If you are on this website, you probably hope your family holidays and out of town activities with friends ALWAYS include golf…right?. But, having to haul golf clubs across the US, as well as trying to find a suitable course to play, can present a series of challenges for even the most avid golfer and meticulous planner.
Thankfully, there are plenty of cities in the US that have golf courses that exude a family-friendly atmosphere.
Colorado Springs, Colorado
Nestled at the foot of the Cheyenne Mountain, Colorado Springs, Colorado, features one of the US’ most luxurious vacations spots: The Broadmoor. According to Golf Digest, the resort allows kids ages 13 and below to play for free as long as they’re accompanied by an adult. Aside from a beautiful golf course, The Broadmoor also offers guests a plethora of outdoor activities, including horseback riding, boating, and biking. It also has charming cottages, which are great alternatives from the usual hotel rooms offered by many sub-standard courses across the country.
Hilton Head, South Carolina
For those who are looking to hit two birds with one stone, Hilton Head, South Carolina puts a spotlight on Palmetto Dunes Oceanfront Resort. Legendary golf course designer, Arthur Hills, developed the overall look of this award-winning facility, making it a sure fire hit amongst players of various ages and levels. Hills planned it in such a way that the course incorporates families, thanks to permanent junior tees. Another great thing about the Palmetto Dunes Oceanfront Resort is that it’s situated near the beach so guests can take a quick dip or enjoy the many water activities when they aren’t hitting balls on the fairway.
Golf website Play Your Course claims that Chicago, Illinois is arguably the “most historic golf city in the entire country.” A key contributor to this claim is the Chicago Golf Club, the United States’ first ever eighteen-hole course. Even up to this day, it still captures the essence of how the sport was played back in the day, with a wide-open layout resembling links-style play areas, while presenting new challenges and terrains. Considering the Chicago Golf Club has a mixture of guard greens and bunker line fairways, guests’ skill levels will certainly be put to the test.
Orlando, Florida isn’t just known for being a popular Disneyland destination, it’s also recognized as a bona fide golfer’s haven thanks to the Ginn Reunion Resort. This establishment captures the hearts of people by combining and offering the best of both worlds, in a sense that it has a so-called family package deal. The aforementioned promotion includes a one-day pass to any Walt Disney Theme Park and another pass to either Universal Studios, or Universal Island of Adventure, or Sea World. Back at the golf course, other than the standard fairways, Ginn Reunion Resort highlights kid-friendly tees perfect for those up-and-coming players.
Only 3 of 4 of our kids were in town for the final round, but they played those 18 (walking and carrying clubs in solidarity) with us!
This photo is terrible of me, with my “I am so cold it hurts” face, but I am posting it anyway so you can see the sky and the weather as the round started. Loved having my beautifully colored FootJoy windproof on! (not so subtle Thank You to them for both of our jackets!)
Jordan from FootJoy, and Matt from The Hills were with us the whole way getting video of The Shoes. THE Contour Fit FootJoy shoes that Barry put more rounds on in a month than many do in a year. And the ones that were so comfortable and kept his feet dry during a nasty run of December weather.
Thank goodness the wind subsided and the sun came out. And so did the supporters! We played the front 9 with many people coming out of their homes to yell “Congratulations, Barry!” across the Golf Course, but by the back 9 we had people following us in their carts and/or walking. Here is the “gallery” forming…
We had several people as guest players on holes, and I hope to receive photos that I can include in a whole post about them. There were some highlight moments including when Brian was tracking for a hole-in-one on number 15 (almost!) and the gallery gave him an ovation. In fact, he had several moments where he got that reaction from them! I guess he thrives with the pressure of an audience.
On 18 we had Clayton Reed, Kathy Skinner and Kevin Paulsen. This is a nice sun effect (or else God is a golfer) on Barry before teeing off, captured by the awesome photographer Cynthia Hoff.
Here is the family walking up to the 18th green together with Clayton on the right. By this time I was laughing at the crowd forming.
We are told that Barry almost holed out his last shot from the fairway. That must be why the crowd let out such a whoop!. He only had this putt left, after the ball hit the hole and bounced away. Of course he sank it!
What we expected was 20-30 people for a champagne toast, but it turned into nearly 100 people. So many well-wishers, and friends from years ago.
Kathy and Al Kilberg had been our videographers for several holes, with Cynthia Hoff on the still photo duty. What great friends who thought of everything we could possibly need! Karen and Bruce traveled an hour to be there at just the time we headed up the last fairway, and Larry Kener and Rich Blakeman had a Facetime congratulations chat with “The Guy” as chaos ensued after the last putt. What looks like Elizabeth unable to put down her phone is really our British family member, Stewart McGregor, on a Facetime from London. That across the pond Facetime started just as we finished #17. Stewart gets the award for farthest away AND staying up late to be part of the very end of Barry’s quest.
As those who know him well can attest, Barry can be a little sentimental. Exhibit A…
The following are textbook symptoms of Post Fanatic Golf Syndrome (PFGS)
You get the picture!
And after 2 weeks of symptomatic PFGS, a little “Ski-Habilitation” helps!
Until you get plowed into by an out of control stranger and land on your shoulder and torque your knee!
Thank goodness the golf quest is done. Recovery is hard…
When I installed the countdown clock on this website it was hard to imagine ever seeing it at zero days.
I have to say, it looks pretty awesome to me.
As I (Joy that is. Barry is out there doing number 877 right now) anticipate a final round of the year, with 3 of the 4 kids being able to be here, and many of our good friends waiting at the end with champagne to celebrate, I can only feel gratitude. What an experience!
We didn’t have any idea what we were getting into, but it has been an adventure. The part we knew was the challenge. The part we never anticipated was the great people and support we have experienced. In the end, our hugely expanded “golf family” is really what it is all about and what we will savor.
Before we go out there, I just want to say THANK YOU! to anyone reading this, because if your eyes are here… you have been part of this journey with us. You have enhanced our lives and we appreciate it! We will never forget 2016.
Tomorrow. December 31, 2016 Flintrock Falls. The final number? Looking like 878. As my grandmother would say, “God willing”…
Hard to believe the guy who did three rounds today was at the Alamo Bowl last night…
And drove home from San Antonio. Who needs sleep when you can add more rounds to the World Record? Last chance is coming up.
p.s. We met the nicest guy from FootJoy this evening, Jordan. Great fun, very talented and a quality individual. He is a fitting representative of the brand that Barry couldn’t have gotten this far without. Hopefully, some of you will have the opportunity to say hello to him tomorrow.
Elizabeth walked about 16 holes with Barry on yet another 3 round day.
We have been watching the weather forecast for Saturday and it is really changing for the better. It has gone from 55 degrees and rainy, to 61 and no rain, to now showing 72 degrees and cloudy! Just waitng for the cloud icon on my weather app to go away, as well. We will be so happy not to be cold and wet on the last round, even though we are prepared with our FootJoy raingear. 🙂