The golf world is fixated on what's wrong with the sport. Sending that conversation to the bottom of our travel bags for a second, let's focus on what golf is doing right: the annual buddies trip. I could be sentenced to a life of nine holes in the hallway of this office, and if I got to tee it up with the right buddies, I'd be happy. Whether it's Bandon Dunes, Pinehurst, Pebble Beach or playing through the community snacks in the production department, I depend on my buddies trips for banter, bets and belly laughs. After surprising more than 40 buddies trips with the Golf Digest Ambush--the most recent story will appear in the July issue--I'm fascinated by the camaraderie that's taking place across the country.
It's trophies made of toilet seats, it's guys being forced to wear skirts for not hitting it past the ladies' tees, it's tributes to fallen friends--no wonder your buddies trip is more important than anniversaries, birthdays or bar mitzvahs. On any given buddies golf getaway, it's not uncommon for a 40-handicap who sets aside his five annual rounds for one trip a year to earn the coveted honors of MVP. And it has nothing to do with his net 59, although that might earn a line in the history book. It has everything to do with his refreshing attitude, his homemade moonshine, and his willingness to man the grill in a snowstorm. On Oct. 21-23, I'll be cooking up a buddies golf jamboree at the Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek, which includes three nights of lodging, three rounds of golf at the Waldorf Astoria Golf Club, food, a buddies golf roundtable, gifts, prizes and more. Sign up now, and bring some buddies. What's better than late-night hallway golf in a swanky new Hilton? --Matty G.*
(You can follow me and my travels on Twitter: @Matt_Ginella.)