up some Top 100 through social connections, my family (amazingly enough since we are all from Upstate NY) and a few other sources so by the end of the year I might be close to checking off 10% of the Top 100. It was never intended but by hook or by crook, I might be driving a Bentley after all!
If you want to keep track of people pursuing their own Top 100 quests, check out the following:
John is one of the true superstars of the golf travel universe (and he is a great guy to boot). This is the website that started it all:
Jimmy is tackling the top 100 in the US and I might get a chance to play with him soon!
The Itinerant Golfer is a fantastic resource for all things Top 100.
What is up with the J-names? Jimmie is on his own quest!
Some golfers are obsessed and even name their websites for their obsession.
Alex is a great guy and on his own quest to play the best of the best.
Scotty is also on a quest to play the atop 100 and you should check out his adventures!
Sean runs a great website and is on a great US-based quest.
Tuesday, March 20, 2018
Here we are, I am officially a month away from my first trip to Bandon Dunes. I have asked plenty of questions and received plenty of answers from the golf community and now I feel ready to rock and roll at America's premiere golf resort!
The flights are booked and I will be traveling to Portland and meeting up with Bryan and then we are going to head down the coast carousing and maybe playing some golf along the way. By the way, Bryan has written an excellent piece about Bandon which you should definitely check out!
I have also been continuing my research on Bandon and have listened intently to the great podcasts about trips to Bandon, especially by the guys at Golf Getaways. Check out their interview with Jeff Simonds, the director of golf for the resort!
Finally, I have been catching up on all things Bandon by reading their semi-updated blog which you should too! I especially love checking out all the pictures the guests post that Bandon picks, can't wait to see the sights for myself!
Sunday, March 11, 2018
Awhile ago, I reviewed the Snell MTB and Get Sum golf balls as soon as they were released. I was intrigued by the ball made by the guy who was involved with the Pro V1 and the Taylormade golf balls, Dean Snell. He was offering the same quality ball for $10 less so I was intrigued.
The original MTB felt like a Taylormade ball off the tee and off iron shots but around the green it performed like the 3 piece ball that it was, not too much spin off of wedge shots with lots of roll out. Putting was good but not great.
Snell worked hard on updating the ball and has come out with new versions, the 3 piece MTB black and the 4 piece MTB Red.
It took me all of three holes to become a believer in the MTB Red and I feel like I have be reborn as a golfer. The first hole was a par 5 and I was in the fringe in 2. So does it have length? Check.
The second hole was a par 4 that required a killer second shot to a severely sloped green. Did the iron shot stop at the perfect distance? You betcha. Check.
The third hole was a par 4 that I didn't play so hot but I was on the fringe in 3. Did I roll in the putt to save par? You better believe it. Putting check.
The greens I played with the MTB Red are some of the toughest in SoCal. The course is used for US Open qualifying and this ball kept me in it with spin and roll when I needed it. It also gave me several drives of over 280 including one that went 300.
I was a pretty good golfer when I was a teenager and then took 10+ years off to focus on my career. I have slowly been tweaking this or that to get back to where I was 20 years ago and the MTB Red is a part of that "regripping".
For more info about the MTB Red check out this link: https://www.snellgolf.com/products/mtb-red?variant=4713280602153
Wednesday, March 7, 2018
Here we are, almost 1,000 days into the quest and...the quest is still ongoing. I have recently made some headway using online golf forums to connect with other golf nuts and there is an outside chance that I may actually get to play Cypress within the next few months. One of the upsides for a long quest is that by now, a lot of people know about it and so if they have a slot for a 4th, I am at least on their radar.
I can't say enough good things about golfers online. While brands weirdly keep their distance from the people who play their gear and golf courses are hit or miss interacting with the people who play their courses, golf nuts recognize fellow golf nuts and for the most part, we all try to help each other achieve our golf dreams.
How people got onto Cypress prior to the internet is the real mystery as it seems that you basically had to live in Northern California for a shot at all.
Recently I was up in Monterey for my first ever Pebble Beach Pro-Am. Monterey has been my jam ever since I was up there a few years ago and my time at the Pro-Am cemented it. I even got to see Cypress sorta.
A course close to Cypress is Spyglass and you can see Cypress if you are around the second green area/third hole. There, off in the distance was the clubhouse and the first hole.
It was hilarious that I wasn't alone in turning around from the pro golf action to look at the action about a mile away.
Then an amazing thing happened. During the Pro-Am, 17 Mile Drive is closed to general traffic in order for the Pro-Am shuttles to go back and forth between the courses. Our shuttle driver got lost, took a wrong turn and drove us right past Cypress including the clubhouse!
It was tough to discern much about the course from these limited glimpses but still, I will take it. The course looked in top notch shape and getting to see it somewhat up close was a thrill. During what I imagine is one of the busiest times for the club, it didn't seem too packed with golfers as several of its members were busy playing in the Pro-Am.
If I lived in Monterey I think realistically I would play Pacific Grove most days although maybe explore Bayonet and Black Horse. Who knows, maybe I would have the money to justify a Duke's Club membership or even become a member of MPCC. What I seriously doubt would happen is becoming a member of CPC so if I lived in Monterey could I stand being that close to Cypress and not playing it (or playing it infrequently)? I don't know but it would be an interesting phycological experiment to try!
Link To Check Out:
In addition to golf magazines, golf websites and golf blog reviews of Cypress Point, reviews can also come from other nooks and crannies of the internet. A prime example, reviews of the club via Yelp:
BTW, the course got 5 stars across the board ;).