What Everyone Regrets About Golf

In at least one way, golfers are like fishermen:

We always regret, "the one that got away."

Tell me: are there any amazing courses you could have played...but didn't? Trips you could have taken? Exclusive invites that were rained out?

I'll tell you my examples and then I'd love to hear yours.

Two immediately spring to mind:

The first was an invitation to play one of America's great private clubs, Seminole.

A high school classmate invited me...about eight years ago. I haven't kept in touch of late, so I'm now way past the expiration date. Even more regrettable: I currently live a lot closer to the club than I used to.

The second was a college golf tournament my team was scheduled to play at Callaway Gardens, south of Atlanta. After about 11 hours in our van, we pulled into the resort in the middle of an ice storm. Needless to say, the tournament was cancelled.

Playing there might not have been as monumental as Seminole, but I still regret missing out on it.

A friend of mine had the chance to play Pebble Beach Golf Links back when the green fee was "only" $225, but he passed because he, "wanted to experience it as a better golfer." He has yet to make it back there.

If he ever did, it would be bittersweet: he somehow wrangled an invitation to play nearby Cypress Point, but like me, he waited too long to accept it and bringing it up now would probably be uncomfortable for everyone.

But enough about us...I want to hear your biggest golf regrets.

Have a good example of, "the one that got away?"

Please share it and/or read what others are saying below. (And keep in mind, it's almost New Year's resolution time!)

Tim Gavrich is a Senior Writer for Golf Advisor and the Managing Editor of the Golf Vacation Insider newsletter. Follow him on Twitter @TimGavrich and on Instagram @TimGavrich.
32 Comments
Default User Image
rick burkhart

This year was my minney bucket list year. To start off I got ot play TPC Sawgrass, not the stadium course but the valley course because the stadium course was getting ready for the tournament in may ( regrets). It was still a first class expierience, glad I got to play it. On to summer, I played the Broadmore in colorado springs where several majors have been played along with some amature tournaments.Great course but expensive, $275.00. but at the time the finest course I have played. In august we went to Hilton Head and I played Palmetto Dunes, best I have ever play by far.

Keith H

My only regret about golf is not taking it up at a younger age. Didn't start playing until I was out of college. And even though I've managed a single-digit handicap most of my adult life, as a golfer you always think you can do better. After reading a lot of these regrets though, I can tell you one thing. I've played many courses from Scotland to Hawaii and if anyone ever gave me the opportunity to play Augusta National, nothing would get in the way. Weddings and funerals can always be rescheduled!

Bob Pegram

My high school home course was Riviera in Pacific Palisades, CA. I have also played Pasatiempo and Banff Springs when I wasn't very good.
To me, playing any course well is much more important than what course I am playing (as long as it is in reasonably good condition). There are enough high quality courses in California that are reasonably priced that I don't mind if I can't play the most famous courses in the world.
I used to play Rancho Golf Course where the Los Angeles Open was for many years before it moved back to Riviera. Rancho is in great condition, a great course, and a Los Angeles Municipal course. Anybody can play there for a low price.

Dale

don't have any yet !! Have played Pebble Beach, Spanish Bay and Spyglass Hill. Pinehurst #2 as well as 4, 7 and 8. Tobacco Road !! Torry Pines South, Kiawah Island. Now we are planning a trip to Bandon Dunes !! Don't really care to play Ireland or Scottland ! so right now I'm good !! I live on Long Island NY have played Bethpage. Can't get on Shinnicock or Friar's Head, not rich enough !!

Robert. Chicago, Il

In 1985 I was a General Manager of a hotel in the Walt Disney World Resort Village that was managed by Trust House a large hotel company in Europe. The managing director Lord Mckintosh,was staying at my hotel. This gracious gentalman loved to play golf so I invited him to play on one of the Disney courses. He loved the course. I ended playing with him the rest of his stay, five days. Before he left he invited my wife and I visit to Scotland's Old Course along with golf also hotel accommodations. My wife works for a major airline that flys to the UK. The air fare would not cost us a dime. Sadly I did not take him up on his invitation Regretfully I think about that dream trip maybe someday! My wife was pregnant and delivered a fine bably boy. Now he is a young adult who is a pilot for this airline, we play together at least once a month. My dream now is the three of us may go before it's to late.

Conje

In 1968 a very close schoolfriend and I borrowed my mum's Fiat 500, packed golf clubs, toothbrush and a few clothes and set off for St Andrew's. We were there for four days, intending to play the then four courses. Day one we played the Eden for 3 shillings (15 pence), day two, the New Course 6 shillings (30 pence), day three the Jubilee for 3 shillings (15 pence) and day four (as you will have guessed) we turned up at The Old Course but discovered the cost of a round was twelve shillings and sixpence (62.5 pence) - far too expensive for two 17 year old lads! How I regret not spending the evening's intended beer money (yes I know we were under age) on that green fee. To this day playing the Old Course remains an unfulfilled ambition.

Tom

Two stories here:
- in the early 90's I was invited by my boss's boss to play Olympic in SF before returning home to HK. After a 3 week trip travelling all across the US, I just wanted to get home. Never had another opportunity

- my company hosted a client function at the 2000 Masters. The night before I was supposed to leave for GA, my 16yo daughter decides to come and live w me. With no time to make other arrangements, I stayed home.

Chris Chong

Years ago on a golf trip with my 2 sons,, we landed in San Diego and headed north to Arrowwood golf course for our 1st round . As we drove up the Coast Hwy. , my son suggested that we play Torrey Pines and I said we had already prepaid our round. I also thought the green fee was to expensive but regret this opportunity to play great course like Torrey Pines with my sons.

Mark

Took a 10 year hiatus from golf. Got an invite to Augusta. Passed because I was no longer a golfer. Now I play 150 rounds a year. What was I thinking?

Jerry Foley

I was on a business trip back in the early 80's and had a free Saturday so decided to travel to "see" Pebble rather than see San Fran. I walked out on 18 and saw the ocean crashing on the rocks as I gazed down the fairway I had seen so many times on TV. I knew I had to play even tho it was booked solid. I begged the Pro to fit me in and he stuck me with a visiting Japanese businessman who had his wife and Mother in law along. He had such reverence for the famous course he never drove off the cart path leaving me many long treks with multiple clubs in my clutch. I shot a great front nine a couple over par and thought "nothing to this course!" But the elements changed on the back with temps and light ocean fog and I struggled. But never looked back even tho I rented clubs, bought a pair of golf shoes, had a seagull steal my lunch and $350 I never told my wife about. Best golf experience of my life. The Japanese folks were cordial and proved you don't need to understand any language other than golf.

Now Reading
What Everyone Regrets About Golf
New Cookie Policy
WE AND OUR PARTNERS USE COOKIES ON THIS SITE TO IMPROVE OUR SERVICE, PERFORM ANALYTICS, PERSONALIZE ADVERTISING, MEASURE ADVERTISING PERFORMANCE, AND REMEMBER WEBSITE PREFERENCES. BY USING THE SITE, YOU CONSENT TO THESE COOKIES. FOR MORE INFORMATION ON COOKIES INCLUDING HOW TO MANAGE YOUR CONSENT VISIT OUR COOKIE POLICY.
CONTINUE