Inspired by the BBC's popular "50 Things To Do Before You Die" program, an England-based man has decided to attempt all 50 experiences before the end of next year. Included on the to-do list (besides swimming with sharks and climbing Mount Kilimanjaro): A round of golf at Augusta National in the United States.
Assuming money was no object (and you had unlimited access), where would Augusta National rank on your top 10 courses to play before you die? Let us know what you think and we'll print a few selected responses below.
Places I have golfed over the past few years include Pinehurst, Pebble Beach, Blackwolf Run, Scotland and Ireland. But here is my top ten list of courses I have yet to play:
1) Cypress Point
2) Kauri Cliffs
3) Old Head
4) Pine Valley
5) Royal Melbourne
6) Augusta National
7) Royal Dornoch
9) Pacific (Bandon) Dunes
10) Banff Springs.
Art Miller, via email
Oh, can you imagine before they place me down?
The course I'd like to tee it up... to play just one more round.
The verdant greens at Pebble Beach?
Is the privacy of Augusta beyond my reach?
I say to you Oh linkster fine
To tour Old St.Andrews 'twould be sublime.
The Royal & Ancient is the one for me to set my ball on the golden tee.
After 18 greens of earthly heaven, I'll collect my bet and call it even and head over to the 19th hole and lay to rest my immortal soul thanking all the gods of golf above for this great game that I truly love.
Jim Yach, Golf Coach, Ft. Lauderdale High School
I read your commentary about favorite places to play before you die and the Englishman who wants to play Augusta and would like to make a few comments and observations.
I am on a round the world golf mission and have recently finished playing career course No. 496. My travels have taken me through 26 different U.S. states, Australia, New Zealand, British Columbia, Alberta, The Yukon, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Swaziland, Botswana, Zambia and Namibia. I have knocked off 179 courses in Southern Africa alone.
I am presently working on a book detailing my travel golf experiences and would like to share any info or data. My favorite and best courses are as follows, Top 3 All Time (in no order because they offer different features): Pebble Beach, Spyglass and Sparrebosch Golf Estates (South Africa).
My regional or local favorites are:
Australia - St. Michaels, Sydney,
New Zealand -Waireki International,
New York Area - The Creek Club, and Yale (both CB MacDonald designs)
Southern US - TPC at Myrtle Beach and Capital Hill (RTJ Golf Trail, ALA)
Western US - Reflection Bay, Steele Canyon (San Diego), Semi-ah-moo (Washington), Old Works (Montana).
In the past 18 months I have taken golf vacations to the Robert Trent Jones Trail, The Bear Trace, San Francisco to Pebble Beach, Ocean City (Maryland) and twice to southern Africa where I served on a golf course ratings panel for the Compleat Golfer Magazine.
Rich Suozzo, via email
Top 10 remaining on my lifetime list:
2) Cypress Point
5) Pebble Beach
6) Royal Troon
7) Augusta National
8) Royal County Down
10) St George's -Islington
R. Sutton, via email
As a former embalmer and retired INS Special Agent, I have always seen the "questionable" side of life. So, if anyone is interested in the "worst golf course" to play before they die, try Air Sofia (outside Sofia, Bulgaria).
It is a former cow pasture with fourteen tees, sixteen greens, no visible fairways, and a Sri Lankan golf pro who does not speak any Bulgarian or English. The name "Air Sofia" is derived from the fact the clubhouse is made from half of a crashed Russian jetliner!
You can have Augusta, Pebble and St. Andrews - I'll take Air Sofia before I go!
Neville Cramer, Immigration Enforcement Solutions
Ten Courses to Play before I depart:
1) Royal Melbourne
2) Sand Hills
3) Pine Valley
4) National Golf Links
7) Black Mesa
9) Friar's Head
Mike, Foregolf Communications
It might be a great time to be a golfer, but few would claim it is the best time to own a golf course. Competition is stiff, and the time, cost and difficulty of the sport make it a tough sell in today's fast-paced world. Therefore, course operators are being challenged to think "outside the cup." Here's case study on one course that's doing it right.
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