My Top 5 Bucket-List Golf Experiences

At only 24, I’ve been very fortunate to have already been exposed to some of the best experiences golf has to offer. I’ve played venerable U.S. Open venues weeks before they hosted the tournament, walked the hills of Augusta National during the Masters, played classic courses restored to their former glory, and interviewed legends of the game.

bucket list experiences
17th Hole – Pebble Beach (Photo by Evan Schiller)

Like every golfer, however, I have a running list of golf experiences waiting to be checked off my bucket list.

You won’t find things like “play Augusta National” or “have a hole in one” on this list (I can’t decide which of those is less likely to happen), as I have chosen to omit comparatively unobtainable items. I opted instead to list my top five golf experiences that with any luck and some hard work I will complete.

Attend the Walker Cup

The 2013 Walker Cup at National Golf Links of America (Photo by Michael Cohen/Getty Images)

Maybe the most underrated tournament in golf, the Walker Cup offers fans unparalleled access to roam freely on many of the world’s best courses. I plan to check this off my list when the Walker Cup returns to the United States in 2021 at Seminole and then again in 2025 when it visits Cypress Point—how could I pass up opportunities to walk those courses? Seeing the game’s rising stars compete in intense match play is an added bonus.

Play Golf in Scotland

The Old Course at St. Andrews (Photo by Kevin Murray)

Avid listeners of the LINKS Golf Podcast may have already picked up on this, but I have yet to tee it up at the home of golf. I’ve steamed with jealousy as coworkers and friends rave about the Scottish golf experience and I’ve wistfully poured over countless photos, articles, and books on the subject. I do have a trip in the works that will be centered around the Fife and East Lothian regions, and I can’t wait to see what all the hype is about.

Shoot Under Par

bucket list experiences
The author watches his drive find the Caribbean

Because the game of golf is cruel by nature, this one might never happen for me. I tend to shoot anywhere from 80–90 in a normal round, with my all-time personal best dipping to 75. Like many golfers, when I start to go low it gets to my head and I tense up, which always leads to big numbers. To cross this one off my list I’ll likely need the help of either a swing coach or a mental coach… or a combination of the two.

Participate in the Bandon Dunes Solstice Event

6th Hole – Bandon Dunes

My feet are still sore from my last trip to Bandon, but I would never pass up an opportunity to participate in the Bandon Dunes Solstice event, where hardcore golfers play all 72 holes on property in one day. The event takes place every summer solstice and is reserved for only a select few “Bandonistas” crazy enough to take on the challenge.

Play Pebble Beach with My Dad

bucket list experiences
7th Hole – Pebble Beach (Photo by Evan Schiller)

As most golfing fathers and sons do, my dad and I have always talked longingly about playing together one day at Pebble Beach. Along with Augusta National, Pebble is our shared holy grail of father/son golf experiences. It’s a rite of passage for many avid golfers, and sharing the experience with my original golf partner will always be number one on my bucket list… maybe this is the year.


What’s on your golf bucket list? Let us know in the comments section below!