Top Golf Adventures For Your Money
By Chad Napier
I have been blessed to play some wonderfully beautiful golf courses during my 40 years. As we learned as 13-year-old boys watching Cinemax after hours, often what you see on television is not reality when you “get there.”
I have been asked “if given $1,000” where would I spend it to tee up my Pro v? I have never been “comped” to play any of these tracks and spent my own or wife’s own money to reserve, stay and play. So here are my top 6 tax rebate golf adventures where you get your best “bang for your buck”
No.6 TPC Stadium Course (Jacksonville, Florida) First issue is the logistics of getting to the course – not the easiest commute from the airport. Second negative is the cost- you are basically $450 to play one hole, the island par 3. While spectacular, the rest of the course is seventeen holes you would find at 85% of the courses in and around the Jacksonville area.
No.5 Torrey Pines (North or South) If you have to choose one, pick the South Course since she has more vistas and is easier to play. I wasn’t playing my best and shot near what I would at my local course. Of course the length of the course and the rough is played much differently during the 51 weeks of the year before the PGA guys arrive.
No.4 Goat Ranch (Bandon, Oregon) This place is a hidden beauty of seclusion. It’s not really even a course – no set tee markers, no clubhouse, and no “bs” either. You make a reservation by phone, meet a guy at a gate and everyone in your group pays him $50.00. The setting is primarily along the Oregon coast. You make your own course and own rules from the holes strategically placed on the site.
No.3 Pebble Beach (Pebble Beach, California) More memorable to play than Torrey Pines, but is much more difficult and expensive than any course I’ve ever played. You will get more “ocean holes” than Torrey Pines, but once you leave the ocean it is relatively benign for fun.
No.2. Spyglass Hills (Pebble Beach, California) More vistas than Pebble Beach and so much more fun to play. It is like visiting four different worlds in 4.5 hours. If you can only play one course on the property, this is definitely the place.
No.1 Cedar Hill Country Club (Jonesville, Virginia) This place has always been my choice and will be until I die. No ocean views, no mentions in Golf Digest and no retired tour pro as the head pro. This place has something better . . . . it has character and my friends. Not only does the course have character, it actually has characters. You know them – the clubhouse guy who isn’t a pro but plays one, the golf course dog, the gambling crew, the retired crew, the retired gambling crew, the old lady who plays from the 100 yard marker, and the guy who plays the course in no particular order so as not to get behind anyone.
These are the reasons we play the game. It is 3-5 hours of when real life is put on hold and you are isolated from any work drama or family issues. If you have the extra money, go and buy yourself a membership at a local club and lessons with the local pro. With the membership, you will not only want to play more, you will have the desire to walk nine holes at dusk after work on a September evening, which is heavenly. After the lessons, you still may be a 25 handicap, but you will have a connection with the game and understand the mechanics of a real golf swing. Go out and find yourself your own Cedar Hill – – I guarantee your life will thank you for it!!
Chad Napier is an attorney who when not in the court room travels around the country playing golf every chance he get’s. Along the way he has made friends with PGA Tour players, caddies, and fan’s like you and me.