Saturday, December 30, 2017

Welcome to my Golf Course Photo Tours

Thank you for taking the time to check out my golf course blog. The main focus of this blog is for you to preview golf courses I have photographed since 2006.  I don't think you will find another website with more photographs of golf courses than this one. You will notice that initially I was snapping only a couple photos of a few holes at each course. It has now evolved into more than 125 pictures starting out with the club house facilities, historical photo's, and practice area. Next, I try to obtain a yardage guide and start out each hole with a photo of it followed by several shots of the hole from various angles. By clicking the SLIDESHOWS icon above and then clicking on a particular golf course you will hopefully get a nice feel for individual courses. The average slide show will last about 6 minutes, so there are many hours of viewing available if you have the time.

I select one or more of the top holes from most courses and will highlight them on the FAVORITE/ FEATURED icon above. As of the end of  Feb 2017, I have entered 398 courses (foreign courses will be followed by asterisks*) and over 60,000 photos taken since I bought that first digital camera in 2006.  I am currently on my 4th camera and am using a Sony DSC-RX100, 20 Megapixels, with Carl Zeiss lens.

Any new courses I photograph I will post ASAP. Check back often for new posts, recent courses photographed, and the monthly Golf Joke. If you look under the CHRONOLOGICAL icon above you will see when I first played a course and how I rated it in my six color system (red=poor to black=excellent). Under the STATE/REGION, I have ranked the courses from the best on down in each area. Hopefully, if you are undecided about a course to play this will give you a better idea about the quality of that particular course.

The SCORECARD icon will explain how the color coded rating system works and a numerical breakdown. TRUE LINKS will take you to all the True Links Golf Courses, as determined by George Pepper's book, I have played in the world. I hope you enjoy the photo tours and my progress towards 1000 courses played.

The ACTIVE SLIDESHOW running above are some of the better photos of courses I have played the past few years.

You can also follow Inpursuitof1000golfer on TWITTER @inpursuitof1000    Check Twitter to see which new course I have just played, when new articles are posted, and for recent course photos. I always look forward to and enjoy playing with the local members. Tweet me if you see I am in your area.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

"It's good sportsmanship to not pick up lost golf balls while they are still rolling."-Mark Twain

Many years ago I was playing in an individual stroke event at my club and this actually happened to me. The 6th hole of the old course is a drivable tight par four with a deep gully right in front of the women's tee. To the left are some taller overhanging trees which I caught that day and my ball crashed down into the 20' deep gully. It's a 50/50 chance of finding it and making it out without penalty strokes, so I didn' reload but headed to the area of my ball. I get there and Old Mickey, the local ball hound, was wandering around at the bottom with his pockets full. I asked him if he had seen a ProV1x with two blue dots on it. He puts his hand in his pocket and the first ball he pulls out is mine. He quickly headed to where he had snatched it and placed back down. Decent lie but not a good shot out. A few years later he was foraging around in the brush in front of the women's tee on the 17th and a lady whacked him right in the head. He recovered, but the club finally banned him from hunting balls. He would boast of finding 4,000 golf balls a season.

Monday, June 5, 2017

2017 U.S.Open Erin Hills


With the upcoming 117th U.S.Open upon us I thought you would enjoy the slideshow (159 photos) of this years site, Erin Hills in Wisconsin.. When I played it in Sept of 2012, it was a gorgeous Fall day and the course was in excellent condition. Please take time to study the yardage guide and take note of the many contours throughout this spectacular piece of property.

Some of my favorite holes at Erin Hills:
#1 Very nice opening hole. Par 5
#4 Beautiful day and very peaceful walking up to the elevated green on this Par 4.
#9 Treacherous little Par 3!
#12 I love blind shots, if you don't drive it to the correct spot that is what you get on this Par 4.
#15 Good short Par 4's are always on my favorites list.

Click here to view slideshow:   https://goo.gl/photos/qfWjrSCCy3bCFfi7A


Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Mickey Smith-The Villages most prolific golfer?

Located an hour NW of Orlando, The Villages with its 630 holes is the largest collection of holes in the world. They have 12 championship and 36 executive courses (2 more are under construction) all nicely manicured and decently designed. I have in the past few weeks played all the courses but not all the holes as 10 of the championship courses have 27 holes.

All but a couple of the courses are designed by the Cliffton Golf Design Group out of nearby Apopka, FL. The executive courses I find more challenging from the back tees than the championship. The championship courses are a resort style design with some mundane holes interspersed among a few good ones. I understand the philosophy here, with the millions of rounds played they need to move the golfers along. It would have been more interesting to have had more variety of design from several architects. It does get a bit boring for me looking at essentially the same design characteristics hole after hole. My favorite Championship course on the property is the Palmer designed Legends course. The executive courses have green complexes designed the same as the championship so there is not a drop off in difficulty. The Roosevelt/Truman complex is my favorite executives due mainly to their rolling topography. I enjoy walking and usually do so on the executives but the design of most of the championships have a few long hikes between some holes.

One might think with that many holes it would be easy to find a tee time. With about 115,000 residents, of which most play golf, 99.5% of the 10,000 daily tee times are filled each day during the winter season. If you are a single you can get on somewhere everyday, but if you wish to play with friends you certainly will not be playing everyday. In 2016 there were 3.072 MILLION rounds played, 2,241 holes in one, 770 Villagers shot their age, and nearly 8 million cart miles driven on the golf courses alone!!  Of course at The Villages there are hundreds of other clubs and activities to keep you busy. It is a fun, friendly place to live or visit.

I had heard about a gentleman who routinely plays all 36 executive courses every month and that he had been doing this for several years. When I played at the Lopez Legacy course, I unknowingly met him as he works there three days a week at the bag drop. Luckily, near the end of my tour of all the courses I was paired up with the Legend- Mickey Smith. Starting in 2006 till the end of 2016 he played 6440 executive and 328 champion nines!! That averages out to over 315 eighteen hole rounds for 11 straight years, plus he works three days a week. Mickey is a golfing machine, one year he played 800 executive rounds and he walks every one of them. During that time period he has had streaks of 48 and 69 straight months were he played every executive course monthly. Having played all the courses over 200 times he knows every tidbit about each hole. I suggested to him he needs to write a book about his knowledge of the Executive courses. In addition to golf he and his wife swim in all the 73 pools at The Villages every year. It was a pleasure to play with this Villages Legend.

For my Rankings of all 48 courses at The Villages please click above on State/Region > Florida > proceed to the bottom of list> The Villages

Friday, December 30, 2016

2016 Year in Review = 79 New courses

The year began with the sale of my home in Florida. This allowed me to finally justify taking off for the rest of the winter to the Land Down Under. 21 new courses in New Zealand, Tasmania, and Melbourne region of Australia resulted from that 6 week excursion. A spectacular part of the world with wonderful people which I hope to return again soon.

Summer and into Fall netted me another 19 new courses. I finally finished off playing every hole that is active in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. Interesting that one course starts in Wisconsin but has 4 holes in the U.P. That was the last hurdle holding me back for the past couple of seasons. If you have the opportunity during July and August, the U.P. is a beautiful place to visit with temperate weather. Make sure to visit Greywalls GC in Marquette.

November found me renting at The Villages for 6 weeks until before the Holidays. All 48 courses could have been conquered in that time, but I decided to come back for another month in January. So 39 new courses were added to my list including all 12 of the Championship courses. Look for forthcoming articles ranking the Championship and Executive courses.

79 New Courses is a new yearly record for me and has gotten me down to only 291 courses until my milestone #1000 course. The other carrot that keeps me going is shooting my age on a regulation length course. As we all do after a round and play the "what if game", I had a couple of shots at it this year but could only get within 4 strokes. Soon I will be another year older and who knows when I might find lighting in a bottle for a round.

Wishing you all a Happy, Healthy, New Year in 2017!!

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Aging and Golf

"Eventually you will reach a point when you stop lying about your age and start bragging about it."

For me, that day will start the first time I shoot my age. Last year I played in a one man scramble format tournament and hit it at 65. Otherwise, the closest I have gotten on a regulation length course is 4 years over.

"I'll shoot my age if I have to live to be a 105."-Bob Hope

Friday, November 25, 2016

The One with the Fastest Cart will never have a Bad Lie

There are over 50,000 carts at The Villages. Many are street legal, so watch out if playing golf with a Villager on one of their 48 courses and 630 holes.

Thursday, November 24, 2016

The Eighth 100

701 -Orange Blossom Hills GCC, The Villages- 2016 W
702 -Briarwood (9), The Villages- 2016 G
703 -Lopez Legacy CC (Ashley Meadows/Torri Pines), The Villages- 2016 G
704 -El Diablo (9), The Villages- 2016 W
705 -Walnut Grove (9), The Villages- 2016 G
706 -Oakleigh (9), The Villages- 2016 W
707 -Glenview Champions CC (Stirrup Cup/Talley Ho), The Villages- 2016 G
708 -Hacienda Hills GCC (Palms/Oaks), The Villages- 2016 G
709 -Palmer Legends CC (Cherry Hill/Laurel Valley), The Villages-2016 B
710 -El Santiago (9), The Villages- 2017 W
711 -Bonita Pass (9), The Villages- 2017 G
712 -Hill Top (9), The Villages- 2017 W
713 -De La Vista (9), The Villages- 2017 W
714 -Silver Lake (9), The Villages- 2017 W
715 -Juliette Falls GC, Dunnellon- 2017 B
716 -Havana CC (Kenya9), The Villages- 2017 G
717 -Chula Vista (9), The Villages- 2017 W
718 -Mira Mesa (9), The Villages- 2017 G
719 -Palmetto Hall, Cupp Course, Hilton Head- 2017 G
720 -Palmetto Hall, Hills Course, Hilton Head- 2017 G
721 -Island West GC, Bluffton-2017 W
722 -Golden Bear GC, Hilton Head- 2017 B
723 -Crecent Pointe GC, Bluffton- 2017 B
724 -Pinecrest GC, Bluffton- 2017 G
725 -GC at Hilton Head Lakes, Hardeeville- 2017 G
726 -Eagle's Pointe GC, Okatie- 2017 W
727 -Dolphin Head GC, Hilton Head- 2017 B
728 -Bear Creek GC, Hilton Head- 2017 B
729 -SummerGlen GC, Ocala- 2017 W
730 -Evans Prairie CC (Osprey9), The Villages- 2017 W
731 -Green Hills GC, Mt. Vernon- 2017 G
732 -Cardinal GC, Effingham- 2017 W