Well, it was another productive year for me. As usual, I didn’t expect to play as much, but I somehow ended up visiting more than 100 new courses in 2018. I was also able to achieve some major milestones along the way.
Less Local, More Life on the Road
These past couple years have been kind of interesting as I am not playing as often as I used to. It’s kind of a “binge and purge” approach. Most of my local play in Southern California only happens with Greenskeeper.org outings and the occasional social round with a friend. Otherwise, I was able to take advantage of only one SCGA member outing at a private club (Andalusia) and a couple other opportunities to play private clubs such as Virginia, Woodland Hills, Sea ‘N Air and Mountain View.
Beyond that, all of my new courses came on various road trips to Northern California, Arizona, Nevada and Utah. I was able to get access to several great private clubs on some of those trips while also squeezing in as many new public courses as I could. After my most recent holiday trip up north, I finished the year with a respectable 109 new courses played.
The year started off on a good note with the launch of my new and vastly improved website. I had grown so frustrated and disappointed with the old site and it was sapping my energy to keep up with the blog posts. Links weren’t working and there were various other challenges that eventually forced my hand to make the change. I am so much happier with the new site. These past couple months have found me going through every single post to update links, improve SEO and make editorial notes on courses that have closed or changed names since I reviewed them.
One of the highlights of the year was finally breaking the seal on the Lake Tahoe/Truckee/Reno region. I’ve been planning out trips for years and building my bucket list in that beautiful area loaded with incredible golf. However, I’ve just never been able to make a trip happen for whatever reasons. This year, it finally worked out with one whirlwind trip in June followed by another “bonus” day up there in July. Though there is still plenty left for me to play around there, I was able to make a big dent in my wish list. You’ll see many of these courses ranked highly in my year-end Top 50 list below.
Obviously, the biggest milestone of 2018 was playing my 1,000th different golf course in July. Though this number was never a specific goal for me, it grew in importance the closer I got to it. It took a lot of work to finally arrange a special course to play, but a round on the legendary Lake Course at The Olympic Club in San Francisco was a surreal place to celebrate the achievement.
2019 – A Look Ahead
I know I say this every year, but 2019 will probably see a bit of a slow down. Marching toward 1,000 courses got me fired up this past year and kept me motivated. However, I do need to focus on my business and my overall financial situation this year. Traveling this often and playing so much golf is not cheap and I really don’t make any money from this site. It is purely a passion project and I purposely refrain from inundating the site with annoying ads and click bait.
This year will find me looking to save a little money while also working more. The expectation is that I can hopefully save up for a couple bigger golf trips instead of a bunch of smaller trips. My 50-state goal has kind of been on hold for awhile. I may get back to that. Having said that, another goal of playing every public course in California is also getting more within reach. I’m officially under 100 public courses left at this point.
Playing every private club in SoCal and/or NorCal has become less of a priority as I learn just how difficult some courses are to access without major connections. Of course, I graciously welcome any invites and will always be looking for opportunities to play any private clubs that I haven’t been to yet.
Top 50 Countdown
As I like to do at the end of every year, I have ranked my Top 50 new courses played in 2018. These are based solely on my personal experiences and observations. Below the main list, I have also broken out my annual list of the Top 10 new short courses played this past year. I played plenty of great short courses, and I like to give the best ones a little special attention (though a few also made the master list).
Thank you to everyone for your support. I hope you all have a great 2019!
Top 50 New Courses Played in 2018:
- The Preserve Golf Club • Carmel, CA
- Lahontan Golf Club • Truckee, CA
- Edgewood Tahoe • Stateline, NV
- Schaffer’s Mill Golf & Lake Club • Truckee, CA
- Coyote Moon Golf Course • Truckee, CA
- The Olympic Club (Lake Course) • San Francisco, CA
- Desert Mountain Club (Cochise) • Scottsdale, AZ
- Red Rock Country Club (Mountain Course) • Las Vegas, NV
- Montrêux Golf & Country Club • Reno, NV
- The Championship Course at Incline Village • Incline Village, NV
- Corral de Tierra Country Club • Corral de Tierra, CA
- Gold Canyon Golf Resort & Spa (Dinosaur Mountain) • Gold Canyon, AZ
- Entrada at Snow Canyon Country Club • St. George, UT
- The Club at Pasadera (Nicklaus Club – Monterey) • Monterey, CA
- The Bridges Golf Club • San Ramon, CA
- Ak-Chin Southern Dunes Golf Club • Maricopa, AZ
- Virginia Country Club • Long Beach, CA
- The Las Vegas Country Club • Las Vegas, NV
- Saddle Creek Golf Resort • Copperopolis, CA
- Somersett Golf & Country Club • Reno, NV
- Lahontan Golf Club (Par 3 Course) • Truckee, CA
- Golf Club of Estrella • Goodyear, AZ
- Sunbrook Golf Club • St. George, UT
- Tahoe Donner Golf Club • Truckee, CA
- Sky Mountain Golf Course • Hurricane, UT
- Oasis Golf Club (The Palmer Course) • Mesquite, NV
- Copper Canyon Golf Club • Buckeye, AZ
- Northstar California Resort • Truckee, CA
- Tilden Park Golf Course • Berkeley, CA
- Mountain View Country Club at La Quinta • La Quinta, CA
- Woodland Hills Country Club • Woodland Hills, CA
- Berkeley Country Club (formerly Mira Vista) • El Cerrito, CA
- The Ledges Golf Club • St. George, UT
- Legend Trail Golf Club • Scottsdale, AZ
- Greenhorn Creek Resort • Angels Camp, CA
- Andalusia Country Club • La Quinta, CA
- The Boulders Golf Club (North Course) • Carefree, AZ
- Rancho Murieta Country Club (North Course) • Rancho Murieta, CA
- Silverado Resort & Spa (South Course) • Napa, CA
- Windsor Golf Club • Windsor, CA
- Corica Park (South Course) • Alameda, CA
- Deer Ridge Country Club • Brentwood, CA
- Delta View Golf Club • Pittsburg, CA
- Baylands Golf Links • Palo Alto, CA
- Bartley Cavanaugh Golf Course • Sacramento, CA
- Woodbridge Golf & Country Club • Woodbridge, CA
- Wolf Run Golf Club • Reno, NV
- Red Hawk Golf and Resort (The Hills Course) • Sparks, NV
- Lookout Mountain Golf Club • Phoenix, AZ
- Napa Golf Course at Kennedy Park • Napa, CA
Top 10 New Short Courses Played in 2018:
- Lahontan Golf Club (Par 3 Course) • Truckee, CA
- Old Brockway Golf Course • Kings Beach, CA
- The Mountain Course at Incline Village • Incline Village, NV
- Boulder Creek Golf & Country Club • Boulder Creek, CA
- Dixie Red Hills Golf Course • St. George, UT
- Sand Hollow Resort (Links) • Hurricane, UT
- Gilroy Golf Course • Gilroy, CA
- Deep Cliff Golf Course • Cupertino, CA
- Somersett Canyon Nine (9/3) • Reno, NV
- Healdsburg Golf Club at Tayman Park • Healdsburg, CA