Where can you find all this bucket-list golf? You don't have to join a swanky private club to make these rounds come true. All it takes is a credit card and a click of a button to purchase these - and other - fantastic opportunities offered by the Youth On Course National Auction fundraiser. Just don't think too long about which rounds you want to bid on. The auction ends Thursday at 8 p.m. Pacific Standard Time.
The purpose of the non-profit Youth on Course, headquartered in Pebble Beach, Calif., is to provide youth life-changing opportunities through golf. Young members can play hundreds of courses for $5 or less, benefit from employment through the caddie and internship program and receive college scholarships. Since 2006, nearly 750,000 rounds have been played by Youth on Course participants and more than $1.4 million has been raised for college scholarships. Currently, Youth on Course serves courses in 26 states with the goal of delivering affordable golf in every state by 2021.
This appears to be one of those win-win scenarios a golfer dreams of: You get to play amazing golf, all tax deductible for a good cause. I'm really tempted to round up a couple buddies to put in a bid for the San Francisco golf package that requires a starting bid of $3,500. If I split it three ways, for roughly $1,200 each, my favorite threesome could score rounds at The Olympic Club, The Meadows Club (a pure Alister MacKenzie course), Lake Merced (an LPGA Tour venue where Joe Montana is a member) and a "Golf Digest ranked" course to be named later. (Lake Merced and Olympic will allow you to bring a fourth). That's a pretty good deal.
There's so many great offers, a four-night trip to Ireland to play Dooks, Lahinch and Waterville for $1,800; a four-round adventure around Los Angeles, including Wilshire and Riviera, for $2,200; and $3,200 for Top 100 New York rounds for you and friends at Quaker Ridge and Sleepy Hollow, one of my all-time favorite course experiences. You can even play golf with Golf Channel announcers and former pros, Kay Cockerill and Notah Begay.
Perhaps the most interesting item listed as 'priceless' is the chance to play The Institute, the almost-mythical golf course in Morgan Hill, Calif., owned by the top brass at Frys Electronics. It will cost you $15,000 to get inside the gates of one of the 10 most insanely private courses you'll never play.
There are also other sports and vacation opportunities, such as court-side access to a Golden State Warriors game, Disneyland passes and a package to attend Chicago Cubs spring training. Maybe it's time to get some holiday shopping done early.
What do you think? Which items caught your eye? Are these prices good enough and the cause worthy enough to purchase an experience of a lifetime for your friends or family? Let us know in the comments below.