I get a chuckle out of reading my review from last year because I basically didn’t have any concrete plans of where to play or courses I would see, yet the year turned out to be the best on record. It wasn’t due to any real planning, but just to be flexible and available with my schedule and as a result, I had some of the best golf experiences.
As kind of a retrospective, I started this blog when I wanted to play different courses in the area, but had no idea what to expect other than what was on their website and what other couple sentences someone had to say on Yelp or wherever. I wanted to describe to everyone what the courses were like so when they were deciding where to play, they would know what to expect and would could anticipate at least a little bit of the sense of the place. At the same time, I started reading John Sabino’s blog, who was attempting to play the top 100 courses in the world and would write up a review of each one he played (he eventually played all of them). Before reading his blog, I had no idea that there were so many different designs, what the differences were, why it mattered and just how inspirational they could be. I started reading a few books on course architecture and learned a little more, started paying attention to the design attributes of courses I was playing, of every single course. Started learning more, started traveling to different courses and the best thing about it is there’s always more to learn, appreciate and think about. From being the first and only group on the grounds of Pine Valley to being at National Golf Links from sun up to sun down, to playing in a scramble at Ramblewood or playing the Harbor Municipal nine hole course near San Pedro, CA, my hope is that the reviews convey what it’s like to play at each course and if you’re going to play there, you can look at the review as one of the more comprehensive places to get info on it. For me, it’s fun to reflect on each course and re-live my time there, as well as come up with meaningful insight on them.
At any rate, 2018 is going to be yet another great year here at Golfadelphia. I know this because the first rounds of the year have already taken place at one of the meccas of public golf, some where that forged its own path in North America by breaking away from the resort model of the flashy clubhouse, pool/spa/restaurant complexes, perfect weather and immaculate Augusta-ish conditioning and embracing the UK model of links golf, walking the course in any type of weather, and liking it. Golf as it was meant to be. That’s right, PGG started the year off on the right foot by visiting Bandon Dunes and playing all of its courses. And it was glorious. The reviews will be coming soon but one thing is for sure, Bandon is a magical place, my kind of place, that is all about the golf, whose courses happen to be some of the best in the country and possibly the best collection of courses in the country if not the world. So that is how 2018 started off, taking a look at some of the best courses anyone can play, so long as they’re willing to commit to getting there. It also started off by marking another state off the list, already matching the state total from last year….
Sun rise to the first day of golf for PGG in 2018
Beyond Bandon, here are some other what I’ll call “definite possibilities” to keep an eye out for this year:
– Well, first of all, only about 5% of what I said last year actually happened. So I’ll take another crack at getting to some courses I haven’t been able to yet and/or review, such as Woodcrest, Reading CC, Back Creek, Royal Manchester and even though I’ve been there, need to review Bensalem CC.
– And while we’re at it, I still need to get to Byrne and Juniata, the other Philadelphia municipal courses. It’s a requirement if I’m gonna keep up this whole PGG thing!
– Maine and Rhode Island will be visited. True story, I had the trip all planned out last year, lodging and courses booked, when I was invited to play Pine Valley for the weekend, so that trip will happen this year!
– Even more new states? Its starting to look like only the ones I need to get to are the ones I need to intentionally visit for a round. No time is better than the present.
– Another top secret trip may happen, some where I’ve been so close to before but have been wanting to play for years. It’s been on my short short list for years. You’ll know it happened when it does…
– Still so much great golf in the Philly area I have yet to experience, public and private courses alike, there are some really good private courses I’m planning on visiting.
– As always, updates to courses I’ve already reviewed as I make my rounds.
– Ok enough with the vagueness. Hershey West is in my top 10 and is the only one not reviewed. I’ll be going there.
– Ah that felt better. Here’s a few more: The Knoll, Medford Village and Five Ponds.
– And remember, you want a course reviewed, let me know. I’ll get there eventually, hack my way around while snapping photos, then have a cold one at the bar, bragging about the one or two good shots or putts I had.
Here’s to a quick thaw out and getting back to playing. 300 yard drives for everyone!