You just won lotto, or maybe you got a really big bonus, or perhaps you are just about to retire – so what’s the first thing you should do? That’s easy. Get to work on finally putting together your golf bucket list of courses you should play before you find yourself on the under side of the fairway. But that may be easier said than done.
With over 30,000 golf courses world wide, deciding on your top courses will certainly require a lot of thought and consideration. You could surely start by asking your golf buddies what courses they would choose; you can add to that a few more by looking at where the PGA holds its events; and maybe just lop a few more off of Golf Digest’s top one hundred. And, that should give you a pretty good start.
But then how do you winnow these down to a reasonable number that won’t disappoint? Since others before us have already worked this question, I thought why not enlist there help. So, I asked Google to tell me the “top ten golf courses to play before you die.” Google did not disappoint and provided me with some 48 million suggestions. To narrow these results down I decided select 10 sites that seemed to have put together some reasonable thought into the question, and also did a nice job of presenting information about their top 10.
Out of the combined 100 courses mentioned by the 10 sites, 13 were mentioned 58 times. Now that would seem to provide a relatively good consensus of just what might be the top courses to consider . However, I immediately excluded Augusta because that is just pure fantasy – no way, no how, will most of us ever get to play Augusta. So what I am left with is the following bucket list of 13 courses, showing how many times they were mentioned, which I think I can live with:
|1. Pebble Beach – California (8)||2. Old Course St. Andrews – Scotland (7)|
|3. Bandon Dunes – Oregon (6)||4. Whistling Straits – Wisconsin (5)|
|5. Royal Melbourne – Australia (5)||6. Pinehurst No. 2 – North Carolina (5)|
|7. TPC Sawgrass – Florida (4)||8. Pine Valley – New Jersey (4)|
|9. Oakmont – Pennsylvania (4)||10. Royal County Down – Northern Ireland (3)|
|11. Ocean Course Kiawah Island – South Carolina (3)||12. Carnoustie – Scotland (2)|
|13. Legend Golf and Safari Resort – South Africa (2)|
I must say that the most intriguing of the courses has to be the Legend Golf and Safari Resort. It gives new meaning to a once in a life time event, by combining great golf, the beauty of African wild life and the exhilaration of its Extreme 19th hole. A unique par 3 with a tee that sits atop a mountain and drops 437 yard (400 m) to the green below. By the way it is only accessible by helicopter – bring lots of golf balls.