2017 – A Year in Review

2017 turned out to be a much more productive year than I expected when it came to golf. I didn’t quite reach my usual standard of 100 or more new courses played, but I got pretty close with a late holiday push. I ended up with 96 new courses played in 2017 and might have squeezed in a couple more had I not gotten hurt in what turned out to be the final round of the year in Oregon.

Either way, I didn’t think I would end up getting that many new courses in, but things worked out pretty well throughout the year.

As expected, I did not play as regularly as in years past. I really didn’t play that many rounds at local Southern California courses. If not for the Greenskeeper.org GK Review Guru, GK Plays and GK Cup match play programs, I probably wouldn’t have played much casual golf at all outside of my out-of-town road trips.

It’s ironic that my local play slowed down because I moved out to the golf-loaded Coachella Valley in March. I expected to take advantage of more summer deals, but really didn’t jump on many opportunities. It turns out that when you live in in this area, voluntarily going outside in the summer doesn’t seem as appealing!

I was able to check a respectable number of Southern California private clubs off my list in 2017. Bighorn (Mountains), Toscana, Eldorado, Ironwood, Rancho La Quinta and O’Donnell were some of the highlights in the desert thanks to the SCGA and some other connections I made. Other great local “gets” included Oakmont, Spring Valley Lake, Chevy Chase and Victoria Club.

Moving to this area did put me closer to Arizona and I was able to get out there for a couple of nice day trips to the Buckeye and Wickenburg areas. Otherwise, I was able to chip away further at my Southern Nevada public course list, as well. I now only have a handful of public tracks left to play in that region.

My holiday trip allowed me to play some new courses in Oregon and Southern Washington, though I wish I had a lot more time there—even if it rarely gets above 40 degrees in the winter months.

My biggest conquests in 2017 were definitely in Central and Northern California. A cool weekend in the Central Valley found me somehow playing four great private clubs. Multiple trips to the Bay Area and Sacramento regions were centered around rounds at awesome private courses like Cal Club, Lake Merced, Sierra View, Sequoia Woods and Silverado (technically this one is semi-private).

Although I didn’t achieve 100 new courses last year, I would say the overall quality of courses played rivals any of my best years.

Perhaps the most disappointing aspect of 2017 was the continued frustration with this website. I love writing stories and sharing pictures from my golf adventures. I never envisioned this blog to be anything that big, but it really blew up quickly. If I had known what it would become, I would have started with a much better hosting platform. Unfortunately, Tumblr just can’t handle the quantity of my content, especially when it comes to the amount of links I need. The Course Review Archive page has been a mess and I basically had to give up on those links. Even the Regional Rankings pages are acting up now.

My biggest goal for 2018 is to build a new website on a better platform. It is going to be be a major undertaking, but it will be worth it. I’m do for an update anyway, so the increasing link problems just pushed me over the edge. Stay tuned and also bear with me because I don’t know how smoothly the transition will go!

Beyond a new site, I expect 2018 to have a similar feel as 2017. I probably still won’t be playing as often locally, except for GK rounds and any private clubs I can play. The list is getting shorter and it’ll be harder and harder to gain access at the clubs remaining on my list. I always appreciate any help or connections anyone is willing to share. Check out the “Private Club Member?” page link on the left navigation and see exactly what I have left to play in Southern California.

I expect several more fun road trips to Northern California. I just officially joined the NCGA in order to sign up for some of their member outings. They don’t have as many as the SCGA, but there will be enough to keep me busy and fill out a strong calendar for the year.

I don’t anticipate any big out-of-state trips this year. I kind of put my 50 state goal on hold. Quantity will have some importance in 2018 because I expect to reach another big personal milestone of 1,000 courses played. I’m currently sitting at 932. So, as long as I have a comparable year to 2017, that should have me in the 1K club later in the year. What course it will be is still to be decided. It will depend on the timing and some other factors.

However it shapes up, I am excited for 2018 to be another good year for the Golf Nomad.

As I like to do at the end of every year, I have compiled my rankings for 2017. Below is the list of the Top 50 new courses I played last year, along with a separate list for the Top 15 new short courses I played because I always like to bring special attention to these often-overlooked tracks. All the courses on the list are linked to the stories featuring their corresponding reviews and pictures. Keep in mind that I often review more than one course in each articles, so you may have to scroll down within the story.


Top 50 New Courses Played in 2017:

  1. California Golf Club of San Francisco • South San Francisco, CA
  2. Wickenburg Ranch Golf & Social Club (Championship) • Wickenburg, AZ
  3. Bighorn Golf Club (The Mountains) • Palm Desert, CA
  4. Lake Merced Golf Club • Daly City, CA
  5. Eugene Country Club • Eugene, OR
  6. Toscana Country Club (South) • Indian Wells, CA
  7. Silverado Resort & Spa (North Course) • Napa, CA
  8. Toscana Country Club (North) • Indian Wells, CA
  9. Oakmont Country Club • Glendale, CA
  10. Rancho La Quinta Country Club (Jones Course) • La Quinta, CA
  11. Rancho La Quinta Country Club (Pate Course) • La Quinta, CA
  12. The Victory Course at Verrado Golf Club • Buckeye, AZ
  13. Eldorado Country Club • Indian Wells, CA
  14. The Founders Course at Verrado Golf Club • Buckeye, AZ
  15. Watson Ranch Golf Course • Coos Bay, OR
  16. Ironwood Country Club (South Course) • Palm Desert, CA
  17. Wynn Golf Club • Las Vegas, NV
  18. Spring Valley Lake Country Club • Victorville, CA
  19. Eagle Vines Golf Club • American Canyon, CA
  20. Lewis River Golf Course • Woodland, WA
  21. Sierra View Country Club • Roseville, CA
  22. Palm Valley Country Club (Championship) • Palm Desert, CA
  23. Visalia Country Club • Visalia, CA
  24. Sharp Park Golf Course • Pacifica, CA
  25. Blue Rock Springs Golf Club (East) • Vallejo, CA
  26. Mountain Springs Golf Club • Sonora, CA
  27. Sequoia Woods Country Club • Arnold, CA
  28. Oasis Golf Club (The Canyons Course) • Mesquite, NV
  29. Los Caballeros Golf Club • Wickenburg, AZ
  30. Stockdale Country Club • Bakersfield, CA
  31. Ironwood Country Club (North Course) • Palm Desert, CA
  32. Braemar Country Club • Los Angeles, CA
  33. Pine Mountain Lake Golf & Country Club • Groveland, CA
  34. Northwood Golf Club • Monte Rio, CA
  35. Lake Chabot Golf Course • Oakland, CA
  36. Metropolitan Golf Links • Oakland, CA
  37. Angel Park Golf Club (Palm) • Las Vegas, NV
  38. Lincoln Park Golf Course • San Francisco, CA
  39. Foxtail Golf Club (North) • Rohnert Park, CA
  40. Wildhorse Golf Club • Davis, CA
  41. Auburn Valley Golf Club • Auburn, CA
  42. Morgan Creek Golf Club • Roseville, CA
  43. Victoria Club • Riverside, CA
  44. Sunnyside Country Club • Fresno, CA
  45. Wildhawk Golf Club • Sacramento, CA
  46. Highland Falls Golf Club • Las Vegas, NV
  47. Diamond Oaks Golf Course • Roseville, CA
  48. Mare Island Golf Club • Mare Island, CA
  49. Foxtail Golf Club (South) • Rohnert Park, CA
  50. O’Donnell Golf Club • Palm Springs, CA

Top 15 New Short Courses Played:

  1. Northwood Golf Club • Monte Rio, CA
  2. Lincoln Park Golf Course • San Francisco, CA
  3. O’Donnell Golf Club • Palm Springs, CA
  4. Palm Desert Greens Country Club • Palm Desert, CA
  5. TPC Harding Park (Fleming 9) • San Francisco, CA
  6. Wickenburg Ranch Golf & Social Club (Li’l Wick) • Wickenburg, AZ
  7. Sun Lakes Country Club (Executive Course) • Banning, CA
  8. Oak Tree Country Club • Tehachapi, CA
  9. Mariners Point Golf Links and Practice Center • Foster City, CA
  10. Sunrise Country Club • Rancho Mirage, CA
  11. Chevy Chase Country Club • Glendale, CA
  12. Sunset Bay Golf Course • Coos Bay, OR
  13. Sebastopol Golf Course • Sebastopol, CA
  14. Golden Gate Park Golf Course • San Francisco, CA
  15. Wild Wings Golf Club • Woodland, CA

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