Matt's Blog

An Unforgettable Golfing Bucket List Trip

My apologies for the lack of updates on the website for the past two weeks but I have been away on a golfing holiday.

It was a bucket list trip to the USA and it was an absolute dream. I met some amazing people, played some incredible courses, and created some unforgettable memories. It finished with a stop at The Masters in Augusta. I'm not sure how I'll top this but I'll give it a crack in future years!

I've posted a single photo from each day below but you can view more in my Facebook albums by clicking here (Masters only) and here (other stuff).

2015 Australian Men's Amateur
Friday, March 25 - After 22 hours of travel, it was good to set foot in New York City. Caught up with some old friends and went to dinner in the East Village at a cool place called Momofuku Ssäm Bar. The steamed pork buns were divine!

 

 
2015 Australian Men's Amateur
Saturday, March 26 - I’d been to the baseball before so this time around, I attended my first NBA game. The Brooklyn Nets were taking on the Indiana Pacers at the Barclays Centre.

 

 
2015 Australian Men's Amateur
Sunday, March 27 - Couldn't get tickets last time I was in New York City but didn't make the same mistake this time! The Book of Mormon is a hilarious show.

 

 
2015 Australian Men's Amateur
Monday, March 28 - The next stop on the bucket list was a golfer’s dream. Pine Valley Golf Club in New Jersey is often ranked as the #1 course in the world but you can only play there if in the company of a member. Pine Valley features a 10-hole short course. Most of the holes are modelled on the main course and it’s a great place to warm up and work on your golf game. We took to the challenge on the Monday afternoon before our round.

 

 
2015 Australian Men's Amateur
Tuesday, March 29 - The par was 70. The scratch rating was 76. The slope was 155. The length was 6,500m. The wind was up to 50 km/hr. I shot 85 and had an absolute blast at Pine Valley Golf Club. As good as it gets!

 

 
2015 Australian Men's Amateur
Wednesday, March 30 - It's hosted the Ryder Cup, US Open, USA PGA and US Amateur. Found a bit of form at Pinehurst #2 and shot a 77 (blue tees). As I learned after a 4 putt on the 2nd hole, you gotta watch out for the steep run-off areas on the tricky greens!

 

 
2015 Australian Men's Amateur
Thursday, March 31 - At Pinehurst #8 and played with an old friend who now lives in London. He and his mate were off to Augusta on Sunday. Not to watch... but to play! I have officially concluded that tabletop greens are not my forte. Came home nicely on the back nine but the final score was 83.

 

 
2015 Australian Men's Amateur
Friday, April 1 - Rory McIlroy won the US PGA here in 2012 and it's hosting the event again in 2021. The Ocean Course at Kiawah Island is the longest course I have ever played at 6,800m (with a scratch rating of 78). Played worse than a 3-legged mountain goat and shot 87 but had fun. The lone highlight was on the signature 17th hole where I hit a 200m hybrid over water to 15 feet!

 

 
2015 Australian Men's Amateur
Saturday, April 2 - I've never had the chance to play a course so close to a PGA Tour event. Harbour Town is hosting the RBC Heritage in just over a week for the 47th time. Grandstands and corporate boxes were being erected as we went around. As for the golf, it was very ordinary! Doubled the 1st and 18th en route to a score of 80 (off the close-to-back tees).

 

 
2015 Australian Men's Amateur
Sunday, April 3 - My week of golf came to an end with a round at the Stadium Course at TPC Sawgrass - my third Pete Dye design in as many days. In last year's Players Championship, Rickie Fowler went 6 under for his last 6 holes to take the title. In contrast, I had 4,000 putts as part of round of 82 and will be keeping my day job.

 

 
2015 Australian Men's Amateur
Monday, April 4 - I only had tickets to the Monday practice round but my first trip to the US Masters at Augusta was an absolute blast!

 

 
2015 Australian Men's Amateur
Tuesday, April 5 - The last item ticketed off the bucket list was flying business class from Los Angeles back to Brisbane. It was like a lazy Sunday afternoon at home. I put my feet up and watched a bunch of movies and TV shows. The food was great too!