Who the #%[email protected] is Fat Guy?:
Fat Guy is a well-travelled, well-partied, middle-aged 19-handicap All-American Average Joe with nearly unquenchable penchants for good public golf, cheap domestic beer, hot wings, hot eye candy, and Penn State & Pittsburgh Steelers football. These days I'm married with 3 kids and don't have nearly the time or disposable income for golf that I once did, but I spent the better part of my 20's and 30's playing golf whereever and whenever I could, I still get out periodically in the Philly/South Jersey/Delaware area where I live as well as the occasional vacation/business/ buddy golf trip, and I scan all the major golf mags and websites semi-obsessively for good course and golf travel info.
What started out in the mid-'90's as a few notes jotted in my Palm Pilot on a couple new courses I read about and wanted to play, plus a couple good bars I found after a round, eventually became my 2-hour-a-day train commute hobby, and has slowly morphed into this obsessive collection of info on memorable golf courses, bars with character, great (preferably non-chain) spots for grub, and other vaguely pertinent stuff to complete your golfing experiences, whether they be quick local rounds, day trips, buddy weekends, or week-long golfing sojourns.
Fat Guy is originally from Western PA, spent a couple years in Richmond VA, and now lives in the Philly burbs. So there is bit of a Northeastern slant to the personal course recommendations, although I have travelled a good bit in the U.S. and a few spots abroad, and always take my sticks along. I've played over 150 courses in 21 states and 5 countries. Along with all the golf magazine course reviews, I've got most of the good spots in the U.S. covered, along with several abroad.
My personal course reviews, along with much of the info included here, always consider value, travel distance from nearby cities/accomodations/ civilization, and memorable golf holes. And I don't know about you, but after I play a round, I'm always thirsty, starving, and haven't seen any decent-looking women outside the cart girl for 5 or 6 hours. Then what are you gonna do, ask the starter, who's 68 if he's a day, where's a good spot to rehash the round, ogle chicks, and tell a bunch of stories and lies? I believe any review on a golf course isn't complete without some info on where to booze and grub afterwards.
Fat Guy's basic philosophy on golf buddy trips: Invite good friends, and whoever else wants to come along. Forego the posh hotel room for a good deal (without going so far down the chain that phrases like "cockroach spray" or "stolen car" enter your brain--i.e. not within 6 blocks of a check cashing joint). Eat a budget-able mix of low-end to upper-midscale meals. Spend liberally on bar tabs. And save the biggest chunk of the budget for greens fees. Don't sweat the total spend after you've left the house. Live and play in the moment.
So stop surfing 8 or 10 websites to plan your next buddy trip. Stop going to Myrtle or Phoenix every year because nobody has the time or the cajones to plan something a little different. Fat Guy has already done all the research for you. Just enjoy all the ball busting, raise a glass to Fat Guy after the round, and send me the best stories from your trip.