The end of the season is near. Time to think back on all the fun from the summer. I had some great times, but I also started dreaming about next year’s adventures. Thinking about where to play next year will help motivate me through my winter work.
Last year, I looked at my potential travel destinations and envisioned playing Bethpage Black, Pinehurst, TPC San Antonio, and Buffalo Ridge in Branson. My best case included 2 top 5 courses and 2 more top 100. I couldn’t wait.
My year didn’t reach the best case scenario, but I played great courses. I wasn’t able to play a round in New York, so Bethpage will be later. I did play TPC San Antonio, Buffalo Ridge, The Club at Sonterra in San Antonio, and Tobacco Road in North Carolina. 3 Top 100 courses, and a year to remember. Check out my previous posts about the courses. They are all must play destinations.
Now, I am dreaming of next year. I may have the opportunity to travel to Los Angeles, Dallas, Austin, and Pinehurst again. The possibilities in each city are interesting.
I have never visited LA, so I don’t know what to expect (other than the national media narrative). Of course, I will try every trick I can conjure up to access one of the exclusive private clubs (Riveria, LA CC, Bel-Air, etc.) I haven’t had success getting on private courses in the past, so I don’t anticipate that working. From there, I will probably look to Pelican Hill or Trump National LA as the highest rated courses. I know ratings aren’t everything, but I found the ratings to guide me well so far.
Dallas is a tough call because I live reasonably close to Dallas. The two on top of my list are Dallas National and Colonial, but again, getting access is difficult. I may have a few contacts that could get a tee time. After those, Dallas doesn’t have many high rated public courses. I played Tour 18 a while ago, and it was fun. The Cowboy Club is interesting since it has the Dallas Cowboy theme.
The Tribute at the Colony is a possibility. The course is a Scottish links replica course with holes from most of the Open Championship Rota. I will likely never play all (or many) of those courses, so the replica may be fun. I enjoyed Tour 18’s replica holes, so The Tribute is a definite possibility.
I enjoy tour courses and the TPC Network, so I may try to get access to the TPC at Las Colinas without staying at the resort. The Byron Nelson attracts quality fields, and the course will be near tournament conditions since I will be in Dallas in May.
Dallas may not have the highest ranked possibilities, but I like the options.
I played golf in Austin at Teravista Golf Club about 5 years ago. That is my only round in Austin. The course was well maintained, and you needed all your shots. However, I didn’t find it overly memorable. Barton Creek is the obvious choice in Austin, but I won’t be staying at the resort. They wouldn’t let me on the last time I was in Austin, so I will probably still be out of luck. After that, I honestly don’t know my options. Post in the comments any great ideas in Austin.
We will likely head back out to Pinehurst next year. The possibilities are endless in that area. I loved Tobacco Road, so Tot Hill Farm, also by Mike Strantz, is on my list. I know everyone will rave about all the Pinehurst Courses, but we don’t stay at the resort. I may reserve a time somewhere else and then switch to one of the resort courses the week we are there.
Reading the rankings and literature, Mid Pines Golf Course and Pine Needles look like must plays. Golf Digest ranks Dormie Club #43. I could flip a coin, throw a dart, and no matter what happens, I will be happy. The descriptions of all these courses evoke feelings of serenity and fun golf.
This season isn’t quite over, but playing new courses is always on my mind. I am sure next year will be similar to this year where not all the opportunities pan out, but if I don’t dream now, what else would I do. Add your thoughts on those cities in the comments. Finish the season strong!