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Playing a "Goat Track"?


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#121 Cajunmike

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Posted 12 July 2017 - 02:30 PM

Pretty much played goat tracks my entire junior career.  It's like weightlifting for your short game.. Can't tell you how many pitch shots I've had to play off dirt to an elevated green from 10 yards.  Bahai grass fairways, greens mowed twice a week, no irrigation or drainage, bunkers never raked or maintained. Never a good lie anywhere. Fun times and cheap. Went to one of these courses one day and someone had top dressed the greens with bag dirt from a hardware store. Yup it had mulch pieces in it. Was like playing plinko.


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#122 KARL M

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Posted 22 July 2017 - 11:01 PM

About 80% of the goat track that I started playing on was bulldozed and totally overhauled.

The before price back in the late 80's for a season pass was $70 per year for non-residents, $50 for city residents. and annual locker fee was $5.  My average cost per round was less than the cost of gas to and from the course.
The original course had tee boxes that were hardpan clay.  A small phillips screwdriver was clipped to my bag.  The screwdriver was used to make holes in the tee box to put your tee into.
The front nine had riding carts.  The back 9 had no riding carts, and you couldn't use a pull cart.  I tried a pull cart which broke after a week.  The back 9 had footpaths thru brushy areas that looked more like deer trails or cow paths.
Greens were the slowest I've ever played on.

The current course retains most of the original first hole and most of a par 5 from the original back 9.  Greens run at a descent pace. The course now hosts a symetra tour event.
There no longer are season passes.  Greens fees are still reasonable with resident rates of $ 22 and nonresidents at $ 31
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#123 UGA111384

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Posted 11 August 2017 - 12:48 PM

I play a "goat track" in Reynolds, ga (not to be confused with Reynolds plantation) when visiting family down there and it is the true definition of a goat track.  The only way you can get a good lie is if you tee it up on a ant hill.  You have no idea where the fairway is because everything looks the same.  The outfit of choice for most members either involves a cutoff or something camo.  With that said the people are the nicest ever and literally every round is a party!
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#124 ramdorsky

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Posted 15 August 2017 - 10:15 AM

New goat track in Texas. Quail Prairie Golf Club just opened last week and hosted its first tournament Saturday. If anyone is ever travelling between Houston and Corpus Christi, PM me to get on.

Quail Prairie is a real pasture course. Three holes and four tee boxes makes ten different holes. Par 33. 1885 yards. This is an irons only course. Longest hole is a 325 yd par 4, and the holes were cut to the diameter of a 30 gallon drum. No putting. You get two club lengths from every lie, but no gimmees.
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#125 hardcorelooper

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Posted 19 August 2017 - 02:36 PM

View Postjohnmeany, on 27 September 2016 - 05:22 PM, said:

Hominy Hill in Central NJ. Muni course that has had a few USGA public links championships. Doesn't look like much from the road but a really fun and challenging track that plays over 7000, and a very hilly course as well, but still an easy walk. Could really be something special, but it's not given a lot of funding.

Wow, you have high standards if you consider Hominy a goat track.  Growing up on the Jersey Shore in the '80s, we always spoke of Hominy in hushed tones.  It was a better course than the very exclusive private club where I worked.

Before I got the job at that club and played all the golf I could fit in on Mondays and weeknights, I'd play real Monmouth County goat tracks like Colonial Terrace (Colonial Terror) and Bel-Aire.  My high school team played at Shark River (another GT).  So many fond memories of the Shark.  I'd love to play it again, but my family and I have all moved away and I'm never in the area anymore.

I play most of my golf at a 4,600 yard course with a course rating of 62-ish that most here would consider a goat track, although it's in decent shape.  It's a First Tee course, and as a volunteer coach, my kids and I play it for free.  It keeps me playing quite a bit of golf, and since I have to shoot virtually zero to move my handicap, my handicap does travel somewhat decently.  When I do pay to play, I don't feel very guilty about it.  It's actually a decent course from the back tees for my HS daughter.  The greens are usually very puttable; the greenskeeper will get them running a little quick when the weather will allow it.  Some of the mounds have lost their grass and turned to hardpan/dirt, but you're not supposed to be there anyway, are you?  The people there are just phenomenal.  They're not there to be seen; they're there because they freaking love the game of golf.

I've loved this thread, and there are some of you that I think I'd have a blast playing with.


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#126 HoosierHacker89

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Posted 19 August 2017 - 07:51 PM

Goat tracks are my bread and butter. I love them. My favorite course is cardinal hills in Selma, Indiana and I would play this course over Any other if it was my last round of my life. Family owned and operated and always the kindest and friendliest staff I've ever witnessed. The course it tougher than it looks and it has postage stamps greens. I cut my teeth there as a kid and I'll always cherish it. I highly recommend anyone to check it out
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#127 ljrad1995

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Posted 21 August 2017 - 09:07 PM

Course near me, by no means a goat track, actually one of my favourite layouts, super interesting, very mountainous, lots of natural creeks and dams for hazards, just a superb layout. Unfortunately, due to its location and mediocre greenskeeping, the place exists in relative anonymity. My dad and I probably play there once a fortnight, and we always get the best service, super quick rounds, and a great game despite the hit and miss fairways/greens. One time we went there during their club champs, and my word, it was unreal. Green rolling 12+ and smooth, fairways mowed beautifully, that was something else. Point is, for $30, dad and i get a superb round of golf with the course to ourselves, just because others look down on this "goat track" so never be afraid to tackle the goat once or twice 🤗🤗
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#128 John9213

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Posted 27 August 2017 - 05:22 PM

View PostUGA111384, on 11 August 2017 - 12:48 PM, said:

I play a "goat track" in Reynolds, ga (not to be confused with Reynolds plantation) when visiting family down there and it is the true definition of a goat track.  The only way you can get a good lie is if you tee it up on a ant hill.  You have no idea where the fairway is because everything looks the same.  The outfit of choice for most members either involves a cutoff or something camo.  With that said the people are the nicest ever and literally every round is a party!
Reynolds golf course! I don't think I've ever met staff so friendly in my life. And as an outsider, I've never made more friends during a round of golf before. Everyone made you feel like family and it made up for the horrible shape the course was in. I will go back the next time I'm in that area of Georgia!

Goat tracks are my specialty and I'm proud of it! I started out traveling the country for work 3 years ago and I was hitting up the most expensive and most popular courses I could find. Hit a couple on the top 100 list as well. But spending so much money to play every time got old real quick. I always play as a single because I travel alone so a course that allows singles and is laid back is what I enjoy the most. You give me 4 times a week at a goat track versus 1 time at a top 100 and I'll take the goat track every time for the same amount of money. I'm the laid back guy so they suit me well when I'm on the road working plus I enjoy a meal after I play and a burger or hot dog and a beer is my kind of meal as opposed to caviar. Goat tracks for life!
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#129 tngolferguy

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Posted 27 August 2017 - 09:02 PM

View Postbcpudge7, on 11 September 2016 - 07:47 AM, said:

There's a public course in BG that has the potential to be a great public course, but has the reputation of being a cheap course, so it's kept like a cheap course.

Would love to see it taken over and made nicer

View Postbcpudge7, on 11 September 2016 - 07:47 AM, said:

There's a public course in BG that has the potential to be a great public course, but has the reputation of being a cheap course, so it's kept like a cheap course.

Would love to see it taken over and made nicer

BGKY?  If so, which one?
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#130 spetzle

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Posted 27 September 2017 - 11:28 AM

View Posthardcorelooper, on 19 August 2017 - 02:36 PM, said:

View Postjohnmeany, on 27 September 2016 - 05:22 PM, said:

Hominy Hill in Central NJ. Muni course that has had a few USGA public links championships. Doesn't look like much from the road but a really fun and challenging track that plays over 7000, and a very hilly course as well, but still an easy walk. Could really be something special, but it's not given a lot of funding.

Wow, you have high standards if you consider Hominy a goat track.  Growing up on the Jersey Shore in the '80s, we always spoke of Hominy in hushed tones.  It was a better course than the very exclusive private club where I worked.

Before I got the job at that club and played all the golf I could fit in on Mondays and weeknights, I'd play real Monmouth County goat tracks like Colonial Terrace (Colonial Terror) and Bel-Aire.  My high school team played at Shark River (another GT).  So many fond memories of the Shark.  I'd love to play it again, but my family and I have all moved away and I'm never in the area anymore.

I play most of my golf at a 4,600 yard course with a course rating of 62-ish that most here would consider a goat track, although it's in decent shape.  It's a First Tee course, and as a volunteer coach, my kids and I play it for free.  It keeps me playing quite a bit of golf, and since I have to shoot virtually zero to move my handicap, my handicap does travel somewhat decently.  When I do pay to play, I don't feel very guilty about it.  It's actually a decent course from the back tees for my HS daughter.  The greens are usually very puttable; the greenskeeper will get them running a little quick when the weather will allow it.  Some of the mounds have lost their grass and turned to hardpan/dirt, but you're not supposed to be there anyway, are you?  The people there are just phenomenal.  They're not there to be seen; they're there because they freaking love the game of golf.

I've loved this thread, and there are some of you that I think I'd have a blast playing with.

The current Goat Track down there now is Cedar Creek GC in Bayville lol  Horrible.


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#131 Night Putter

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Posted 07 November 2017 - 01:32 PM

North shore Long island's Rolling Oaks. In Rocky Point.

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#132 Moshjean

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Posted 04 December 2017 - 07:28 PM

Goat tracks are like your favorite watering hole that is the diviest of dive bars, but it has that intangible charm.
Life is good

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#133 Chanceman

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Posted 29 December 2017 - 06:15 AM

Goat tracks are my specialty and I'm proud of it! I started out traveling the country for work 3 years ago and I was hitting up the most expensive and most popular courses I could find. Hit a couple on the top 100 list as well. But spending so much money to play every time got old real quick. I always play as a single because I travel alone so a course that allows singles and is laid back is what I enjoy the most. You give me 4 times a week at a goat track versus 1 time at a top 100 and I'll take the goat track every time for the same amount of money. I'm the laid back guy so they suit me well when I'm on the road working plus I enjoy a meal after I play and a burger or hot dog and a beer is my kind of meal as opposed to caviar. Goat tracks for life!

Hey John, love your story. When I first started playing golf I used to travel in the outback quite a bit so I often drove past goat tracks in the middle of nowhere. On long summer evenings there was nothing better than stopping off for a solitary round with the local kangaroos as my gallery and then downing a beer as the sun went down. It was a good life .

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#134 DirtyHippy

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Posted 30 December 2017 - 04:40 AM

I have had some of my most enjoyable rounds on goat tracks! I once played a quirky little course on Whidbey Island in Washington state because I was on my way to a retreat and had some time to spare with my clubs in my trunk. I was all alone, paid via an envelope and the honor system, and had a blast walking among the trees while having a relaxing round. There was no curb appeal to this place, rather it was the enjoyment of the game and the need to take care of my golfing itch that took me out there.
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#135 just plain bill

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Posted 05 January 2018 - 10:40 AM

goat tracks have character!  some folks gotta have an immaculate course or they wont play...and they spend a lot of time ripping courses not in perfect condition, but their favorite is kinda boring to play...

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#136 hackman162

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Posted 08 February 2018 - 11:08 AM

The old course off Gilman Springs Rd in Moreno Valley. They didn't have water, but kept the tee boxes and greens watered with a water truck. Buddy and I went out there to play, decided what the hell, we are here, lets play. We had the course to ourselves.Actually learned a lot that day and had a good time. Just checked google maps, and the place looks abandoned now. Too bad. It was actually a pretty nice layout.

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#137 Spoonstyck

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Posted 18 February 2018 - 06:47 PM

View PostArgonne69, on 06 May 2016 - 09:54 AM, said:

View PostSean2, on 30 April 2016 - 05:25 PM, said:

I've rare play well manicured golf courses. Though I must admit I have never seen any goats on the courses I play either. I don't know if that's good or bad. I mean, if the goats are avoiding them...

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#138 mac4pres

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Posted 20 February 2018 - 01:44 AM

Recently took a vacation to the North Shore on O'ahu. Couldn't decide if I wanted to pony up the money for turtle Bay, decided against it and ended up playing 9 holes on a oceanside goat track(not sure I've heard that before) in Kahuku. Best $19 I've spent, great walk, beautiful views and a pretty fun course.

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#139 PaulCGaffney

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Posted 01 March 2018 - 10:52 AM

I always have fun playing these types of courses. My brother and I learned the game at a local muni in Pittsburgh and just this winter returned there to slap the ball around a bit. We 'drafted" four old clubs each from the garbage can in the garage and went out to walk 18. Even though it was 42 degrees and raining we still had a blast.
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#140 Iamdiesel18

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Posted 05 March 2018 - 12:55 AM

My family takes a trip to Traverse City once a year. Played a lot of the resort courses in/around Traverse City. As I was reading one of the local magazines, they mentioned a hole at a course called Elmbrook as being one of the best in the area. Itís outside the city without any other attractions nearby. When you drive up, it looks like the definition of a ďGoat Track.Ē I almost turned around and drove out of the parking lot. Instead I gave it a chance and Iím glad I did. The view from the highest point on the course is breathtaking. It overlooks both the East Bay and West Bay feeding into Lake Michigan. Playing 9 holes with my Dad (who golfs maybe once a year) made it even better.

The people around the course were great and you canít beat the rates. When visiting Traverse City, give it a chance.BF218D9E-465E-4D18-8547-1C9FB6D573C8.jpeg


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#141 b_smith07

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Posted 06 March 2018 - 09:16 AM

View Postb_smith07, on 20 April 2017 - 09:50 AM, said:

Im a member at a club with two nice 18-Hole tracks, but before I joined I definitely played a ton of goat tracks. I really don't mind at all so long as the greens aren't slow. They can be bumpy, half dead, whatever, just not slow. There's a track here that apparently was really nice 10-15 years ago called Nueva Vista. Typical links-style course with lots of mounding, native areas, and creative green complexes with not a ton of bunkers...just where you need them. Couple of lakes on the back nine, but you would swear you were abroad if not for the housing and view of downtown Midland on a few holes. Super fun track, and some of the best Par-4's anywhere Ive seen. Lots are driveable (even at 380-400 yds) due to the current conditions of rock hard fairways and pretty much desert hardpan in the  "rough" but since they usually keep the greens running true its still a good test...and the lack of grass in the rough will allow your ball to careen into the closest thing Texas has for gorse, which is thick mesquite bushes. Its not worth more than about 20-25 bucks with a cart, but an absolute blast to play.

I played this course again yesterday, and was pleasantly surprised. Mondays, every private except one is closed, so me and a buddy decided to take a chance on old Nueva Vista. Played the tips at just under 7000 yds expecting the hard fairways and were pleasantly surprised to see that with some rain and management of cart traffic, they have gotten lots of grass to grow in the fairways and even got some native grasses to take hold on some of the mounds that used to be hardpan. Greens were pretty smooth and rolling at about 8-9. Holes you typically bombed driver and had a chip for eagle are now driver, 8 iron, and par 5's played like a par 5 and not bomb driver and iron in. Still weeds everywhere, some patches of hardpan here and there and some areas on the greens that are bumpy, but a massive improvement. And so much fun. And honestly, if there weren't some "goaty" aspects still around id be a little disappointed lol. If youre ever in west Texas and want a close experience to Open-rota style golf, especially if the wind is up, try it out for $30.

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#142 zdobson71

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Posted 06 March 2018 - 10:49 PM

North GA is full of "Goat Track's", courses where you hit driver once an round and never have a flat lie. Feel like it makes you a better and more creative player!
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Scotty Golo 3

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#143 tips09

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Posted 11 March 2018 - 12:48 PM

Heading to a goat track tomorrow morning. First couple rounds of the year are always at a goat track. I can thank being in Canada for the shorter golf season.
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#144 lowndes

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Posted 14 March 2018 - 08:15 PM

I donít play many goat tracks these days but some of my best golfing memories were playing a course called Valley Lodge in Simonton, TX growing up.  I loved that course - it closed down a good 15 years ago and I think became a horse farm.  I wish I could back and play it.  It actually was a really good layout.

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#145 indianalawnguy

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Posted 17 March 2018 - 11:50 PM

Is it "goat track" or "goat ranch"? Either way i play them. There are a few ariund me that are short and pretty fun! After the spring rains they actually green up and look and play ok. But i am def guilty of not playing a course based on what i saw driving by.


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#146 Pearson10M

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Posted 18 March 2018 - 07:00 AM

View Postddbowdoin, on 31 August 2016 - 10:41 PM, said:

Ponkapoag in Canton, MA.  What A DUMP! But I love it.

Donald Ross design, state owned... No irrigation. It's like playing on the moon

Sad though, some money and the place would be stellar!

I love this place!  True Goat Track, especially in the dry summer, where there is more dirt/dust than grass on the fairways.  Agree, I few $ and this place would be awesome, as it has great terrain.  Every hole is unique.

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#147 BIG STU

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Posted 18 March 2018 - 07:46 AM

View Postindianalawnguy, on 17 March 2018 - 11:50 PM, said:

Is it "goat track" or "goat ranch"? Either way i play them. There are a few ariund me that are short and pretty fun! After the spring rains they actually green up and look and play ok. But i am def guilty of not playing a course based on what i saw driving by.
It depends on what part of the country you are from or even what part of your state you are from. In the Piedmont section of North Carolina we called them "Goat Ranches. In the coastal section of SC where I now live I have heard both but of course with this being a retirement and tourist area with folks here from everywhere you hear both.

Growing up in Piedmont NC we had a bunch of them scattered out and I have played a bunch. The course my old man ran would be considered semi Goat Ranch. Never had irrigation in the fairways and they were hard and rough in the summer but the greens were always good. Most of those old courses in that area are gone now sans a couple. One of my favorites is an old ranch up next to Mount Holly NC called Green Meadows. I played up there a couple of years ago and trust me the clubhouse and surroundings have not changed in 45 years. Thoroughly enjoyed myself.

About 35 years ago when I played the Mini Tours I played an event in Texas can not remember exactly where it was. That course had sand greens that were oiled down and rolled. Man they were fast and true. They had a local rule that you could change balls between putts because the ball would get black. They had a animal drinking trough between each green a tee with brushes and dish washing detergent to wash your ball off. You could also move the ball any where within two club lengths to find a cabbage patch to put your ball on. But it was fun.

Down here in this Golf Mecca we did have a few goat ranches on this end . Off the tourist track as we said. In fact most of the locals during the spring and fall tourist golf seasons would play them to escape the "TOURONS". Sadly most of them have closed down because they were more valuable here to put houses on than to stay a golf course

Just something about playing a Goat Ranch with vintage clubs appeals to me and is more fun to me than playing a Top 100 course with new stuff
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#148 FlyingLaw1

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Posted 15 April 2018 - 03:27 PM

Couple of my most fun/entertaining rounds have been on courses a lot of golfers would hate. Goat Tracks can be fun!
GO DAWGS

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#149 BettorThanMost

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Posted 20 April 2018 - 03:12 PM

Any day on a golf course still beats a day in the office...

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#150 OutBackHack

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Posted 30 April 2018 - 05:49 PM

I personally know of a tour pro who had his carry bag stolen from Sawgrass, at the bag drop with staff everywhere.
It's was a regular carry bag but had Titleist clubs not yet released to the public in it.
If someone wants what you have it can happen anywhere.
I never let my clubs out of site unless I'm at a high end private. I see people leave clubs at the bag drop at Sea island all the time, there is no way I would even consider that, waaaay to easy to take.



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