Just like the Bears beat the New England Patriots in the 1985 season’s Super Bowl, I would look to tackle New England with similar force. This was one of the areas of the country that I was looking forward to most at the beginning of the trip. There are not a lot of obvious golf destinations and I think that is what intrigued me most. Coming from Seattle, the area is not easy to visit and The RGV Tour provided me the ideal opportunity to explore without limitations.
Playing courses that are out of the way and not commonly mentioned is wildly fun. For me, each golf hole is a little magical journey. Who knows what you will find on the next tee box. It might be a black bear, or it might be the best little par 4 that you have never heard of. This spirit of exploration was alive and well in New England.
Portsmouth Country Club was first up in the state of New Hampshire. As you can imagine, the course really picks up some steam on the waterfront holes. I would finish up moments before a pretty good thunderstorm drenched the course.
Next up was a visit to Bunker Hill. It was an early morning tee time on the course that is regarded as one of the best. A solid start to the state of New Hampshire was under way.
When I think Lake WInnipasaukee, I think Dr. Leo Marvin. That’s right, I am talking about the fantastic Bill Murray film, What About Bob. Because Bill Murray was not in town to join the tour, I set out on a solo journey at Lake Winnepasukee Golf Club. In one of the hottest days on the entire tour, I decided to walk the hilly course. After just 2 holes, I was completely soaked with sweat. On about the 8th hole, I passed the world record for most sweat ever sweated on a golf course. I drank 15 bottles of water and probably should have drank 15 more.
After a soaked and satisfying round of golf at Lake Winnipasaukee, I wrang out my golf shirt and headed to Vermont. First up was the Quechee Club. They have 36 holes of golf at Quechee Club, the Lakeland and the Highland course.
Several years ago, I wrote a blog post for an aspiring young golf rapper and golfer named Matty Duplessis. The good news is that Matty has decided to retire from the rap game and focus on golf. Having followed Matty on social media for years, it was a pleasure to finally meet the young man behind the computer and play some golf.
After a solid morning with Matty D, it was time to move on out to The Country Club of Vermont. What you won't find on the Country Club of Vermont's website is the fact that they are located directly across the street from Ben & Jerry's Headquarters. You will just have to imagine how hard I slammed on the break and turned the RGV around. I estimate the U turn speed was 35 miles per hour.
The best part about the journey through Vermont was the fact that The RGV Tour has reached it’s goal of raising $10k for the First Tee of Greater Seattle. Check out the video below to listen in on the official speech from Vermont. If you are interested in joining the cause and being a part of the journey you can donate here.
After re-calibrating the RGV Tour goal to raising $20k for The First Tee, it was time to reach another cornerstone of the journey… the corner of the country and the state of Maine. We had 3 gems in Maine, Belgrade Lakes, Sugarloaf Golf Club, and Sunday River Golf Club. All of these courses are public and receive a high level of recommendation from the RGV Tour.
First up was Belgrade Lakes. Not only is the course excellent but the staff exudes an unusually high level of pleasantness. These guys do it right. Pay them a visit and find out for yourself.
The 2nd course visited in the state of Maine was Sugarloaf Golf Club. Unfortunately, Sugarloaf is best known as a ski resort with a golf course. It is not known as a golf course with a ski resort. However, based on the quality of the golf course, I can safely recommend the ski resort without ever skiing it. That means its good.
When the course opened, it was rated as one of the country’s toughest tests of golf. Miss the fairway and you were dropping your next shot. Over the years, it has been softened to increase enjoyment and playability. I only managed to lose a handful of golf balls.
The final round in Maine was Sunday River Golf Club. Fittingly, the round occurred on a Sunday afternoon. Unfortunately, that Sunday Tiger Woods was in contention at The PGA Championship. We teed off at about the same time and I hustled my hardest to get back into the clubhouse to watch the finish.
I would get back into the clubhouse just as Tiger birdied 15, he was gonna do it. Unfortunately, the Brooks Koepka buzz saw would cut Tiger’s comeback off at the knees and he would settle for 2nd place. As I pulled out of Maine, I knew Tiger’s time for win #80 would be just around the corner.
With only a couple of courses left in New England, I ran into one of the biggest surprises on the RGV tour. It was Dorset Field Club. Before entering Vermont, I had not heard much about the course but it had been recommended to me by several locals. I was more than pleasantly surprised. The course has a classic feel to it and still remains challenging.
Dorset Field club is also the oldest continuously operating golf club in The United States. Since 1886, golfers have been golfing their balls on this grass. There is something about walking in these historic venues that makes your round of golf feel slightly different, slightly special. I can’t quite put my finger on the feeling, but I am sure the ardent golfer knows exactly what I am talking about. Dorset Field Club has this feeling and it was an honor to visit.