As an avid golfer, I undoubtedly have my own personal list of bucket list golf courses in which I strive to play before kicking it. If you are an avid golfer like myself, then you likely have your own bucket list of golf destinations.
If you’re Phil Mickelson though, there is no course on the planet that is on his bucket list. Not one. Last week during the Deutsch Bank Championship in Boston, The Boston Globe conducted a survey of around 100 PGA Tour players and asked what golf courses were on their bucket list. Some of their answers might surprise you:
I’ve played them all. All the ones I’ve wanted to, anyway.
My bucket list would be like going to Wimbledon, going to the French Open, going to the World Cup, other sporing events that have nothing to do with golf. If I had a normal job, I’d probably say otherwise.
I don’t play any leisure golf. If I told my wife I was going to take a week and play some courses I’ve never been to before, she’d slap me silly.
Now in Jonathan Byrd and Zach Johnson’s defense, at least they did provide a couple courses that might be on their bucket list, instead of a rich, stuck-up answer like Phil. Byrd mentioned Pine Valley, San Francisco Golf Club and Royal Dornoch. Zach also mentioned San Francisco Golf Club along with Chicago Golf Club and Royal Melbourne.
On the other side of the spectrum, Bubba Watson, Ryan Moore, John Daly, Boo Weekley, Charl Schwartzel and Jeff Overton along with Phil were Debbie-Downers and all declined to give even one course on their bucket list. I mean how boring is that. While lame at times, surveys like this are kind-of fun in their own way. These guys play golf for a living and I understand if their leisure time doesn’t include traveling the world even more and playing additional top-notch golf courses. I like to think it’s the same with me and my job, just the complete opposite. I get up and go to work everyday and sit in a cubicle for most of the day. I don’t want to do more of that, just the minimum to get my paycheck every two weeks. I would much rather be playing golf for sure. So in a way, these guys are opposite. They’d rather do other things when not earning a living on the golf course. It’s totally understandable. But it’s just a fun survey and instead of being lame, they could have provided an answer.
It seems there are a handful of prestigious private clubs that dominate the list. Pine Valley, Cypress Point, Seminole, San Francisco Golf Club, Shinnecock Hills, National Golf Links and Sebonack Golf Club all were mentioned the most during the survey. The guys who never have qualified for The Masters or Open Championship also added Augusta and St. Andrews to their list.
So this whole fun survey got me thinking. What are the golf courses on my bucket list? I decided to list only public courses, since I would most likely never even sniff the entrance of the most exclusive private clubs listed above.
In no particular order, here are my ten top golf courses I’d like to add to my bucket list:
- Pebble Beach Golf Links – The “creme dela creme” of public golf. How can you not have Pebble on your bucket list of golf? But while I’m there, I’ll go ahead and make a week out of it and add Spyglass, Spanish Bay and Del Monte. (Also, throw in Cypress Point if someone wants to hook me up.)
- Bethpage Black – I definitely need to take a picture next to the infamous sign that tells me how “Extremely Difficult” the Black course is. Let’s make another week out of it. I’ll go ahead and play the Blue, Green, Yellow and Red courses as well. (Once again, if someone wants to hook me up, I’ll go ahead and go play Sebonack and National Golf Links while I am there.)
- Kiawah Island Ocean Course – While I have only played one “coastal” course in my life, for some reason I am attracted to golf courses right on the ocean. Kiawah Island will fit that description.
- Pacific and Bandon Dunes – While Pacific and Bandon Dunes are the stars, I guess I will have to stay a full week and play Bandon Trails and Old MacDonald as well.
- Whistling Straits Golf Club – Dammit, another week of golf I have to play. While The Straits course is the major golf tournament host, they have another three courses in the area I must stay and play; The Irish, along with The River and The Meadow Valley’s at nearby Blackwolf Run.
- TPC Sawgrass – I know I can hit that damn #17 island green. I do it all the time on Tiger Woods golf. It’s a 9-iron I think in real life, depending on the wind.
- Pinehurst No. 2 – I sure am racking up these golf trips. I started with ten bucket list courses, but while I am at these locations, I might as well play them all. Pinehurst is no different, except they have 9 different courses. This might force me to play 36 holes for a couple days to get them all in during one week. Number 2 is the gem of the resort, so I will have to get that one in for sure.
- Chambers Bay Golf Course – The host of the 2015 U.S. Open is another ocean course that is a must. This time though, it’s only one golf course.
- Kapalua Plantation Course – Well I can’t go to Maui for just a quick trip, so most likely this will have to be another week long thing. Luckily along with the Plantation Course, the Bay Course is nearby and surely there are other gems in the area.
- Trump National Doral Blue Monster – I only have one other Florida destination on my list, so I need to spend more time there. During my trip to The Blue Monster, I will go ahead and stay to play the other four courses; The Great White, The Gold, The Red, and The McLean Course.
So there you go. My golf bucket list. It ended up being more like 36 courses, but the ten ultimate destinations are in there somewhere.
Do you have a bucket list of courses you’d like to play? Let me know below or hit us up on Twitter @Front9Back.