I realize that the 2014 golf season has long been completed. I also know that I have already played 11 different courses in 2015. But before fully moving on to ’15, I wanted to look back at ’14.
It was a really good year. I didn’t always play the best, but for a kid from Willmar, I’m doing great when it comes to being able to play some cool places. I’m very fortunate and thankful for the ability to have met as many great people and seen as many great places as I have through golf.
I’m also very fortunate to have a great job in which my work travel can provide a chance to spend a few hours on a golf course. I don’t play golf on all of my work trips and don’t play on even half, but sometimes you can take a day off on front or back end of a trip and see some cool places. One example of this came about a year ago. I had meetings in Vancouver, BC on a Monday and Tuesday, so I took a vacation day, flew out on Friday and covered my own expenses for a couple of days. I was able to play Chambers Bay on Friday afternoon before playing Vancouver gems Capilano and Shaughnessy over the weekend.
A couple of other times, I was able to play evening golf and tee it up after spending the day in meetings. I’d certainly rather chase the sun on a golf course than just sit in my hotel room.
All of that said, here are the numbers/anecdotes:
Courses played: 35
States in which I played golf: 12 states plus two Canadian provinces
States where I had never played golf previously: 2 (Washington, Virginia)
State where I have now played golf in my lifetime: 33
New courses for me this year: 18
Different courses I have now played since 2002: 242
Major championship venues: 4 (Chambers Bay, 2015 US Open; Champions, 1969 US Open; Flossmoor, 1920 PGA; Keller, 1932, 1954 PGA).
Ross-designed courses: 3 (Dunedin GC, Beverly, CC of Buffalo).
Best 36-hole day: I don’t play many 36-hole days, but the early July day that featured a round at Flossmoor CC in the morning and Beverly CC in the afternoon was easily the best. Two golden age courses with interesting holes and green complexes is always a great way to spend a day.
Other courses of note: I thought Kinloch outside of Richmond lived up to the hype. Clovernook, a Langford/Moreau design in Cincinnati, has great green complexes and cool bunkering. I had a wonderful fall Saturday with a morning round at the very strong Eugene CC and the afternoon at the Michigan State at Oregon football game.
It was a great year. I’m a lucky guy.