For the uninitiated, particularly those of us on the back nine of unspectacular golfing careers, the term “bucket list” is a wish-list of things to accomplish before we kick the bucket. When my obituary is written I prefer the mortician refer to my golf addiction as a healthy golf obsession. It sounds less crass but means the same thing. In truth, all golfers have a basic Bucket List that includes making a hole-in-one, breaking 80, play Pebble Beach, Augusta National, and St. Andrews and attending a major. Less motivated golf wish lists like Tim Geary’s include waiting for the invention of a super-extender ball retriever, making two birdies in a row and breaking 100! Before hanging up your Foot Joys for good, there is a great sense of accomplishment when you can check off an item on your list. Through the years I was fortunate to check off a few items on my golf Bucket List such as playing golf in Hawaii; playing Pebble Beach, attending a Ryder Cup, several majors, caddied on the LPGA Tour and interviewed the game’s greatest players. Before hitting those lush fairways in the sky here is my Ultimate Golf Bucket List.
No. 10 is playing a round at Augusta National, an obligatory entry on everyone’s list, and probably, the most unlikely to be ticked off. Without fail, the second weekend in April I spend quality time in front of the TV, watching the start of the real golf season. The incredible contours of the land, the outrageous slopes on the greens and fairways in better condition than my living room carpet all serve to remind me how far removed I am from that experience, and s something I want to try.
No. 9 is attending the Masters as a “patron.” Like the Red Sox of the 70s, 80s and 90s I keep saying “next year.” A few years ago I was so intent on watching the Masters in high definition, big screen TV that I went out to BJ’s warehouse to lay out $600 to purchase a brand new SONY to enjoy coverage of the tournament.
No. 8 is simple and still a good two decades away – shooting my age. And that does not mean on an executive par-3 course. When I’m 75 I would love to shoot a 75!
No. 7 is writing a golf book. This has been a goal for 12 years. I want to write a book called “Living the Dream – Turning 50 and Making Millions Playing Golf!” I want to profile 10 senior PGA Tour players who are actually living the dream at age 50.
No. 6 is to trade places for one day with PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem. I would start the day at PGA Tour headquarters at TPC Sawgrass before heading out for a quick 18 at Sawgrass. First, I would check on the daily bank balance of the PGA Tour bank account confirming a balance of over $10 billion. Yes that’s “B” for billion! I would then take the PGA Tour Lear jet over to Jacksonville for a quick 18 at World Golf Village. I would immediately remove the ban on long putters. What an experience that would be as Commissioner for a day!
No. 5 involves an intensive one week personalized golf lesson on the short game with Guru Dave Peltz, who at last count has authored five outstanding golf instruction books. Since the books haven’t helped my chipping and putting Dave Peltz in-person will make me a better player.
No. 4 involves playing a $500 Nassau with Donald Trump! He claims to be a six handicapper, but I’ve seen him play and he’s no six. Trump is the prototypical reverse sandbagger. He can’t break 80. If I win the front, back and total and two presses it “could be” a nice $2,500 pay day! Let’s stress “could be” since we’re playing straight up, no strokes!
No. 3 on my list is playing Pine Valley in New Jersey. I have read and heard about this place for so long by so many credible sources that it must be special.
No. 2 on my list is to caddy for a PGA Tour pro for four days in an official tournament. With ten years of caddy experience from Thorny Lea GC (Brockton) in the 70s I can deliver a flawless loop.
No. 1 Numero Uno on my Ultimate Golf Bucket List is playing golf at St. Andrews, Scotland. The great golf writer Herbert Warren Wind once told me “You’ll never be a great golf writer until you go to St. Andrew’s and experience the roots of the game. The Cradle of Golf is No. 1 on my bucket list.
Tom Gorman, a golf writer since 1992, has written many fairly forgettable columns that have found their way to the trash bucket.WHAT'S YOUR REACTION?