2012 was quite a year for the Golf Nomad. I played more golf than I ever thought possible and I spent more money than I had. I didn’t intend to play over 100 new courses last year. It just kind of happened thanks to a couple of big trips and many 36-hole days here in Southern California. My goals for 2013 aren’t quite as ambitious, but I am certain there will still be plenty of golf played this year.
I’ll be participating in a full Los Angeles Golf Group schedule this season, and I plan to play as many—if not all—of the eight events in 2013. I’m certain I’ll play at least a few of the Greenskeeper.org outings and events. I hope to play in at least a couple of SCGA outings this year now that I have my membership and index. They regularly have group play at some great private clubs and resort courses throughout Southern California. Most are on weekdays and many are too expensive, so I will only cherry-pick a few of the most enticing options that I can work into my schedule and budget. We’ll see.
I have already purchased a few GroupGolfer.com deals on courses that I haven’t played before (The Links at Paso Robles, Robinson Ranch Golf Club, Rancho Vista Golf Club and Lost Canyons Golf Club have been locked in so far), so I will be using those before they expire. Fortunately, the expiration dates are spread out nicely and I can work those in pretty easily over the next few months.
Otherwise, I’ll be scouring GolfNow.com for some good “Hot Deal” times and other online golf booking/discount services to find the best deals on other area courses that I haven’t played yet for my regular weekend play.
The Big Trips
And, of course, I do want to take at least a couple of big trips this year. I’d love to check at least a few more states off my list and get up over 30, but I’m still trying to work out the budget and timing. There will definitely be a few weekend road trips scattered throughout the year, as well.
The trip I am very excited about right now is going to be in June. I am planning to head way up north to Alaska to take advantage of the longest days of the year around the Summer Solstice. I’ll be flying into Anchorage and hoping to play a few of the courses around there. Then, I’ll drive up toward Fairbanks, where some of the northernmost courses in the world (including the northernmost course in the U.S.) await. I’ll be looking to play at least one round under the midnight sun, which should be a once-in-a-lifetime experience if everything works out with the weather, travel, etc.
It’s a tough trip to plan right now since all the courses are closed for winter and yout can’t really book anything this far in advance (though I don’t think you really need to when it comes to Alaska courses). Information is limited on most of these courses online, so my fingers are crossed that everything comes together by then.
In July, I’ll be back in my hometown of Crescent City, CA for a few days to attend my 20-year high school reunion (boy, that makes me feel old). I’m sure I’ll be playing on the drive up and the drive home, as well as while I’m there. I definitely want to head up to finally play Bandon Crossings. Not sure I’ll get to the Bandon Dunes Resort because of their expensive peak season rates, but if I do I really want to play the 13-hole par-3 course they opened last year—Bandon Preserve. Otherwise, I may make a sentimental visit to my two hometown courses, Del Norte Golf Club and Kings Valley Golf Course, which are nothing special, but have nostalgic value to me.
I may look to visit one of my favorite courses up there—Salmon Run—but I’m not sure. I may head over to the Grants Pass/Medford area instead to check out one or two of the courses up there I haven’t been able to play yet.
Beyond that, I am not sure if I’ll get to squeeze another big trip in during the second half of the year. A friend of mine was talking about planning a trip to Whistling Straits in Wisconsin at the end of summer, but not sure if that will shake out or fit into my budget this year. If it does, that would be an incredible adventure to play all of the Kohler courses and maybe even the highly touted Erin Hills outside of Milwaukee.
If I don’t do a late summer trip, I may look at another Thanksgiving weekend trip. Destinations are limited that time of year because of weather, but I could conceivably head to the Gulf Coast for rounds in Louisiana, Arkansas, Mississippi and Alabama. As of right now, this idea is a long shot, but you never know.
When I start writing it all out like this, it sure sounds like a lot of golf, plenty of travel and a good amount of cash out of my pocket! I’ll be curious to go back and read this at the end of the year and see how much I was able to accomplish.
Lastly, I should definitely eclipse the 300-course mark this year, so depending on how that times out, I’ll be looking to play a really special course!
Send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Let me know what your big golf plans are for 2013. Any big trips you are planning? Small trips? Any cool courses you are determined to play this year? If I can get enough responses, I’d love to have a story listing some of your goals and plans for 2013.