Later today, weather-permitting, I should be on the first tee at St. Thomas G&CC, the Stanley Thompson designed gem just outside London, Ontario. Two of my friends from St. Catharines, Ryan and Steve, are joining me on this journey that will ultimately see us fly out of Detroit early Monday morning and arrive in Denver, Colorado around 7:45am.
From there, we have a pretty decent itinerary for our trip:
Castle Pines GC
Castle Rock, Colorado
We’ll be playing the course that once hosted the PGA Tour “International” event that was notable for its use of the Stableford format of scoring. Castle Pines sits 29th on the most recent Golf Digest list of the best American courses but more importantly, I hear the club makes the world’s greatest milkshakes. I can’t wait to try one!
At this point, we aren’t scheduled to play a second round on Monday but if we do, we’ll likely stay in the Castle Rock area and play the Jim Engh designed Red Hawk Ridge GC.
Tuesday AM –
I’m pretty excited to get the chance to play this recently designed Bill Coore & Ben Crenshaw course, one that is hosting next year’s Solheim Cup competition. I don’t expect to be blown away but I’ve heard many positive things about the course. Regardless, I’m a big fan of Coore and Crenshaw so I have to imagine I’ll like the place.
Tuesday PM –
CommonGround is a recent Tom Doak design in Aurora, CO that is getting good reviews for a low budget, municipally-run track. CommonGround is co-hosting this year’s US Amateur with Cherry Hills and I understand the conditioning has never been better.
Wednesday and Thursday –
I’m finally getting the chance to return to one of my favourite courses in the world after first visiting in 2010. The advance weather forecast looks hot and dry so I’m elated about the chance to experience the golf course the way it was meant to be played. Of course, Ballyneal is a walking-only course and I’m really looking forward to how my buddies handle the walk in searing heat!
Friday, Saturday and Sunday –
Dismal River GC
We finish the trip off with three great days at Dismal River, which is relatively close to the sublime Sand Hills GC. We are taking part in the 5th Major, an unofficial GCA event hosted by a Dismal member. There will be 60 guys competing for the big trophy in a two-man better ball competition and I am greatly anticipating the camaraderie out in the Nebraska sand hills. To top things off, Tom Doak, who is designing the second course out at Dismal, will be at the event for a day and will not only be talking about his newest course but also will be leading a tour of the new track! Perhaps I’ll get the opportunity to play a little dirt golf while we’re at it!
I plan on posting updates to my Twitter and Facebook accounts so feel free to follow along – check the right sidebar for those links. There will be a lot to talk about, considering that we plan on playing at least 14 rounds of golf in the 8 days we’re away! I’ll also be bringing a camera out with me and look forward to getting some great shots for future blog posts…maybe I’ll get them posted in 2014 when I catch up with all my other reviews!
Here’s hoping for decent weather!