July 15, 2019 at 11:31 AM
Met Austin in April during the Pinehurst Bob Vokey short game experience. We met up at Tobacco Road before heading to Pinehurst to play a quick 18. Gary Boykin joined us as well and we had a blast. I mean how can you not play Tobacco Road when you’re that close. And like with every Team Titleist members I’ve been fortunate to meet, we hit it off and had a great few days at Pinehurst. Austin mentioned he’s always wanted to hit up the Ball Plant so told him to hit me up if he’s ever in the area. Exchanged numbers and here we are.
The plan was to tour the Ball Plant and then play a few rounds at my course and maybe a quick one in Maine and it turned into Ball Plant tour straight to Bethpage (another bucket list for Austin). I can never turn down Bethpage.
This was my 2nd time visiting the Ball Plant and still in awe on how much work and dedication goes into making the #1 ball in golf. God bless all those workers. And this time around I had the headsets as the guide was walking around explaining the process which is a HUGE benefit to me since I’m hard of hearing. The tour was great and HIGHLY recommend visiting the Ball Plant. And yes there’s a nice little store afterwards with some sweet TT swags to check out. Had a quick lunch with some great friends afterwards, played a quick 9 hole on a buddy’s recommendation which we needed to prep up for Bethpage. The 9 hole course was only $17 and we had a lot of fun. The layout made it interesting, definitely enjoyed it. And then we headed to Bethpage…
After about 4 hours of driving we arrived at Bethpage just around sunset and it didn’t disappoint. Took some photos, had a quick bite and headed to our hotel. Yes, HOTEL. The last 2 times I’ve played Bethpage we stayed overnight in the parking lot. Not this time. Austin and I got VERY VERY lucky and secured an 8:09 tee time ONLINE Thursday afternoon. Austin wanted to experience the parking lot thing and I told him you’ll thank me later when you get that good night sleep to play this beast.
Bethpage is easily a top 3 course and to this day it’s still the hardest course I’ve ever played. We both broke 85 and Austin got me by a few strokes but it wasn’t about that. From tee #1 to the last putt nothing but smiles on our faces all day long. We enjoyed every step we took walking this gem. The weather was about as perfect as it could get, the conditions were top notch, the thick thick thick roughs kicked our butts and the greens were rolling fast and true. This is my 3rd time playing it and I forgot how narrow those fairways are and getting outta the thick rough was A LOT of work. Did I mention the roughs were thick? We were both scrambling all day long but thankfully our short game saved us. Highlight for me was making par on 18 and I’m sure Austin highlight was making birdie on 18, dude was outshining me all day (insert 4 letter word :)). Love it though, that’s why I love playing this game so much. Some great shots were made.
There’s so much to love about Bethpage and still hard to believe it’s a public course where NY residence only pay $75 to play. One guy in our group who lives in Manhattan plays there at least once a week. How can you not?!?! For Non-NY residence it’s $155. Easiest $155 I’ll ever spend. Worth.every.penny.
Last but not least, another reason why I love Team Titleist. It isn’t about the swags; it’s about the friendship you’ll make meeting people on this forum. Sharing the game and equipment we all love so much and having a blast. Attend an outing, an invitational or whatever. I love getting to know new people especially from this community. For me personally I’m forever grateful to be a part of this great community and the people I’ve been able to meet. I can’t recommend this community enough.
To anyone attending the TT invitational at Straits, take a time to meet Austin. He’s very tall (I feel like Joe Pesci standing next to him) and he’ll be drinking a cheap brew with low calories. In all honesty though he’s a great guy just like everyone I’ve met through this forum. You’ll enjoy his company for sure.
Here are some pics and thank you for reading this LONG post
Peace and Love
Brian DNorton, MA
July 15, 2019 at 06:47 PM
What an awesome trip and I can 100% say these two are great guys, Titleist Loyalists, Golf enthusiasts, and even better that I can call both friends, not sure what their opinion maybe, but mine is that these two are SOLID as it gets.
Two of the most terrific guys I got to personally meet and enjoy both off and on course entertainment.
Let me know what the next Bucket List course trip is, and I want IN!!!
Thanks for sharing the your story Speedy...This is what Team Titleist is all about!!
Rich TShrewsbury, MA
Tom BNorthborough, MA
Steve STuckerton, NJ
Michael JCOrwell, VT
Don OMadison, WI
July 18, 2019 at 03:57 PM
...So the "local" lo-cal cheap brew for Austin will be Miller Lite (brewed in Miller Valley in Milwaukee). No shortage of good brews in WI, but lo-cal beer with cheese doesn't translate into our local WI dialect. Spotted Cow only comes one way.
July 22, 2019 at 02:48 AM
Great post Speedy. And Austin, looking forward to meeting you next month in Kohler!
Haven't registered for Team Titleist yet?