How to Avoid a Presidential Election Year
By Paul Laubach
There is little I find more annoying than politics, and every four years the agony increases 10 fold. My answer…schedule more golf.
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There is little I find more annoying than politics, and every four years the agony increases 10 fold.
My answer…schedule more golf.
Having spent the past five years playing and reporting on the best golf experiences available to the public, I feel well prepared to schedule an obscenely great links extravaganza for 2016 that should keep me away from the incessant political babble. For those of you who cannot get enough golf, you might sample the schedule I have put together for myself this year. (Feel free to skip the European cruise unless you have a major anniversary.)
January and February
January – Coachella Valley.This provides an opportunity to play several top 100 venues including the Stadium Course at PGA West and the Mountain Course at La Quinta. Additional rounds at great facilities in Palm Desert, Ranch Mirage and Indian Wells are also available. My ClubCorp membership will get me access to the Dinah Shore Tournament Course at Mission Hills.
February - Las Vegas. This year I plan a run out to my favorite “sleeper” course, Wolf Creek, as well as a return to Cascata. I may skip the $500 Shadow Creek round, although this is a must if you have never been there.
March-Florida. Two foursomes from the “Dewsweepers” at La Costa are headed for an extraordinary week which includes numerous PGA tournament sites and plenty of top 100 golf. The Copperhead course at Innisbrook, World Woods-Pine Barrens, Bay Hill and TPC Sawgrass get return visits, with my first chance to play Streamsong’s two new courses sandwiched in between. You can see more about this trip on my earlier blog post here.
April To July
April-Maui. Kapalua Plantation, site of next week’s Tournament of Champions, is first on the list. I am also looking forward to another round on the Kapalua Bay course. The Wailea courses will round out the week. Unfortunately, The Experience at Koele is closed and Challenge at Manele will only be available to hotel guests on Lanai.
June/July-Copenhagen, Norway, British Isles. Probably not much golf during my 35th anniversary cruise, but we will be in Scotland/Ireland for four days, so a round or two on the links is not outside the realm of possibility.
August-Wisconsin/Michigan. The most affordable, best golf vacation available. Several days at Whistling Straits to play the Straits and Irish courses, as well as Blackwolf Run River is enough to get the juices flowing just putting pen to paper. We will also play the 2017 U.S. Open venue at Erin Hills. The convenient ferry to Michigan will allow additional rounds at Arcadia Bluffs, Bay Harbor and Forest Dunes, amongst others.
September-Greenbrier to Gettysburg, and beyond. This historical trip is laden with top rated golf courses. Still in the planning stages, but the intent is to start at Greenbrier for two top 100 courses and maybe a short trek to play Cascades at Homestead. From there we backtrack to the Golden Horseshoe and Kingsmill venues in Williamsburg.
We then head across Chesapeake Bay to take on the Links at Lighthouse Sound. Next up is a return visit to Bulle Rock before making our way to Gettysburg. No golf at this historical site, but I have a standing invitation to play Lancaster Country Club.
The trip continues to New York where we will try to get on Bethpage Black, as well as take advantage of an offer to play the exclusive Maidstone golf club in the Hamptons.
A quick ferry across Long Island Sound drops us near Foxwoods, while I can enjoy the Lake of Isles golf course. Last stop would be to visit my daughter in the Boston area. Still some logistics to work out on this one.
Lake Of Isles
October To December
October-Pebble Beach. Depending on how things are going, we may add Cordevalle to this run. This would allow us to play Pasatiempo and Cordevalle, in addition to Pebble Beach, Spyglass Hill and the Links at Spanish Bay.
November/December- Election over, time to rest.
The scorecard: At least five top 10, and another five top 20. The potential number of top 100 venues is over 30. Add in a couple of exclusive private venues with a stop in Scotland and it should be a great golf year. There is no better way to avoid the political noise than spending my time traveling the links while they stump around the country huffing and puffing. Further, other than March and August, these trips are non-golfing wife friendly, so I have Birthday, Mother’s Day, Anniversary and Christmas presents covered.
Watch the Tournament of Champions on the Kapalua Plantation course this week.
In particular check out the drives on 17 and 18. The downhill slope is enough to make the everyday hacker achieve Bubba Watson distance.
Paul Laubach is completely unqualified to provide expertise with respect to golf course rankings and design, however, he is a highly opinionated golf addict who believes everyone should be entitled to his thoughts. He has recently released Confessions of a Golfaholic: A Guide to Playing America’s Top 100 Public Golf Courses; now available in hardcover edition. Please visit tophundredgolf.com regularly for more (im)practical information.