2014 Year in Review Part Three – Looking Ahead

I have two trips planned for this year and both will be completed by early April, meaning there is a decent chance I’ll be done my travelling before I play my first round of golf at my home club in 2015. A crazy thought.

Looking Ahead

In less than two weeks, I’ll be making my first ever trip to Texas for three nights and four days of golf.

I’ll be meeting a bunch of friends down there and the itinerary is already set.

On my day of arrival, I’ll be visiting Cypresswood Golf Club in Houston and teeing it up at the Tradition Course there, a Keith Foster design.

We’ll be heading to a friend’s house for a BBQ that night then the next day, I’ll be playing 36 holes at the vaunted Champions Golf Club.

Champions was founded in the late 1950s by Masters champions Jimmy Demaret and Jack Burke Jr. The club is known for having one of the best playing memberships in the world and in fact, there are handicap restrictions in place if you are to become a member. If you are under 50 years of age, you must have a 14 handicap OR LOWER and if you’re over 50, they’ll relax the restriction to allow players with an 18 handicap or lower.

There are 36 holes at Champions and I’m scheduled to play both the Jack Rabbit Course and the famous Cypress Creek Course.

From there, we’re driving south a few hours to a little town called Port Lavaca and the feature attraction of the trip: 36 holes at the incredibly exclusive Wolf Point Club!

Wolf Point is a labour of love from architect Mike Nuzzo and superintendent Don Mahaffey, who was there every step of the way as the course was being built.

Wolf Point has one member and he happens to be the owner of the club! Nuzzo and Mahaffey’s mandate was made clear early and they were essentially given the freedom to come up with whatever they saw fit to ensure that their client would never tire of the course that was being built for him. I implore you to check out this link, which takes you to Mr. Nuzzo’s website about Wolf Point, as he describes the process of building the course from concept to completion.

There will be approximately 40 other golf architecture enthusiasts visiting while I’m there, many of whom I’ve met in the past and this is one of those experiences that I’ll likely treasure for the rest of my life.

The trip will end with a round back in the Houston area on my day of departure at Walden on Lake Conroe Golf Club, a private club designed in the early 1970s by Robert von Hagge and PGA Tour player Bruce Devlin.

It should be a wonderful trip.

My second and perhaps final trip of 2015 will be a return trip to Georgia, as I get a second crack at seeing a Masters practice round and visiting Augusta National Golf Club.

If you recall, I had practice round tickets for Monday in 2014 but after 40 minutes onsite, the storm sirens blew and we were forced off the course. We’d wait in the parking lot for over two hours during a torrential storm and ultimately, the club would announce that the course would not reopen until the next day. Thankfully, the fine folks at the Masters not only reimbursed me for the tickets but they guaranteed me tickets again for the 2015 tournament.

So once again, I’ll be heading down with my friend Terry, only this time, we’ll be flying into Charlotte, North Carolina instead of Charleston, South Carolina.

We haven’t booked any golf yet but the plan is to play golf on our day of arrival, see the Masters practice round on Monday then spend the next three days playing golf in North Carolina before heading home on the Thursday night.

I’d love to visit Pinehurst Resort and play the newly restored #2 course that just hosted the 2014 US Open but it’s a busy place and I’m unsure of whether we can swing a round there on short notice.

Other courses on my radar are Charlotte Golf Club, Carolina Golf Club, Old Town Club, Mid Pines Golf Club and a few others. I’ve played a bit in North Carolina back in the early 2000s in the Winston-Salem area and it was very enjoyable.

That’s it for trips at this point in time.

I’ll likely take a few day trips here and there as well. I’d really like to see a couple of NY State courses like The Country Club of Buffalo and Oak Hill and there are a few courses in Ontario that I’d like to finally visit, like Toronto Golf Club and Redtail Golf Club.

I also hope to play a bit more competitive golf – whether that means playing more tournaments OR playing BETTER GOLF, well, I’d say I’d like to do both! My game has deteriorated in recent years and I go into 2015 with a six handicap (5.3 index). My goal is to get that down to a three handicap before the year is out and I hope to get one or two sub-par rounds in the books for 2015 as well.

As for Now on the Tee, my goal is simple – double digit posts! My writing output in 2014 was pathetic, to say the least and I truly hope to write much more this year. I will start with the long-awaited course profile of Pebble Beach Golf Links and I want to have that up in a few days. The AT&T Pebble Beach pro-am is coming up this weekend and I think it would be rather timely to finally get that profile up by the time the event starts.

I have plenty of other profiles to complete and I hope to once again get back to what I love doing so much – writing about great golf courses.

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