High Cotton - what’s a cool / exclusive golf experience you have had

This year I had an invite to play Monterrey Peninsula Country Club, which contains two of California’s top courses. Due to covid, they quit allowing outside guests and so I went ahead and took a rain check with my connection there (hopefully next year) :slight_smile:

I also have a one off connection to a member at colonial in dc who graciously has told me “anytime”. I just haven’t been to DC yet to cash that in.

So those are my “brags”, not all that special as I haven’t even played them! There is something really fun to me about getting hosted at a great private club. I’ve done a decent amount of that in Houston and Austin and it’s always a treat.

So go ahead and get your “fish stories” ready to share. Any special experiences?

@jon pine valley? Shinnecock? What ya got

@CoryO riviera? Bellaire?

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I’ve had the pleasure of playing Sand Hills a number of times. Received an invite the first time from my father-in-law who before he retired was an Exec at the Children’s Hospital. We were paired up with a couple members who took a liking to me and I’ve been invited back a handful of times each year since. What a course and right here in our own Nebraska “backyard”.

I’ve played Peachtree and East Lake in Atlanta. My best friend’s dad is a longtime Exec with Coca-Cola and he gets offers to play incredible courses all the time. He’s my outside shot at playing Augusta someday.

Dallas National and was supposed to play Colonial, but we got rained out - if you ever want to see a grown man cry. I used to go to a swing coach by the name of Bryan Gathright out of San Antonio and he, my dad, and I went around Texas playing some really great courses.

I’ve been lucky to play a lot of wonderful courses, but those are probably the most nose-in-the-air impossible to get on courses. Every golfer deserves chances like this at least once in their golf life.


Not surprised that @Bigdadenergy is getting #bigdadinvites

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I’ve got an outside chance to play colonial. Not strong enough to call the member directly but I have a buddy who plays 2x per year with a mutual contact and should get the invite one of these days

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BigGrandpaEnergy (my dad) taught me early in life that it’s all about relationships and enjoying people’s company, so I always try to remember that and make sure I’m having a good time and the people I’m with are having a good time. Throw in the fact that I’m blessed with a high swing speed and silky soft hands and I make for a pretty good scramble and member-guest partner. :joy::joy::joy:

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Let me know if you need a 4th. I’ll be on the first flight. That’s my one that got away.

Sage advice.

I worked in energy in Houston and was usually the guy doing all the grunt work to organize hunting and fishing (all of this was “pay as you go” not a family ranch so it involves a bunch of networking with guides and land owners to set up ).

Most of my invites were one offs from this as people are naturally inclined to reciprocate

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I wish. I haven’t even gotten down to Torrey Pines or up to Pebble yet and those are public! I’ve played some nice courses in the US, but they are all ones that anyone can play. All my most interesting “exclusive” golf experiences come from when I was living in South Korea. #1 on that list is the Jack Nicklaus Golf Club on Songdo (outside of Seoul). It was the host site of the 2015 President’s Cup and I believe is at the moment the most expensive club in the country to join. Before it officially opened, I heard that the American Chamber of Commerce in South Korea was invited to have a test event at the course. Since I was a US citizen and qualified for their “young professional” program, I joined the chamber just for the chance to play. For dues and a “donation” to score the spot, I think I spent around $500 USD, which is a ton of money, but not completely insane for playing over there and I considered it fair for a once in a lifetime golf opportunity. Everybody decided we wanted the “pro” experience, so we played from the tips - around 7400 yards. I played like crap (my game was built for Screen Golf in those days), but the course was incredible and the event was an all day experience with food/drinks throughout and access to the club’s incredibly spa and sauna facilities (all high end courses in Korea have these, but theirs was especially nice).


$500 for a great golf experience isn’t insane at all to me

My wife has a different opinion

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I got invited to be a volunteer caddie at the Shriner’s pro am a couple of years ago. Paired up with Ryan Moore as our pro. The best part of it though was having access behind the ropes, seeing the tournament prep. Watching the pros on the range and putting green and just being right next to them. It was pretty special. Ryan didn’t talk much to the three amateurs paired up with him, so that was disappointing. I tried a few times to engage with him but he just wasn’t interested. Two groups ahead of us Couples was playing and he was slowing down the round because he was literally coaching his amateurs. How great would it have been to be in that group.

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I love Boom Boom

That would be an all time experience to walk 18 with him. Sounds pretty special to get behind the ropes, and hate hearing that the pro couldn’t do a few little things to make the ams round a little more memorable.


I was offered the opportunity to play Pine Valley with my dad…

It’s like golf distilled… the 9 hole par three course has 8 replica holes OF PINE VALLEY… it’s crazy. We thought we had gotten lost and ended up back on the regular golf course.

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My perception is that Pine Valley, Cypress Point and Augusta are the Mecca of US golf and an invite is typically a once in a lifetime opportunity unless you have a very special connection!

Absolutely… my dad’s invite (which extended to me) basically came because he was played the occasional round with a member. They were at lunch one day with 6 or so other guys, and the following exchange occoured:

Idiot: Hey, Pine Valley member, aren’t you a member at Pine Valley?
PVM: Yes, I was fortunate to receive and invitation to join and have had the pleasure of being a member there.
Idiots: That’s awesome, I would love to get an invitation to play out there sometime.
Awkward Silence
PVM, looks at my dad: Sean, have I ever invited you to play Pine Valley?

Long story short, don’t ever ASK to play these courses…

Sadly, we were supposed to take 2 golf trips this year to other bucket list courses, but COVID hit… I’m hopeful for next year (but certainly not counting on anything!)


Yes. I echo that sentiment.

I like to talk golf and will share stories if someone seems interested but not a good idea to force it.

#1 tip on how to get invited… be courteous and engaging and generous and invite lots of people to YOUR club or home course. I find that being the organizer of outings / Ryder cups really helps you build a network. It doesn’t have to be an exclusive course for you to show a group a great time and handle all the details that make it special.

We just did a trip and I did custom scorecards and “bought” everyone a hat at pro shop (it was covered in entry fee) I sent out summaries of everyone’s handicap and recent rounds with my own color commentary. Friendly skins game and net low two ball between the groups encouraged some healthy competition. Will that lead to an invite somewhere ? Who knows but I know I met 4 new guys from a different city here in tx who love golf.

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Yeah, my dad will play with ANYONE and has the good fortune to be at a nice club in Palm Springs… We also got to tour the Cincinnati Zoo backstage with a buddy of his. It’s fairly funny, my parents are comfortably retired and my dad is just a down to earth guy who doesn’t care about money or status… he just likes to golf and bullshit.


I got a chance to play Friar’s Head two months ago. It did not disappoint!


Pine Valley might be number 1 on my bucket list even above Augusta. I am so jealous of you.


That is high on my Coore/Crenshaw list!