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Some guy played all 359 Donald Ross courses in the U.S.

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Brad Becken has shown up all his fellow members of the Donald Ross Society. Becken, a retired Goldman Sachs executive, has done something interesting with his presumably generous amount of retirement dough: played every known Ross course in the United States.

That’s right, the former exec has teed it up at all 359 known Donald Ross courses in the States.

Now, the issue of defining a “Donald Ross course” is a complex one, but Becken is operating from the Ross Society’s canon. Nine hole expansions, collaborations, renovations by later designers. All muddy the water.

“If Ross designed a course, and it still exists, we still consider it a Ross course–even if other architects have touched,” Becken told Golf Digest.

He caught the Ross bug relatively late in life after playing Hope Valley C.C. in Durham, North Carolina. He went on to play every Ross track in the state and never looked back.

Becken, who is not an adept golfer, told Digest he most enjoyed how Ross’ courses are suited for all skill levels

“I’m not that good of a golfer, but it doesn’t matter on a Ross course. There’s always a way for higher handicappers to play it. It’s brilliant how playable they are for so many different golfers.”

The final course Becken played? Rolling Rock Club in Laughlintown, PA. It took him eight years to complete the circuit.

What do you think GolfWRX members? Insane? Inspiring?

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8 Comments

8 Comments

  1. Rich

    Dec 29, 2017 at 7:38 pm

    And only a rich person could do this. I love golf but this is what’s wrong with our sport. Great for him, but how many other people could afford to do all that even if they wanted to.

  2. Benny

    Dec 23, 2017 at 8:17 pm

    Would love to see the list. I have a few Ross courses in my state and New England alone has many. Would love to know which ones so I can check this guys legitimacy. One course near by is not easy to get on.

  3. Joe

    Dec 23, 2017 at 9:49 am

    Favorite course of all time is WBYC – have been lucky to have jumped on it a few times – it is just a lovely private course.

  4. Jcjmw

    Dec 22, 2017 at 9:56 pm

    I am so jealous!!!

  5. rex235

    Dec 21, 2017 at 10:16 pm

    Brad Becken-

    ..After 359 Donald Ross golf courses-

    …Which one is your favorite?

  6. BD57

    Dec 21, 2017 at 9:21 pm

    I grew up on a Ross Course – Monroe Golf Club in Pittsford, New York. Wonderful course, I was very lucky.

  7. Peter M

    Dec 21, 2017 at 4:08 pm

    “Some Guy?” Why would you write a headline like this? You have all of the relevant information at hand.

  8. Brian

    Dec 21, 2017 at 12:55 pm

    Amazing, so jealous, Ross is my all time favorite designed, if I could only play one designed for the rest of my life it would be Ross, kudos to this guy!!!

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19th Hole

GolfWRX Members Choice: Best Open Championship course

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With Open week upon us, we wanted to know which Open Championship venue is first in the hearts of GolfWRX members.

We asked: Factoring in course design, viewing enjoyment, overall test of golf, history, and whatever else you put into your criteria, what do you think is the best Open Championship venue, and why?

The top-three vote getters got more than 80 percent of the vote. Only Royal St. George’s was more than two percent. As a refresher, the other venues were, Royal Liverpool. Royal Troon, Royal Lytham & St. Anne’s, Royal Portrush, Royal Birkdale, and Turnberry.

The top three from the Open rota in GolfWRX members’ links-loving hearts are as follows.

3. Carnoustie (18.57%)

Ignatius Reilly says, “I went with Carnoustie – maybe because it’s the current one, and maybe because it’s so nasty.”

Sean 2 says. “I selected Carnoustie because it is a challenge regardless of the weather. As DJ called it: “…a true test.”

2. Muirfield (20%)

15th Club draws on his first-hand experience, “But I have been asked this question before; of the British Open courses, which one was your favorite? And my answer always was an additional question; if all of my remaining golf could only be played on just one course that I have been on, what would it be?”

“And the answer is Muirfield. It might not have the interest or the quirkiness of The Old Course, but to me, it is the finest, fairest, purest test of golf I have ever seen. It is at once a perfect match play and/or stroke play golf course. And it is more natural, with less town-encroachment than almost all of the other sites on the Rota.”

1. Old Course at St Andrews (41.43%)

IVM says simply, “St Andrews the home of golf.”

Bucky316 points out, “St Andrews….but only with heavy wind… otherwise it’s sad to see a historic track getting thrashed by the modern technology.”

What do you think, GolfWRX members? You can vote in the poll here, or feel free to discuss your favorite track in the comments.

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Fancy a punt? Check out these Tiger Woods British Open prop bets

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It wouldn’t be a major featuring Tiger Woods without Tiger Woods prop bets, would it? Bettors, as we know, get off the sidelines to shovel cash behind Woods when he tees it up in major championships. This has been historically true. It was true at the Masters. It was true at the U.S. Open.

Accordingly, the good folks at BetDSI are offering a number of Woods wagers you may be keen to punt on…especially if you want a piece of the TW action but aren’t keen to take Woods at 24-1 to win The Open.

Tiger Woods makes cut

Yes -350
No +250

Tiger Woods wins

Yes +2400
No -2900

Tiger Woods finishes top 5

Yes +600
No -900

Tiger Woods finishes top 10

Yes +270
No -400

Tiger Woods finishes top 20

Yes +140
No -170

Tiger Woods finishing position

Over 25.5 (-115)
Under 25.5 (-115)

Tiger Woods lowest round

Over 69.5 (-110)
Under 69.5 (-120)

Tiger Woods highest round

Over 75.5 (-110)
Under 75.5 (-120)

Tiger Woods highest score on any hole

Over 7 (-110)
Under 7 (-120)

Tiger Woods total double bogeys or worse

Over 3 (-110)
Under 3 (-120)

Tiger Woods within 5 strokes of lead during final round

Yes +225
No -300

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19th Hole

WATCH Phil Mickelson hit a flop shot over a man 2 yards in front of him

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On the Gear Dive podcast, Fred Couples told Johnny Wunder that Phil Mickelson is the best judge of a lie (and the shots he can execute from a certain lie) in the game of golf.

This video from Carnoustie yesterday is testament both to that fact and a reminder that Phil Mickelson’s short game is truly singular.

Former European Tour pro Gary Evans was the guinea pig.

Here’s the shot from another angle. That’s gotta be a 64-degree Callaway Mack Daddy PM Grind, no?

Mother of golf gods! Check your trousers, Gary! How crazy is that shot? There’s plenty of puffery when it comes to Phil’s short game, but that shot is simply insane. Would love to see the Trackman data on that flop.

I mean, if Phil doesn’t get the contact he wants and you get hit, you gotta hope to get pelted in the stomach or chest…and not the jewels or the face.

What do you think, GolfWRX members? Would you take Evans place for viral video fame? A few bills from Mickelson’s famed cash wad?

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