It was a rough year for the golf business, with less new courses opening than in any year I can remember, ever, and lots of closings, all the bad news. For the first time in history, my man Tiger couldn’t win, also and the professional golf highlight of the year, two guys shooting the all-time record low of 59 a few weeks apart, was widely ignored so the world could focus on LeBron’s decision where to continue not winning championships.
I admit, I had plenty of fun in 2010, the highlight being an extended tour of great Australian golf, which will be revisited in detail shortly, along with stops at some of my absolute favorite resorts, including Kiawah and Destination Kohler, plus playing in a couple of PGA Tour pro-ams, especially at the Reno-Tahoe Open, where we actually won something. But for fans of golf travel in general, 2010 was largely a write off, and I am hopeful 2011 will be much better. The signs are already in the air: there has been a recent uptick of people actually playing golf, according to the National Golf Foundation, something that has not happened in many years, even when the economy was rolling. Developers are starting to make plans again, there are a few high profile openings and re-openings I am waiting on, and I am quickly assembling a wish list for my golf travel in the coming 12 months.
So rather than bore you with a “best of” list for my own year, which included more tried and true great courses than new ones from the slim pickings, I will suggest you read my peer Brandon Tucker’s Best of Golf in 2010 Travel Awards. It doesn’t hurt that he is actually paid full-time to travel around the world playing golf – Tucker logged 100,000 miles and visited four countries in 2010, both figures I easily crushed myself – except lots of my miles and countries had nothing to do with golf, unless you count drinking beer at the 200th Oktoberfest as golf (check out my cool pics!). Where Tucker won in a lopsided victory was in the number of courses played in 2010, over a hundred, or one every three days. I think my final tally is about half that, so if you are looking for a 2010 travel recap, look at his. I’ll be busy bringing you something classic and timeless.