I broke 100 yesterday at St. Denis in Chardon, Ohio, and it feels good. That was one goal I’d set this season, with the other as-yet-unachieved goal of no 8s on a single scorecard. That one will have to wait until next year.

Who knows? Maybe the weather will stay mild and we’ll get out again in December. I shot my best game in 42-degree weather (and that was with two 8s on the day), so maybe this cold is helping stiffen my swing or something. Whatever happens, I know I’m staring down a long winter of reading about golf and watching Youtube videos and planning, to one degree or another, some sort of springtime trip. A new putter is in the cards for sure. Maybe a gap wedge to round out my 56 and 60. Maybe an M2 driver to complement the new irons and move on from my intermediate Pinemeadow driver that causes me either terrible suffering or, sometimes, boundless joy as I drill a perfect shot down the middle of the fairway. I still haven’t figured out how to get off the tee box in any consistent way, but that’s a surprise to no one.

Anyway. Here are the courses I played in 2020, and a few highlights:


Sleepy Hollow


Royal Crest

Brookledge (x2) — The new “home course” since we moved to Cuyahoga Falls. I’d planned to get out here more this year, but it seems 2020 golf was more about breadth than any real depth. That’s a big goal for 2021: play fewer courses and get to know each one in detail.

Fairlawn Country Club

Madison Country Club (x2)

Pepper Pike Club


Lost Nation — A classic muni out by the Willoughby airport. We play this one each August in an outing hosted by my friend’s wife’s cousin, so it’s become a nice annual stalwart. Nothing fancy, but home to many fun memories, etc.


Raccoon Hill

Elyria Country Club

Bunker Hill — This is a long-standing favorite from my early days of golfing, and it’s lately become the home of the Cunningham Classic, a new Labor Day tradition-ish on B’s side of the family. Super fun, very hilly, laid-back staff. It’s hard to ask for more.

Ridge Top — A total unknown until the morning-of. Very cool, wooded design that’s not overly simple and not overly challenging. This is southern Medina, so it’s a little out of the way but that also became a theme this year for a number of reasons.

Sugarbush (x2) — Just a beautiful course with enough vistas to make it seem like you’re a day’s trip outside of good old Cleveland. The last foothills of Appalachia, trickling into the Chagrin River valley, thereabouts. The variety here is top-notch and not totally unforgiving. It’s as well-rounded a course as I’ve played in Northeast Ohio.

St. Denis (x3) — I think this course comes in at No. 1 on the season for me. Not only did I hit my 99, but I shot a 102 on my second game here: a much-needed sign of progress. On my last two games here, I dialed in my drives in a way that I’d been hoping to see all year.


Pleasant Valley


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