ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. (AP) – Jordan Spieth knows how to mix business with pleasure. His business is playing great golf. His pleasure is playing great golf courses.
Spieth leaves this week for Down Under, where he defends his title Nov. 26-29 in Sydney at the Australian Open. The first stop is Melbourne and a chance to play the fabled sand belt courses. He has games lined up at Royal Melbourne and Kingston Heath.
"I've heard Kingston Heath is unbelievable," Spieth said. "And then Royal Melbourne, I hear you get on the first tee and think, 'Piece of cake,' and then watch your tee shot bounce in the air. There and then Long Island, the courses there, are on my bucket lists of courses I haven't played yet."
Spieth surely has a long list. He's only 22 and just completed his third year as a pro.
What intrigues him about Melbourne's sand belt and Long Island (Shinnecock, National Golf Links) is "that style of golf was meant for that area."
He missed his chance at Long Island in August during The Barclays, although that was never the plan even before he missed the cut. He was supposed to play with Justin Thomas at Pine Valley the Monday after the tournament. When he missed the cut and had an extra day on his hand, Spieth chose to play Baltusrol with Rickie Fowler (who also missed the cut) to see it ahead of next year's PGA Championship, and then headed to Boston to work on his game.
Not to worry. That's an easy trip to plan.
"I've done pretty much everything I want to do," Spieth said. "I still haven't played Oakmont (next year's U.S. Open). We have Royal Troon coming up. I haven't played Carnoustie. But sought after? Sand Hills in Nebraska, the Coore-Crenshaw. I've heard it's supposed to be that good, from Crenshaw and everyone down there."
One area he failed to mention was Chicago Golf Club, one of the five founding courses of the USGA.
"Chicago Golf and Butler, I don't have as much of a desire. I heard they're great, and it will happen at some point," Spieth said. "But for a style of golf that is so unique to the area, that's what I'm looking for."
And that's what he's about to get in Melbourne.
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