Wouldn't it be great to take some BP at Wrigley Field? Maybe take some jump shots at Madison Square Garden or do the Lambeau Leap at Lambeau Field? How about best three out of five at Wimbledon? Well, good luck with that sports fans. Oh, but wait, in golf - that's exactly what you can do (often - not always - hello friends at Augusta National (call me maybe?))
Golf is the rare sport where you can test the cathedrals, take on the best in the world, play where the pros play. Not only are they almost all beautiful, well-maintained and tremendous layouts - they are museums of sorts, live action testaments to some of the greatest players to ever swing a club.
Case in point: I recently had the chance to play Harbour Town Golf Links on Hilton Head Island, South Carolina. Most of us know it as home to the RBC Heritage on the PGA Tour, but it's also consistently ranked as a "Top 100" on virtually every ranking board and is located in one of the premier vacation spots in the world. In other words, it's a course that is a "Wish List" course for many. And it should be. As should many, many others.
But I don't think it's enough to say "that course is on my wish list," everytime someone brings up a great course. I think one simple act makes all the difference in actually getting out to the courses: Seeing some tangible list to remind you and encourage and motivate you - everyday.
I track my special rounds via my own personal "Peg Board." I have the courses I want to play, I stick the peg in the hole once I've completed 18 there. Pretty simple but very satisfying. (I have 20 pegs on a top 100 board, in case you're wondering).
Talking about this with one of my playing partners (a PGA Professional), we discussed how virtually every golfer has a wish list, but very few actually write them out and set them as a goal to tackle. And that's where they fall off. Now keep in mind, they do not have to be the world's most expensive or famous courses, they can simply be the courses that for whatever reason, are ones you want to say at the end of your golf career, "Yes, I played there." It could have a special family meaning or be the place you got married, etc. Again, the importance is writing it down. Setting a concrete goal and being able to scratch it off a real-life list is one of the most satisfying feelings in golf.
Thus, I urge everyone to try it. It can be an expensive professionally crafted board of courses with actual peg holes - or a sheet of paper tacked to the garage wall. It doesn't matter. But for everyone I've ever talked to about such lists - the importance of having a written, visible goal makes a world of difference and makes for a world of fun.