Lists. We love our lists.
Bucket lists on everything from travel destinations to restaurants.
Golfers lists include playing in Scotland and/or Ireland, sampling Pebble Beach or somehow getting an invitation to Pine Valley.
For me it has long been playing a new course. To date I've sampled more than 925 courses, and while COVID has put a crimp on adding to the list I've tried. Drivable jaunts to play a new course has occupied recent time, and I've been able to add a few new challenges this year.
Thinking ahead, there are great opportunities. Along the way it would be great to play some top-ranked courses. There was a time when I'd played 25 of the top 100 modern courses in the USA, as determined by Golfweek. Looking at the recently released listings for 2020, the list has changed dramatically.
I've only sampled 9 of the top 100, 20 of the top 200. That's depressing!
Of course to many people - who haven't played a single one of the list - probably to big deal. But it is for this corner. While in my drive to 1,000 courses played I've sampled some real, shall we say, less than stellar courses, I've balanced those with scenic, challenging and immaculately manicured layouts that are memorable gems.
One particular jewel, the Tom Doak designed Stonewall (Old Course) layout in Bulltown, Pa., is a classic. Carved on rolling farmland, it's a walking course - no motorized carts - and it takes one back in time. Rolling fairways, dastardly greens that sometimes mystify even the seasoned caddies that guide one, it's not only beautiful but a true experience.
And it's back on the top-100 list!
There are some courses one never want to play again after an initial visit. Others, like Merion, Oakmont, Stonewall and Pine Valley, never get old. Each has it's one special way, and one wants to play again and again.
For now, my goal is to intersperse those great tests with new challenges of varying degrees. Having lost 30 yards somewhere along the line, even the white tees can be hellacious. But the mind knows that playing golf, anywhere, is mind easing.
Guess the glass is half empty or half full, but there is room for more golf. D(V*D be damned.