It is the morning of May 28, 2016 and I am on a flight from Copenhagen to Dublin, where I will meet Pat (who is flying to Dublin from London). She has been touring English gardens and attending the Chelsea Flower Show. We fly from Dublin to Boston this afternoon.
Since you last heard from me regarding my Blog, I have been busy playing lots of golf…even for me. As per my past posting I arrived back to NC from my last round the worlder on May 2. Then early on May 10 I started my trek from NC to MA…with some golf stops along the way, and arrived in Boston the afternoon of Friday 5/13. That Tuesday thru Friday I played six courses:
§ Chevy Chase Club (MD)
§ Saucon Valley CC-Weyhill (PA)
§ CC of Scranton (PA)
§ Mountain Ridge CC (NJ)
§ Liberty National GC (NJ)
§ The Whippoorwill Club (NY)
Three days later I left Boston for a trip to England, France, Ireland, Wales, and Sweden with 11 days of golf, playing 17 courses (16 18-holers and one 9-holer).
Somehow I got my entire itinerary in, despite a variety of “Perils of Pauline”, including:
§ a variety of traffic jams in London, Paris and around Dublin
§ coming very very close to missing one flight
§ being “forced to move too far left in a tight lane, and side swiping my rental car against a side barrier (car mechanically fine, I was fine, but car not so pretty)
§ having DHL mis-ship my suitcase I shipped all the way from Wales to England (to avoid dragging it to Ireland for one day)…then dealing with their legions of bureaucrats…ongoing tale (and the “Qantas worst service award” has been replaced by the “DHL worst service award”)
§ playing in some of the British Isles sometimes awful weather (including having to get off a course due to lightning…a rare occurrence in GB&I
§ catching a cold about three days ago.
Along the way I met a bunch of wonderful people (the only bad ones were some of the DHL folks), played some fabulous tracks and some not so good ones. Details will follow in other blog updates (I am way behind). Here are the courses I played (in chron order) and why, in terms of my bucket lists, they were on the itinerary (unless noted, the course is in England):
§ Southport & Ainsdale: 2 Ryder Cups
§ Alwoodley: World Top 100 Ever, MacWood Spoof
§ Moortown; Ryder Cup
§ Lindrick: Ryder Cup & Curtis Cup
§ Les Bordes (France): World Top 100 Ever
§ The Belfry-Brabazon: 4 Ryder Cups
§ Celtic Manor-2010: Ryder Cup
§ St. Pierre-Old: Curtis Cup & Solheim Cup
§ Burnham & Berrow-Championship: MacWood Spoof
§ Dun Laoghaire-Upper & Middle 9’s (Ireland): Curtis Cup (in 2 weeks!!)
§ Killeen Castle-JWN (Ireland): Solheim Cup
§ Royal Worlington (Nine Holer): MacWood Spoof
§ Royal West Norfolk: MacWood Spoof
§ Addington: MacWood Spoof
§ Liphook; MacWood Spoof
§ Barseback-Masters (Sweden): Solheim Cup
§ Halmstad-North (Sweden): Solheim Cup
I do not want to go into course descriptions here…I will simply leave it with short note regarding the best of the above 23 courses—
§ --Very Best—designated Hidden Gems: CC of Scranton and Royal Worlington
§ --Next—Alwoodley; Burnham & Berrow; Royal Worlington; Liphook
You may have noted that there no Ryder, Presidents or Solheim Cup Venues among the best. Fees paid by these venues have provided critically needed financial support for the European Tour and the LPGA, and this has meant that the financial factors have driven the selection process far more than course quality.
OK, so now you must be wondering where I stand with my Bucket Lists…here goes:
§ World Top 100 Ever (Eight Sources)---total of 286 courses (all still existing), and have played 283; three missing located in Barbados and Canada (1 each in Quebec and Nova Scotia);
§ MacWood 1939 Spoof World 100—total of 101 courses of which 5 no longer exist; have played 95 of 96 remaining courses and last one to play in Quebec, Canada;
§ --US Open Venues—two left, one in MA and one in IL
§ --Cups Ever (Walker, Ryder, Presidents, Curtis, Solheim), total of 110 courses and I have played 101. Have completed all Walker Cup and Presidents Cup Venues, and have completed all overseas venues for the other three, so all of my remaining nine are all in the USA (CA-2, CO-2, IA-1, MA-1, NY-1, OR-1, and WV-1).
My plan is to hopefully complete the first three by end of July and take my time with Cups Ever.
I am a tired puppy right now…but am fine aside from the cold. Truth is…I’ve had enough of the phrenetic, rushed trips I have taken previously.