4 for 40
Pinehurst. Ballyneal. Cabot Links. St. Andrews. A trip of a lifetime for a worthy cause.
Welcome to Husker Dunes Golf Club, my foray into fake golf course design.
The Ben Cox 108+
Photos and recap on a great day at Ballyneal, raising money for a great cause...
Never thought I'd see the day...
Can you guess how I fared on this U.S. Open test?
The Definitive Guide to Chicago's Best Public Golf Courses
Check out our ranking of the best Chicago public golf courses...
Jim connects with his roots during three days in beautiful Northern California...
The Ballynizzle Cup
Check out Part One of the Ryder Cup showdown between Team Coltrain and Team Jefe...
The Bucket List
The Triumvirate checks off one of the courses they've been dying to play in a truly once in a lifetime experience...
The Kingsley Club
Check out the triumvirates visit to Mike Devries incredible course in Northern Michigan...
Tang vs. Tang: One for the Ages
Check out the (extremely) detailed hole-by-hole action of the 2008 Shell's Wonderful World of Golf, a truly epic match between the brothers Tang...
Click on the photo above to view the teaser trailer for Cabot Links, a new Rod Whitman-designed golf course opening next year in Nova Scotia (10 holes will be open for play July 1, 2011). Cabot is billing itself as its country's first true links course, with rolling, firm-and-fast conditions hard by the sea. Mike Keiser is involved in the project, and as owner of Bandon Dunes, he knows a thing or two about building successful, remote links golf courses. Keiser also had a role in Lost Farm, another rugged links course that opened last year in Tasmania (adjacent to Tom Doak's Barnbougle Dunes).
Like a contestant on The Bachelor, I feel a strong 'connection' to Cabot Links. The pull of links golf is just too strong. Once you've played the game it was meant to be played, you'll really never be the same. Plus, my in-laws vacationed in the Cape Breton area last summer. Knowing they were heading that way, I told them they simply had to check out this great new course that was currently under construction. Of course, I fully expected to completely ignore my suggestion, like they usually do (case in point: Cape Kidnappers during their New Zealand vacation in 2007). Lo and behold, I received a call in the middle of the day a couple of weeks later -- my in-laws were standing on the property amidst all of the bulldozers, watching dirt being pushed around. I frantically tried to arrange a tour of the place, but they were back on the road by the time I tracked down the developer.
Just this past week, I ran into my father-in-law Ken at a wake for my wife's aunt. Naturally, our conversation drifted to golf. "You know that links course up in Nova Scotia?" Ken asked. "What do you say you and I go up there after it opens?" I don't even need to tell you my answer (yes, there was man-hugging involved). Cabot Trail, here we come!
My good friend Tom Dunne just posted this fantastic video of the recently renovated Pinehurst No. 2 over on out-and-back.net. Bill Coore & Ben Crenshaw brought back Donald Ross's original look and strategic vision, while keeping its famous green intact. The biggest change is the removal of the bermuda rough, replaced by sandy waste area and wiregrass. Tom is keen to point out the beauty of this type of native "rough". Instead of balls nestling down into thick bermuda rough, wayward drives will bound into the sandy areas - some may end up stymied against some wiregrass while others may find a clean lie on hard-packed sand. These areas will likely call for imagination and shotmaking skills, as opposed to a straightforward hack and slash.
I played No. 2 over 10 years ago and really enjoyed the course (although the above picture of the new par-3 9th is a chilling reminder of my triple-bogey on that hole). It currently sits 17th on my personal course rankings. However, Tom's video has me drooling and pining for returning visit. I can tell you right now that the increased width, stunning look and heightened fun factor are right up my alley, and a return visit would probably send Pinehurst No. 2 up into the pantheon where it belongs.
Also, I found out this week that Jefe is officially IN for the Ballynizzle Cup this summer. It's on like Donkey Kong! I'm going to need a lot more range sessions to improve my chances of bringing the Cup home to its rightful owner.
Late last night, famed architect Tom Doak became the latest to whip it out. His list of top courses is viewed as the holy grail of course rankings, especially considering his seminal The Confidential Guide to Golf Courses a) only grouped courses on a 10-point scale and b) was published over 13 years ago, thus missing all of the great courses built during this new golden age of architecture. Where modern gems would score on the Doak Scale is a subject of much speculation and debate on the site.
Doak's late-night post may bring the GCA servers to a screeching halt. Just in case, here is Doak's Top 25, followed by list of 25 more 'favorites', in alphabetical order:
1. The Old Course at St. Andrews
2. Royal Melbourne (West)
3. Sand Hills
4. Pine Valley
5. National Golf Links of America
6. Cypress Point
7. Crystal Downs
8. Shinnecock Hills
9. Royal Dornoch
10. Merion (East)
11. Pacific Dunes
12. Ballybunion (Old)
14. Pinehurst (No. 2)
15. Royal County Down
16. Barnbougle Dunes
17. Kingston Heath
19. Pebble Beach
20. Augusta National
22. Prairie Dunes
23. Rock Creek
25. North Berwick (West)
Note: Doak has seen but hasn't played Oakmont, therefore it wasn't eligible for the list.
25 More 'Favorites'
Casa de Campo (Teeth of the Dog)
The Golf Club
Royal West Norfolk
Royal Worlington & Newmarket
St. Andrews Beach
St. George's (Toronto)
St. George's Hill
The Sheep Ranch
Walton Heath (Old)
White Bear Yacht Club
My buddy Sven was one of the 30 or so guys on the trip. Fortunately, he was kind enough to post some extensive video tours of four of the courses on the trip. If you're anything like me, these videos will likely have you checking out prices on flights to Melbourne and beyond. Enjoy!
Lost Farm (click here for course website)
Barnbougle Dunes (click here for course website)
Royal Melbourne East (click here for course website)
Royal Melbourne West (click here for course website)
Hundred Hole Hike
|The Hundred Hole Hike (HHH) is a national-network of golf marathons where participants plan to walk 100 or more holes of golf in one day in order to raise money for various worthwhile charitable causes. Please go to http://www.hundredholehike.com/ for more details.|
Chicago Public Course Rankings
My Course Rankings
2. National Golf Links of America
3. St. Andrews (Old)
4. Cypress Point
6. Shinnecock Hills
7. Royal Dornoch
9. Merion (East)
10. Pacific Dunes
11. Friars Head
12. Sand Hills
13. Tara Iti
14. Pinehurst No 2
15. Royal Melbourne (West)
16. Pebble Beach
17. Chicago Golf Club
19. Los Angeles CC (North)
20. North Berwick
One Divot at a Time...
My Blog List
[Note: Rankings have been updated September 12, 2011 with feedback from an expert panel of a dozen fellow Chicago golf addicts.] We've...
Last updated: February 5, 2011 Click links to find relevant blog posts. Rank JIM JEFE JIMBO 1. Ballyneal Pacific Dunes Royal County Do...
The only time "Jim Colton" and "Ivy League" have been used in the same sentence. A quick detour from My Summer of ...
Watching the bloodbath that was Saturday at Augusta this year, I couldn't help but ask myself the same question that was going through m...
Here are some pics from Wednesday's golf marathon. It was a fun and memorable day. I didn't really know what to expect, but I k...
Below is a copy of a press release that our friends at Ballyneal sent out about The Ben Cox 108: HOLYOKE, CO -- On June 20...
Wegoblogger31 is a proud contributor to the new Golf Blog 100, which just launched its site and its ranking of the Top 100 golf courses in t...
Even now that the Ben Cox 108+ hole marathon is over, you can still donate now and get into the July 9th raffle. You just need to get you...
Warning: Wegoblogger Is An Extremely Difficult Blog Which I Recommend Only for Highly-Skilled Readers A promise to all of my loyal blo...
Treating Golf Addiction with an 18-Step Program... What do golf addicts from Chicago do in the middle of winter? We think about gol...
Golf Blog 100
The Ben Cox 108-Hole Golf Marathon
What: A 108-golf marathon to raise money for Ben Cox, a Ballyneal caddie who was paralyzed from a severe skiing accident in March.
When: June 22, 2011 (update)
Where: Ballyneal Golf & Hunt Club - Holyoke, CO
How to Give:
Send a check payable to: Prairie Home Baptist Church (memo: Ballyneal fundraiser)
P.O. Box 271
Haxtun, CO 80731
- Holyoke Enterprise: "Ballyneal member aims to help Cox family"
- Cybergolf: "Ballyneal Member Invites Others to Join 108-Hole Fundraiser"
- Omaha World Herald: Golf Notes (5/31)
- Radio interview on 104.3 The Fan in Denver (6/18)
- Colorado Avid Golfer: "Golfer's Charitable Marathon Could Get You on Riviera" (6/24)
- Golf Channel: "W18: Patience and Perspective" (6/27)
- Golf World Monday: "Marathon Man" (6/27)
- Holyoke Enterprise: "The Ben Cox 108 (give or take 47) climbs beyond $77,000" (6/30)
- Chicago Tribune: "All-day golf event raises more than $100,000 for paralyzed caddie" (7/8)