Bacon Golf Trail
You wouldn't believe the crazy shinola you find when you Google "Bacon golf" .
Destination America's United States of Bacon
Travel Channel's Bacon Paradise & Bacon Paradise 2
Compiled by Fat Guy, 2013
The following quotes from United States of Bacon are all one really needs to know and say about bacon:
"The Chinese began salting pork belly as far back as 1500 B.C."
"The annual world consumption of bacon would wrap around the earth 53 times."
"The average American eats 28 pigs in a lifetime."
"Bacon is meat-candy."
The bacon craze seemed to start in the mid-Otts in reaction to the increasing healthy eating/Vegan movement, but bored hipsters were already writing about the death of the bacon movement by 2009. Here we are 4 years later after hearing the first strains of the alleged bacon craze death knoll, and judging by what I see on foodie shows and menus, bacon love is still going strong.
So here's a trail of the best spots for bacon: good ol' plain bacon, smoked bacon, seasoned and sugared bacon, bacon-wrapped everything, bacon-stacked BLT's, bacon cheesburgers, bacon grilled cheese, bacon desserts, bacon ice cream, bacon martinis, bacon bomb meatloaf, and just about any bacon-related food item you could ever dream of, paired with some salty golf by Fat Guy.
Red Mill Burger ( ), Start with a burger named "One of the 20 Hamburgers You Must Eat Before You Die" by GQ and Oprah, as well as Best of Seattle for 10 years running, then add bacon. Order Red Mill's Double Bacon Deluxe with Cheese : "The American cheese is artfully melted, the thick pepper bacon superb, the soft roll pretty wonderful, the red onion sweet, the lettuce and tomato good enough, and the mayo dressing just right with this pile of ingredients. It's a first-rate burger, provided you ask for your meat rare. It won't come rare, but it will be juicy." [ GQ ]
Capitol Club , ( ). Up the bacon sophistication factor with Capitol Club's hand crafted cocktails, supper club feel, and Mediterrainian menu. Order the Chocolate Bacon Martini , made from vodka infused with candied bacon, Godiva chocolate liquor, and a splash of cream.
Play at West Seattle GC , Seattle, WA- Built by H. Chandler Egan in 1939, it's one of the best inner city munis in the country. Egan gained fame for reshaping Pebble Beach in 1928 into today's masterpiece. City skyline views dominate the course, which stands to reason that a weekend round here will surpass the 5-hour mark. Weekday rounds zip around much quicker, and it'll only cost you around $23.
Voodoo Doughnut , Portland OR, This Portland one-of-a-kind handcrafted doughnut joint done by two local guys has been featured in dozens of TV shows and magazines from Travel Channel to Spin Magazine . Order the Bacon Maple Bar , a rectangular pastry with maple frosting and garnished with two slices of bacon.
Close to the Portland airport, Robert Trent Jones Jr.'s Heron Lakes Great Blue course ($21–$40, 503-289-1818) is a Scottish-style, largely open, treeless layout emphasizing the "risk" in risk-reward. [ T&L Golf ]
Bacon , ( www.johnberryhillrestaurants.com ). A breakfast and lunch spot, for everything bacon . They serve 8 varieties of bacon (including spicy hot, candied, the house Berryhill version, and chocolate), bacon & eggs, turkey & bacon sandwiches, Bloody Marys made with bacon-infused vodka and rimmed with bacon salt, and finally bacon risotto cake for dessert.
For the best course near Boise and a Top 10 in Idaho, head for Banbury GC (Eagle, www.banburygolf.com ). It's also hosted a PGA Tour event. This great John Harbottle III layout meanders around the South Channel of the Boise River, designed and maintained with a healthy respect for nature.
Santa Rosa CA
Zazu , ( www.zazurestaurant.com ). This wine country farm-to-table roadhouse restaurant/farm is a favorite of high-falootin' mags like Bon Appetite and Wine Spectator , but you're here for the bacon. Why? 'Cause they raise their own black pigs to make their own. The result is a hand-crafted bacon that is perfectly balanced in salt, sweet, and smoke; complex from the brown sugar and real wood smoke; and one where you can taste the quality of the pork.
Tee it up at nearby Windsor GC ( www.windsorgolf.com ), a wine country course and former Nationwide Tour stop routed through gently rolling hills, lakes, a meandering creek, and majestic oaks. Great vistas, and a tough stretch from 2 through 7 that was named one of the toughest on the Nike Tour. Greens fees are $70 to ride in prime time.
San Francisco CA
Bacon Bacon Food Truck / Kitchen , ( www.baconbaconsf.com ). Their truck burned up in a late 2012 fire (they plan to ride again soon), so in the meantime head for their kitchen at 205A Frederick Street (only open Mon-Sat for breakfast and lunch). Order the Bacon grilled cheese, made with bacon jam.
Sweet Maple , ( www.sweetmaplesf.com ), This aptly monikered breakfast/lunch place took four months and numerous experiments to come up with their addictive Millionaire's bacon ($6.75 an order). It's a crunchy sweet-hot mix of brown sugar and chili flakes that will have you coming back for more. Wash it down with bottomless Mimosas on weekends.
Just a mile and a half from Sweet Maple is The Presidio GC ( www.presidiogolf.com , $95-$150, 1910 Wood Johnstone, 1921 redesign Fowler & Simpson). This formerly private course went public in 1995, routed over hills with alleys of eucalyptus and Monterey Pine trees. Nothing's cheap in San Fran, making The Presidio feel even more like Frisco golf should feel.
Phat Matt's BBQ , ( ). What could be better than combining barbeque with bacon? Try Phatt Matt's bacon-wrapped brisket burnt ends, and top it off with smoked candied bacon or smoked chocolate bacon for dessert.
Tee it up at Tilden Park (510-848-7373, www.tildenparkgc.americangolf.com ; $49-$72). Nestled into the hills overlooking Berkeley, this 70-year-old, 6,294-yard, par-70 Billy Bell Sr. design opens with the No. 1-handicap hole, an uphill, 411-yard par-4. Only two par-5s grace the course, and they're both short, but three brutish par-3s in the 200-235 range keep the big bashers honest. Seniors (65 and over) can play for $29-$39 Monday through Friday. If you're just looking to hit balls, a three-tiered range awaits.
Santa Cruz CA
Marini's Candies , ( www.mariniscandies.com ). A Santa Cruz boardwalk institution since 1915, they started serving chocolate covered bacon (in milk or dark chocolate, $26/lb) and suddenly found themselves on every food show on the planet. The good news: You can have it delivered anywhere in the country (except warmer states during summer).
When in Santa Cruz, you gotta tee it up at Pasatiempo ( www.pasatiempo.com ). "Pasatiempo was to Mackenzie what Pinehurst #2 was to Donald Ross. Mackenzie spent the last few years of his life here, died here, and asked to have his ashes spread here. He formed an enduring bond with his favorite child, and continued to tinker with the routing until his death. As a result, Pasatiempo has some of the most severe greens he ever built. Couple that with 300 feet in elevation change, and there are no breaks for your brain or your game. For $200 greens fees and a $100 replay rate, playing 36 at the Alistair Mackenzie course (1929) feels like a steal compared to it's more expensive Monterey neighbors. #30 on GD's list of 100 Greatest Public Courses. Tom Doak recently completed a 10-year restoration (working one hole at a time so the course could stay in operation) based on early photos of the course, putting bunkers back where Mackenzie had them, clearing trees that had taken over the course, and reshaping some greens." [ Golf Digest ]
Los Angeles CA
Slater's 50/50 , Anaheim ( www.slaters5050.com ). What started as a crazy experiment to take their USC tailgating to another level became the keystone staple of a California burger institution. First, they tried a pure ground bacon burger, but found it wouldn't hold together. So they mixed it with half ground beef, and walla! A legend was born. Order their 50/50 B'B'B'Bacon burger , topped with a sunny side up egg, thick cut bacon, and bacon island dressing on a bacon pretzel bun. Wash it down with their maple bacon milkshake, then finish it off with their bacon brownie. On your return visit, try the peanut butter and jellousy burger with bacon.
Grub , ( www.grub-la.com ). Grub may be the most tempting bacon destination on the list for their signature Crack Bacon , an addicting secret recipe sweet and sassy thick cut of pork deliciousness. Goes great with their Cali comfort food bruch menu.
Father's Office , ( www.fathersoffice.com ). This upscale L.A. gastropub was the co-originator of the Bacon Martini . Owner Sam Yoon came up with the libation in 1998 (inspired by a Bacon Of The Month club), right around the same time a P. Moss, owner of the Double Down Saloon in Las Vegas (see below), came up with a similar recipe.
Near Slater's, golf at Black Gold GC ( ), rated 4-1/2 stars by Golf Digest . This hilltop course combines links and parkland elements with gurgling water features and gorgeous views of the surrounding Southern California hills.
San Diego CA
Hash House A Go Go , ( www.hashhouseagogo.com ). With a name like that, you know the place is gonna have a crazy menu. Serving up "twisted farm food", Hash House is famous for their breakfasts, like Bacon Waffles , a BLT Bloody Mary , or just go with the O'Hare Of The Dog : a 24 oz. Budweiser with a side of bacon. For lunch, try their signature 1 pound stuffed burger filled with apple smoked bacon and mashed potatoes, or their BBBLT , which of course, is Bacon Bacon Bacon Lettuce & Tomato. There's also a Hash House in Vegas.
You're only 4 miles from one of the best deals in golf. Call early for a tee time at Coronado GC ( www.golfcoronado.com ), because with greens fees of just $60 for waterfront beach golf, they go quick. Advanced tee times (8-14 days) are charged a $15 reservation fee. All other tee times can be obtained through a daily lottery and phone calls. (Twilight, $15, starts at 1 p.m. in the winter.) This fun muny is a favorite spot for locals, business travelers and tourists who appreciate the price and the views of San Diego Bay. More than 100,000 rounds were played at this waterfront course last year, which hardly seems mathematically possible. That's roughly a foursome every 10 minutes for 12 hours a day, 365 days a year, so expect a five-hour round. Among Coronado's constant parade of golfers, most take advantage of the flat topography by walking. The layout winds through an affluent neighborhood and spins past the Hotel del Coronado. The par-72 course tips out at 6,590 yards, features a few parallel fairways and finishes along the bay. [ Golf Digest ]
Las Vegas NV
Double Down Saloon , ( www.doubledownsaloon.com ). The Double Down is one Vegas' best dives, and it's open 24 hours a day. Back in 1998, Double Down owner P. Moss became co-originator of the Bacon Martini , which has now become one of two house drinks at the Double Down (the other is called Ass Juice).
For a pre-round breakfast or a post-round lunch, check out the Vegas outpost of Hash House A Go Go (see above) for bacon waffles or a bacon-stacked BLT.
It's only 6 blocks from the Double Down to play Las Vegas National ( www.lasvegasnational.com ) an old school Vegas staple and a good value. Formerly the host of the Las Vegas Open, scenes from Casino were filmed in a house just off the 1st fairway. Hit their perfect-for-hungover 1PM twilight rate for $40.
Solodak's Original Country Inn , (9711 FM 60 E, outside College Station). This no-frills Texas steakhouse is famous for Chicken Fried Bacon . Yes, you read that right. Only in Texas.
Stay with the Aggies theme with at round a nearby Texas A&M University GC ( www.recsports.tamu.edu ). Fresh off a major 2013 renovation by A&M alum Jeffrey Blume.
Goode Seafood Co., ( ). Bacon-wrapped BBQ shrimp is quite probably the most fool-proof quality appetizer on the planet, but it's so simple to make and so hard to screw up that no amount of mental searching or Google surfing could produce any kind of a quorom on which restaurant does it best. New Orleans came to mind as the shrimpin' capital of the U.S., but they don't wrap theirs in bacon down on the bayou. Texas seemed like a safe bet, then I realized I'd had some great bacon-wrapped BBQ shrimp at Goode Company in Houston. They have several Houston area locations, but hit their Katy Freeway store west of the city for some good nearby golf.
West of Houston is Meadowbrook Farms Golf Club (Katy, $65-$89, www.meadowbrookfarmsgolfclub.com ), a well-groomed eighteen designed by Greg Norman that offers exceptional diversity. Wetlands, ponds and a tree-lined bayou must be avoided off the tees. Plateau greens, many bunkerless and embraced by close-mowed hollows, shrug off indifferent approaches. This subtle test is possibly Norman's finest daily-fee course in the U.S.
All Good Cafe , ( www.allgoodcafe.com ), This breakfast staple is a multiple-year Best of Dallas winner, but it's all about this "Deep Ellum fave’s black pepper-crusted bacon , with its deep smoky flavor, steals the show. It’s always perfectly baked: the right balance of crisp and meaty. [ Dallas Magazine ]
Dallas has a rich golf history, and nowhere is that more true than at nearby Cedar Crest GC ( ). A former private club circa 1916, Cedar Crest was designed by A.W. Tillinghast and hosted the 1927 PGA Championship, where Walter Hagen just barely managed to hold off a 15-year-old Byron Nelson in the semi-finals of the then-match play event. A steal at $43 prime time ride fees for that much history.
The Berkshire , ( www.theberkshirerestaurant.com ). With a pork-based menu, you know you're gonna find some good bacon here. For breakfast, go for the $14 bacon flight (garlic, cinnamon-chipotle, curried, and balsamic), The King Sandwich (peanut butter and carmelized bananas with bacon on grilled Hawiaan bread), or the Hangover Special (a plate of bacon and a Pabst). For dinner, dig into the Berkshire spuds (bacon wrapped, whipped blue cheese, crispy serrano ham, green onions, and topped with cheddar), and the Homer Simpson genius burger (topped with bacon, beer-battered cheddar, and a fried egg).
Head for nearby Common Ground (www.commongroundgc.com), a model of modern public golf. Home of the Colorado Golf Association, the course was designed by Tom Doak's Renaissance Golf Design. A playable layout routed over wide-open plains with mountain backdrops and elevated greens. Wide fairways and no surrounding trees add up to manageable slope ratings, and prime time ride fees are only $65
Oak... The New Fat Alley Barbeque , ( www.oakstelluride.com ). Located at the base of Chair 8 and the Gondola below the Camel Gardens Hotel, the Oak features beer, bourbon, and barbeque. They're famous as the originator of the Mitch Morgan (named after the bartender who invented it), a bourbon-based bacon "martini". Wash it down with a grilled cheese stuffed with bacon and chiles.
Telluride is almost too damn mountainous to accomodate more than a couple golf courses. And the nearby tracks they've managed to carve into the terrain are all uber-exclusive private clubs, so you're in for a drive. Head 45 minutes south to Dalton Ranch GC in Durango ( www.daltonranch.com ) for a valley floor course that winds its way along the Animas River below the towering red cliffs of the San Juan Mountains. And it's still no bargain at $110 prime time riding fees.
Des Moines IA
Zombie Burger , ( www.zombieburger.com ). You wouldn't expect to find a zombie-themed burger joint and drink lab in Des Moines, so this is a Can't-Miss lunch-to-late-night stop. Start with a Tallahasee Brain Freeze spiked shake (vanilla ice cream, Twinkie, cherry Kool-Aid powder, and vanilla vodka) or a Zombie cocktail (rum, triple sec, cherry liquor, and Zombie juice). Go for the Buffalo Bacon app (fried bacon with Buffalo sauce and bleu cheese), then order the Walking Ched burger (a juicy beef patty topped with cheddar, carmelized onion, heaping mound of bacon, raw onion, mac & cheese, and mayo, on a breaded deep-fried macaroni & cheese bun).
The Machine Shed, ( www.machineshed.com ). This family run restaurant is dedicated to the American farmer, and farmers must love to eat good. Order the chocolate-covered bacon (first conceived in their original restaurant in Davenport), either on or alongside their Krispy Kreme cheeseburger! Who knew farm fresh could be so bad and so good!
Jethro’s BBQ ‘n Jambalaya , Waukee ( www.jethrosdesmoines.com ). Not only is this a seriously legit BBQ joint in its own right, then they had to go and add bacon to the mix. Order The Jethro sandwich , which they describe as pork-tastic, ginormous sandwich of pork tenderloin, plus some Carolina pulled pork, house smoke pit ham, and a double order of thick-slab bacon. It's $16, but it'll easily feed two.
Kelly's Little Nipper (aka KLN), ( ). The kind of homey place you'd expect to find in Des Moines. Start with the bacon-wrapped tater tots with jalepenos, then go for the bacon omlette .
Tee it up at The Legacy GC ( www.thelegacygolfclub.com ) just south of Des Moines. Routed over rolling central Iowa terrain, it features undulating greens, water on 9 holes, and risk-reward par-5's.
AJ Bombers , ( www.ajbombers.com ). Serving up "happiness with a side of burgers, AJ Bombers concocted the Barrie Burger , a 1/4 pound burger with bacon, American cheese, and chunky peanut butter. Wash it down with their house Bloody, garnished with a strip of meunster cheese and a slice of bacon.
Saloon on Calhoun , (Brookfield, www.saloononcalhoun.com ). This sports pub has all-you-can-eat bacon happy hours, bacon wrapped water chestnut apps, sweet peppered bacon burgers, bacon pizza, bacon alfredo, deep friend bacon brownies, and bacon infused Bloodys, but you're here for the bacon wrapped pork wings.
Frank's Diner , Kenosha, . Go for the Garbage Platter : Eggs, hash browns, veggies, cheese and 5 kinds of meat (including bacon!).
Comet Cafe , ( www.thecometcafe.com ). 2012 winner of Milwaukee's Best Hangover Breakfast, they do standard bacon just fine. But you're here for the bacon wrapped meatloaf sandwich, bacon chive mashed potatoes , and bacon cheddar apple pie.
While Milwaukee doesn't jump to mind as a hotbed of golf, it's easy to forget the Tour has played an annual tournament here for decades. You can tee it up at Brown Deer Golf Club ( www.browndeergolfclub.org ), the county course that hosts the U.S. Bank Championship. Brown Deer may be best known as the venue where Tiger Woods made his professional debut. Opened in 1929, it’s an old-fashioned parkland design with tree-lined fairways and thick rough.
Gino's East , ( www.ginoseast.com ) Thier pies stand on their own as one of the Holy Triumvirate of Chicago deep dish pizza, but up the ante with their Meat Legend pie with Pepperoni, Italian sausage, Canadian bacon, and bacon.
Green Door Tavern , ( www.greendoorchicago.com ). In the true Chicago tradition, this joint still celebrates their roots with the Speakeasy Improv Players who perform their "Ugly & Delicious Comedy Hour" on the first Fridays of the winter months. Order their B.A.L.T. , with crisp bacon, sliced avocado, lettuce, and tomato, or their Triple Decker Grilled Cheese, with grilled Swiss, meunster, cheddar, bacon, and tomato on whole white bread.
Morrie O'Malley's , ( www.morrieomalleys35.com , warmer months & Cash only). This outdoor South Side staple serves up classic Chicago-style hotdogs. Ask for the "BL-Turtle dog", created by United State of Bacon host Todd Fisher.
Paddy Long's , ( www.paddylongs.com ). This is the home of the famous bacon meatloaf bomb . Five pounds of ground sausage, pork, and beef, mixed with spices and wrapped in a weave of brown sugar bacon, and slow cooked in a pork roaster. It serves 6-8 people, but eat it alone in 45 minutes, and it's free.
Paddy Long's is the epicenter of Chicago's bacon scene, so tee it up at the tragically-named nearby Sidney R. Marovitz MGC ( www.cpdgolf.com ). The good news: Great lake views, cheap greens fees. The bad news: 9 holes, bad conditions, glacial pace of play.
Birch Run MI
Tony's I-75 Restaurant. Three words: World's. Largest. BLT. 'Nuff said.
Tee it up at The Timbers GC ( www.timbersgolfclub.com , Vassar). A great value at $34 prime time ride.
New York City NY
Crif Dogs , ( www.crifdogs.com ). Start with Martha Stewart's favorite NYC hotdog, then add bacon. Order Crif Dogs' bacon wrapped B.L.T. dog .
Baconery , ( www.baconery.com ). The world capital of candied bacon. Milk chocolate bacon, white chocolate bacon, pig bacon, birthday bacon, bacon caramels, chocolate peanut butter bacon cookies, bacon brownies, chocolate bacon pretzel rods, you name it.
Big Gay Ice Cream , ( www.biggayicecream.com ). Only in New York. Go for their bacon and chocolate ice cream sandwich .
It's a logistical nightmare to get from lower Manhattan to an actual golf course, especially with a belly stuffed full of hot dogs, candied bacon, and ice cream. Avoid the traffic hassles and stay close to facilities at Chelsea Piers ( www.chelseapiers.com ), where you can play any of 51 famous courses on their indoor simulators.
Jake's Sandwich Board , ( www.jakessandwichboard.com ). Jake's sandwiches were named Best of Philly, and in a town in love with the sandwich, that's saying something. Go for Jake's version of the 50/50 (1/2 pork, 1/2 smoky grilled bacon with house spiracha spread and sharp provolone), or try the Turbacon (Turkey with cranberry-apple spread, smoky grilled bacon, savory brown gravy, and crispy potato pancakes).
It's worth the half-hour hop over the bridge to South Jersey for Scotland Run GC ( ). Architect Stephen Kay gives his usual nods to the quirky Old Tom Morris layouts of the British Isles, as his routing meanders through the New Jersey pine barrens for 8 holes before snaking through a former sand quarry. This is X-Box golf, and the most grin-inducing 18 in the Philly area.
Bad Decisions , ( www.makeabaddecision.com ). Only a bar dedicated to celebrating bad decisions could host a monthly beer and bacon happy hour , including free bacon, a bacon-centric menu, and bacon-themed cocktails. Order a bacon kabob, bacon shrimp, bacon cinnamon rolls, then wash it down with a bacon and habanero pepper mojito, an apple bacon martini, a bacon shrimp and crab Bloody, a spiked cream soda float with bacon ice cream, or a shooter involving biscotti liqueur and a hunk of pineapple wrapped in bacon.
Play one of Baltimore's "Classic 5" at nearby Clifton Park GC ( www.classic5golf.com ). Built in 1915 on the grounds of John Hopkins' summer mansion, with panoramic views of the Baltimore skyline and plenty of O.B. to worry about, for prime time greens fees of just $34 (or try their $23 9-hole early bird special).
Savannah made the trail based more on a course name than any famous bacon dishes, but that doesn't mean you can't still get your bacon on down here. For breakfast, Henry's is purported to have the best bacon in town, or go for the peppered bacon with buttermilk pancakes at The Azalea Inn ( www.azaleainn.com ). For lunch or dinner, try the bacon-wrapped stuffed shrimp at Uncle Bubba's Oyster House . For something quintessentially Southern, have the BLT salad at The Olde Pink House : Two fried green tomatoes, bacon, mixed greens, and Ranch dressing.
Take the bacon theme full circle at Bacon Park GC ( ). This 1926 Donald Ross design has a great First Tee program, and will leave you plenty of cash to buy more bacon!