I've had an urge for about a year now to take off on a backroads road trip, hitting all the little 9-holers and small-town semiprivate golf clubs I stumble across, staying at cheap motels that have in-the-office coffee shops and eating at each little town's Bluebonnet Cafe.
The urge struck me last year when Mrs. McDuff and I were on a road trip of a different kind. We were visiting a couple of golf resorts - one in East Texas and one in western Louisiana. I was on assignment, and my wife doesn't play golf, so our time at the resorts was brief. We'then headed to Jefferson for a few days of R&R before heading home.
It was good trip, but the drive home was long and painful. Painful because we were traveling on a lot of 2-lane highways past small-town golf courses and my clubs were rattling in the back. I felt a physical urge every time we passed a track or drove through a town that I knew had a golf course - starting with Jefferson itself, and Henderson and Jacksonville and countless other towns along the way.
I knew then that I would have to take off on my own, clubs in the back, dog-eared copy of the Texas Golf Bible on the seat beside me, on a backroads golf trip. How many small-town 9-holers could I fit into, say, a 5-day trip that led from my front door, in a big circle back around?
A lot, and it doesn't matter which direction I started in. There are more than 1,000 golf courses in Texas. Just start driving, and I'll bump into them.
That's the goal. It hasn't happened yet. But it will.