Wide Ranging Trip, August 19-15, 2017
With only 29 courses left to complete all my current bucket lists, planning out itineraries becomes more important as the options are fewer. I decided to make this next trip one that would cover most of the distant courses I had left, excluding the states on CO and NM (where 7 of the 29 are located). Pat and I are planning to visit her younger son Clark and daughter in law Alex and their kids in October in Glenwood Springs, CO. We expect to be playing these seven as part of this visit, after the birth of their third child (and our 7th grandchild) in late September.
Outside of CO and NM, the big “chunks” of distant courses are in central California (2 courses in Fresno and Sacramento) and near Lake Tahoe (three courses on either the CA or NV side of the Lake), as well as my two remaining states where I have not played…UT and AK. So that makes 7 courses, plus one left in St. Paul, MN and two in WI. If I can successfully play these 10, and play the 7 in CO and NM, that would bring me down to 12 left…and the end of the tunnel would then certainly be in sight.
So as I type this with my two hunt/peck fingers, I am on board a Delta flight from Boston to Minneapolis-St. Paul and hope to play Keller Golf Course at 6:45am Sunday morning 8/20. Keller hosted two PGA Championships in 1932 and 1954 (won by Olin Dutra and Chick Harbert respectively), the 1949 Western Open won by Sam Snead, and the St. Paul Open 32 times between 1930 and 1968. It opened in 1929, has always been a “muni”, and was designed by Paul Coates, a civil engineer with no experience in golf architecture. In 2014 it was renovated by golf course architect Richard Mandell. After playing Keller, the plan is to head back to MSP airport and fly to Salt Lake City to play Salt Lake Country Club around 2-2:30pm Sunday afternoon, and then fly at 8:35pm from SLC to Anchorage, AK, arriving at 11:28 Sunday night.
Monday, weather permitting (rain in forecast) I am hoping to play Anchorage Golf Course at 7am. If all goes well to this point, I will have played in all 50 states!! Then I need to catch a flight around 12:30pm to Seattle to connect to a flight to Fresno, CA arriving Fresno at 10:12pm.
Tuesday, I am scheduled to play San Joaquin CC (hosted 2001 Mid-Amateur won by Tim Jackson who beat George Zahringer 1 up in the match play final) at 8:22am, then drive about 3 hours to Del Paso CC near Sacramento (host of 2015 Senior Open won by Jeff Maggert). I then drive two hours to the Lake Tahoe area and on Wednesday play three courses that have been on a USA Top 100 or are on the 2016 or 2017 Golf Week Top 100 Modern list: Edgewood Tahoe (NV), Clear Creek (NV), and Lahontan GC (CA).
On Thursday morning, I fly from Reno to Milwaukee (connecting through Las Vegas) and play Blue Mound G&CC (host of the 1933 PGA Championship won by Gene Sarazen), then drive about 2:30 northwest to Mike Keiser’s latest golf resort…Sand Valley to play its first course designed by Coore & Crenshaw as well as 9 holes that have been completed on its second course, Mammoth Dunes, designed by David McLay Kidd (who also designed Gamble Sands). Then, I drive back to Milwaukee airport and fly to Boston…getting home about 1:00am on Saturday morning 8/26. I very tired just typing it!!!
Progress reports as the trip unwinds…