Some people never get tired of a challenge. Take Harry Scott, for example. Harry is a 78 year old retired CPA from Somers Point, NewJersey who decided to play 50 golf courses in 50 days in all 50 states.
This past Saturday, Harry played number 33 at the Chickasaw Pointe Resort Course inKingston. He had played the Paris Golf and Country Club on Friday and made the 100 mile or so trip to Chickasaw Pointe Saturday morning.
“All my kids and grandkids warned me to not take this on,” said Scott. “My wife, Pat, died five years ago and I’m just a free spirit right now. I really miss my wife, but I do other things now.”
Think about this for just a little bit. He not only plays the four hour round of golf but also must get to his next golf course in the same day. Most people his age can’t even play more than three times in a week, let along drive another eight hours or so to the next destination.
“I wanted to do this while I was still a young man,” said Scott. (There was maybe a little tongue in cheek when he said that, but not much. He pretty much meant it.)
In 1995 Scott went to 28 major league stadiums and saw 28 games in 28 days. In 2009 after baseball had expansion and a lot of new stadiums, Scott went to 30 major league stadiums in 30 days, so this type of meandering around the country is not new to Scott. However, the golf is relatively new. He has only been playing for about 15 years. He probably took
it up in preparation for his “leisurely” retirement.
Scott had some specific criteria when he was planning which courses to play.
“First of all, I wanted the white tees to be around 6000 yards,” explained Scott. “I didn’t want any of the courses to be a par three or executive course. Second, the courses had to be reasonably priced and third, the course location had to fit geographically for the trip. I drive anywhere between 100 and 450 miles a day. We’ve got a big country and I have enjoyed
“The first four days were the worst for weather,” Scott went on. “It rained all four days. I had to bring the clubs into the motel to get them dried out each day. It was in Connecticut, Rhode Island, Vermont and Maine. It was really hot in Arkansas and Mississippi. I was concerned about the heat in Louisiana, Texas and Oklahoma, but it wasn’t bad at all.”
Scott brought up some good personal changes since he started the trip. “I’m a much better golfer now,” Scott explained. “I bet I’ve dropped about 5-6 strokes off my scores. I’m also in much better shape than when I started.”
“I’ve played some really nice courses along the way and a few not so nice,” said Scott. “The Notre Dame course was probably the most prestigious. It sure is a lot of fun. I’ve met some really nice people.”
The last course lower 48 states to be played will be in Bremerton, Washington and then Scott plans to fly to Hawaii from Seattle. After Hawaii, he will take another plane to Alaska for his late night round in Wasilla, Alaska on June 19th. He is planning on finishing the round at 11pm which will be on the 50th day of his golf odyssey. He will then fly home to New Jersey.
Scott said that he has always stayed in motels and all were reserved and paid for in advance throughout the trip although he doesn’t have one scheduled for Alaska yet.
“Maybe Sarah Palin will let me stay with them,” said Scott. (Sarah Palin’s home is in Wasilla, Alaska.) “That would be quite an ending to the trip, to stay with Sarah Palin.”
His 20,000 mile trip is all in a rental car. When asked about that Scott remarked that the last time he did this the guy at the car rental counter could not believe the mileage when he turned in the car. He will turn the car in at the Seattle airport.
“They have unlimited mileage,” laughed Scott. “They made up the rules.” (It was apparent that he was looking forward to the experience of turning in a 20,000 mile rental car with no charge for the miles.)
Scott said that about half of the courses he played did not charge him once they found out what he was attempting to do.
“When the pro was behind the counter he typically “comped” the greens fees,” said Scott. “That has been very nice throughout the trip.”
When asked if there was one particular experience that he thought was special, Scott couldn’t think that way yet. He was still in the middle of the trip and could only think of the trip experience.
He was so excited thinking about finishing on the course in Alaska and how exciting it will be. He remarked about how the adrenaline will be pumping at that time.
“The enormity of it all is just remarkable,” said Scott. “Just think, 50 days of golf with 50 different courses in 50 different states.”
The other enormity is that most of Scott’s driving was alone, most rounds were played by himself (although many rounds were played with friends and/or family that joined him along the way) and he is only two years short of 80! What will his next challenge be?
Hopefully he can meet Sarah Palin.