On behalf of the SRGC Professional Staff, welcome to the 2019 Golf Season. A list of the events will be on this page soon!
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Wednesday Night League
We are looking for a few more teams to round out the Wednesday Night League. If you would like to play contact Chadwick at firstname.lastname@example.org. More info on the 2019 league will be emailed out in early 2019.
Ben Thapa's Journey A Journey: Seven Continents to Fifty Capitals
As most of you know that I have been travelling to play golf in All U.S. 50 Capitals. I completed my 50 Capitals golf trips in October 2018 in Honolulu, Hawaii. Thank you all for your encouragement and support! Below is recap of my journey. I just wanted to share this with Friends and any community Golfers out there so if anyone is interested to pursue similar goal/bucket list, this might be helpful.
What? Playing Golf in All 50 U.S. Capitals Criteria:
1) Play golf only in the U.S. Capital golf courses
2) Play in 18 Holes Course
3) Play in USGA Rated Course for scores posting purpose
4) Play with the Club Members or someone Local in that Capital/State
Where?First (1) Golf Course: Hawktree Golf Course, Bismarck, North Dakota Last (50) Golf Course: Honolulu Country Club, Honolulu, Hawaii
When? Completed playing golf on October 28, 2018 in last Capital, Honolulu
Why? Bucket List #2.
I also like to stay active, need to have plans and work on my checklist items throughout the year etc. so probably that has something to do with it. Original plan was to play in every State, not necessarily every Capital. But I also wanted to visit/see all 50 Capitol Domes/Buildings and the Cities. Last but not least, these trips were also part of my cross-country journey.
Seeing some beautiful parts of East Coast and West Coast from early 1990’s thru early 2000’s, I always wanted to go on cross country trips. So driving across the country and playing golf in all 50 Capitals (States), I would accomplish three things at once – Playing golf in the capitals, cross country trips and visit Capitols in all 50 States – and I did it!
I had been planning and coordinating for these trips for about 5 years, but I had been saving for longer than that. I have been working for the same company more than 20 years so I get plenty of vacation weeks. These are all personal trips and I did travel alone all except two Capitals – Annapolis & Honolulu. I did my golf trips by region. In average, I played golf in 4 states in each trip. During Fall/Winter months, I took the trips in in Southern States; and during the Spring/Summer, I travelled to Northern States. I always made tee times in two Golf Courses for the same day – second Tee time is for backup just in case if there is some events at the first GC so I can still play in second GC. It did happen handful of times and I had to play in my backup course close by. Also, traveling alone and playing as a single was somewhat beneficial for me. If I missed my tee times, I wouldn’t have problem joining another group. Traveling solo was good because I could leave the hotel to go to Capitol, downtown, other places or travel to next Capital/State anytime I wanted.
Played in 47 Capitals in 18 Holes Golf Courses. But Juneau, Alaska; Augusta, Maine; and Montpelier, Vermont had only 9 Holes Courses so I had to play twice to make 18 Holes to post my scores. Because I had to play in the Capital (#1 criteria), I didn’t want to go outside of the city to play golf in 18 Holes Courses. As we all know, usually City Golf Courses don’t have much lands and they are not as good compare to golf courses in the suburbs. So I ended up playing in number of Municipal golf courses because of my criteria to play ‘only’ in the ‘Capital’.
Toward the End
I would say starting 35 Capitals, I started to feel that I could do it. Golf Club staff and Members were very interested and very welcoming. They would take my picture at the tee box, during lunch at the clubhouse or at the course. Most of them would have similar comment or ask similar question. What a great idea! How did you come up this great/unique idea?
Best Courses Better Country Clubs: Honolulu Country Club (HI), Frankfort CC (KY), Wolferts Roost CC (NY), Trenton CC (NJ), Berry Hills CC (WV), Montpelier Elks CC (VT), Concord CC (NH)
Better Golf Courses: Hawktree GC, Bismarck, North Dakota; Mendalhall GC, Juneau, Alaska; Fox Ridge GC, Helena Montana; Silver Oak GC, Carson City Nevada; Isabella Santa Maria GC, Baton Rouge, Louisiana; The Legacy GC, Phoenix, Arizona; Lincoln Park GC, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma; and Oak Hills GC, Columbia, South Carolina.
Note: Most of these Golf Courses I said better golf course based on condition of the course. Some of them I also picked because of sceneries around the golf course, their clubhouses and the facilities.
Under par to over my handicap. I would have loved to play better in every golf course in every Capital. But long driving and playing in new courses, I knew I would have a challenge to keep my score lower. I had some great rounds and some were not so great. But enjoyed all 50 rounds playing in 50 Capitals with great group of people.
As we all know we, golfers, like to complement other golfers. Here are few comments from the players who I played in different capitals:
I was playing with twosome in Atlanta, GA. I was hitting long and in the middle of the fairways most of the afternoon. Harry said, ‘Ben probably put something in the golf ball that’s why he is not missing anything.’
I was playing with three players in Harrisburg, PA. I was fairly consistent hitting my driver and irons that morning. Cord was supposed to be a very good player, but that particular morning he was not having his usual great game. One point when Cord said, ‘I am really struggling today’, his friends told him ‘Playing with Ben is not helping either’ (sometimes if one player plays fairly well, it puts a lot of pressure to the other players)
I was playing with threesome in Phoenix, AR. I told them that I have been traveling and playing in different Capitals. I was not playing great but scrambling and saving pars. In one hole, I missed the green and my golf ball was in the fringe. About 50 feet long double breaking putt and I made the putt. Tony said, ‘Ben is playing too much golf.’
I was playing with John at Glenwood GC in Richmond in back nine. Either it was Hole # 12 or 13, I drove over 300 yards. John looked at me and smile…then said great driving! That was my first 300+ drive! Felt good and I saved the golf ball.
Harry, Cord, and Tony were great guys. Whenever they had some great shots, I obviously complemented their games.
My wife is not interested in golf so she didn’t come in any of my trips except for Hawaii. Hawaii was my last Capital to play golf so her coming to Hawaii was special for me.
I played at Honolulu CC on Sunday. As we all know that it is not easy to make tee times especially on the weekend in any Country Clubs. I had a little difficulty making the tee time first, but after explaining why I was in Hawaii and to their Golf Club, they were happy and I was able to join three other members to play golf. Great people!
(Our club and I had also coordinated with the HCC in advance and I had received a voice message from the GM as well, but I was in Nepal and I couldn’t’ reach back to the club.)
The best golf course I played in 50 Capitals, probably something to do with scenery as well. It was also the most expensive course I had played – but playing with great group of people, being last golf course - it worth every bit of it! After I was done playing there, my wife said, ‘You did it!’
50K SRGC Golf Shirt
I brought our Club’s white logo golf shirt to all 50 Capitals. After playing with players, I would ask them for their autograph. Everybody wrote their name, course name, Capital & State and the Date we played. Very special and valuable shirt for me and I will be framing this shirt. It's not really 50K Golf Shirt ��, since it is extremely valuable to me, I call 50K Golf Shirt. See attached picture.
Before I started taking these trips, I told myself whenever I start going these cross country trips and driving thousands of miles, I also wanted to avoid getting any tickets on the road. When I told my wife about this, she said you don’t get tickets anyways. I didn’t get any tickets so I was happy.
Events & Stories? North Dakota – Driving in the countryside, my Garmin GPS didn’t work and I had no 3G reception so no Waze or Google Maps, so I was kind of stuck in one of the cross roads kind of middle of nowhere and didn't know which way to go. I waited for about 15 minutes and another car came to the stop sign and I asked for directions to this gentleman. But I always print out hard copies of my trips just in case. With the direction of the gentleman and me following the directions from the print out, I was able to get out of that area and found the route I was looking for in about 30 minutes. South Dakota – On one of the main Highways, I saw sign with next service 108 miles. For next two hours I didn’t see houses or anything except Cattle Farms. I didn’t even see a single car coming from my direction for about 2 hours (not even police cars) …but I did see few cars coming from the opposite directions. While I was driving, first thing came in my mind was what happens if there is an emergency or something and I am in nowhere. Missouri - I always have hard copies/soft copies of my itinerary – with GC name & address, tee time, Capitol Bldg., Hotel and other places I would like to visit. By mistake, I had played in the wrong golf course. Instead of playing in Jefferson City, Capital of Missouri, I had played in Holts Summit, just outside of Jefferson City. I always check the GC scorecard even before paying the green fees, but obviously I didn’t check this one. So all along, I thought I was playing in the Jefferson City. So the next morning when I was trying to go to the Capitol & the city, I realized about my mistake playing golf outside of the Capital. Then I had to reschedule some of my plans to play in Jefferson City – so I did play in Jefferson City that morning.
But I met Chris and Joe at Railwood GC in Holts Summit – they are great people and now we text and email to each other– good friendship! Probably playing in this wrong GC was meant to be! Virginia - In Richmond, I had to drive there twice because I forgot to have my Golf Shirt singed when I played there the first time. I was happy that it happened in Virginia, not in Alaska or Hawaii.
Amazing Places & Views
Beautiful green mountains and crystal clear lakes in Maine, Vermont and New Hampshire
Beautiful Port of Greater Baton Rouge and great fireworks display on July 4th
Driving from Portland to Idaho on I-84 alongside the Columbia/Snake River
Seeing miles and miles of beautiful farms with crops in Idaho
Seeing gorgeous mountains of Montana
Seeing part of Standing Rock Indian Reservation and crossing the Pipeline in Dakotas
Driving in Wyoming
Visiting Mt. Rushmore
Breathtaking view of Mendenhall glacier in Alaska
Gorgeous water views in Hawaii
I was driving from Jacksonville to Tallahassee, Florida around 8 in the evening on I-10 West. I was about an hour away to Tallahassee and all of a sudden, my car started to make a noise and I had to pull over side of the Hwy. As soon as car made that sound and car was shaking, I knew car ran out of gas. First I was thinking of calling AAA for road assistance, but since it was dark and busy Hwy, I called 911 for safety reason. Then I called AAA for help. Unfortunately I couldn’t see any Mile Markers .20 miles both ways – finally I saw an exit sign the other side of the road that helped me to give info to the AAA (phone was not giving me my location for some reason). Police officer also came by and asked me to make sure I was ok. AAA came later and put some gas in my car and I was able to drive to next gas station. I was stranded for over 2 hours on a busy highway in dark.
Lesson learned – Don’t wait to fill up the car until we see the light! Fill up the car as soon as we have ¼ tank left in the car especially if we are driving out of state. (As a matter of fact, I was not waiting the gas tank to be that low…I was driving in a rental SUV and didn’t hear that warning sound)
These were few of my highlights. Definitely I would like to visit some of these places in the future with my family to see absolutely amazing sceneries and countryside.
My golf trips were more than just golf trips or cross-country trips. For me these trips were also very helpful in terms of understanding people and the culture of different regions. During these trips, I also met so many wonderful people from different regions and I am keeping in touch with them. I have invited them here in DC/Virginia. When they come, I am also planning to bring some of them at our Golf Club to play one round of golf with us so some of you will meet them in the future.
As you can see from some of these pictures that I buy souvenirs items everywhere I travel. I have golf shirts, hats, winter clothes, ball markers (anything with clubs' logo) from all 50 Capital Golf Courses. But I also buy some other souvenirs items from every state. For example - t-shirts, coffee mugs, refrigerator magnets, shot glasses etc.
My golf Bucket List #1 was to play golf in Seven Continents, see few Photos especially the Collage with lots of pictures. This Collage was organized with Golf Playing, Birds/Animals, Cities, people who I played golf with in all seven continents etc. in horizontally & vertically – It took me some time to put it together) – My Quest for the Antarctic Circle I have attached few pictures of Seven Continents including golf pictures.
All my Seven Continents and Fifty States items (clubs, golf bags, 50 golf shirts, 50 hats etc.) are my retired items now. Down the road when I can, I will convert one basement room to golf room. I have plenty of golf items from many parts of the World to fill this room.
I travelled a quite a bit from 2011 - 2018 and now I am done with my personal travels. I have plenty of interesting stories and experiences from all of these trips. I will be writing about my 50 Capitals trips journey this winter in short version. But when I have time or after I retire, probably I will write a book about my adventures.
(For documentation purpose, I keep everything - contact info (name, number, email of those who I played with), scorecards, golf course receipts or any receipts, pictures, posting scores etc.)
I take pride completing this journey as a part of SRGC Member. Thanks to Jon & Chad for their help!
I also like to thank all those friends who were very encouraging, supportive and interested to hear about my travels! Again, if anyone likes to pursue similar bucket lists/goals, let me know. I can even provide contact information of all these great people from all 50 Capitals. I am sure they will be happy to play golf with friends of Ben Thapa.