Where did you play this week?

Drove from Charlotte to oak island today. Made a detour, went up and toured pinehurst. Never been so wanted to see it in person. Very cool would love to get back and play there. But from there I went and played Legacy Golf Links. A Nicklaus II design. 50 bucks and I really enjoyed it. It’s pretty open but if you really spray it, it can get you in trouble. The course was in great shape and is a great value. Now it’s no pinehurst from what I seen at pinehurst. But I enjoyed it very much. Nice size greens. And all 4 par 3s have water that comes into play which ive never seen before. Parked all of them though. Lol. Great weather.

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Willow Lakes in Bellevue, NE today with @jefranks30 and @QMany (@huskerkyle in spirit)
Only photo i got was Mr. Franks playing maybe the ballsiest shot I’ll see all year

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There was a 50/50 chance that ball was coming right back at me

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Well if you’re posting now presumably you didn’t die, so how close did it come to hitting the pole?

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Here’s probably the best place to get info:

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The snow finally melted and our course was dry enough to open up for waking this weekend.

Played 9 yesterday (it was actually flurrying off and on the whole time lol) and 18 today.

Felt good to get back out - lots of good chips, putts, drives and approach shots - just not on all the same holes lol!

Lots of tree stumps were now piles of mulch. They are doing a lot of maintenance in the bunkers too to help drainage and adding some more mounded areas around some greens for visual interest. Can’t wait to see how it all comes together this spring/summer.

Here’s coming up on the green uphill on our 18 with the clubhouse in the back.

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Firewheel Lakes today. Greens were the best I’ve seen since last year. They were in extremely good shape. Shot a 93 which included 6 OB shots. That course just punishes you if you mishit anything.

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Had a couple of passes to play at Cleveland Country Club in Shelby, NC so got out there on Saturday. Gorgeous weather, and course was dead. Got around in 3.5 hours, and we were loafing. Front 9 built in 1927 and back 9 added in the Forties. I preferred the front as it was surrounded by interesting houses that didn’t intrude on the course and it almost seemed like you were in a big bowl. Back had lots of elevation changes with some strange forced layups. They had just done a renovation to the clubhouse dining area this winter with a great porch area too, but it was dead which was surprising. Verrrry close to the 18 green (last picture) so we did get to watch one more group come in which was fun.


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Played 68 holes over the weekend at Big Cedar Lodge.
Payne’s Valley (19 holes): Cool, fun, but kinda gimmicky. I liked it, and would likely play it again, but probably over priced for what it is. I think I missed one fairway all day which was due to the fairways being enormous rather than how well I hit it. It’s definitely “impressive” but the whole thing felt like an civil engineering accomplishment as opposed to an artistic one. Didn’t help that it’s sloooooow due to anyone down there just playing one round looking to play Tiger’s course. In happy news, I made comfy par on the island green 19th hole.

Mountain Top (13 hole par 3): Really fun walk to finish the day. Glad it was more of a par 3 course (65-190 yard holes) than a pitch and putt like the Horse Course at Prairie Club or the Cradle that don’t get longer than 100.

Buffalo Ridge: A less good version of Payne’s Valley. No real bad holes, and some fun ones with lots of Faz fake nature throughout.

Ozarks National: Amazing. Used the same type of land as the others, but did it with subtlety and managed to be super interesting. There’s at least five holes I’d put ahead of any others from the rest of the resort. Only one of the full courses I’d want to play every day.

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Did you see Kevin?

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I opted for a skunk-free dining experience (fast food in my hotel room while watching Crazy Rich Asians and Fast Five). I also haaaaaate the non-golf/lake aspects of Branson, and did not feel like exploring the town.

In other dining news: the on course hot dogs are free all the time

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Played Wigwam Blue out on the west side of Phoenix during a legit hot day for March. It’s weird to want it to start hitting triple digits so golf can be relatively affordable again.

Haven’t played the gold course but between red and blue I like blue a lot more. Designed by one of the RTJ clan (sr, jr, who can say) with tiny thumbprint greens and super deep bunkers. Pins were really tough. I think the super was trying to blow up the high school tournament happening behind. Got around with a career low 75 which is very weird to see written out.

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Got out to TPC San Antonio (Oaks) on Friday with @chitwood and had a good time.

Didn’t think the course was as ‘hard’ as I’ve been led to believe, but will say they put the pins in some incredibly difficult spots to keep traffic away from where they will pin for the tournament in 3 weeks. Greens are pretty small, which is a lot of the challenge out there. Definitely harder for the high handicap and very playable for the pros.

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This week/weekend was very golf-heavy and ranged from C-Suite adjacent to Strapped/muni vibes.

Ritz Carlton Orlando Thursday and Friday with some colleagues and customers.
WP9 Saturday with my son and dad.

WP9 was great, as always. Anyone who watched API coverage Saturday knows that Saturday was supposed to be a washout here in Orlando. We had a 1:21 tee time after my son’s morning baseball game, and we came close to bailing.

But we got out there, experienced a mild drizzle for a hole and a half, and then played in 65-degree, overcast weather the whole time. Many others bailed on their tee times that day. I called pre-round, and they said they were full. But when we finished up, it was completely empty, so we went back for another loop.

I played a three-club (plus putter) challenge on the second loop and scored even better than I did on my first loop. It included 7 straight pars at one point. If you’ve never done this, I’d highly recommend it. It teaches you to see shots differently and manage the course more effectively. Imagine how much you want to avoid greenside bunkers when your most lofted club is PW instead of SW or LW!

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Took advantage of some nice weather and got out for 2 Sandhills rounds this past weekend.

On Saturday, I played Whispering Pines, Pines course with @Godmar @BoyNamedSuj and @Are_you_double_D . First time out there and it’s got some good holes (particularly at the beginning and end) with some tough greens. Not in the category of the big names and probably a bit pricey for what it is, but a good time nonetheless.

On Sunday, I had the pleasure of playing Southern Pines, currently being renovated, with @Hawk and @Just-a-little-right. It’s going to be amazing when it’s done. The layout was always great, but the current tree removal and bunker renovations give a lot of hope for what it’s going to be when it’s all done.

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Is 18 at Southern Pines the best finishing hole of the three courses (MP/PN/SP)? Who can say*.

  • Yes, it is.
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Blue was definitely RTJ Sr, at least originally. He designed Gold as his “monster” (championship) course and the Blue was more of the “family” option at the resort. But there’s not too much RTJ left there. 14-18 aren’t his holes at all. 1-13 are kinda his holes (small push up greens, as you note) but the bunkering has been massively changed and there have been plenty of other tweaks throughout the years. Attributing any one designer of record at either Gold or Blue is a fool’s errand at this point.

Which is not to say they are bad courses, they’ve just been tinkered with a lot by lots of different people for lots of different reasons over the years.

The Red course OTOH is still pretty much an authentic Red Lawrence design. But it would be a better course if they spent some money and tinkered with it, ironically. (Of course, they wouldn’t have to mess with it, to fix it up. They could just fix up the bunkers that are there, push the greens back to original size, etc. But based on how they’ve done things with their other courses, if they ever do anything with Red other than turn it into homes, I suspect it won’t be a sympathetic restoration.)

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Pelican bay Naples Fl… Whole different world for a Cali guy
Bermuda greens… so fun!

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Got out and played Southern Pines on Friday with @AirMailWedges and @ColoniusFunk. As Dave mentioned, they’re doing a ton of work but it’s going to be soooooo good when they’re done.




Also played in The Dyad II at Tobacco Road with @AirMailWedges carrying our team for the whole weekend. Didn’t get many pics but here’s one of Stuart Cabin and one of @AirMailWedges on 13 taking the mega line in the mega light.


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