He Had Me at “Beer Drinking Donkey”


China's Mission Hills golf resort is one of many worldwide that made a lasting impression on Travelin' Joe Passov.

Why ask Travelin’ Joe? Because Joe knows golf!

It’s hard to say this without sounding cocky, but when it comes to golf travel, there are very, very few people in this country, or on this earth, who know as much or more than I do. Many golf writers cover the tour, equipment or instruction. I just do travel, and I have for more than 15 years, writing books on golf travel, on golf course design, founding and editing a highly respected golf travel niche newsletter, meeting with top architects, staying at the top hotels, playing the best courses on earth, old and new, often before anyone else has.

That being said, the people whose knowledge of golf travel impresses me can be counted on my hands, without using all my fingers. One of those fingers is reserved for Travelin’ Joe, aka Joe Passov, the Golf Course Architecture & Rankings editor at Golf Magazine, though I knew Joe long before that (he used to be editor of LINKS Magazine, among other things). Joe knows his golf and I often contact him for expert insight into my magazine articles, and have had the pleasure of traveling to some interesting places with Joe (and sometimes his lovely wife) to play golf.

So when I saw the new feature at Golf Magazine’s website, Travelin’ Joe’s Number Ones, I had to look. It is what it promises to be: a compendium of the best of the best golf experiences he has enjoyed in his life of travel. And while I usually take issue with Golf Magazine’s Top 100 lists (and every other magazine’s lists), Joe is pretty much on the mark, from Bandon Duns as number one buddy trip to Southwest Ireland as best International golf destination. I can’t say as to whether he is right about the Capital Golf Club in Melbourne being the best for high rollers, because unlike Joe, this exclusive casino course just refused me a visit on my upcoming Melbourne trip, which makes it more snobby, though not necessarily better than, my beloved Shadow Creek. I could argue for days with Joe about clubhouse grub, but he pretty much stole my heart with the mention of an Iberian ham sandwich at Spain’s Valderrama.

Anyway, I won’t ruin it for you by walking you through all categories, so read it yourself. It’s a good one, and you’ll likely learn something.

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