2019: A Year in Review

I’ve been hinting at a slow-down for the past few years as I’ve wanted to cut back a little on my golf spending. 2019 was the first year that prediction finally came true to some extent. In years past, I would average playing upwards of 100+ new courses each year. In 2019, I ended up playing 62 new courses. That’s a lot by most people’s standards, but it definitely represented a big drop for me.

I very rarely played any casual rounds in Southern California, so almost all of my golf was centered around a handful of trips up to Northern California (which were mainly centered around NCGA member outings on private clubs I wanted to play). I also took a couple short trips out to Arizona, which were centered around free invites to play some top courses. After surpassing the 1,000-course mark in 2018, I still got past 1,100 in 2020. It may be awhile before I get to 1,200, though.

With 2020 just beginning, I am expecting an even bigger slow-down this year. It’s weird to say, but golf just isn’t a huge priority right now and my budget is tight. I’ll either be cutting way back on my spending or I’ll be considering going back to a “normal” job. In either case, that’s for sure going to mean a lot less golf and travel. It’s kind of sad, but also kind of liberating. These past 9 or so years have been so much fun with the blog and so many incredible golf adventures. It’s been an obsession. It’s also been expensive as hell. It’s nice to take a break.

I’ll never be done playing golf and wanting to travel everywhere I can to tee it up. I’m not too far away from completing one goal to play every public course in the state of California. I also need to finish up my 50 states list someday. A little break in the action should help me recenter myself personally, and I know at some point the obsession will take back over. Once I am in a position to be able to travel more again, you can be sure I will!

I know this is a weird tone for the article, but I like to tell it like it is. I’m sure my regular followers have noticed bigger gaps in between new posts and less activity overall on this site and on social media. This site is not going anywhere, and I will keep putting up new content as things do come up.

Even with less golf in 2019, I still had a great year and got to play some exceptional courses in California and Arizona. I was able to access a few wonderful private clubs in the Bay Area. I also got to play alongside course architect, Forrest Richardson, on a course he personally designed (Mountain Shadows). That was truly one of the highlights of the year.

Like I did with the Tahoe region last year, I was able to conquer another new part of California by visiting Plumas County (just north of Tahoe) and playing amazing tracks. Grizzly Ranch has been at the top of my wishlist for awhile now, and it lived up to my expectations.

As always, I like to go back and rank my “best new courses played” in the past year. I will do a Top 30 this time since the pool isn’t as deep as in years past. Links to each course review are included (just click on the course name). I will also include a separate list of my 6 favorite short courses played.

By the way, many of these top courses are featured in my 2020 Bogeys Across America Calendar. I still have a few left for just $10 each (shipping included). You can PayPal me at bogeysacrossamerica@gmail.com or email me there if you prefer a different way to pay (by check or Venmo).

Here is my Top 30 new courses of 2019:

  1. CordeValle Golf Club • San Martin, CA
  2. Orinda Country Club • Orinda, CA
  3. Grizzly Ranch Golf Club • Portola, CA
  4. Troon North Golf Club (Monument) • Scottsdale, AZ
  5. We-Ko-Pa Golf Club (Cholla) • Fort McDowell, AZ
  6. Napa Valley Country Club • Napa, CA
  7. Callippe Preserve Golf Course • Pleasanton, CA
  8. We-Ko-Pa Golf Club (Saguaro) • Fort McDowell, AZ
  9. Old Greenwood • Truckee, CA
  10. TPC Stonebrae Country Club • Hayward, CA
  11. Hiddenbrooke Golf Club • Vallejo, CA
  12. The Golf Club at Gray’s Crossing • Truckee, CA
  13. Bailey Creek Golf Course • Lake Almanor, CA
  14. Stanford Golf Course • Palo Alto, CA
  15. Indian Valley Golf Club • Novato, CA
  16. Whitehawk Ranch Golf Club • Clio, CA
  17. The Dragon at Nakoma Resort • Clio, CA
  18. Plumas Pines Golf Resort • Graeagle, CA
  19. Marin Country Club • Novato, CA
  20. Sonoma Golf Club • Sonoma, CA
  21. The Short Course at Mountain Shadows • Paradise Valley, AZ
  22. Crystal Springs Golf Course • Burlingame, CA
  23. Hidden Valley Lake Golf Course • Hidden Valley Lake, CA
  24. Wilcox Oaks Golf Club • Red Bluff, CA
  25. Graeagle Meadows Golf Course • Graeagle, CA
  26. The Phoenician Golf Club • Scottsdale, AZ
  27. Red Mountain Ranch Country Club • Mesa, AZ
  28. The Links at Squaw Creek • Squaw Valley, CA
  29. Boundary Oak Golf Course • Walnut Creek, CA
  30. Rooster Run Golf Club • Petaluma, CA

And here are the Top 6 short courses:

  1. The Short Course at Mountain Shadows • Paradise Valley, AZ
  2. Lake Almanor Country Club • Lake Almanor, CA
  3. Lake Almanor West Golf Course • Chester, CA
  4. Arbuckle Golf Club • Arbuckle, CA
  5. Vintner’s Golf Club • Yountville, CA
  6. Las Positas Golf Course (Links 9) • Livermore, CA

 

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