Golf is quite possibly the greatest sport on earth. There is so much tradition to the game, and so much history. It is one of the only sports where you never have the same shot twice. You could hit ten balls from the exact same location, and never see the same shot twice. You have to deal with the line you get, the wind blowing all around you, the bounce the ball gets. There is just so much to think about when hitting a golf shot.
But as a golfer, matched with all the tradition that goes along with it, finding a place to visit is not hard. Golf courses are all over the world, and many of these are places that every golfer should visit at least once. I might just have planned your next vacation.
British Golf Museum
Located at St. Andrews, the home of the game of golf, you can visit the British Golf Museum. The museum is also quite affordable. I am not sure they take into account the money you had to spend to get there on airline tickets and hotel rooms or not, but admission is only $8 for adults. You will find the museum located just behind the clubhouse at the Old Course. Inside, you will find golf memorabilia from the old age to the modern age, and you can even look at the very first golf rule book. This piece dates back to 1774.
If you make the trip all the way to the St Andrews, you might as well take some time to grab a drink at The Dunvegan. This place sits right across the street from the golf course, literally right across from the 18th green at the old course. The only bad thing about this place is that it will be filled with other people just like you. Very few locals visit here because of this. But sit down, grab a pint of beer, and take a look at all of the memorial and images hanging on the wall. Because of its proximity to the golf course, most of what you will see on these walls is from the course itself.
In Celebration of Golf
If you want to stay in the United States and play some golf, then head west to Scottsdale, Arizona. In and around Scottsdale, you will find hundreds of golf courses, and the store In Celebration of Golf. This 15,000 square foot store is located in a strip mall. You can look through over 3,000 different items including artwork, clothes, memorabilia, and even furniture, all dedicated to the game we love. You can even purchase custom golf carts here. This place is huge, so make sure you take your time walking around. You might just get lost.
Par-King Skill Golf
Here in the Midwest, head up to the north side of Chicago and take some time at Par-King Skill Golf. Not a golf course per se, this 75,000 square foot facility houses the most creative miniature golf course on the planet. There are thirty-six holes here, and on one of the holes you will find a twelve-foot statue of the Sears Tower, a huge looping roller coaster, and a giant roulette wheel at the end. If you are worried about how much an experience here will cost, don’t. Adults can play for less than $10. But note that with so many moving parts and so much going on inside, you must be at least forty-eight inches tall to enter the facility.
17 Mile Drive
Make sure you take your time on this California drive. From Carmel to Pacific Grove, you are going to see a lot of photo opportunities. While on this journey, you will see Pebble Beach, Spyglass Hill, Cypress Point , and a lot more. When you enter the seventeen-mile drive, be prepared to spend about $10 for the toll. With that toll, you will be handed a map to help you navigate your journey. If golf is not your thing, don’t worry. You can see whales, otters, and more off the coast. To enjoy this drive right, give yourself at least two hours. (Note that just up the road, headed north, you can find Stanford University, where the great Tiger Woods attended school for three years. Google headquarters are also up the road in Mountain View.)
Sky 72 Golf Club Driving Range
Sure, you have to visit Seoul, South Korea to see this facility, but it might be worth it. Sky 72 Golf Club Driving Range opened back in 2005, but has become world-renowned for its design and location. A mere ten minutes from the Incheaon International Airport, this facility has over 300 hitting bays, and is wrapped around in a circle with about four hundreds yards from any given side to the other. If you are worried that a driving range just has a handful of green mats and some plastic tees, this place might surprise you. Each bay has automatic teeing mechanisms, the highest quality mats of any range on the planet, and high-powered industrial lighting for hitting balls at night. Buckets of balls are less than $5, but you can, if you want to spend some time here working on your game, get a full day pass or even a weekend pass for an increased rate.
TPC Sawgrass Stadium Course
Often considered to be the first major, the TPC Stadium Course in Ponde Vedre Beach, Florida plays host to the PLAYERS each spring. The course is famous for its huge clubhouse, and the number of domestic and international players alike who have won here. It’s also known for the number of PGA players who live on property. There are tons of courses around here, but nothing compared to the TPC. Here, you can schedule a tour of the course, see some of the places where the players walk in and around the facility, and even share in stories with caddies and members who are now volunteers. You can even walk around the clubhouse, have lunch in their bar and grill, or just take pictures of the golf course. Standing on the 17th tee, looking at that island green, is something else. The course is also public, so if you get a chance, book a tee time. It might set you back about $500 after tee times and tipping a caddy, but it will be worth it in the end to have played where some of the best in golf have won.
There are so many more places that you can visit as a golfer. From the World Golf Hall of Fame to the USGA Museum, the game is set on display all over the world. Just ask any golfer, and he or she will tell you importance of maintaining the great history of this game. All of these places and more are doing just that. So grab your clubs, purchase your plane tickets, and see what this great game has to offer.