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Reader’s Tee | September 2008

Celebration at Carnoustie

Just returned from an unforgettable trip to Scotland with three friends to celebrate our fortieth birthdays, which all fall in this calendar year. We played seven rounds in five days and enjoyed every minute, even in mostly brutal winds. We played Kingsbarns twice, Carnoustie, the Dukes, North Berwick and the New and Old Courses at St. Andrews. Without a doubt, the trip of a lifetime!

Tripp Devers Evergreen, Colorado

And Rhode Island makes Fifty

A little over five years ago, I realized I’d played golf in most of the states—I only had a few left. I decided it was time to set a goal and finish the task of playing in all fifty of them. I whittled away at those that remained, playing in Alaska, Louisiana and Mississippi last year, leaving only five in the northeast: New York, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Vermont and Rhode Island. In mid-May, my wife and I joined friends from Augusta, Georgia, at the Villa Roma Resort near Liberty, New York, and I played in those last five states. One day, I played a very quick eighteen alone at Mount Anthony Country Club in Bennington, Vermont, followed by another eighteen a few miles south near Williamstown, Massachusetts, at Waubeeka Golf Links, finishing thirty-six holes in two states in a little more than four hours, counting driving time. I walked the majority of the time (as I do five rounds a week all summer here in Breckenridge). On May 11, I played in my fiftieth state with a trip around North Kingstown Golf Course in Rhode Island. I saved the smallest state for last.

Charlie Simpson Breckenridge, Colorado

Lucky Cods at County Down

Three years ago, a group of us affectionately known as the Cods (Papa, Doctor, Eye, Dry, Bear, Machine, Quad and Mountain), playing out of Black Creek Club in Chattanooga, Tennessee, journeyed to Ireland and played Doonbeg, Ballybunion (Old and Cashen), Lahinch, Portmarnock, Island Golf Club, the European Club, Royal County Down and the K Club. We recently returned from another trip, this time to Scotland, where we played St. Andrews (New and Old), Kingsbarns, Carnoustie, Muirfield, North Berwick, Dundonald Links, Turnberry, Royal Troon and Prestwick. Having a home course that features such classic hole designs as the Redan, Biarritz, Cape and Double Plateau only made these trips more enjoyable and meaningful. We are indeed some lucky Cods!

J. Clay “Dry Cod” Crumbliss Chattanooga, Tennessee

The Gathering at Kohler

My three closest friends and I have known each other since the third grade. After graduating from college, we made a pact to get together once a year for an annual golf competition we call the Gathering. It’s not easy to coordinate schedules for four businessmen living in four separate parts of the country, but we somehow manage to make it happen every year. In May we celebrated our fourteenth Gathering by playing all of the fabulous resort courses in Kohler, Wisconsin. Our round at the Straits Course at Whistling Straits was one of the most memorable moments in my golf life. It was fifty degrees and rainy and we had wind gusts making a three-club difference on shot selection—the way I imagine the game was meant to be played. I was the only brave soul to play in shorts, while my friend Jon looks like he’s about to hit the ski slopes! Sadly I can report winning only one of the four matches during the week (an off year, I assure you!), but the collected memories will always remind me that our friendly competition is not the main catalyst bringing us together every year.

Ken Kendra Siler City, North Carolina

South African Adventure

In January I was in Cape Town, South Africa, and decided to play golf at the Mowbray Golf Club, a beautiful course at the foot of Table Mountain and the site of seven South African Opens. On the first tee, I was paired with two members who happened to be brothers. They could not have been more hospitable and welcoming to me as a visitor. Their father had been a caddie at the club. Jack had just turned pro and was about to make his way to the European Tour qualifying events. To play with a professional was inspiring, but the thing I took away most from the day was the easy conversation and warm camaraderie we shared. I asked Jack what event he would most like to win and why, and I expected him to say the Masters or the Open, but he chose the South African Open, saying he hoped he could be a role model for his countrymen. In my opinion, he is well on his way. These brothers were decent and fun-loving, and I could not have asked for better partners. A guess as to their father’s golf idol: Jack’s brother’s name is Nicholas. (No kidding!)

Gordon Bingham, Oakville, Ontario, Canada

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