Saturday, December 12, 2009

Retracing my golf footprints

It was in early 2004 that I began to wonder how many courses have I actually played? My initial thought was probably somewhere around 200, it actually turned out to be 180. At that point I started to write down on a legal pad all the golf trips I could remember going on and the courses I had played. That was a pretty good start. Next, I tried to remember all the golf courses around the areas I had lived in. Another good number were added to my list. Still, there were a lot that I could not recall the name of the course but I could still remember some of the holes.

I discovered Google Earth has a function which will outline in green all the golf courses in the world for you. As you get closer the name will appear and if you are still not sure it is the same course you can focus right into the individual holes. This was a great help in that several of the courses had changed names but I definitely knew I had played them by the hole features. Google along with the U.S. Golf Course Directory website ( got me about 90 % of the courses I had played to that point. At this site you can go to a state and then get a list of all courses in a particular city, another great memory jogger.

By the winter of 2006, my appetite for playing new golf courses was getting up to around 30 or more per year. I now start to put what I recall the quality of the course was when I played it with every name I have on my legal pads, along with the the year I first played it. During this process I remember several other courses that I had forgotten about. To date, I know there are still a few courses out there that I will eventually recall. Some have been destroyed due to development and I just haven't been able to remember the name, even though I know exactly where they were located. Just this July 2009, surprise, another course popped out of my memory bank and I added one more to the list.

It took me over four years to retrace my golf journey. It not only produced a chronological list of 99% of the courses I have played, but more importantly so many wonderful memories of golf played with friends and family over my life. Funny, how most every day I recall playing all these courses it's always sunny and 75 degrees.

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