Where Have You Gone, Joe DiMaggio?
Remember that old Simon & Garfunkel song from The Graduate? Were you wondering where I had gone? Probably not, but in any case, no place special. Fact is the weather kept me locked up in January and “events and circumstances” (all of which have been resolved very positively) kept me home in Pinehurst in February. Besides, I sensed you needed a vacation from the crap that I write, but I am now ready to inundate you once again….thereby curing who knows how many cases of insomnia and constipation.
From March 8-23, I was wandering through the US’s southern states…about half the time with Pat and the latter half on my own. As I write this I an in Guangzhou airport in China between flights. This trip is from March 28-April 12 and has taken me through New Mexico, Nevada, and California in the US, followed by Melbourne, Australia and Hainan Island, China…and will conclude over the next four days in Tokyo and Kobe Japan.
More about these two trips in my next posts…but first I wanted to bring you up to date on my original, previously conquered bucket list…The World Top 100 EVER from 10 Sources. As you obviously recall, on July 8, 2016 I completed this list by playing Cabot Cliffs in Nova Scotia, Canada with Pat and Ben Cowan-Dewer, the creator of Cabot. I was able to stay on top of this mountain for 518 days (but who was counting) until on December 7, 2017, http://www.top100golfcourses.com had the audacity to include a course I had not played on their 2018 World Top 100 list....that course is Yokohama CC-West.
Reaction was swift and best exemplified by the following from a New York based physician friend: “Are these people savages? Who starts an article like that ? They are probably generating fake news as we speak. May their year be filled with double bogeys and the yips.”
My response was swift and centered on fixing the problem. I started planning a trip to Japan for early spring 2018. And since Australia is so close to Japan, and Greg Norman’s new course Cathedral Lodge GC had just opened about 2 hours from Melbourne, including Australia on this itinerary made perfect sense to me. Pat immediately asked what I did during Geography classes at Jamaica High School and MIT. This may be the reason Jamaica HS was closed in recent years due to poor academic performance by its graduates…not an easy accomplishment in New York City.
Within a few weeks I had an itinerary in place, and was ready to begin packing when on Monday, March 23 I received further distressing news…Golf Digest had published a World Top 100 list with one course I had not played…The Blackstone course at Mission Hills-Haikou. I had been to Mission Hills Haikou in late April 2016 to play its Lava Fields course, but have never set foot on Blackstone…and I was set to depart in less than 4 days. A quick review of airline flight schedules and some connections with Mission Hills Resort showed that if I dropped two of the courses I was planning to play near Melbourne, I could work a round at Blackstone into the plan, and the resort said the course was fairly wide open for the only date that worked…Friday April 6.
So here I am at Guangzhou airport, having flow here from Haikou this morning and awaiting my JAL flight to Tokyo! Yesterday’s round at Blackstone was completed without a hitch (except for the quality of play…or lack thereof), so I am now standing at 321 of the still existing 322 courses on the current “The World Top 100 EVER from 10 Sources” bucket list. And if all goes well tomorrow, I will be at 322 or 322. Update tomorrow…I am sure you can hardly wait!!