Golf Blog

2016 Recap: 12 months, 12 winning rounds.

Contrary to what you may find elsewhere on the internet, 2016 was an awesome year.  I was able to play over 100 rounds of golf at some of America's finest destinations with some of America's greatest people.  I even got a couple of Canadian rounds on the books.  Check out 2016's winners for round of the month below.

January 2016:  Streamsong with Mayo and Ogle.

The year started out  strongly with a journey to Florida for the PGA Show and some golf with Ashley Mayo of Golf Digest and Sean Ogle of Breaking Eighty (The second  best golf blog on the internet)  36 at Streamsong was hard to beat.  Ashley and Sean are even tougher to beat.  

Fantastic use of the sandy terrain at Streamsong Red.

Fantastic use of the sandy terrain at Streamsong Red.

A lot of pictures happen with this threesome.

A lot of pictures happen with this threesome.

February 2016: Wolf Creek with Ashmaeb.

Wolf Creek is just about as memorable of a golf course as one can find the U.S.  In a winter month vacation, Maebs and I brought the Instagram heat to Wolf Creek.  Be sure to click on any of the course links for more photos and stories.

AshMaeb goes deep in Mesquite

AshMaeb goes deep in Mesquite

The difficult par 3 8th at Wolf Creek.

The difficult par 3 8th at Wolf Creek.

March 2016:  Spanish Oaks.  Can't keep a good Texas caddie down.

On a trip to Texas, I was paired up with an all world caddie at Spanish Oaks, his yardages were spot on and his knowledge of the course shaved countless strokes.  I even canned a few long putts that I would have otherwise misread.  

The 17th at Spanish Oaks.

The 17th at Spanish Oaks.

The caddie made the difference in March.

The caddie made the difference in March.

April 2016: Consolation Round: 2016 Golf Digest TYPHI.

After Cody Ross and I suffered a tough loss in a playoff at the Think Young Play Hard Invitational, it was time for T-Rex to take on the Links at Bali Hai in the consolation bowl.  Sarah Moodie, Jeremy Lusk, and I hit the links hard indeed.

The 3 putt penalty hat lacks style and functionality

The 3 putt penalty hat lacks style and functionality

May 2016: Pinehurst No. 2 with Payne Stewart

I was never fortunate enough to have met the man in person, but the spirit of Payne Stewart lives on.  There is no place where this is more true than at Pinehurst No. 2.  The site of Payne's first US Open Victory and iconic victory pose.

To the left:  Payne and I discuss pre-round strategy.   Above : I fail to properly execute pre-round strategy discussed.

To the left: Payne and I discuss pre-round strategy.  Above: I fail to properly execute pre-round strategy discussed.

June 2016: The Massacre at Merion

This one was an easy victory for Merion as it is without a doubt one of the most special places that I have ever visited in the world of golf.  In an epic Merion showdown, it was the women vs the men.  Although the women were fantastic hosts, they took no mercy on Sean Ogle and I, scoring a lopsided victory in what would later be called "The Massacre at Merion."  Even though we suffered a crushing defeat, Sean and I would consider the loss a victory.

Our group at  Merion

Our group at Merion

Bobby Jones completed the Grand Slam of Golf on this very hole.

Bobby Jones completed the Grand Slam of Golf on this very hole.

July 2016: Friar's Head with Captain Joe, Ashley Mayo, and Jeff Blind

As I look back on 2016, it would be tough to remember a round more enjoyable than this one at Friars Head.  As Ashley Mayo reminds us, it's not where you play, but who you play with that makes the difference.  This round had both areas covered in style.

The 9th tee box at Friars Head is special.

The 9th tee box at Friars Head is special.

So many birdie push-ups.

So many birdie push-ups.

August:  Water Balloons at Manzanita Golf Course.

My good friend Joey the Cat was turning 30 and it was time to celebrate.  What better way to beat the heat, but with water balloons.  I kicked things off with a splash here in Oregon.

Behind the scenes action shots taken by  Andrew Herrold .  Even though I was soaked on the 1st tee, my pants dried quickly and the rest of the round was a blast.

Behind the scenes action shots taken by Andrew Herrold.  Even though I was soaked on the 1st tee, my pants dried quickly and the rest of the round was a blast.

September: Robert Trent Jones and the RTJ golf trail

With a full line up of golf bros and endless golf, the RTJ trail in Alabama really felt like one endless round.  Perhaps the best value in all of public golf, the trail is a fantastic destination for any group of die hard golf buddies.

I would card one of my better rounds of 2016 at  Grand National's Lake Course  with a 72.

I would card one of my better rounds of 2016 at Grand National's Lake Course with a 72.

October: Golfing next to the President at Olympia Fields. Chicago Cubs win the World Series

Few people in the world get the chance to play golf with an active President.  I am currently not one of those people.  However, I did have the privilege of playing golf on the same course at the same time with Barack Obama at Olympia Fields.  Later on, the Cubs would win the world series.  It was a good trip to Chicago. 

POTUS Obama tees off as I play the other way at Olympia Fields.

POTUS Obama tees off as I play the other way at Olympia Fields.

November: $9 solo mission on Thanksgiving at Tuscan Ridge

While playing golf with friends is fantastic, heading out to the course as a single can be just as satisfying.  After paying a modest $9 greens fee, it was just me, the grass, and my golf ball as I worked up a Thanksgiving appetite.

A look back on the 3rd hole at Tuscan Ridge.

A look back on the 3rd hole at Tuscan Ridge.

December: The Club at Estancia

When my plane landed in Phoenix my wife informed me that it was snowing in Seattle.  Although, I missed my wife, I didn't miss the weather.  The next day I would be teeing it up at Estancia in 70 degree desert conditions.    Between our fantastic hosts and Tom Fazio's visual assault on my golfing senses, The Club at Estancia delivered one of the year's most enjoyable experiences.  

Like any good New Year's post, I will close with a vague and immeasurable New Year's resolution.  "Play more golf in 2017."

The short 11th at Estancia

The short 11th at Estancia

Looking back on the 12th hole

Looking back on the 12th hole

New York!

My friend, "Captain Joe" (pictured to the right) owns and operates a scavenger hunt company called Clash Scavenger Hunts.  When he informed me that he would be traveling to New York for a hunt and golf was on the agenda, I gladly joined him for the festivities.

First up on the agenda was the nearby Links at Ferry Point.  As far as golf options in NYC go, Ferry Point is the closest you can hit a golf ball outside of Manhattan other than the driving range at Chelsea Piers or ripping one down Wall Street (which is not recommended).  The course boasts some fantastic skyline views and the tall fescue was a nice golden brown.  In the shot of the day, Cory Bradburn holed out a wedge for eagle on the 8th hole.  

The Whitestone Bridge owns the view on the 18th at Ferry Point.

The Whitestone Bridge owns the view on the 18th at Ferry Point.

Upon arriving in New York, Joe and I decided that it would be a wise idea to document his visit to the big apple via a series of suggestive poses.  We named the photos for added effect.

The 2nd in a series of 6 photos comes from Korea Town where our group did some intense Korean style karaoke.  As it turns out, my voice is slightly less amazing than Whitney Houston's.  However, the power of our performances made up for any noticeable gaps.

Picture #2 is called "Mystery"  As in, it is a mystery why this photo was named mystery.

Picture #2 is called "Mystery"  As in, it is a mystery why this photo was named mystery.

Captain Joe, moves to a more "Urban" setting somewhere in the East Village for picture #3.

Captain Joe, moves to a more "Urban" setting somewhere in the East Village for picture #3.

The walk from the 15th green to the 16th tee is like taking a tropical vacation.

The walk from the 15th green to the 16th tee is like taking a tropical vacation.

Another clutch birdie captures the match and sends Jeff and Ashley to the ground for 35 push-ups.

Another clutch birdie captures the match and sends Jeff and Ashley to the ground for 35 push-ups.

There would be no rest for the duo as Joe and I would be up early for 36 at the iconic Winged Foot Golf Club.  It would be 36 holes of Top 100 golf.

On the 18th hole on the East Course, Joe would uncharacteristically flub his approach leaving 80 yards in for his 3rd shot.  That 3rd shot would find the bottom of the cup for a walk off birdie.  However, the West course would shut us out and concede no birdies for our twosome.

At 146 yards, the 13th hole on the  East Course  is referred to as the shortest par 5 in the world.  Both Joe and I would make 5 to confirm this fact.

At 146 yards, the 13th hole on the East Course is referred to as the shortest par 5 in the world.  Both Joe and I would make 5 to confirm this fact.

Joe Garvey does not putt from the rough, he putts from the sand.  Not advisable.

Joe Garvey does not putt from the rough, he putts from the sand.  Not advisable.

With the golf portion of the trip behind us, it was time to take in some more New York City, take some more pictures, and finish up with an all world scavenger hunt around New York.

The bridge to Brooklyn.  More commonly know as the Brooklyn Bridge.

The bridge to Brooklyn.  More commonly know as the Brooklyn Bridge.

"You're  Abe Froman ?  The Sausage King of Chicago?"

"You're Abe Froman?  The Sausage King of Chicago?"

Captain Joe's 1st in an outstanding series of 6 photos.  This one is aptly named "Skyline"

Captain Joe's 1st in an outstanding series of 6 photos.  This one is aptly named "Skyline"

Cory Bradburn tries to give his hole out eagle some company with an ace on 17.  He would miss wide right.

Cory Bradburn tries to give his hole out eagle some company with an ace on 17.  He would miss wide right.

After our warm up round at Ferry Point, our foursome blasted onto the scene at Friar's Head.  Our foursome consisted of Ashley Mayo, Jeff Blind, Captain Joe, and myself.  Perhaps one of the greatest pairings the world has even seen.

Friar's Head is a Long Island gem and we took full advantage of the opportunity.  The push-up game was in full effect and the birdies started early on the 2nd hole.  Long putts were made to save par and the hilarious comments reached an all time high

Ashley Mayo finds the fairway on the 15th.  Ashley always finds the fairway.

Ashley Mayo finds the fairway on the 15th.  Ashley always finds the fairway.

With Friar's Head in the books, it was time to get our jam on and lucky for us, an evening of 80's rock was on the calendar.  REO Speedwagon would open for Def Leppard at Jones Beach, just outside of Manhattan.  "Pour Some Sugar on Me" did not disappoint and Captain Joe and I head banged like it was 1985.

Jones Beach is a great venue to catch a summer time show.

Jones Beach is a great venue to catch a summer time show.

One of the better feelings in golf is pulling your ball out of the hole with the flagstick still in.

One of the better feelings in golf is pulling your ball out of the hole with the flagstick still in.

The proper way to pose on Winged Foot's finishing 18th.  Polo by  State Apparel.

The proper way to pose on Winged Foot's finishing 18th.  Polo by State Apparel.

Clash Scavenger Hunts are high energy, wildly fun events designed for corporate team building.  In this case, the business students at NYU were in for quite a ride.

Dubbed, the "Tech Party King" by the San Francisco Chronicle, Joe Garvey has created a scavenger hunt that will blow your minds.  If you haven't crowd surfed in an elevator, you haven't lived.

The champs pose with the legendary "Clash Cup"

The champs pose with the legendary "Clash Cup"

Thanks to Ferry Point, Winged Foot, and Friar's Head for hosting us and a bigger thanks to Def Leppard for rocking so hard.  I vow to return and rock again.