Genesis Invitational

Riviera Country Club

The Grind

I tracked an entire year of golf dreams again, and the results were even weirder

December 19, 2023

Clinging to a one-shot lead through 54 holes at the 2023 Travelers Championship, Keegan Bradley had a literal rude awakening not once, but twice as he tried to sleep ahead of Sunday’s final round.

“I had two dreams that I woke up to last night to hitting shots out of bounds,” Bradley revealed the following evening. “Like nightmares. I had a dream that Justin Thomas was shooting 10-under par.”

Fortunately for Bradley, neither of those things happened in real life, and the only “dream” that wound up coming true that Sunday was him winning a trophy he’s long coveted since attending the tournament as a kid. But it served as a great reminder that despite the magical things PGA Tour pros can do to a golf ball, they’re still regular people when they lay their heads on their pillows. And like us weekend hacks, their minds often drift to golf.

I did not win the Travelers Championship this year (although I did win the closest-to-the-pin contest at the event’s Media Day in May NBD), but I played my fair share of golf and had plenty of dreams about the game as well—even a strange one involving Keegan. Just probably none as intense as the ones that caused him to wake up in a cold sweat. Although there were a couple vivid nightmares involving Tiger Woods . . .

Anyway, for a second consecutive year, I decided to chronicle these visions, doing my best to jot a quick sentence down in the morning when I remember one. And now after 12 months of compiling, it’s time to relive the year with some of the ones that stood out. Let’s get to it.

Jan. 21: “Lexi Thompson posing with a fire eater.” No clue what this means, but I did attend a 40th birthday party the previous year that included one of those fire eaters as entertainment. Which was just as weird as this dream. Moving on . . .

Feb. 3: “Kicking myself for betting on Justin Leonard who is in last place.” No clue where this came from because I don’t bet on senior tour events when I’m awake. I swear. Well, maybe just the majors . . .

Feb. 14: “Interviewing Tom Kim after he ran a marathon.” Maybe that’s where Thomas the Train gets those tree trunks. But seriously, I wouldn’t blame my wife if she was worried about me dreaming about Tom Kim on Valentine’s Day. I love that dude.

March 5: “Following Tiger in the hunt at the U.S. Open and he gets a horrible bounce to lose.” Now that’s a nightmare.

March 12: “Tiger triple bogeys last hole to blow win No. 83.” Another rough one. I don't think I feel back asleep after that.

March 18: “Tiger wins major, rich friends give me $2K.” No memory of this, but it sounds like the greatest dream ever.

March 21: “The PGA Tour held a lottery for people to play in an event.” I noted this was right after a particularly stressful town recreation lottery process involving my 5-year-old daughter.

March 26: “Obama running our website at the Masters.” Sorry, Sam Weinman, you’ve been replaced by the 44th President of the United States!

April 4: “14-year-old girl qualifies for the Masters.” That would be a cool story!

April 21: “A bunch of no names battling for the U.S. Open and I can’t remember any of their names.” Well, that kind of makes sense.

May 10: “Visit Dan Rapaport in jail.” And as if this one couldn’t get any weirder, I added, “Asked him what was for dinner and felt bad.” For the record, our former colleague and current Barstool Sports writer has never been incarcerated. At least, that I know of.

May 29: “Stuck an 8-iron close and was confused why the gallery didn’t go crazy.” Apparently I play in the marquee pairings in my sleep.

June 5: “USGA unveils surprise first tee box in the woods on eve of U.S. Open.” Sounds believable if Mike Davis were still running the show.

June 8: “Big lead on trip, but losing strokes each day and have a terrible range session ahead of final round.” Sounds just like the plot of Greg Norman at the 1996 Masters! Like clockwork, I start having these dreams every year with my annual golf trip/tournament approaching.

June 23: “Driver and fairway woods not in my golf bag in buddy’s trunk.” This was another one ahead of departing for North Carolina. I triple checked all my clubs were in my bag before we actually left because one year I did forget a wedge.

July 9: “Made a hole-in-one, ranger signaled the ball went in the hole.” Obviously a dream, because witness or not, I will never make an ace.

July 13: “Tiger playing in British Open, but barely breaking 90.” This made me feel better about Tiger not playing at Royal Liverpool this year. No one wants to see that.

July 20: “Played a pro-am with Brian Harman and he was really boring.” Sorry, Brian.

Aug. 1: “Call starter, no tee times for a twosome, no open singles until 4:45.” This has to be the most realistic dream I’ve ever had. If you’re a public golfer in Westchester, NY, you know what I mean.

Aug. 7: “Showed up to Pebble Beach without a tee time and got on!” On the flip side, this is even more unbelievable than me making a hole-in-one.

Aug. 14: “Facing a big chip and wedges are missing.” I actually got to the first hole once this year and realized I was missing my 60-degree from the previous round a couple weeks ago. Not a great feeling. Or dream.

Aug. 30: “Discussing building domes on golf courses with Gil Hanse.” This was right after I had a brutal stretch of rained-out rounds. (Gil, make it happen!)

Sept. 4: “Had to play a hole through a house, missed short putt, furious.” This was a version of that dream a lot of golfers have had where you’re restricted from taking a shot. Fortunately, I had a lot fewer of these this year!

Sept. 25: “Sepp Straka hits crazy lefty shot, does club twirl, and I’m scrambling to get to my computer to write a post.” Forget about peer pressure, post pressure is intense when you work for a website!

Sept. 29: "Ran into Keegan Bradley in Grand Central with his famed 2012 Ryder Cup suitcase." Maybe it's an omen he'll make Team USA for the 2025 Ryder Cup in New York?! Am I a soothsayer now?!

Oct. 5: “Designed greatest golf hole ever on the ocean.” Unfortunately, I didn’t sketch this one out and I have no recollection of what it looked like. What a loss for golfers everywhere.

Oct. 23: “Jim Herman calling me to report something.” Unfortunately, I don’t remember what he wanted to report, but I thought I had a real scoop there for a second.

Nov. 11: “Hitting golf balls in a college lecture hall.” That would be fun!

Nov. 17: “I have the yips.” That wouldn't be fun! And I’m scared even typing about it.

Dec. 13: “Got a better grade than Sam.” Not a golf dream (those have lessened with less play), but rather a Golf Digest one where I dreamed I was back in elementary school, and for some reason, so was my boss, Sam Weinman. He was all jazzed up about getting an ‘A,’ but then I got an ‘A+’ and I made sure to let him know. Wild stuff, especially since he's much older than me so we'd never be in the same grade. Anyway, on that note, I think I really need a break from work. Happy holidays, everyone.