This article shows you how to travel the world by playing all of the golf courses, including travel tips.
It’s amazing that a golfer who played his first round at age 2, hit the first hole-in-one in 1894, and made his final professional round at age 73 has never been to Japan or China. And he only played 54 holes in China. But if you can play a few rounds in 8 countries on 6 continents before you turn 20, then you could walk around most of the world for the rest of your life without seeing everything twice.
You can travel the world by golf ball. You don’t need a fancy new golf ball, just an old one that can stand up to some rough use. And you don’t need to leave immediately. You could spend a year hitting all of the golf courses, then stay in each country for a month or two, then another year hitting them all again.
What’s more, if you work it out right, you’ll be able to hit every one of those courses in a single day. But that takes planning, and a little math.
The first “world” I visited was the one I grew up in–or rather, the one my parents and grandparents grew up in. The second was the one where I live now, which is far more interesting, but still pretty small.
The third world was made by golf courses. Since I am a professional golfer, that’s what I chose to do. But it’s not just golf. It is playing all of the golf courses in the world, which is an impressive feat.
Regular readers may have noticed that this column has taken on a different character over time: instead of being a travelogue, it has become more of a personal essay. This change seems to have come about because some of my travels are directly tied to my writing about them: for example, when I wrote about golfing around the world, I first visited my father in his adopted home of Australia. After that, I went back to visit him in the United States; then he and I traveled together through Europe; and finally we spent some time together in his native Cuba.
The golf course is a fantastic place to test the limits of physics. The forces are always the same, and you can experiment with all kinds of balls, clubs, and angles. There is no wind and no friction, which makes it easy to see how far you can get, and how fast.
The problem is that the courses are in all different sorts of places around the world: from hot desert to icy mountains to dense jungle. If you have a map, it’s easy enough to figure out where they are, but it’s hard to figure out where you are.
The idea that you could make money playing golf is not entirely ridiculous. Except in a few places, most of the world’s best golf courses are also great places to relax and enjoy nature. In fact, some of the world’s nicest hotels and resorts are right on or near the course. You can play golf all day, or all night, or both. And if you’re going to be away from home for a while, you might as well enjoy yourself while you’re there.
In fact, it’s easy to find a business idea that would work better in some parts of the world than others. For example, the Mediterranean coast has many beautiful beaches (at least those that aren’t covered with concrete) and magnificent cities like Barcelona and Palma de Mallorca. Both are good places for a business that combines beach tourism with luxury hotels and resorts.
But if you want to make money playing golf, where should you go? The obvious answer is Europe. But that isn’t necessarily the best place to go. In fact, it isn’t even the best place in Europe; there is a more beautiful country between Spain and Turkey worth visiting: France.
The course was an immediate success, and was soon identified as a signature landmark in the city. It was frequently ranked as one of the top golf courses in the country and gave new meaning to the phrase “money shot.”
By the time it opened, however, Stephen had run out of money and had no place to play. He borrowed some club members’ private planes and set up a makeshift course at the airport, where he could fly back and forth between Washington and New York.
The first few years went well, but then the recession hit. The club went bankrupt, people stopped flying their private planes, and Stephen’s career as a golfer took a big hit.
He tried to get his old job back at NASA, but they didn’t want him there anymore anyway.
5. Britain (funny, I had to google this one)