July was Pie in the Sky
Even by the normally frenetic Vagabond Golfer standards, this latest foray to the Northeast was supercharged. My travel-to-golf pace generally falls between intense and insane, but July’s day-to-day was unsurpassed in my personal annals for the combination of quantity and quality.
25 separate rounds, not a repeat course among them, in less than four weeks time. If not for a single rainout and then another day with car trouble, I would have added two more rounds, and thusly pitched the VG’s equivalent of a perfect game: 27 rounds in 27 days.
Even better - a dozen of the 25 rounds were completed on never-before-seen courses; no easy feat for me, as I was mining some of my usual territory in Western Mass, Boston’s North Shore, and greater Philadelphia, among other regular haunts. The 12 newbie courses push me a little closer to 650 lifetime, and well positioned for a run to mythic 700, sometime towards the end of 2010, if all goes as planned.
Here’s the best of what I saw for the first time: Waterbury Country Club (CT) a little-known Donald Ross hillside beauty, the picture-book definition of “hidden gem.” Country Club of Fairfield (CT) a low-profile, windblown Seth Raynor standout hard by the Long Island Sound. Boston Golf Club (MA), a Gil Hanse stunner with an initiation rumored to be some 300k. Portsmouth Country Club (NH) a semi-private looker with lots of water views on the truncated stretch of land known as New Hampshire’s seacoast. Lancaster Country Club (PA) a classic William Flynn design that’s well balanced, eye pleasing, and lush.
Here are a few of my favorite “encores” I was lucky enough to revisit: (Sorry to name-drop, but facts, as they say, are facts.) Pine Valley (NJ), Merion (PA), Garden City Golf Club (NY), Salem, Worcester and Myopia Hunt Club (MA) All among the finest classic venues in the land.
Now I’m back in Savannah, or Sauna-Vannah, as it can accurately be described this time of year. The sticks are on ice, and for the time being, so am I. Vagabond Golfer, indeed.
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