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

Philadelphia !!!

After receiving an invitation to play the historic East Course at Merion Golf Club, a full scale golf trip was planned.  Sean Ogle of Breaking Eighty and I were coming to Philadelphia to take on one of the nation's greatest sporting and golfing towns.  We arrived at our accomodations just off of the 1st fairway at Merion and had time for an evening stroll to preview our round the next day.  The home we were staying in actually served as the USGA headquarters during the 2013 US Open.  A couple of lucky dogs indeed !! 

A quick preview stroll of Merion's 10th hole.

A quick preview stroll of Merion's 10th hole.

After a fantastic day on the course, we decided to hit the showers.  If you ever have a chance to play Merion, I highly recommend the showers.  I can only describe the feeling as stepping under a waterfall of golf history.  

For our second round, we had the privilege of stepping out onto one of the area's most exclusive clubs at Gulph Mills.

One of the days many missed opportunities would come on the par 5 7th in the form of a short missed eagle putt.

One of the days many missed opportunities would come on the par 5 7th in the form of a short missed eagle putt.

After a tense match with the women, it came down to the 18th hole.  Just look at the competitive ferocity Sean displays as he rolls in his putt for par on the uphill 18th hole.  Victory would be ours and the series would be tied.  Unfortunately, our gracious hosts for the first several days would have to depart before a deciding match could be played.  Looks like a return trip will be necessary.

Move over Tiger Woods' fist pump.

Move over Tiger Woods' fist pump.

With 2 rounds in the books it was time to jump on the Tilly train and visit the final resting place of Mr AW Tillinghast, Philadelphia Cricket Club.  We were fortunate enough to be guests of Mark and John of the Philadelphia Golf Association and we had one of the final tee times before Senior Player's Championship took over the course.  You can view all of the photos from our round here.

I suffered a sandy fate at the par 3 10th hole.

I suffered a sandy fate at the par 3 10th hole.

With the halfway point behind us, we decided to head into town to get our tourist activities on.  On the menu was Rocky, steaks, and the Phillies.

The dueling steakhouses of Geno's and Pat's.  Serious decisions must be made.

The dueling steakhouses of Geno's and Pat's.  Serious decisions must be made.

Our round at Rolling Green would go into extra holes as we upgraded from 18 to 27.

Our round at Rolling Green would go into extra holes as we upgraded from 18 to 27.

The opening hole at Aronimink inspires excitement.  I couldn't get to the 1st tee fast enough.

The opening hole at Aronimink inspires excitement.  I couldn't get to the 1st tee fast enough.

An old caddy shack between 7 and 11 adds some character to the golf course.

An old caddy shack between 7 and 11 adds some character to the golf course.

The course at Aronimink was a pleasure to photograph and a fine way to conclude an all world trip to Philadelphia.  

Sean starts the trip off right by ripping one down the middle.  You can see how close the dining area is to the 1st tee in this photo.

Sean starts the trip off right by ripping one down the middle.  You can see how close the dining area is to the 1st tee in this photo.

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

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

It was the men vs the women for an all out death match at Merion.  Sean and i would succumb to the rough and suffer a devastating defeat in what would later be coined "The Massacre at Merion"

It was the men vs the women for an all out death match at Merion.  Sean and i would succumb to the rough and suffer a devastating defeat in what would later be coined "The Massacre at Merion"

The opening hole at Gulph Mills lets visitors know they are in for a delicious test of golf, aka a testy treat.

The opening hole at Gulph Mills lets visitors know they are in for a delicious test of golf, aka a testy treat.

Our foursome for 2 great rounds at  Merion  and  Gulph Mills .

Our foursome for 2 great rounds at Merion and Gulph Mills.

The clubhouse comes perilously close to the 2nd green at Philly Cricket Club.

The clubhouse comes perilously close to the 2nd green at Philly Cricket Club.

One of the more classic yet unique tee markers that I have encountered..

One of the more classic yet unique tee markers that I have encountered..

Not a golf course

Not a golf course

Polishing my model poses in front of the rocky steps.

Polishing my model poses in front of the rocky steps.

Geno's or Pat's Poll

For our fourth round of the trip, we were headed out to Rolling Green.  The William Flynn design did not disappoint.  Our host Mike was as knowledgable as anyone could be about the golf course and taught us the finer points and strategies of the classic design.  We made plenty of double bogies anyways.

The unique walking bridge on the long par 3 14th hole at Rolling Green.

The unique walking bridge on the long par 3 14th hole at Rolling Green.

With great weather for our first four rounds, thunderstorms were predicted for our final round at Aronimink.  The golf gods would side with us and push away the storms until after our departures.  A perfect segway into this clip from one of my favorite shows, It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia.  It is important to note that there is golf featured in this clip.

The 18th hole at  Aronimink  was the 99th hole of the trip.  Looks like we will have to come back to make it an even 100.

The 18th hole at Aronimink was the 99th hole of the trip.  Looks like we will have to come back to make it an even 100.