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No. 18

The thrill is in the chase. For some, it’s gilded invitations to Pine Valley and Sand Hills. For others it’s tracing the steps of their literary hero at a quirky Minnesota classic. The pursuit can take unexpected turns, evidenced in meetings with the vagabond who shared the secret of golf with Player and Spieth and the woman, uninterested in playing the game, whose life’s work provided the foundation for Bandon Dunes. And sometimes, like on a reckless California road trip, we simply chase the sun. No. 18 celebrates the journeys and the destinations.

Features
No. 18

“It had only taken a few holes for Gene Littler to learn Pine Valley’s universal rule: A good shot is safe, a great shot is rewarded handsomely and a bad shot is punished like nowhere else in the world.”

Yardage Book: Anthology of Hazards

The par-3 fifth hole at Pine Valley Golf Club

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No. 18

“Boynton traveled to New York City during the summer of 1974, wholly uninterested in changing the history of golf. Sustainable employment was a more immediate concern. But even then, she knew the game.”

A Bandon Surprise, Just for Ewes

Mike Keiser’s signature resort may never have existed without the pen of prolific children’s book and greeting card author Sandra Boynton.

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No 18, The Rally

“I expected it to be hot. It was a golf course called Furnace Creek, located in Death Valley. But 101 degrees at 5 a.m.?”

Because You Can

As this California mission shows, the best golf adventures often don’t make perfect sense.

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No 18

“Only golf creates characters like Peter Beames. But only golf (or maybe some religions, too; same difference) creates the sort of community that would keep a Peter Beames alive all these years.”

The Man Riding Clouds

Peter Beames has brushed shoulders with legends, taught all over the world, experienced homelessness and somehow keeps happily floating along.

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No. 18

“Club literature states, ‘The Sand Hills golf course is lacking trees, lakes, fountains, waterfalls, hanging tee signs and adjacent home sites. If one believes those elements are requisites for quality, this golf course is deficient.’”

American Safari

The Sand Hills became a second golf home after one blind trip turned into years of adventure on the plains.

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“He had amassed so many that he could lose a ball every hole for the rest of his life and never run out. Just once, just today, could he have not looked for balls?”

Hell or High Grass

Even at a father and son’s worst, the game brings out their best.

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No. 18

“There was a chance—maybe a too-romantic notion, but perhaps not—that …somewhere here at White Bear, F. Scott Fitzgerald’s imagination may have met Jay Gatsby for the first time.”

The Inexhaustible Variety of Life

A walk among the massive boats, fast cars, pitched fairways, facts and fictions of White Bear Yacht Club, potential birthplace of the great American novel

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No 18

“Anything a golfer wears is going to make them look like an asshole to somebody.”

We Need to Talk About Your White Belt

The surprising history and broader impact of golf’s most debated fashion choice.

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“At its peak, Boyd’s program was renting about 14 buses every summer. He would drive one up and down the Roaring Fork Valley himself, picking up any boys and girls in the towns south of Aspen who wanted to participate.”

The Wake-Up Call

One man’s winding path from white-collar criminal to architect of Aspen Golf Club’s bustling junior golf program

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No 18

“So often—too often—movies and television portray golf solely through a private-club lens as either an aspirational ideal or a comical waste of time.”

This Ain’t Pebble Beach, Son

Celebrating when muni life finally, briefly, got its Hollywood closeup

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No 18

“My joy is in the walks and the chuckles, the cigars and the well-struck 8-irons. The old me walking off that green in Arizona would have never believed that today I’m more invested in my playing partners’ numbers than my own”

When Golf Love Is Lost…and Found

A lifer is forced to reexamine his priorities

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