Your Picks for Golf's Greatest Off-Course Experiences

Last week I shared 14 of "Golf's Greatest Off-Course Experiences" and asked for your help in getting us to 18.

All I can say is, "Wow."

And, "Thank You."

More than 50 great ideas came pouring in from you and your fellow, well-traveled readers.

Here's a short list of the best experiences; those I either left out...or didn't even know about (plus the full list of 65+ ideas if you want to see everything).

Attend the PGA Merchandise Show (submitted by Gary S.)
"Chum up with a buddy in the biz and attend the PGA Merchandise Show in Florida every year...Looks like a weeklong session to get golf juices flowing."

True, unless you work in the golf business, you can't simply register for this incredible, annual event (held at the end of January), but attendees can purchase a day pass for you for $100....and it's totally worth it.

Visit the Heritage of Golf Museum (submitted by Fourball)
"A visit to Archie Baird's museum next to Gullane [Golf Club in Scotland] is worth the trip. We were fortunate to spend a few hours with him and his pooch. His stories are wonderful."

While his museum is open only by appointment, Archie Baird is one of the friendliest and most accommodating people you will ever meet. His historic photos, artifacts and memorabilia trace golf's development from 1400 after it arrived in Scotland from Holland.

Coach or Attend a First Tee Program (submitted by Craig M.)
"Even if just for a day. It reminds you of when you fell in love with golf and to see some of these kids who would have no access to golf but for First Tee is life/attitude changing."

The First Tee has programs running in all 50 U.S. states (and four other countries) and there are many ways to get involved, including by donating money, equipment, or as Craig M., suggests above, simply your time.

Visit the Bushmills Distillery, Etc. (submitted by JG, Steve H. and Scott S.)
"In Northern Ireland take a bike ride along the Antrim Coast starting at the dunes at Portstewart Golf Club and ending at the Bushmills Distillery. Stop along the way at the harbor in Portrush, Dunluce Castle, Portballintrae Harbour, the Giants Causeway, and the Carrick-a-Rede rope bridge before ending at the Bushmills Distillery for a tour and a tasting. You need to double back to get to Bushmills, but if you stop along the way you will never get to the rope bridge. As a recommendation, when the guide at Bushmills asks for volunteers, jump at the opportunity. Difficult to pass the Royal Portrush Golf Club and not stop in, but that will be for another day."

Visit the Old Sport Gallery and Bookshop (submitted by Walter M., Jr.)
"When in Pinehurst N.C., be sure to visit Tom Stewart's "Old Sport Gallery and Bookshop"
in the Market Square in the village - you will not be sorry."

Indeed, Mr. Stewart (who played professionally around the world) has been called, "the Lord Mayor of Golftown," and his shop -- "part art gallery, bookshop, and memorabilia museum" befits this lofty title.

Click here to see my original 14 experiences and all 50+ ideas submitted by readers...or leave a comment below you like to add your own!

Craig Better is one of the founding editors of Golf Vacation Insider. In addition to traveling to 15 foreign countries, he has twice traveled across America to play golf courses in all 50 United States. Prior to joining Golf Vacation Insider, Craig was a freelance writer who contributed to GOLF Magazine, Travel + Leisure Golf, Maxim Magazine, USAToday.com, and co-authored Zagat Survey’s book, America’s Top Golf Courses.
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Your Picks for Golf's Greatest Off-Course Experiences
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