Golf Blog

Prince Edward Island

Through the golf gossip grapevine I heard about this magical place in Canada where the fairways are lined with gold, the lobsters grow on trees, and it rains cookie dough ice cream. This land of enchantment was called Prince Edward Island (PEI). Needless to say, the expectations were high as I stepped off of the plane at the small airport in Charlottetown on PEI.

As it turns out, the lobsters grow in the nearby sea, the fairways are lined with manicured bent grass, and they serve ice cream at COWS creamery. So the rumors were not entirely inaccurate. The official tag line for Golf PEI is “Over 400 fairways closer than you can imagine.” The statement is a fitting one because the golf is good, it is plentiful, and all of the courses that we played on this trip were within a 30 minute drive from our boutique accommodations at the Hillhurst Hotel.

The 2nd hole at Glasgow Hills Golf Club

The 2nd hole at Glasgow Hills Golf Club

As I sat in the restaurant of the Hillhurst Hotel getting ready for our early morning round at Glasgow Hills, a gentlemen across the way asked “Are you Patrick?” “Why yes I am.” I replied. It turns out that this man was no gentleman. It was the sometimes reclusive and often eccentric “Bogey Train Bobby.” Bobby hails from Bali and has a passion for mediocre golf on high end golf courses. He strives for excellence but is perfectly content with lipping out for par and tapping in for 5. The bogey fist pump is alive and well with this man and I was excited to document the magic of his passion for mediocrity. We jumped right into the golf action at the nearby Glasgow Hills.

Head Professional, Woody Bishop showed us the ways around Glasgow Hills.

Head Professional, Woody Bishop showed us the ways around Glasgow Hills.

Bogey Train Bobby gets the bogey party started at Glasgow Hills.

Bogey Train Bobby gets the bogey party started at Glasgow Hills.

Below you will find our first block of Instagram stories from Bogey Train’s PEI adventure. The man loves oysters and eats lobsters with no regard for human decency. On his home land of Bali, he is referred to as the “Lobster Man” because of his passion for the delicious sea crustacean.

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The next course on our PEI agenda was another little gem called Andersons Creek. We never figured out who Anderson was but we enjoyed his creek thoroughly. We even made a couple of golf ball donations. I think Bogey Train put 3 in the creek on #4. The course is scenic and a lot of fun to play.

Things heat up on the 3rd hole at Andersons Creek.

Things heat up on the 3rd hole at Andersons Creek.

Bogey Train hammers one into the trees on the right of 15.

Bogey Train hammers one into the trees on the right of 15.

The 2nd hole at Anderson Creek.

The 2nd hole at Anderson Creek.

Rain threatened but never showed up for our round at Anderson Creek.

Rain threatened but never showed up for our round at Anderson Creek.

After several rounds in the books for Bobby and I, it was time to welcome the rest of our PEI crew. This group was rowdy and ready to go.

  • Sarah Moodie - Nicknamed Smooderoo on the gram, she’s not an alcoholic golfer, she just plays one on Instagram.

  • Sean Ogle - Founder of Breaking Eighty, breaks eighty… sometimes.

  • Klea Armstrong - Amazing golf ball whacker girl.

  • The Weekend Golfer - If it’s a weekend, you know what he’s doing.

After an unbelievable dinner at Fishbones Oyster Bar & Seafood Grill, we headed out for 36 holes at the Dundarave and Brudenell River Golf Courses. Both courses are on the same piece of land but they play very differently. The Dundarave course is a Hurdzan and Fry design that opened it’s doors in 1999. With a number of spectacular holes along the river, the course is a must play when visiting PEI.

The signature hole on the Dundarave course is a short yet challenging par 4.

The signature hole on the Dundarave course is a short yet challenging par 4.

The finishing hole on Dundarave.

The finishing hole on Dundarave.

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The Brudenell River course opened up in 1969 and is a local favorite with just about everyone. If there was a golf popularity contest on the island, Brudenell would easily win the popular vote. The golf course is more scorable than the Dundarave course and the two courses make for an excellent day of 36 holes.

The finishing hole at Brudenell river is short and sexy.

The finishing hole at Brudenell river is short and sexy.

The opening hole on the Brudenell River Golf Course

The opening hole on the Brudenell River Golf Course

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Sarah Moodie rips one down the middle on the penultimate hole at Brudenell River.

Sarah Moodie rips one down the middle on the penultimate hole at Brudenell River.

Up next we have our second installment of the Bogey Train Bobby highlight reel from Instagram stories. The hot tips and clutch bogies flowed freely from Bobby. I tried my best to sit back and soak up the experience, the pearls of wisdom were coming fast and furious. I hurriedly scribbled down as much knowledge as I could on the inside of the scorecard.

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At this point it is important to pause and recognize the deliciousness and abundancy of the lobster on PEI. I set a new personal best by having lobster for dinner 4 nights in a row. Since, I did not have lobster even once in 2018, I was pretty stoked about the situation.

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When most people think of golf on PEI, they think of one course in particular, The Links at Crowbush Cove. The Thomas McBroom course debuted in 1994 as Canada’s best new golf course and has since hosted a number of premier events. The most notable being the 1998 Skins game featuring Mark O’Meara, Fred Couples, John Daly, and Canada’s own Mike Weir. Crowbush is recognized as the premier golfing experience on PEI and our crew was eager to play.

Things get sexy as you turn towards the ocean on the 6th and 7th holes.

Things get sexy as you turn towards the ocean on the 6th and 7th holes.

The 8th and 15th holes at Crowbush

The 8th and 15th holes at Crowbush

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Crowbush eases you into the round for the first 5 holes or so and after that it’s a golfing experience that you won’t soon forget. The course edges out to the ocean several times and comes back inland again providing a nice flow all the way through to the finish. We played right up until sunset and then headed back into town to experience another amazing dinner at Sims Steakhouse.

The 9th hole at Crowbush was one of my favorites.

The 9th hole at Crowbush was one of my favorites.

The 16th hole at Crowbush is one of the best on the property.

The 16th hole at Crowbush is one of the best on the property.

As we prepare for the recap of our final round of golf on the island, let’s take another dive into the world of Bogey Train Bobby. This man misses more putts for par than anyone I know and quite frankly, doesn’t give one damn. It’s all about the experience for Bobby. “Yeah, I do make some pars from time to time, but a bladed wedge over the green allows me to visit a part of the course that most people don’t get to see.” It’s apparent that Bobby just doesn’t feel comfortable riding a hot 2 hole par streak. “When I put together 2-3 good shots in a row, my body just naturally shuts down and the next thing I know I am hanging up a smooth 6 on the scorecard,” says Bobby.

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For the Prince Edward Island finale we were scheduled to take on Green Gables Golf Club. After such a high at Crowbush our crew wasn’t expecting another stunner of this magnitude. I might even put the round of golf at Green Gables above Crowbush. Absurdity you might say, but Green Gables has such a cool classic feel to it that I was instantly a huge fan.

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The deliciously fun 5th hole plays over a small creek.

The deliciously fun 5th hole plays over a small creek.

The Weekend Golfer golfing on a Wednesday!

The Weekend Golfer golfing on a Wednesday!

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The 18th and final hole of our  Golf PEI  adventure at Green Gables

The 18th and final hole of our Golf PEI adventure at Green Gables

Because Prince Edward Island is so much more than just great golf, it was fitting that the adventure ended with one of the most fantastic dining experiences that I have been a part of. World renowned Chef Michael Smith has put together something that he calls the Fireworks Feast at The Inn at Bay Fortune. The experience starts with a guided farm tour, moves into an oyster hour at 6pm, and culminates with the Fireworks Feast in the evening. I was expecting bottle rockets and M80’s but instead I got a stomachful of delicious goodness. As an amateur food critic I don’t believe that my food palate was capable of doing this event justice.

Chef Michael Smith gave an inspired toast and posed for pictures with Sean and I.

Chef Michael Smith gave an inspired toast and posed for pictures with Sean and I.

The 6pm oyster hour… easily the best oysters I have had.

The 6pm oyster hour… easily the best oysters I have had.

The fire altar is serious business.

The fire altar is serious business.

If a trip to Prince Edward Island comes across your plate, I would highly suggest that you jump on the opportunity. Lush fairways, great people, and plenty of amazing food await your arrival. Your golfing destination starts here with Golf PEI.

Ohio? Oh, hell yeah.

If you take some time to study the areas of the country in which you can find some of the very best golf in America, you will eventually land on Columbus, Ohio as a golf destination.  Since Sean Ogle of Breaking Eighty and I routinely study these types of things, a trip was planned and an all-star itinerary was born.

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When we first arrived in Columbus, instead of heading straight to the golf course, we took a local tip and headed straight to Super Chef's.  With an array of breakfast options, we decided on "The Hulk," a green waffle sandwich with sausage, bacon, egg, and cheese.  This waffle sandwich would play a surprisingly critical role in the trip's proceedings.

After "The Hulk" was consumed, it was off to Scioto Country Club for our first round of golf in Ohio.  Things started off innocently enough until I noticed that Sean had his head down on the golf cart steering wheel.  Sean would announce that he was not feeling well and then proceed to birdie the next two holes.  Later on in the round, Sean would violently lose his waffle sandwich in the turn stand and then proceed to drain a handful of 20 footers.

The 18th hole at Scioto Country Club

The 18th hole at Scioto Country Club

The 10th hole was a favorite

The 10th hole was a favorite

In true "Breaking Eighty" form, Sean would break 80 along with a life long losing streak.  I would shoot 80 to Sean's 79 and Sean would capture victory over me for the first time.  It was a true Michael Jordan "Flu Game" moment.  Apparently The Hulk punching around in Sean's stomach had given him some sort of magical golf powers.

After playing the course where Jack Nicklaus learned the game, Scioto, it was on to play Jack's crowning architectural achievement, Muirfield Village Golf Club.  

Having grown up on a public executive course with a green fee of $5, I had no concept of how good golf courses could actually be.  For a while, I thought executive meant that this is where high powered corporate executives play golf.  As far as I was concerned, the 1905 yard course at Arlington Park was the bee's knees.  That was until my Dad took me on a trip from Indiana to the Memorial Tournament at Muirfield Village.  I remember standing behind the 14th green, just totally amazed.  Only in my wildest dreams as a youngster, could I have imagined actually being able to play this golf course.

In a fitting moment, my only birdie of the day would come at the 14th hole.  Picture taken from where I stood as a kid during my first PGA tour event.

In a fitting moment, my only birdie of the day would come at the 14th hole.  Picture taken from where I stood as a kid during my first PGA tour event.

The tree on the 18th is just as fantastic as it is strategic.

The tree on the 18th is just as fantastic as it is strategic.

The 12th hole at Muirfield is a real gem of a par 3.

The 12th hole at Muirfield is a real gem of a par 3.

After an outstanding day at Muirfield Village, our power twosome would head out to The Golf Club.  Out of all the golf clubs in the United States, this one is The Golf Club.  We had heard good things coming in and the course would not have any trouble living up to it's name.  The Golf Club was designed by Pete Dye in 1967 and Pete actually consulted with a 27 year old Jack Nicklaus on some of the potential shot options on the course.  

Compared to some of Pete Dye's other designs, the features are less challenging, but significant in their subtlety.  From what I can tell, it wasn't until the 1970's that Pete Dye started really hating golfers and the course falls into the category of courses you will want to play over and over.  The course has a similar feel to Crooked Stick which was built around the same time.  

These railroad ties and bunkers are probably the coolest hazards that I have ever encountered.

These railroad ties and bunkers are probably the coolest hazards that I have ever encountered.

Just a slight rise of about 2 feet separates the fairway from the green on #10

Just a slight rise of about 2 feet separates the fairway from the green on #10

The bridge off of 17, my 2 iron would find the water.

The bridge off of 17, my 2 iron would find the water.

The 5th hole is one of the more unique green complexes.

The 5th hole is one of the more unique green complexes.

While Sean recovered from his bought with The Hulk, I would turn a day of 18 into a day of 54 holes, with an afternoon visit to the Ohio State University Scarlet and Gray Golf Courses.  With an executive course and a championship course both designed by Alister Mackenzie, these courses make a great addition to any Columbus trip.  Pro tip: just don't show up in your Michigan gear.

The view from above the Scarlet and Gray courses at Ohio State University

The view from above the Scarlet and Gray courses at Ohio State University

Just as Sean's food poisoning was subsiding, we would run into a second obstacle when weather would force us to move things around due to wet and soggy conditions.  Thinking quickly on our feet, we would be able to secure a tee time at the somewhat nearby Valhalla Golf Club.  As far as replacement rounds go, this was about as good as it gets.  

Unlike Phil Mickelson at the 2014 PGA Championship, we would finish 18 with plenty of sunlight.

Unlike Phil Mickelson at the 2014 PGA Championship, we would finish 18 with plenty of sunlight.

The island green 13th hole at Valhalla.

The island green 13th hole at Valhalla.

In addition to a world class golf course, Valhalla also has one of the coolest hang spots, or "man caves" I have ever seen at a golf course.

Complete with a putting green, full bar, and 2 Trackman simulators, the man cave provides the ultimate post game experience for those that can't get enough golf.  In the photo, we are watching the PGA at Quail Hollow, while golfing at Bethpage Black in the basement of Valhalla.  You could spend 2 days down there.

After honing or games on the simulators, it was time for one final round at the highly anticipated Camargo Club.  Having already played one of Seth Raynor's designs at Shoreacres, I was pretty excited to get a second helping from the classic architect.  As expected, we would not be let down.

The potentially drive-able 4th hole at Valhalla

The potentially drive-able 4th hole at Valhalla

The aptly named "Short" hole at Camargo Club

The aptly named "Short" hole at Camargo Club

After taking this photo, I would roll in a spectacular 35 footer for birdie. #shamelessplug

After taking this photo, I would roll in a spectacular 35 footer for birdie. #shamelessplug

Widely known for it's amazing collection of par 3's and huge greens, Camargo Club was an absolute blast to play.  The club itself is very minimal compared to some of it's counterparts and has an brilliant classic feel to it.  

As Sean was no longer suffering from stomach woes, his golf super powers had worn off and he suffered from a vicious streak of missed putts.  I took it to him with a nice little 75 and all was right in the golf universe again.

Since we didn't end the trip with birdies, we decided to finish it off were we had began, with a local tip on a place to dine.  Zip's Burgers is the place to go when in Cincinnati.  The atmosphere is top notch with an electric train that runs around the ceiling of the eating area.   Sean and I naturally would order up the Girth Burger and I would recommend it.  This time the tip would pay off and we would sail out of town with satisfied and settled stomachs.

A view from the Redan on 15 at Camargo Club.  The original Redan at  North Berwick  is also the 15th hole.

A view from the Redan on 15 at Camargo Club.  The original Redan at North Berwick is also the 15th hole.

The Eighty Club

With all of the pictures I post of fantastic golf courses, I often get asked "How can I also play at these exclusive private clubs?"  People have written books on the topic, but to me, the answer remains simple.

  • Join a private club.
  • Network with other members of your club and others.
  • Play golf frequently with new people at new places.
  • Help out others whenever you can.
  • Be awesome to play golf with.

The best part about putting effort into the ideas above, is that you get to meet some really cool and interesting people.  There are a lot of people out there that love golf as much as I do and every time I meet one of them, we become fast friends.

One of those friends is Sean Ogle, the founder of Breaking Eighty.  Not only does Sean run an excellent golf blog, but he has created a forum to bring these friends together.  It is called The Eighty Club.

As Sean describes it.  The Eighty Club is a private golf society for the game's most passionate followers.  I describe it as a place where a group of golf nuts can talk about golf courses, golf architecture, golf equipment, or even golf ball shaped pizzas.  The rules to join are simple.

  • You must belong to a private club.
  • You have an interest in traveling and playing a variety of different golf courses.
  • You are passionate about the game and want to share this passion with others.

So what goes on in the Eighty Club?  

  • Online forum - Everything golf related gets discussed.
  • Weekly Newsletter - Sean gets on his blog horse and sends out the week's hottest takes from the club and the world of golf.
  • Potential for easier access - Meet people from other clubs around the country.
  • Live events -  The Eighty Club is looking to host 4-6 events annually. 
Portland Golf Club hosted the very first Eighty Club event.

Portland Golf Club hosted the very first Eighty Club event.

As you can see, Sean Ogle is pretty excited about having you join the Eighty Club.  Here he celebrates at Columbia Edgewater in Portland.

As you can see, Sean Ogle is pretty excited about having you join the Eighty Club.  Here he celebrates at Columbia Edgewater in Portland.

I show a couple of Eighty Clubbers the ropes of iPhone golf course photography at Pumpkin Ridge.

I show a couple of Eighty Clubbers the ropes of iPhone golf course photography at Pumpkin Ridge.

Shown here are 5 of The Eighty Club's 122 members, or roughly 4.1%

Shown here are 5 of The Eighty Club's 122 members, or roughly 4.1%

In my personal opinion The Eighty Club is one of the best ways to meet people that love to travel, love to play golf, and love to show off their clubs.  When you're not playing, it's a well run forum where you can discuss all things golf with people that are passionate about the game.  The people that I have met so far have been welcoming, knowledgable, and a lot of fun to play golf with.  As the club grows, it's only going to get better,  

The first event was a ton of fun and took place at some of the best clubs that Portland has to offer.  With Sean scheduling events all over the country The Eighty Club has the potential to dramatically boost your golf network as well as your travel itinerary.  I know I am looking forward to the next event in Philadelphia. 

So how do I get in the club?  There is a $500 annual membership fee to join The Eighty Club.  But the good news is that if you mention you are a friend of pjkoenig, Sean will knock $100 off of the annual price.  Sean covers the details here on his site and if you are ready to submit your application, click here.  As far as memberships to social clubs go, this one receives my highest rating: 10/10.  I look forward to seeing you inside the club.  

2017 Masters

A week before The 2017 Masters, I received a text message with an offer to attend a practice round and the Par 3 contest at Augusta.  It didn't take long for me to reply and pack my bags.  The first thing I put in that bag was my camera.  You are permitted to bring cameras on the course for practice rounds at Augusta!  

Upon our arrival, we decided to check out the scene on Washington Road.  Washington Road is the same road where John Daly hangs out at Hooters and sells T-shirts and fancy pants.  Naturally we stopped by.  I passed on taking a picture with big John, as I felt weird about a two time major winner ringing up hat sales.

With the Z on the end, it sounds pretty official official to me.

With the Z on the end, it sounds pretty official official to me.

After some corn hole and various other shenanigan type things, we found Magnolia Lane on the map and decided to take some photos like a couple of delinquent teenagers.  

Now normally, we would have been stoked out of our minds for The Masters in the morning, but we had been staring at the forecast below for the past 72 hours.  We were still stoked, but just more of an angry at the rain gods type stoked.

Don't worry, the TERS on the other side of the sign worked just fine.

Don't worry, the TERS on the other side of the sign worked just fine.

Lighting not ideal for late night photo operations.

Lighting not ideal for late night photo operations.

With a mild stroke of luck, the rain would hold off and the gates to Augusta National would open.  We gleefully entered and strolled the grounds.  Knowing that we would only have an hour or so before the storms rolled in, we headed out to the hot spots.  

I was able to get some pretty good shots and the sun actually came out for a full 90 seconds while we were on #13.

To view all of my photos and my top 11 Augusta list, click here.

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After a couple of hours, the weather horns would sound and we would be given the boot.  However, after a several hour delay, the course would re open and we would come rushing back. As you can see, people were excited to return.

Just as the Par 3 Contest was getting underway, the horn would sound again and we would be given the heave from Augusta National for the day.  This was the first time in 50 years, the Par 3 contest was cancelled due to weather.

All was not lost though, Snoop Dogg was in town to play some golf and give a little rap show.  Be sure to click the link to get the Golf Digest Recap.

Note:  When I say catch his flight, I mean watch Delta fumble around and cancel flights for 2 days: Summary: Masters good, Snoop cool, Delta bad.

The Snoop Dogg set offers up a range of songs from Journey to Gin and Juice.

The Snoop Dogg set offers up a range of songs from Journey to Gin and Juice.

Before our flight out of town, our group headed up to the fantastic Champions Retreat Golf Club.  Located only about a half hour away from Augusta, Sean of Breaking Eighty even had time to hole out from 170 yards for eagle before catching his flight back to Portland.  

Sean Ogle celebrates the 3rd eagle of his lifetime..

Sean Ogle celebrates the 3rd eagle of his lifetime..

Los Angeles

With the forecast for Seattle in January predominantly consisting of rain, it appeared to be a prudent move to book a long weekend trip to Los Angeles.  I called up my Portland buddy, Sean Ogle of Breaking Eighty and fellow Seattle-ite, Ben Garrett, and they both agreed with me.  A sunny January date in LA was booked and tee times slowly filled up a marvelous agenda.

Everything was looking fantastic until about a week before the trip when someone told us to look at the weather forecast.  Epic rainfall, flash foods, and the inevitable golf course closings!!  Even our VRBO land owner offered to refund our money if we wanted to come back another weekend.  However, these 3 golf dudes would not be denied.  We had rain pants and it would take a lot more than some silly "flash food" to keep the drivers out of our hands.  Plus, the weatherman is usually right only about 1 out of 10 times.

The view from the 1st tee at Riviera.

The view from the 1st tee at Riviera.

Up first on the agenda was The Riviera Country Club.  After watching The LA Open on TV for years, I was super excited to play Riviera.  Also, those clouds in the sky are definitely not bringing any precipitation.  The tee shot on the first hole is one of the coolest I have experienced, you are probably fifteen feet or so from the clubhouse as you fire one off down the hill.  They even announce your name on the tee to make you feel like a tour pro.  Some of us hit that tee shot like a tour pro, some of us did not.  

With respect to the rules of the game, no breakfast balls are allowed on the first tee at Riviera.

The par 3 16th hole at Riviera with the 6th in the background .

The par 3 16th hole at Riviera with the 6th in the background .

A small river runs down the middle of the 3rd green at Griffith Park.

A small river runs down the middle of the 3rd green at Griffith Park.

After drying off our socks and wringing out our pants, we struck gold with another rain free day at The Valley Club of Montecito.  Not only was the weather good but the course is an absolute gem and we had a fantastic host.  The Valley Club has done an outstanding job of keeping with Alister Mackenzie's original design plans and as a result, the course is very enjoyable.  

Ben would make an eagle 3 on the 15th hole and Sean would almost card an ace on the 8th hole to secure a tie for the "Shot of the Day" honors.

With our tee time at Los Angeles Country Club coming up next, rain threatened another round.  However, our host was just as hardcore as us and we headed out for a water logged round on one of California's finest golf courses.  We finished up 18 and watched the Falcons destroy the Packers from the fantastic clubhouse.  I can't wait to come back and visit this course on a sunny day... Or any other day, it's just flat out great.  

After our round at LACC, we grabbed some grub at the Misfit in Santa Monica, then hit the hot tub.  As you can see, the hot tub party was off the chain

After ringing out our pants for a second time, we had one last round to get in, the odds were in our favor with only a 30% chance of rain.  As it turns out, the sun wouldn't be the only good fortune that would shine down on us during our round at Rustic Canyon.  Ben Garrett would make his 7th career ace on the 8th hole.  4 of those 7 aces have come in the last 4 months.  Probably time for this kid to start buying Powerball tickets.  Hopefully, our next visit to LA will include more luck with the weather.

Probably the most talked about feature at Riviera is the bunker in the middle of the 6th green, after 3 putting my way around the bunker, we decided to play a shot out of it just for kicks.  The 6th hole was certainly unique, but personally, I gave the nod to the 16th for best par 3.

The 10th hole was also just as fun as advertised.  After driving it on the 11th tee box, I managed a nice par.  A huge thanks to Mayumi and Tal for setting up a fantastic round.

After the rain free round at Riviera, we would not be so fortunate with our second round of the trip.  After getting fully rained out at Wilshire Country Club, we found a course that was actually open for play.  It was going to be a wet one at Griffith Park.  After 15 holes of downpour, we played the last 3 in just a drizzle. 

The par 3 14th, with the 1st hole and the clubhouse in the distance.

The par 3 14th, with the 1st hole and the clubhouse in the distance.

Ben easily captures 1st place in the "Best Overall Trip Photo" category.

Ben easily captures 1st place in the "Best Overall Trip Photo" category.

After the screaming and excessive high five-ing ended, Ben takes time to show off his male model skills in a celebratory pose.

After the screaming and excessive high five-ing ended, Ben takes time to show off his male model skills in a celebratory pose.

Sean and I would try to add to the hole in one tally, but "look good missing" was the only thing we were actually able to accomplish.

Sean and I would try to add to the hole in one tally, but "look good missing" was the only thing we were actually able to accomplish.

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

PGA Show 2016

As a newcomer to the PGA Merchandise show in 2016, I was excited to meet many of the golf industry folks that I had conversed with over the internet for some time.  Although, my time at the show was brief, I thoroughly enjoyed meeting many of the passionate folks that work in the golf industry.  For the trip, I had teamed up with fellow golf enthusiast and blogger, Sean Ogle of Breaking Eighty.  Like any sensible businessman, I packed my golf clubs and business cards and headed out to Orlando.  First up would be the golf, then the business of golf.

The 18th green at Adios, an excellent par 5 finishing hole.

The 18th green at Adios, an excellent par 5 finishing hole.

The winds blew a good 30-40 mph for us on the Blue Monster

The winds blew a good 30-40 mph for us on the Blue Monster

My first ever round of golf in Florida would be on the challenging Blue Monster Course at Doral.  As you can see in the photo, there was a little bit of wind to contend with.  Fortunately, the wind would die down and I would roll in my first Florida birdie on the 17th hole.  

After hitting the scene in Miami Beach and visiting the 14th best bar in the world, The Broken Shaker, we got up early to play golf at Adios Golf Club.  Adios is a private establishment that is more well known for it's club than it's course.  Although, both are top notch.  Sean and I would agree that Adios was one of our favorite golfing experiences to date.

Our trip was indeed building up some steam as we headed to the airport to pick up Ashley Mayo of Golf Digest.  The next morning our power trio would go for 36 at Streamsong.  Click on the images below for the exclusive "By the Numbers" recap.

Ashley let's me know I've only got 6 inches for birdie!!

Ashley let's me know I've only got 6 inches for birdie!!

The Biarritz swale on 16 swallowed up several of our shots.

The Biarritz swale on 16 swallowed up several of our shots.

With the golf in our rear view mirror, it was time to set our sights on the PGA Merchandise Show's Demo Day.  Demo Day is hosted on a 360 degree driving range at the Orange County National Golf Center.  With just about every golf vendor in attendance, you can hit the latest sticks with the latest gadgets until your arms fall off.  Here is what we found.

Long Drive Champ, Jamie Sadlowski brought his iPhone in his back pocket and hit this 7 iron 320 yards.

Long Drive Champ, Jamie Sadlowski brought his iPhone in his back pocket and hit this 7 iron 320 yards.

These things exist, not sure what they are or how they're gonna help, but they exist.

These things exist, not sure what they are or how they're gonna help, but they exist.

The  Golf Board  comes in orange!  ...and has a cooler for those who are interested in drinking and boarding.

The Golf Board comes in orange!  ...and has a cooler for those who are interested in drinking and boarding.

The  Big Max Trolleys  fold up so nicely that you can almost put them in your back pocket.   The Blade!!

The Big Max Trolleys fold up so nicely that you can almost put them in your back pocket.  The Blade!!

With Demo Day in the books, Sean and I got serious and headed over to Orlando's finest miniature golf facility, Pirate's Cove, to round out a solid day.  Check out the pirate video recap below.  

For day 2, it was time to head over to the convention center and check out the scene.  Orange County convention center is massive and we had some serious talking and walking to do.  Here is the best of what we found.

First time PGA show residents,  Holderness & Bourne  have some of the finest golf polos around.  You'll have to wait until March to get these babies.

First time PGA show residents, Holderness & Bourne have some of the finest golf polos around.  You'll have to wait until March to get these babies.

That's a Dalmation golf bag cover from    MiniZoo Golf Bag Covers.   Your bag with some bark.  

That's a Dalmation golf bag cover from MiniZoo Golf Bag Covers.  Your bag with some bark.  

Who amongst us hasn't wanted to do this.   Jones  just gets it.

Who amongst us hasn't wanted to do this.  Jones just gets it.

For me, the biggest hit of the show was Taylor Made's release of the M2 line.  I smoked this 3 wood like a Cigar on my birthday!!

For me, the biggest hit of the show was Taylor Made's release of the M2 line.  I smoked this 3 wood like a Cigar on my birthday!!

Keegan Bradley has his own beer now.  Finally.

Keegan Bradley has his own beer now.  Finally.

Sean Ogle goes yard with C obra's latest driver  while Red Bull pumps the dope beats.

Sean Ogle goes yard with Cobra's latest driver while Red Bull pumps the dope beats.

Somebody has got to sort all of these balls.  Thanks to the volunteers!

Somebody has got to sort all of these balls.  Thanks to the volunteers!

One of my favorite gadgets at the show was the reasonably priced ($349)  Swing Caddy 2 .  107 club head   speed, not bad for this hacker

One of my favorite gadgets at the show was the reasonably priced ($349) Swing Caddy 2.  107 club head speed, not bad for this hacker

The view of the showroom floor.  Lot's of action down there.

The view of the showroom floor.  Lot's of action down there.

Loudmouth  still loud.

Loudmouth still loud.

The Classic line up of  Jones Golf Bags .  Classic Jones!

The Classic line up of Jones Golf Bags.  Classic Jones!

Co-founder John Bourne of  Holderness and Bourne  tells it how it is.  

Co-founder John Bourne of Holderness and Bourne tells it how it is.  

That's a wrap from Orlando and the 2016 PGA Merchandise show.  A big thanks to my friend Sean Ogle of Breaking Eighty and everyone else who took the time to make this newcomer feel important.  Until next time, Orlando!