This began as a trip down memory lane to some of my favorite golf watering holes. What I soon realized is that there are far too many to mention in a single article and that I am going to have to break these down by category.
After 25 years on the road, I have eaten and drank my way around the country many times. One thing I know for certain is that who you drink with is far more important than where you drink. Having said that, listed below are some of my favorite locations. They are in no particular order and undoubtedly more will spring to mind. We would love to hear some of your favorites … more categories to come.
Golf Courses and 19th Holes
Merion: Home of this year’s U.S. Open and host to my second U.S. Amateur in 1989. Lunch is served in the shade of massive oak trees with the tables extending right down to the edge of the first tee. So glad that the U.S. Open will be returning this year.
Pebble Beach: The Tap Room is a staple filled with history and fine, if not overly expensive eats and drinks. But worth it. A bucket list drink even if you are a guy who likes his beer served in buckets.
Castle Pines: Long acknowledged as the best locker room on the PGA Tour during its run. Whether it is a beer on veranda overlooking 18 and the mountains or a world famous milk shake at the turn, it is a fine spot.
Whisper Rock: Although I have only darkened the door a couple of times, it is inviting and the memories are fresh. The “hang” as they call it in the locker room is as comfortable a place to sip a post-round beverage as a grown man will ever find.
Shadow Creek: Perhaps the only understated place in Vegas. You can sit at the bar or outside on the porch overlooking the 18th hole. You are transported out of the desert and into a mountain retreat with first-class hospitality and nary a single slot machine to ruin the afternoon calm.
Sedgefield Country Club: Home of the Wyndham Championship and my home course. The men’s grill overlooks the golf course with multiple televisions and card tables. One of the many places I would like to spend more time.
Bay Hill: There are a couple of reasons for this one. Members and visitors are treated equally well. Gentlemen are asked to remove their hats. Mr. Palmer might just walk in at any time.
Ireland: I’ve been to Waterville to Lahinch to Ballybunion and all stops in between. There is no place on earth like Ireland. They put the pub on the second floor of most clubhouses so that you get the best views. Try the open face crab sandwich at Old Head and have a pint at the White House pub in Kinsale.
Spanish Bay: If you have never sat at the fire pits at sunset my words won’t do it justice. If you don’t have friends with you then you will make some there.
Sea Island: The Oak Room bar in the Lodge at Sea Island is quaint and comfortable. There is something about the low country air that makes a cold beer taste that much sweeter.
Oakmont: I have never been to another course where the members are so proud of their club. They want you to not only play their course but to experience all that Oakmont has to offer. I look forward to going back … and playing the white tees.
Riviera: The veranda overlooking the golf course has been the backdrop for movie scenes and cocktails for the Hollywood elite. For the rest of us, we’re just happy to be invited and to overlook Hogan’s Alley, if only for a drink or two.