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...
Ballyneal, the unofficial home of the Hundred Hole Hike, has always been the home of some pretty extreme numbers. First, we had a record $110,000 raised for one cause in 2011. Last year, the eight Ballyneal hikers were faced with 107 degree temperatures.
This year was no different. First, my bunkmate and future fourball tournament partner Wyatt Halliday played 108 holes and shot even par for the day! All this while playing to a Pandora mix seeded by, from what I could gather, The Backstreet Boys and Carly Rae Jepsen.
Even more remarkable, Mitch Ehly recorded the first double eagle in Hundred Hole Hike history after he jarred his 2nd shot on the par 5, 15th hole. He asked his playing partner Brian Carruthers for the number. Both Brian and Mitch worked in the shop up until a couple years ago, and know the course extremely well. Brian told him 155, agreed with the pitching wedge and told him to 'just swing hard'. Mitch, essentially a golf robot, punched in the number into his computer and spit out the perfect shot. Unfortunately for Mitch, with all of the bonus pledge features we've added to hundredholehike.com this year, I never considered an investment in an albatross feature. If Mitch had holed-out his drive on the infamous 7th hole at Ballyneal, he would've netted an extra $2,500 for his Disabled American Veterans charity. Instead, he gets a hearty handshake and a pat on the back (if you want to show Mitch some love with a pledge to acknowledge this feat, please go to: http://hundredholehike.com/golfers/mitch-ehly)
And finally, Rob 'THE Walking Golfer' Rigg claimed the "Sheriff of Hikesville" badge with a remarkable 171 holes walked in one day. That's 60 miles up and down some sand dunes. Plus, rumor has it that a) he may have done it with only club or b) he may have alternated between right- and left-handed swings.
[Note: Rigg only held the Sheriff title for a day, as he was surpassed on Tuesday by Oregon hiker Bobby Tabb. Tabb hit the 10-round barrier, going 180 deep at Sunset Grove Golf Club. This numbers game has me feeling a bit like Bud Selig, with Tabb as Mark McGwire to Rigg's Sammy Sosa. Let's just hope they don't end up on the cover of Sports Illustrated in togas. If I show up next year with six-pack abs, the head the size of a large watermelon and break the 200-hole mark in a day, can we all just agree to look the other way?]
All of these mind-boggling numbers made my third consecutive 155 holes at Ballyneal seem like old hat. Halliday had me beat before he even got out of bed, as I three-putted the first hole for double bogey at 4:47 A.M. (a disturbing trend for my 2013 hikes). Rigg lapped me on my 140th hole (his 149th). And the only "double" anything I attained on Monday were 17 double bogeys and one double cheeseburger after the marathon was over.
Before you think I'm just going to roll over and play fourth fiddle at my home club in the event I founded, I submit to you one mind-blowing, jaw-dropping, astronomic number:
Jim Colton, Fairways Hit: 85/120 (70.8%)
Happy learned how to hit a fairway.
I don't claim to be a Payne Stewart expert or historian, but I recently discovered a little known fact about the late three-time major champion.
Dude was a yoga master.
It should not come to a surprise that no one has ever revealed this nugget until now. I only discovered it after walking 144 holes at Pinehurst on Monday, for the first of my four Hundred Hole Hikes. Pinehurst has been around for over 100 years, but certainly no one had ever walked 144 holes before at the resort. That put me in a unique Vasco da Gama-esque position to drop this little known gem on the golf community. Consider your mind blown.
You see, after 72 holes of the mental and physical toll that must come from winning a US Open (not speaking from personal experience), how does one explain that modified, single-leg warrior pose that Stewart managed pulled off? That now timeless stance has endured, because of the stage, the setting, and the spontaneity of it all. People had never seen anything quite like it.
But was it really spur of the moment? After 144 holes at Pinehurst, I can't help but wonder if he practiced it in front of a mirror on a yoga mat for months, waiting for just the right moment to spring it on the world.
I was fortunate enough to bookend my 8-round journey Monday with rounds on the famed No. 2 course, Donald Ross's gem that is making history by hosting US Open's for the men and women next year in back-to-back weeks. That's 144 holes of professionals (and a handful of amateurs) struggling to make par. Combined with the 144 holes at the resort, what better way to commemorate their first day "on the clock" as Open host with 144 holes of a very amateur golfer really struggling to make par?
Obviously, that meant my 144th and final hole would end on the 18th green of No. 2, site of one of the most memorable moments in golf history. Everybody who knows me knew exactly what that meant. There was no way I was not going to strike that pose. Nothing to it. Right?
After hitting my approach shot on the 18th to just off the back left corner of the green, a mediocre putt left me about 15 feet below the hole. Here was my Payne Stewart opportunity, minus the plus-fours and the roomy sleeveless rain jacket (the resort would make a mint if they sold these in the pro shop). I made a confident stroke, the ball curling right towards the hole for an assured par. I started lifting one leg in the air...what a way to finish the day! Then the ball lipped out. Violently.
Yes, I then proceeded to miss the three-footer coming back, amidst the groans of my two caddies, one newspaper reporter, Executive Vice President of the resort Tom Pashley (and from what i could gather, a guy who might have the best job on earth) and famed writer and Pinehurst local James Dodson. Mercifully, I made the next tap-in putt to complete a not-very stellar 85. The moment was effectively lost, but the guys were ready with cameras for the pose regardless. I planted on one leg, lifted my right arm with putter forward, raised my left leg as high as it would go (probably 6-9 inches off the ground at most). Almost immediately, my right foot gave way to the weight of 40+ miles of walking and 195-pounds of flab, and I fell over. Unlike Payne, I don't think they'll memorialize this on the Walk of Fame anytime soon.
I was determined to get it right though. A second attempt was no better than the first. Finally, I mustered up enough energy to stay upright for the 2.5 seconds it took to snap this picture.
It wasn't pretty. But it got the job done. And that pretty much summed up my golf for the day.
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)