55 Ideas for Your Golf Bucket List


“Time is short,” wrote Joe Passov (aka Travelin’Joe) at Golf.com. “And as a golfer, you can live a better life by having the [golf]experiences you’ve always dreamed about.”

I think Joe is on to something. If you agree, why not consider your golf bucket list?

It may sound corny, but golf dreams can come true. It’s happened to me. I’ve played Pebble Beach, interviewed many golf legends (including Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicklaus) and attended several major championships and other tournaments. Much of it was serendipitous.

Recently, I scoured the Internet like Phil Mickelson searching for his golf ball in U.S. Open rough. I wanted to find out this: What do people put on their golf bucket lists? I read articles at sites such as Golf.com, GolfAdvisor.com, CNN.com, YourGolfTravel.com, Golf Monthly and more.

From that research, I came up with three golf bucket list categories and narrowed a lot of information and lists into 55 ideas. Maybe it’s fodder for your own golf bucket list, or at least will get your creative juices flowing. Take a look.


Golf Bucket List Part 1: Courses

Here are some golf courses you might want to play before you kick the bucket.

  1. Pebble Beach Golf Links (Pebble Beach, California)

Note: 65,000 round per year. “If I had only one more round to play, I would choose to play it at Pebble Beach.” –Jack Nicklaus

  1. The Old Course (St. Andrews, Scotland)

Note: Birthplace of golf. Arguable the most famous golf course in the world.

  1. Pinehurst No. 2 (Pinehurst, North Carolina)

Note: Known as the St. Andrews of America.

  1. The Ocean Course (Kiawah Island, South Carolina)

  2. Bandon Dunes (Bandon, Oregon)

Note: Everybody walks. After paying for the first 36 holes, additional holes are free.

  1. Kapalua Resort, Plantation Course (Maui, Hawaii)

  2. Whistling Straits (Kohler, Wisconsin)

  3. TPC Sawgrass (Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida)

Note: An estimated 150,000 balls are lost in the water at the 17th each year.

  1. Bethpage State Park, Black Course (Farmington, New York)

  2. Royal Troon Golf Club (Troon, Scotland)

  3. Carnoustie Golf Links (Carnoustie, Scotland)

Note: Where golf legend Ben Hogan played in his only British Open. He won.

  1. Cape Kidnappers (Hawkes Bay, New Zealand)

  2. Valderrama (Andalucía, Spain)

  3. The Melbourne Sandbelt (Victoria, Australia)

(Victoria Golf Club, Metropolitan Golf Club, Royal Melbourne, Kingston Heath Golf Club)

  1. The Royal County Down Golf Club (Northern Ireland)

  2. Ballybunion (Southwest Ireland)

  3. Royal Lytham & St. Annes Golf Club (Lytham St. Annes, England)

Note: The first Open here was won by Bobby Jones.

  1. The Royal St. George’s Golf Club (Sandwich, England)

  2. Stoke Park Club (Stoke Poges, England)

Note: The movie setting for the match between James Bond and Goldfinger.

  1. Royal Porthcawl Golf Club (Wales)

  2. Shadow Creek (Las Vegas, Nevada)

Note: Built by casino owner Steve Wynn at a cost of $60 million, or $3.3 million per hole.


Golf Bucket List Part 2: Experiences

Golf stuff to do before you, um, you know.


  1. The Masters

Note: You owe it to yourself to walk around Augusta National Golf Club, including Amen Corner.

  1. The Ryder Cup

  1. The Open Championship

  2. The U.S. Open

  3. Any major, really.


  1. Seven rounds in seven days.

  2. A round with blades and persimmon woods.

  3. A round with spouse, relative or friend.

  4. In a tour pro-am.

  5. As many holes as possible in one day.

  6. A big-money match.

  7. Night golf.


  1. On a golf road trip.

  2. On a golf buddy trip.

  3. On a golf pilgrimage to Scotland.


  1. Build a practice area or hole in your yard.

  2. Party at the Waste Management Phoenix Open.

  3. Caddie for an amateur or pro.

  4. Sneak onto your local country club.

  5. Hit balls at Chelsea Piers.

  1. Execute a Happy Gilmore swing.

  2. Host a charity outing.

  3. Enter or qualify for a tournament.


Golf Bucket List Part 3: Performance

Things to achieve before you’re called to the tee in the great beyond.

  1. Break 100, 90, 80, 70.

  2. Shoot even par.

  3. Shoot your age.

  4. Make more pars than bogeys in a round.

  5. Make a birdie.

  6. Make an eagle.

  7. Make a hole-in-one.

  8. Get three sand saves in a round.

  9. Earn a single-digit handicap.

  10. Win a golf bet.

  11. Win a tournament.

  12. Walk 18, 36 or more holes in a day.

So, what’s on yourgolf bucket list? Please leave a comment below or tell us on Facebook and Twitter.

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Neil Sagebiel

Neil Sagebiel is a golf writer and author of two golf books published by St. Martin's Press, THE LONGEST SHOT and DRAW IN THE DUNES. He lives in Floyd, Virginia.

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