I don’t know where I’m going to golf this year. I don’t even know where I’m going to be living come New Year’s Eve 2015. Or even 1/31/15. Who knows, really? I could be in Europe. Preferably.
Where to golf this year? I took care of all the awesome states already. There are 50 states in the union. And “I have 21 down. There aren’t more than 25 worth visiting, really. I’ve done it before. Do you know why they call them flyover sates?
I was doing thinking the other day. NASA sent a probe into space, on course to Pluto. The former planet, now dwarf planet. Guess it got demoted from a PGA Tour course to a 9-hole muni. That’s rough. Anyway, it’s the New Horizons probe. This year it’s finally reaching Plutonian orbit. It left earth in 2006. Over the course of its ten year journey it will have covered over 3 BILLION miles. I’ve traveled across this country a dozen times and haven’t gotten close to a hundred thousand. It got me thinking. This spacecraft went from here to the edge of the Solar System, at an unthinkable distance, in a decade. I’m four years into a journey to see every state on one country on our tiny planet and I’m not even halfway though.
So here is my new goal. I want to be DONE by the end of 2015. If we can send something the size of a grand piano into the heavens and somehow actually hit our target, I figure I should be able to reach the rest of our 29 states in 11 months. Okay, I’ll go to Alaska next year. It’s kind of out of the way. I’ll complete our lower 48 this year. I almost guarantee it.
Is this possible? Well, half the country is currently under snow or will be soon. We haven’t even reached the frozen hell of February yet. But long ago (7 YEARS already), I went to 26 of 30 MLB stadiums in the 2006 season. I left out the Bay Area (because that was my backyard), the Marlins and Mariners, for distance reasons. I don’t know the math, but taking a Denali to every stadium involves more than half the states. Even Canada.
A baseball game these days takes nearly the same time as a round of golf. So it’s not unrealistic to think I could run the same schedule and play golf instead of watch a baseball game. Both take the same amount of energy. The trip took me all the way from California to Tampa to Boston and back in 42 days. That’s not bad at all.
The difference is a round of golf is more expensive than a baseball ticket. I’m currently not massively rich, since my book didn’t go platinum. I’d need a sponsor. Is that so much to ask? TaylorMade is probably pouring a few more million into ANOTHER driver to release this year. I can’t siphon off $20,000 and use their product to spread the love of golf around the country? Plus, this blog would be way better if I was writing about the last course while hunkered down in a Best Western outside of my next course. It’d be more raw and real. Why not get into golf writing? It’s a niche I could fill. And seeing as my USGA handicap has been going down lately, my golfing life is only getting better.
To be honest, I have no plan for this year. I’ll go wherever my next thought takes me. It’s supposed to be almost 70 degrees and I haven’t golfed since October (unlike the PGA Tour, I take an offseason). But if you’d like to sponsor the Mantle Golf Tour, please contact me in the comments below.