It was a great summer, even if it didn’t include as many rounds of golf as past summers have. My golf fix was met in a different fashion, through an internship with GOLF Magazine. I learned what a career in journalism might look like, but as important as that was, the knowledge I gained about the sport seems almost more valuable.
One of the best jobs I was given was to locate photos of the top 100 courses in both the United States and the world. It was a combined effort with the two other interns at GOLF, which helped clue me in on a tradition I hadn’t previously heard of.
An elite goal of many golf enthusiasts is to play every course on the top 100 list. It’s usually a goal that takes, and is sometimes never met during, an entire lifetime. It’s a goal that one of those interns holds and constantly works to achieve. At just 21-years-old, he has already crossed more than 20 of those off his list. It’s pretty impressive, and he knows it. He constantly makes the most of his connections.
Other than being impressed by his luck and overall sociability, his quest got me thinking about the goals in golf. Goals sum up golf. Without goals, golf really couldn’t be the same. And while goals are important in every sporting arena, in golf those goals are more defined.
In most sports, it’s either win or lose, whereas in golf, the goal is determined by a number, or a group of numbers, like shooting in the 80s. Those numbers mean different things on different courses and different days and for different players. Carding an 89 one day might feel like a loss, but when it’s rainy and windy the next day, that 89 might feel more like a win (especially if your buddy ends at 90).
So in this final Golf Page column of the year, it’s a sendoff saying that, although playing golf is just about finished for the year in Door County and Wisconsin, the thought of it is carried on through those goals. For me, it’s breaking 80, and the pace I’m going is concerning. For my buddy Graylyn, it’s those top 100 courses in the world, a couple of which will take him to Japan. It could really be anything.
It could be a score, or an event you really want to see. Maybe it’s seeing Tiger Woods’ sweet stroke in person, or playing the best courses in the state or region. Reflecting on the past year of golf and setting a goal for the next one will always keep this game interesting, as if it ever wasn’t.
The middle of October is a great time to assess or create those goals. It’s sort of like a new year’s resolution, like getting (and staying) in shape, only this one should be more enjoyable. Best of luck.