101 Tastiest Places To Chowdown Golf Trail
Travel Channel, 6/12
Dinic's Rost Pork & Beef, Reading Terminal Market, Philly
Golf options added by Fat Guy
Fat Guy Foreword : This Travel Channel list of the 101 Tastiest Places To Chowdown feels alot like a combo of their lists of Manliest Restaurants, Best Places To Pig Out, Food Paradises, and a bunch of the food challenges that Adam Richmond has done on Man vs. Food . It's still a great basis for a Fat Guy foodie golf trail in some off-the-beaten-path spots, with each of the 101 stops paired with some tasty nearby golf. (This was much more of an undertaking than I thought it would be when I started it!)
616 N State St, Clarksdale, MS
#101. Clarksdale, Mississippi . This Mississippi must-eat place features a double-decker sandwich over-stuffed with tender BBQ pork and coleslaw called "The Big Abe."
After you get a belly full of Abe's pulled pork, head a half hour up the road to Sam's Town Tunica Casino ( www.samstowntunica.com ) for a weekend of gambling, golf, and Blues. Tee it up at River Bend Links , a wide-open rumpled flatland dotted with lakes, long cart bridges, and a great plantation clubhouse. Then make a quick run over the river to Memphis to take in the Blues on Beale Street .
Denny's Beer Barrel Pub
$ Hamburgers, Bar
1452 Woodland Rd, Clearfield, PA
#100. Clearfield, Pennsylvania . Good luck fitting your hands -- let alone your mouth -- around these big boys! At Denny's Beer Barrel Pub, these juicy one-man burger challenges start at 2 lbs. and go all the way up to 15!
Stay on a burger budget at nearby Eagles Ridge GC (Curwensville, www.eaglesridgegolfclub.com ). It's a pretty typical late '70's layout, cut out of the hills above the Susquehanna River, with a 12-seater bar in the clubhouse. It's a great deal, with weekend greens fees under $40 (cart included). For something more upscale, drive a half hour over to State College and tee it up at Toftrees Resort ( www.toftrees.com ). Weekend greens fees top out at $74 for a quality course run by Marriott, and the hometown of Penn State makes for a great party weekend. If you're playing Toftrees, don't miss the wings at Penn State Sub Shop #2 (Beaver Ave, State College), ranked as Fat Guy's Best On The Planet .
Buckhorn Exchange $$$ Steakhouse 1000 Osage Street, Denver, CO
#99. Denver, Colorado. We stop by the oldest restaurant in Denver for the largest selection of exotic meats around -- from yak to rattlesnake to Rocky Mountain Oysters (aka deep-fried bull testicles)!
Work off the testosterone boost from those Rocky Mountain Oysters at 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.
Bassetts Ice Cream
$ Dessert / Ice Cream
45 North 12th Street, Philadelphia, PA
#98. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Bassetts Ice Cream was established in 1861, making it the oldest ice cream company in America. We head to Philly's Reading Terminal Market to find out the secret to their sweet success.
Make Bassetts your dessert after a roast pork and provolone hoagie at #50 on this list, DiNic's (also located in Philly's Reading Terminal Market). Fat Guy used to work nearby, so here's a tip you won't find on any Travel Channel list: After stuffing yourself with a DiNic's roast pork & provolone and some Bassetts ice cream, stop by Mueller's Chocolates on your way out and grab a half-pound of their pretzels covered in chocolate AND peanut butter for a late night snack. You won't be sorry. Work off all those calories at Scotland Run (Williamstown NJ, a half hour over the Ben Franklin Bridge, ). This is X-Box golf, with diabolical architect Stephen Kay's usual nods to the quirky Old Tom Morris layouts of Great Brittain. The first 8 holes are are routed through the New Jersey pine barrens with fun doglegs, double greens, and stacked sod bunkers. The final 10 holes are routed through a former sand quarry, and conjure up visions of nearby Pine Valley (on acid).
Five Islands Lobster Co.
1445 Five Islands Rd, Georgetown , ME
#97, Georgetown, Maine. We head to Maine, the undisputed lobster capitol, to get the biggest and best lobster around ... with a gorgeous view to boot!
Go for the perfect day in Maine by pairing your lobster with the great seaside golf at nearby Sebasco Harbor Resort ( www.sebasco.com ). The approach at the par-3 2nd is dictated by whether it's high or low tide, and greens fees are a manageable $75 to ride at prime-time for non-guests.
Phillippe the Original
$ Soup & Sandwich, Deli
1001 North Alameda Street, Los Angeles, CA
#96. Los Angeles, California. We're off to the City of Angels for the best place to get a dripping, juicy French Dip sandwich -- Philippe The Original!
Former PGA Tour pro Duffy Waldorf grew up nearby learning the golfing life at nearby L.A. muni Griffith Park ( www.laparks.org ). Duffy says, "The Wilson and Harding courses at Griffith Park have been open for 80 years and are still as fun to play as when I was a kid. I learned about precision approach shots at Wilson's 416-yard second because if I didn't stick it, the ball would bounce off the green and I'd be banging my club into the fence behind it. Playing the fourth here always reminds me of an important milestone in my development."
Time-Out Restaurant $ Southern/Soul 133 West Franklin Street, Chapel Hill, NC #95. Chapel, Hill, North Carolina. We've got the college kid's cure for a crazy late-night of ...um, studying. It's the must-try chicken cheddar biscuit at this UNC hotspot, Time Out Chicken.
Head south of 501 to UNC's Finley Course . "The first golf course at the University of North Carolina dates from 1949. But the original design by George Cobb received a complete makeover by Tom Fazio nearly 50 years later. Essentially a new course, the updated Finley layout now measures 7,328 yards and is not only a great test for the men’s and women’s teams, but is also a must-play in a state full of worthy destinations." [ Links Magazine ]
411 N Brand Blvd, Glendale, CA
#94. Glendale, California. We introduce you to a carnivore's dream: a buffet where over a dozen types of meat keep coming till you cry uncle!
Burn off that meat overload at legendary L.A. muni Griffith Park . "Griffith Park Golf Club's two regulation golf courses – the Wilson and Harding layouts – have been testing golfers since the mid-1920s. Located within Griffith Park, one of the largest urban parks in the U.S., the golf club hosted the L.A. Open from 1937-39. Noted course architect George C. Thomas, Jr. designed Griffith Park's Wilson course and Harding course, and at $48 for non-residents, it's a great value for a piece of golf history." [TravelGolf.com]
$ Hot Dogs
#93. East Hanover, New Jersey. If marrying a pizza with a hot dog is wrong, we don't want to be right. We head to Jersey to unwrap the inner workings of an Italian Dog.
Nearby Pinch Brook GC ( www.morrisparks.net ) is an atypical muni short-course designed by Rees Jones Inc. This par-65, 4,996 yard course is perfect for kids, ladies, seniors, or just a fun, quick round with your golf cronies. Lots of water, elevated undulating greens, and $73 to ride in prime time (hey, it's North Jersey).
208 South Commerce St., Lockhart, TX
215 North Main Street, Lockhart, TX
#91. Lockhart, Texas. We mosey down to 2 of the best BBQ places in Lockhart -- the official BBQ capitol of Texas -- Black's and Smitty's.
After sampling some 'que from both Smith's and Black's, loosen your belt for the 15 minute drive over to Plum Creek GC ( www.plumcreekgolf.com ) in Kyle. This flat layout has greens surrounded by mounds, approach shots over ponds and rock walls, and prime time greens fees are just $44.
The Vortex Bar & Grill
$ American Traditional, Hamburgers, Bar
438 Moreland Avenue, Atlanta, GA #90. Atlanta, Georgia. We hit up The Vortex in Atlanta for some of the craziest, most creative burger combinations you've ever seen! Think you've seen it all? How about a burger with 2 grilled cheese sandwiches in place of a bun?
Mosey over to Bobby Jones' namesake course, Bobby Jones GC ( www.americangolf.com/bobby-jones-golf-course/ ). This classic 1932 Van Kleek & Stiles design has Peach Tree Battle Creek meandering through a tree-lined par-71 layout on the grounds of a Civil War battle, and greens fees are under $50.
$ Bakery, Dessert / Ice Cream
379 Grand St ., Manhattan, NY #89. New York, New York. At this favorite New York City spot we see how fresh, seasonal ingredients and a gourmet sensibility elevates this everyman's favorite pastry to a new level!
After a half-dozen of Doughnut Plant's tasty treats, you might be a bit bloated to tackle a full round. So head over to Chelsea Piers 3-story driving range ( www.chelseapiers.com ) in any weather, and tee it up at any of 51 famous courses on one of their simulators.
730 North Rush Street, Chicago, IL #88. Chicago, Illinois. We fly to the Windy City to try Giordano's famous stuffed crust pizza: a deep-dish style pizza on steroids.
Head for the classic-muni-named Sydney R. Marovitz GC . The good news: Lakefront views, cheap greens fees. The bad news: 9 holes, bad conditions, glacial pace of play.
Hominy Grill $$ Southern/Soul 207 Rutledge Ave., Charleston, SC #87. Charleston, South Carolina. From shrimp and grits, to a sandwich simply called "The Big Nasty," Hominy Grill has your fix for down-home Low-country eats!
Stick with the Low Country theme at nearby Patriot Point Links on Charleston Harbor , a 1979 Willard Byrd creation with great waterfront views. The prime time greens fees are still a good value at $70.
3450 S. Fabens Carlsbad Rd, Fabens, TX #86. Fabens, Texas. Right outside El Paso, we travel deep in the desert to find amazing, giant steaks and a gorgeous sunset that's well worth the trip!
Cattlemen's is set on an isolated desert ranch a ways out of town and just a par-5 from the Mexican border, so there's no way to avoid the 45 minute drive back towards El Paso for some golf. On the other side of town, tee it up at Butterfield Trail GC ( www.butterfieldtrailgolf.com ). This ruggedly visual Tom Fazio design makes many Top 10 Muni lists, and was a Golf Magazine Top 10 New Course You Can Play when it debuted in 2007. Sweeping vistas, a few massive sand pits, and enough water to make a couple sleeves disappear. If the prime time greens fees of $80 sound a bit steep for El Paso, think about what this same stunning layout would cost if it were located in say, Scottsdale or Palm Springs.
Daichan Kaiten Sushi
11301 Olympic Blvd, Los Angeles, CA #85. Los Angeles, California. We go to L.A.'s favorite Kaiten-style restaurant, where you can choose from a never-ending array of delectable morsels brought straight to your seat via a conveyor belt!
This is L.A., so you're right in the backyard of some old Hollywood country clubs like Beverly Hills CC and Riviera. Schmos like us will have to make the drive through West Hollywood to former PGA Tour pro Duffy Waldorf stomping grounds, L.A. muni Griffith Park ( www.laparks.org ). Duffy says, "The Wilson and Harding courses at Griffith Park have been open for 80 years and are still as fun to play as when I was a kid. I learned about precision approach shots at Wilson's 416-yard second because if I didn't stick it, the ball would bounce off the green and I'd be banging my club into the fence behind it. Playing the fourth here always reminds me of an important milestone in my development."
250 Franklin St., Boston, MA #84. Boston, Massachusetts. We head to the Langham Hotel in Boston for every chocolate lover's fantasy -- a dessert buffet that serves as much chocolates as you can handle, in more ways than you can possibly imagine!
Chocolate and golf... sounds like this day is a six-pack of Sam Adams and personal favors from your golf widow away from being perfect. Fill out the golf part of your perfect day at Newton Commonwealth GC ( www.sterlinggolf.com ), a 1920 Donald Ross design with quick greens and narrow fairways. Off-season rates are only $46 to ride in prime time.
Schmidt's Sausage Haus
240 East Kossuth Street, Columbus, OH #83. Columbus, Ohio. We visit Columbus' charming German Village for an unlimited buffet of sausages, which include the signature spicy "Bahama Mama."
You may want to walk the 4 miles to nearby Grove City to make room in your belly for golf after a meal at Schmidt's. Stick the peg in the ground at The Phoenix Golf Links ( www.phoenixgl.com ), a wide-open routing featuring 80 bunkers and views of the Columbus skyline.
Willie Mae's Scotch House
2401 Saint Ann Street, New Orleans, LA #82. New Orleans, Louisiana. We visit one of New Orleans most beloved institutions to crunch on some of the best fried chicken you've ever had!
After a meal at Willie Mae's and an afternoon soak on Bourbon Street, grab your sticks and your flask and cab it over to Audubon Park GC ( www.auduboninstitute.org ) for a boozy round. A $6 million renovation in 2002 has turned Audubon Park into a 4,200-yard, par-sixty-two delight. Laugh not; this is serious fun. Twelve par threes, four par fours and two par fives make this honest, oak-lined layout a singular experience. Think three-hour rounds, smooth greens, an engaging Glaswegian who works in the pro shop, and a renowned zoo next door.
Nick Tahou Hots
$$ American Traditional
320 W Main St, Rochester, NY #81. Rochester, New York. Can't decide what to get? That's no problem at the original home of the Garbage Plate in Rochester. Here you can get anything you want piled high all on one plate!
You're only 5 miles from PGA Championship and Ryder Cup host Oak Hill CC. But those of us on a Garbage Plate budget will want to head for Shadow Pines GC ( www.234golf.com ), a 6,700-yard old school challenge routed through streams, woods, and gullies, with prime time greens fees of just $47 to ride.
The Brick Pit
5456 Old Shell Road, Mobile, AL#80. Mobile, Alabama. We check out fall-off-the-bone BBQ in Mobile, Alabama ... cooked out of the smoker the size of a bank vault!
The Brick Pit is right in the wheelhouse of the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail ( www.rtjgolf.com ), perentially ranked among the country's top value buddy trip destinations. Sample one of the Trail's best, Magnolia Grove GC . T&L Golf likes Magnolia's Crossings course , an up-and-down adventure featuring marshes and undulating greens, which hosts an LPGA event. Or try the locals pick, the Falls course , slightly tougher than Crossings, with plenty of uneven lies and water as a thematic strategic issue.
$ Hamburgers, Bar
2641 E 2nd Ave, Denver, CO #79. Denver, Colorado. We head to Denver to check out a juicy burger piled high with a dizzying array of topping choices .
High times in the Mile High City and a belly full of Cherry Crickets' burgers will mean you don't want to think or work too hard on the course today. Meander over to nearby Denver City Park MGC ( www.cityofdenvergolf.com ) for a surprisingly flat urban setting, with tree-lined fairways and small greens.
Kopp's Frozen Custard
$ Dessert / Ice Cream
7631 Weston Layton Avenue, Greenfield, WI #78. Greenfield, Wisconsin. In the hometown of frozen custard, we found Kopp's to be king!
Kopp's is a short drive away from Blue Mound, a highly-regarded private 1926 Seth Raynor design. To sample something from the same architectual era, head for nearby New Berlin Hills GC ( www.newberlinhills.com ), a former private club designed in 1907. The front features the Root River as a main design feature, while the back has two great par-3's. Off-season rates run as low as $29 to ride.
Lynn's Paradise Cafe
$$ American Traditional
984 Barret Avenue, Louisville, KY #77. Louisville, Kentucky. We travel to Lynn's Paradise Cafe to see what fantastically decaden breakfasts are being served up at this restaurant!
Try nearby former Hooter's Tour host Seneca GC ( www.senecagc.com ), a 1934 vintage track voted "Best Of Louisville". Fun trivia tidbit: Gary Player won his first American tournament here, the 1958 Derby City Open. Weekend riding rates are only $31.
San Francisco Creamery
$ Dessert / Ice Cream
1370 Locust Street, Walnut Creek, CA #76. San Francisco, California. San Francisco Creamery boasts one of the biggest sundaes we've ever seen: 8 softball-size scoops of ice cream, 8 toppings, 8 servings of whipped cream, 3 bananas and a cherry on top!
San Fran Creamery is just a long par-5 from Robert Muir Graves' Diablo Hills ( ), a rustic, affordable 9-holer routed through gorgeous vistas of the Northern California hills. Standard greens fees are only $17, which should leave you plenty of cash and time to hit their hoppin' on-site sportsbar/restaurant, The Greenery , for good food, karaoke, or the Monday Night Football buffet.
The Buffet at the Bellagio
$$$ American Traditional
3600 Las Vegas Blvd South, Las Vegas, NV #75. Las Vegas, Nevada. This town of excess knows a thing or 2 about buffets, and here at the Bellagio in Las Vegas we find the best of the best. From steak to sushi and pasta to pastries, this place does it all.
Ocean's 11 -inspired fantasies of robbing the joint aside... If you're staying here, you can afford Bellagio partner course Shadow Creek . Typically ranked as #1A in Vegas behind Wynne LV, this highly visual Tom Fazio design features sparking creeks and lush conditions in the Nevada desert. The $500 greens fees might almost be worth it when you think of it in this context: This is likely as close as you'll ever come to playing Augusta, in terms of conditioning, service, expert caddying, and nearly having the course all to yourself on any given day. For those who can only afford the buffet but not the room at the Bellagio, head for Bellagio partner course Desert Pines , whose 4,000+ mature pine trees conjure up visions of Pinehurst. Afternoon rates start at $59.
Original New York System
$ Hot Dogs
424 Smith Street, Providence, RI #74. Providence, Rhode Island. We chow down on a Rhode Island favorite, New York System style wienies, in the "original" place to get'em since 1927.
Despite the name, this is Providence Rhode Island, not NYC. Which actually works in your favor in terms of good nearby golf. You're less than 2 miles from highly-regarded Providence muni Trigg Memorial ( www.triggs.us ), a Donald Ross vintage that opened just 5 years after Original New York System. All the Ross trademarks are here, including long par-4's, reachable par-5's, natural contours, and small, strategically bunkered greens. Off-season prime time rates run just $45.
237 Wooster St., New Haven, CT#73 (tie).
Frank Pepe Pizzeria Napoletana
157 Wooster St., New Haven, CT. We head to New Haven to settle a decades old debate over which New-Haven style pizza is the best: Pepe's or Sally's.
Play New Haven's Alling Memorial GC . A playable 6248 from the tips, rolling elevations, holes surrounded by waving fields of fescue, $60 greens fees, and $3 drafts at the grill. Perfect.
2301 Grizzlie Bear Blvd, Sauget, IL #72. Sauget, Illinois. Here at the Gateway Grizzlies' home turf, they're throwing a curveball on the idea of a normal burger by placing it between 2 halves of a grilled Krispy Kreme Donut!
Stay on a burger budget at St. Louie muni Forest Park MGC . Or check the website at nearby Jack Nicklaus signature design Stonewolf (ww w.stonewolfgolf.com ). Their tiered fee schedules and GolfNow specials can make this tough layout a good value.
The Grill House
1071 32nd Street, Allegan, MI #71. Allegan, Michigan. There's no reason to complain about your steak here because at The Grill House in Allegan, Michigan, you're the grillmaster. Pick out a perfectly dry-aged steak and grill it just the way you like it!
Work up a hunger at Lynx GC ( www.lynxgolfcourse.com ), a picturesque wooded design routed over rolling elevation changes. Prime time fees are just $45.
El Guero Canelo
2480 North Oracle, Tucson, AZ #70. Tucson, Arizona. We check out this regional favorite, a Southwestern Sonoran hot dog wrapped in bacon, cooked well done, then smothered in fresh Mexican inspired toppings.
Tuscon is a Southwestern golf mecca, so here's two options: Stay cheap and nearby at Silverbell MGC ( www.tucsoncitygolf.com ), or go upscale at The Lodge at Ventana Canyon ( www.thelodgeatventanacanyon.com ) for a pair of visually stunning desert courses by Tom Fazio.
108 North 7th St., Salina, KS #69. Salina, Kansas. Head to Kansas for the original slider since 1922, ordered by The Half Dozen.
Salina Kansas isn't exactly a hotbed of golf, and the pancake-flat Kansas terrain doesn't exactly lend itself to interesting design features. You may as well stay close and cheap with a round at Salina MGC ( www.salinamuni.com , $33 ride prime time).
$$ American Traditional
3434 Bahia Vista Street, Sarasota, FL #68. Sarasota, Florida. For a sweet taste of comfort, stop by Yoder's in Sarasota where they're serving up 25 varities of pie.
Traditionalists will gravitate towards the affordable Bobby Jones GC ( www.bobbyjonesgolfclub.com ). Their American course was designed by Florida specialist Ron Garl with more varied terrain, or their British course is a classic Donald Ross design with elevated greens, large live oaks, and stands of pines and palms.
330 South 3rd Street, San Jose, CA #67. San Jose, California. Run for cover (and a napkin)! It's the Burritozilla: a 5-lb., 18-inch monster burrito that's as tasty as it's enormous.
Nearby San Jose MGC ( www.sjmuni.com ) has been a golf hangout for 40 years, and recently renovated all 18 greens. Prime time fees run a bit steep for a muni at $79 to ride, but afternoon and twilight rates drop the cost by around 20 bucks or more.
$$ American Traditional, Bakery
13550 East Main Street, Talkeetna, AK #66. Talkeetna, Alaska. At Talkeetna Roadhouse, dive into giant stacks of sourdough pancakes and a "Rudy in a Parka" - a giant, cheesy take on a pig in a blanket made with reindeer sausage.
This is the great wildneress of Alaska, so if you just gotta scratch that golf itch after a Rudy in a Parka, brave the 2-1/2 hour drive down to Anchorage to Moose Creek GC ( ). When their homepage prominently features bear safety tips, you know you're still in the wilderness. Take your pick from Moose Creek's mid-Century Hill course with postage stamp greens, or the more modern but still frontier-like Creek layout by Robin Nelson (Mauna Lani, Hawaii), featuring a 640-yard par-5 and two holes routed through a reclaimed gravel quarry.
Camp Washington Chili
$ American Traditional, Soup & Sandwich
3005 Colerain Avenue, Cincinnati, OH#65. Cincinnati, Ohio. Get a taste of real Cincinnati-style chili at a favorite institution that's been serving it up "5-ways" since 1940.
Cincinatti's Shaker Run gets top billing here, with 27 holes and a collection of par-4's by Arthur Hills that could make a run for any list of "Best Holes in the Midwest".
Round Rock Donuts
106 West Liberty, Round Rock, TX #64. Round Rock, Texas. These donuts migght be light and fluffy, but they're the size of a 5 gallon bucket because that's literally what they use to mold these behemoth, tasty pastries.
For something older school, stick with Forest Creek GC ( www.forestcreek.com ), a classic nearby Dick Phelps design routed through Austin hill country with prime time riding fees just over $50. For something more modern and upscale, head for Star Ranch ( www.starranchgolf.com , $67) with sweeping vistas and an Alamo-esque clubhouse. Both are Golf Digest favorites.
Chaps Pit Beef
5801 Pulaski Highway, Baltimore, MD #63. Baltimore, Maryland. Sink your teeth into Baltimore's own take on BBQ - the pit beef sandwich: a juicy, beef sandwich piled high and topped with onions and "tiger sauce."
While a sandwich covered in "Tiger sauce" will provide an endless supply of one-liners for golfers, it'll still get your mind on teeing it up. 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).
$ American Traditional, Southern/Soul
27931 State Highway 249, Tomball, TX #62. Tomball, Texas. Get an authentic taste of down home cooking here at Goodson's Cafe, where they fry up the most wonderful chicken fried steak in Texas.
Take your pick from nearby sister courses Glenoch Pines ( www.tour18.com ), with 27 holes reminiscient of famed courses in Scotland and Ireland; or Augusta Pines , with a back 9 loosely based on its famed namesake. Prime time riding fees are on the pricey end, at $75 for Glenoch and $95 for Augusta.
246 W Willow street, Syracuse, NY #61. Syracuse, New York. Head to an unlikely place to find killer BBQ - a biker joint in upstate NY!
Tear into Syracuse's Liverpool G&CC ( www.lgpcc.com ) like a T-Rex. Routed through a bucolic parkland setting with subtle floral flourishes, it's a steal at $32 prime time ride.
$$ American Traditional, Southern/Soul
328 Lenox Ave., Manhattan, NY #60. New York, New York. We tear into world-famous fried chicken and ribs at Sylvia's -- the heart and soul of food in Harlem, NY.
Anything located in Manhattan makes getting to an actual course a logistical nightmare. Save yourself the headache, and head over to Chelsea Piers 3-story driving range ( www.chelseapiers.com ) in any weather, and tee it up at any of 51 famous courses on one of their simulators.
Munchies 420 Cafe
$ American Traditional
6639 Superior Avenue, Sarasota, FL #59. Sarasota, Florida. Satisy your late night cravings at Munchies, where you can get anything from deep-fried Twinkies to giant overstuffed sandwiches like the Fat Sandy.
I've had more than my share of Fat Sandy's in many-a-bunker (and who can pass up a deep fried Twinkie), but Sarasota is a prime beach bar/golfing spot on Florida's Southwest coast. Head for Stoneybrook GC ( www.stoneybrook.net ) for a leisurely Arthur Hills stroll through typical Florida flat/wetlands surrounded by housing, with water in play on 17 holes. Winter rates are pricey at $85, but off-season summer fees drop to just $35. Then hit one of Sarasota's beach bars (see Fat Guy's East Coast Beach Bar Golf Trail ).
Taqueria La Cumbre
515 Valencia Street, San Francisco, CA #58. San Francisco, California. Pay homage to the birthplace of the over-stuffed, Mission-style burrito in San Francisco.
Use the cash you saved eating a cheap filling lunch at Taqueria La Cumbre to splurge on greens fees at Presidio GC ( www.presideogolf.com ). Twilight fees only drop to $105 to ride for this Bay area stunner, so you might want to save half of that overstuffed La Cumbre burrito for dinner.
Chick and Ruth's Delly
165 Main Street, Annapolis, MD #57. Annapolis, Maryland. Chick and Ruth's thick and creamy milkshakes are good enough to share with a friend ... or 2 ... or 10.
Shake on over to Compass Pointe ( www.compasspointegolf.com , $50-$70) just outside Annapolis, with four 9's designed by Maryland-based architect Lindsay Ervin.
Big Mama's Kitchen
$$ American Traditional
3223 North 45th Street, Omaha, NE #56. Omaha, Nebraska. Visit this old school cafeteria-turned-restaurant in Nebraska that dishes out huge helpings of some of the best soul food in the country.
"Tee it up at the most convenient course in town, the Players Club at Deer Creek ( www.playersclubomaha.com ). This linksy Arnold Palmer design has gently sloping fairways and large, though not especially penal, bunkers. The tees, fairways and greens are all bent grass, which, thanks to Omaha's cooler temperatures, grows much better here than in Midwestern cities to the south such as Kansas City and St. Louis. Plenty of mounding lines the holes to contain errant shots." [ T&L Golf ]
2265 South 3rd Street, Memphis , TN #55. Memphis, Tennessee. You can't visit Memphis without visiting the Interstate. The BBQ sauce is so finger-licking good, they put it on everything from nachos to salad.
Work off some of that 'que at Cordova CC ( www.cordovacc.com ). A shortish test at only 6,300 yards from the tips, routed through parkland, and only $30 prime time to ride. Weekday walking fees drop to just $15 for 18 holes.
Steak and Main
$$$ Steakhouse, Seafood
107 South Main Street, North East, MD #54. North East, Maryland. Don't miss Steak & Main's Great Steak Challenge, where in order ot win $100 and bragging rights you must consume 6 juicy steaks with a side of vegetables and a potato!
About a mile outside of town, tee it up at Chesapeake Bay GC's Northeast Course ( www.chesapeakegolf.com ). A shot-maker's routing, this tight test has varied elevated green complexes guarded by steep bunkers and the occasional railroad tie wall, with a few risk/reward scenarios to keep it interesting. Order the Elvis hoagie in the grill room.
Juan In A Million
2300 East Cesar Chavez St., Austin, TX #53. Austin, Texas. We chow down on Juan in a Million's famous El Taco Grande -- a tasty breakfast taco stuffed with eggs, potatoes, bacon and cheese.
Get in touch with some golf history at Riverside GC ( www.riverside-gc.com ). This is the course where the acclaimed teacher Harvey Penick, who taught Ben Crenshaw and Tom Kite, held court for 34 years.
Big Lou's Pizza
2048 South WW White Road, San Antonio, TX #52. San Antonio, Texas. It's true that everything's bigger in Texas, including Big Lou's Pizza where you can order a 30-lb. 42-inch pie!
Sample some quintessential Texas golf at Republic GC ( www.republicgolfclub.com ). Routed along Salado Creek among oaks, elms, and mesquite trees, it was rated as Best In San Antonio by the local Express News in '06, '07, and '09, but prime time rates push the $90 mark.
Max and Mina's Ice Cream
$ Dessert / Ice Cream
7126 Main Street, Flushing, NY #51. Flushing, New York. A Max and Mina's, along with the classics, they're scooping up off-beat flavors like corn-on-the-cob, beer and nuts.
Since Max and Mina's is the middle of Queens, lower your typical golf expectations a notch, and head for Kissena MGC ( www.golfnyc.com ). Fully renovated in 2010, this 4,665-yard short course plays tough for the yardage. It's NYC, so prime time ride fees run $65 for some good short game practice.
$ Soup & Sandwich
1136 Arch Street, Philadelphia, PA #50. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. DiNic's boasts Philly's other favorite sandwich -- the roat pork sandwich, made with thinkly sliced pieces of pork, soaked in pork jus.
Head a half hour over the Ben Franklin Bridge into South Jersey for Scotland Run (Williamstown NJ, ). This is X-Box golf, with diabolical architect Stephen Kay's usual nods to the quirky Old Tom Morris layouts of Great Brittain. The first 8 holes are are routed through the New Jersey pine barrens with fun doglegs, double greens, and stacked sod bunkers. The final 10 holes are routed through a former sand quarry, and conjure up visions of nearby Pine Valley (on acid). Pricey, but worth the greens fees to experience such a unique course.
Country Pancake House
140 East Ridgewood Avenue, Ridgewood, NJ #49. Ridgewood, New Jersey. At the Country Pancake House in Ridgewood, NY, not only do their pancakes come the size of a manhole cover, but they also come in a mind-boggling number of varities including shrimp and prosciutto.
Ridgewood is just over the bridge from NYC near Hackensack, so expect to pay handsomely for a round on real estate this pricey. Head for High Mountain GC ( www.memberstatements.com ) for a full-sized 18-hole semi-private course that feels like a private country club. Prime time riding fees run just north of $100.
3106 Olive Street, St. Louis, MO #48. St. Louis, Missouri. At Pappy's there's a 100 years of experience between the pitmasters who serve up the Memphis-style BBQ. If you can't decide what to order get a Big Ben combo from the "Greatest Hits" menu.
Tee it up at nearby St. Louis muni Forest Park MGC ( www.forestparkgc.com ). I'm told I played it once during a fraternity brother's wedding weekend, but all I have is a vague recollection of a great weekend. For something a little more upscale, head over the mighty Mississip to Gateway National ( www.gatewaynational.com ) for a linksy experience with great skyline views of the Arch and downtown St. Lou, and off-season rates are under $40.
$$ American Traditional, Hamburgers, Bar
3500 Cedar Avenue South, Minneapolis, MN #47. Minneapolis, Minnesota. Head to the home of the "Jucy Lucy," a legendary burger in Minneapolis, which is made up of 2 beef patties fused together with a hot, molten core of American cheese.
Those on a burger budget will head for Hiawatha MGC ( www.minneapolisparks.org ), a classic flat course with mature trees and small greens that got a '90's makeover, and greens fees are under $45.
$ Hot Dogs
6363 North Milwaukee Avenue, Norwood Park, IL #46. Chicago, Illinois. Visit this iconic Chicago establishment, where you can get served the perfect Chicago dog at the last remaining drive-in restaurant in Chicago.
Nearby Edgweood MGC ( www.forestpreservegolf.com ) is a neighborhood course that meanders though the heart of Chicago's North Forest Preserve, with backdrops of the Chicago River, and greens fees are just $42 prime time ride.
$ American Traditional
30 6th Avenue SW, Albuquerque, NM #45. Albuquerque, New Mexico. Check out an authentic New Mexican soul food in Albuquerque where they feature a pulled pork sandwich so juicy, it comes with a full-sized kitchen apron.
The nearby University of New Mexico Championship Course ( www.unmgolf.com ) has hosted several NCAA Championships, and is a good value. At over 5,000 feet in elevation, it has pretty vistas of the Albuquerque area, and requires some math to adjust your club selection in the thin air, made extra challenging by the numerous elevation changes in the routing. I wouldn't walk it in the heat. Bring the long ball and a good bunker game.
Doe's Eat Place
$$ American Traditional, Southern/Soul
502 Nelson Street, Greenville, MS #44.You would never guess from its humble appearance but Doe's boasts some of the best steaks in the country that you order not by the ounce, but by the pound.
Deep in the western Mississippi delta, golf tends to be more of a private country club affair. So here you're relegated to a local muni, Greenville MGC , that doesn't even have a website. Golflink says, "A 1952 design, 6,530 yards, slope of 114." I'm certain that a six-pack cooler wouldn't be frowned upon. Best of luck to you.
$A merican Traditional, Hamburgers
1289 South Protest Road, Boise, ID #43. Boise, Idaho. In a state famous for potatoes, we found a diner famous for giant, crispy-on-the-outside, creamy-on-the-inside french fries and Frisbee-sized burgers!
Go upscale at a Top 10 in the state of Idaho, Banbury GC (Eagle, www.banburygolf.com ), which has 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. Or stay on budget at Quail Hollow (Boise, $31, , not that Quail Hollow--an even better value. This semi-private Bruce Devlin/Robert von Hagge design is laid out on former farm land at the base of the Boise Foothills, with stunning views of Treasure Valley and the surrounding mountains.
Sodolak's Original Country Inn
$$ American Traditional
9711 Fm 60 Rd E, Snook, TX #42. Snook, Texas. Have you ever had chicken-fried bacon? This crispy, greasy delight also comes with its own side of cream-based gravy for dipping!
Sodolak's is just outside College Station, home of Texas A&M. Go with the Aggies theme at A&M's golf course ( www.recsports.tamu.edu ), complete with an A&M logo painted on the apron one of of the par-3's. WorldGolf.com says, "Completely redesigned, it was a labor of love for architect Jeff Blume, a graduate of the turf program at Texas A&M. That, combined with the intense loyalty that Aggies have for their school, makes the A&M layout, which can be tipped to more than 7,000 yards, one of Blume’s most satisfying accomplishments in a career that’s been pretty good. Built in the shadows of Kyle Field, it’s a golf course that doesn’t even begin to resemble the old one that it replaced."
15414 North 19th Avenue, Phoenix, AZ #41. Phoenix, Arizona. This Mexican-Chinese takeout fusion spot might sound strange but we found out what makes the grub at this eatery not only unique, but also addictive!
Just down the street is Phoenix muni Cave Creek GC ( http://phoenix.gov/recreation/rec/facilities/golf/golfcourses/cavecreek/ ). While not located in the nearby town of Cave Creek, it's Phoenix's most popular muni (for good reason), so book your tee time early. A 1983 landfill reclaimation project, part of the flatish layout traces a winding creek, with nice vistas of the surrouding mountains.
Slow's Bar BQ
2138 Michigan Avenue, Detroit, MI#40. Detroit, Michigan. This Detroit joint has perfected BBQ styles from all across the country , but what brings us to Slows Bar-B-Q is their mouth-watering twist on tradition: brisket enchiladas!
You'd be hard pressed not to turn a visit to Slow's into a full golf weekend, what with the "Windsor ballet" just driver-wedge over the border in Canada, and some great Detroit golf options nearby. Go upscale at TPC Michigan ( www.tpcmichigan.com ), a testing Jack Nicklaus design, but snagging a tee time requires a stay at the Hyatt Regency and some advance planning. Scale down to a BBQ budget at Rackham GC ( www.rackham.americangolf.com ), a Donald Ross design you can play for under $50 and featuring all the "Ross trademarks": gentle doglegs giving line of sight to the hole, and contoured greens tightly guarded by bunkers. Across the river in Windsor, hit Cheetah's ( www.cheetahsofwindsor.com ) or Leopard's Lounge .
19 Old Fulton St., Brooklyn, NY #39. Brooklyn, New York. We head just under the Brooklyn Bridge for some of Brooklyn’s most famous pizza. Bring cash and an appetite, because at Grimaldi’s, it’s no credit and no slices!
Golf options are fairly limited in NYC, so mentally prepare yourself for the logistical hassles and a six-hour round before heading to Brooklyn's Dyker Beach GC .
Obrycki's Crab House & Seafood Restaurant
Baltimore-Washington International Airport, Baltimore, Maryland. We crack into Maryland’s best hard-shell crabs at Obrycki’s where a secret blend of seasoning and fun have been bringing crab-lovers back for over half a century.
Tee it up at nearby Timbers At Troy ( www.timbersgolf.com , Elkridge, $69). Rolling hills, meandering streams, mature trees, and bird-spotting at this Audobon Sanctuary make this muni by Ken Killian a fun round.
$ Dessert / Ice Cream
6726 Chippewa, St. Louis, MO #37. St. Louis, Missouri. We head to Missouri for Ted Drewes famously thick frozen custard.
Head for a cool round at the unfortunately-monikered Norman K. Probstein Course at Forest Park ( www.forestparkgc.com ). I'm told I played this St. Louie muni once, during the wedding weekend of a fraternity brother of mine. I only have vague recollections of a fun weekend, but a 2004 Hale Irwin redesign offers 27 holes of parkland golf routed through a city park.
Markey's Lobster Pound $$ Seafood 420 State Route 286, Seabrook, NH
Brown's Seabrook Lobster Pound
407 New Hampshire 286, Seabrook, NH #36 (tie). Seabrook, New Hampshire. One of the best places for New England's biggest and freshest lobster rolls.
Roll on over to Breakfast Hill GC ( www.breakfasthill.com , Greenland, $71), a 2000 parkland layout cut out of the New Hampshire woods by Brian Silva. It features rolling elevation changes, some cool rock outcroppings very much in play, and good conditions.
The Thurman Cafe
$ American Traditional, Hamburgers
183 Thurman Avenue, Columbus, OH #35. Columbus, Ohio. Choose from almost 20 giant burger combinations including the signature Thurman Burger: a burger loaded with ham, mozzarella, American cheese, lettuce, tomato, mushrooms, sauteed onions, pickles, peppers and mayo.
Get your golf on at nearby The Phoenix Golf Links ( www.phoenixgl.com , Grove City, $38). This 6,900 linksy layout features 80 bunkers, Columbus skyline views, and some great par-3's.
$$ American Traditional
386 Flatbush Ave. Extension, Brooklyn, NY#34. Brooklyn, New york. Giant portions of anything you can think of -- overstuffed deli sandwiches, fried chicken, ribs, famous 10-oz. steakburgers -- but what really brings us to Junior's is their world-famous NY style cheesecake!
Golf options are pretty limited in Brooklyn, so tee it up at Dyker Beach GC .
$ Soup & Sandwich, Caribbean
4225 Freemont Avenue North, Seattle, WA#33. Seattle, Washington. We travel a long way from Miami to get one of the best Cuban sandwiches in the country.
Head for the other side of Lake Washington to Willows Run GC ( www.willowsrun.com , Redmond, $54). Willows Run features two full length courses. Coyote Creek is a 1999 parkland design, while Eagle's Talon is a similar 1994 layout. Both were designed by Ted Locke and feature plenty of water. There's also a par-3 course, mini-golf, and a nice grill room.
$ Soup & Sandwich, Food Cart
40 College Avenue, New Brunswick, NJ #32. New Brunswick, New Jersey. Don't miss the famous RU Hungry grease truck for their giant Fat Darrell sandwich: chicken fingers, french fries, mozzarella sticks and marinara sauce all in one hero.
Fat Darrell would want to bunker down at Bunker Hill GC ( www.bunker.distinctgolf.com , Princeton, $65), a playable 5800-yard parkland layout over gently rolling terrain.
Helena's Hawaiian Food
$ American Traditional
1240 North School Street, Honolulu, HI #31. Honolulu, Hawaii. For a traditional taste of Hawaiian cuisine, we head to Helena's for their authentic pipikaula: short rib, soaked in flavorful soy sauce, hung out to dry then thrown into the fryer for a succulent, beefy taste of the islands.
Pipikaula on over to Ko'Olau GC ( , Kaneohe, $145) and buck up for some great Hawaiian golf. One of Golf Magazine's Top 100 You Can Play, this 1992 Dick Nugent layout takes full advantage of the natural beauty and ancient deep ravines while winding through three distinct climate zones.
The Park Slope Chip Shop
383 Fifth Ave., Brooklyn, NY #30. Brooklyn, New York. Our next stop is Chipshop, where they'll deep-fry everything from your standard fish and chips to Twinkies, macaroni 'n' cheese and even pizza.
Back in Brooklyn again. Tee it up at Dyker Beach .
Tony's I-75 Restaurant $ American Traditional 8781 Main Street, Birch Run, MI #29. Birch Run, Michigan. Right off 1-75 in Michigan, we find the most insane BLT ever -- made with a full pound of deep-fried bacon!
Tee it up at The Timbers GC ( www.timbersgolfclub.com , Vassar). A great value at $34 prime time ride.
Ben's Chili Bowl
$ Hamburgers, Hot Dogs
1213 U St NW, Washington, DC #28. Washington D.C. We check out DC's favorite, meaty chilidog at Ben's Chili Bowl.
Head over to the University Of Maryland's Golf Course (College Park MD, www.golf.umd.edu ). Named the #1 restoration of 2011 by Golf Inc., and ranked in the Top 25 College Courses by Links Magazine, this course mixes links and parkland elements in a classic 1959 George Cobb design.
$ American Traditional
7311 Aurora Avenue North, Seattle, WA #26. Seattle, Washington. We travel to Beth's Cafe in Seattle to take on the infamous 12-egg omelet challenge.
Twelve eggs will leave a trail of vapor behind you as you matriculate around Bellevue GC ( www.bellevuepgc.com , Bellevue, $45), a brawny muni by David W. Kent carved out of majestic pines.
Acme Oyster House
724 Iberville St, New Orleans, LA #25. New Orleans, Louisiana. Whether they're raw, char-grilled, fried, put in a soup or piled high on a po'boy, Acme Oyster House is the best place for oysters in The Big Easy.
Grab your sticks and your flask and cab it over to Audubon Park GC ( www.auduboninstitute.org ) for a boozy round. A $6 million renovation in 2002 has turned Audubon Park into a 4,200-yard, par-sixty-two delight. Laugh not; this is serious fun. Twelve par threes, four par fours and two par fives make this honest, oak-lined layout a singular experience. Think three-hour rounds, smooth greens, an engaging Glaswegian who works in the pro shop, and a renowned zoo next door.
Charles Vergo's Rendezvous
52 South 2nd Street, Memphis, TN #24. Memphis, Tennessee. In a town famous for ribs, Rendezvous is a legend. Their ribs are covered in a unique Greek-inspired dry rub slow-cooked over charcoal until they are tender and succulent.
Rendezvous for a round at The Links at Galloway ( www.thelinksatgalloway.com , $41) a shortish, linksy 2002 Kevin Tucker design which won "Best Of Memphis" after a multi-million dollar renovation.
812 North Evergreen Ave, Los Angeles, CA#23. Los Angeles, California. We head to El Tepeyac for an authentic taste of Mexico in the form of a giant 4-lb. burrito called the Manuel Special, a 2-tortilla burrito overflowing with their famous, chunky chili verde.
Tee it up in the shadow of the Rose Bowl at Brookside GC ( www.brooksidegc.com , L.A., $75), featuring 36 classic holes designed by William P. Bell. The Nay Course is shorter and easier, while the Koiner Course is a brawny 7,228-yard test.
Lafayette Coney Island
$ American Traditional, Hot Dogs
118 West Lafayette Blvd, Detroit, MI #22 (tie).
American Coney Island
$ American Traditional, Hot Dogs
115 Michigan Avenue, Detroit, MI Detroit, Michigan. We settle an age-old debate in the Motor City over who has the best Detroit-style chilidog -- Lafayette or American. It’s the clash of the Coney dogs!
You could almost hit driver from these 'dog joints over the river into Canada, but before you head over to experience the "Windsor Ballet", tee it up at Rackham GC ( , Huntingdon Woods MI, $49), a Donald Ross design. All the Ross trademarks are here; gentle doglegs, contoured greens tightly guarded by deceptive bunkers.
1918 Beacon Street, Brighton, MA #21. Brighton, Massachusetts. Eagle's Deli boasts the tallest burger challenges. Their Eagle's Challenge Burger is a 5-lb. skyscraper made up of 10 burger patties 20 slices of cheese and 20 bacon strips.
After downing a 5 lb. burger, you'll need a friend to wheelbarrow you over to nearby Newton Commonwealth GC ( www.sterlinggolf.com/newton , $53, Newton). The Donald Ross design sits only a few miles from Ross' first gig as a head pro in America at nearby Oakley GC, which he re-designed. The short but challenging Newton Commonwealth was an early Ross design, and lacks some Ross trademarks like plateau greens. The greens are tricky with some nice undulations though, and the short yardage should help you score well.
22 SW 3rd Ave, Portland, OR #20. Portland, Oregon. We visit a quirky indie shop in Portland, OR, for some of the most one-of-a-kind doughnuts around.
Try to put the ball in the donut hole at nearby Eastmoreland GC ( www.eastmorelandgolfcourse.com , $38, Portland), an 1917 H. Chandler Egan (Pebble Beach) parkland layout with quick greens and picturesque par-3's surrounded by rhododendron gardens.
$$ American Traditional
2305 E. Malone Ave, Sikeston, MO #19. Sikeston, Missouri. We catch some "throwed rolls" and pig out on an unlimited "pass-arounds" at this favorite Missouri eatery.
Public golf is a bit limited in Sikeston, so head for Cape Jaycee MGC ( www.cityofcapegirardeau.org/golf , $30, Cape Girardeau), a straight-forward routing with grade-level greens and water on 11 holes.
Cotham's Mercantile & Restaurant
5301 Highway 161, Scott, AR #18. Scott, Arkansas. We head to Cotham's Mercantile for a taste of their giant Hubcap Burger. One look at the size of these patties is enough to understand the name.
You're not far from civilization in Little Rock, but most of the golf around these parts is private. Tee it up at the private-sounding Country Club of Arkansas ( www.countryclubofarkansas.com , $39, Maumelle), a semi-private parkland layout carved out of loblolly pines.
$$ American Traditional, Bar
1047 Main Street, Buffalo, NY #17. Buffalo, New York. We pay a visit to the original home of everyone's favorite bar food -- buffalo wings.
While Fat Guy has read numerous complaints about Anchor Bar's slow service (and better things about rival Duff's wings), you still gotta make the pilgrammage just to say you've been there. Tee it up at nearby Diamond Hawk GC ( www.diamondhawkgolf.com , $59, Cheektowaga), a Dr. Michael Hurzdan design with deep bunkering and fescue surrounds.
Big Texan Steak Ranch & Opry
7701 East Interstate 40, Amarillo, TX #16. Amarillo, Texas. We visit one of the world's best steakhouses and the original steak challenge -- the legendary 72-oz. steak dinner. If you finish it in an hour, it's on the house!
This will definitely be a riding round with a 72-ounce steak in your belly (if you can move at all). Drag yourself over to nearby Commanche Trail MGC ( www.playgolfamarillo.com , $31, Amarillo). Play the Tomahawk Course , a 1990 Charles Howard layout and the longer of the two courses; or try the Arrowhead Course , a 1999 track by Cupp Design. Both are wide-open, rolling links layouts exposed to the Texas winds.
Hillbilly Hot Dogs
$ Hot Dogs
6951 Ohio River Rd, Lesage, WV #15. Lesage, West Virginia. Imagine a place that would be called Hillbilly Hotdogs, and you wouldn't be far wrong. Eat the largest hotdog in America in the school bus dining room.
Fat Guy used to travel to this neck of the woods for business if you can believe it, so take my word that the best course in the area is Elks CC in McDermott, OH. This hilly Donald Ross design came recommended by locals, with an 18th hole nicknamed "Cardiac Hill". Under $40 to ride on a Ross course is relatively unheard of.
Arthur Bryant's Barbeque
1727 Brooklyn Ave, Kansas City, MO #14. Kansas City, Missouri. We get a taste of the quintessential Kansas City barbecue at Arthur Bryant's, a legendary institution.
Advertising itself as the only course in America located over an active mine (not sure I see the logic in that marketing strategy?), Winterstone GC ( www.winterstonegolf.com ,$44, Independence), also by local architect Craig Schreiner, mixes links elements with the occasional tree line and lake.
2524 Federal Blvd, Denver, CO #13. Denver, Colorado. We visit an award-winning joint serving up gigantic 7-lb. breakfast burrito smothered in Jack-n-Grill's famous green chile verde, a family secret recipe.
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.
Gus's World Famous Hot & Spicy Chicken
310 South Front Street, Memphis, TN #12. Memphis, Tennessee. We try Gus's world famous fried chicken -- served hot and juicy with a spicy kick and a crackling skin to boot, it's easy to see why it's Tennessee's favorte.
Splurge on a round at Memphis native Justin Timberlake's Mirimichi ($73-$125). The real gems of Mirimichi are the four par 3s. Water makes your hands sweat on three of them, while the other, no. 3, is a 223-yard behemoth with large bunkers fronting the green. No. 11, Timberlake's favorite hole, is 181 yards with a green that is nearly surrounded by water. The only dry spot — the left side — has a bunker and a large collection area for anyone with a case of the pull-hooks.
Al's No. 1 Italian Beef
Soup & Sandwich
1079 West Taylor Street, Chicago, IL#11. Chicago, Illinois. We chomp into the world renowned Big Al Italian beef sandwich -- thin slices of oven-roasted beef dipped in au jus piled onto an 8-inch roll and topped with jardiniere, their special pepper relish.
Tee it up on lakefront holes at Chicago muni Sydney R. Marovitz MGC ( www.cdpgolf.com ). The good news is you get lake front holes for just $26 in greens fees. The bad news is it's only 9 holes, and the conditions are muni-like. Or, if you're in the Windy City is less-than-hospitable weather, head over to Play 18 Chicago ( www.play18Chicago.com ) for state-of-the-art indoor driving bays, or play a round at any of 50 famous courses on their PGA Tour simulators.
340 Faneuil Hall Market Pl, Boston, MA#10. Boston, Massachusetts. We visit Faneuil Hall's Durgin Park for a juicy prime rib so big, one plate isn't enough.
Head for Granite Links at Quarry Hills ( , $150). TravelGolf.com says, "Course architect John Sanford transformed a former landfill and quarry into a fascinating playground for golf. The first nine holes, called the Milton nine, opened in 2003. The Granite nine came a year later. The Quincy nine came on board in 2006, the same year as the clubhouse. The shingled Nantucket-style clubhouse and its outdoor balconies overlook a water-filled quarry."
Lulu's Bakery and Cafe
$ Bakery, Dessert / Ice Cream
918 Main Street, San Antonio, TX #9. San Antonio, Texas.
Dig your swing out of the dirt at The Quarry GC ( www.quarrygolf.com , $85), a special Keith Foster layout. The linksy front 9 builds the drama for the unique back, which was carved out of a former limestone quarry, with memorable tee carries and approaches over rock walls.
5913 W. Roosevelt Rd, Cicero, IL #8. Cicero, Illinois. We head outside of Chicago to discover a deep-fried calzone also known as the "pizza puff," the size of a football.
Work off that deep-fried calzone at Water's Edge GC ( www.watersedgegolf.com , Worth, $67), a parkland course lined with canopy trees designed by Rick Robbins with a consult from Gary Koch.
18300 FM 1826, Driftwood, TX #7. Driftwood, Texas.
The golf in Austin is too good to not splurge on one round. Matriculate on over to Grey Rock R&GC ( www.greyrockgolfclub.com , $100, Austin). Routed through Texas hill country, Jay Morrish's wide fairways are lined with grand mature oaks, with a back 9 heavy on doglegs.
Pat's King of Steaks
$ American Traditional, Soup & Sandwich
1237 East Passyunk Avenue, Philadelphia, PA
$ American Traditional, Soup & Sandwich
1219 South 9th Street, Philadelphia, PA #6 (tie). Phildaelphia, Pennsylvania. We visit Philly to witness a battle between 2 cheesesteak giants that's been waging for decades -- Pat's v. Geno's (located right across the street from one another).
Just a half hour over the Ben Franklin Bridge in South Jersey is Fat Guy's favorite course in Philly. Scotland Run ( www.scotlandrun.com , Williamstown, $95) is an adventure on the scale of Mike Stranz' Tobacco Road, with architect Stephen Kay's trademark winks to the whimsical Prestwick-style of Old Tom Morris. The first 8 holes are routed through the New Jersey pine barrens, while the final 10 are routed through a former sand quarry. Cart paths spill randomly into massive waste bunkers, and there are cape holes over 30-foot deep sand pits. Don't worry, there's a staircase down to the bottom if you don't clear it.
$$ American Traditional, Soup & Sandwich, Eastern European
205 E. Houston St., Manhattan, NY #5. New York, New York. We go to the Big Apple to try overstacked sandwiches at Katz's, home to some of the best pastrami in the world.
This is Manhattan. The best you're going to do without spending 2-plus hours in the car is a round on one of Chelsea Pier's simulators.
Fenton's Creamery and Restaurant
$ Dessert / Ice Cream
4226 Piedmont Ave, Oakland, CA #4. Oakland, California . We find out what makes the ice cream so special at Fenton's, where they've been scooping up Oakland's favorite sundaes for 115 years.
Tee it up at nearby Tilden Park GC ( www.tildenparkgc.com , Berkely, $64). This renenowned city course by architect William P. Bell in the Berkely hills features small greens.
$ Soup & Sandwich
46 18th Street, Pittsburgh, PA#3. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania . We check out Pittsburgh's legendary sandwiches at Primanti Brother's, where each of their signature creations are stuffed with coleslaw, tomato and fresh-cut fries.
This is Pittsburgh, so it's over a bridge, through a tunnel, and over a hill to the sporty Hickory Heights GC ( www.hickoryheightsgc.com , Bridgeville, under $50 prime time ride) with vertigo-inducing tee drops and a strong collection of ravine par-3's.
Roscoe's House of Chicken and Waffles
1518 North Gower St, Los Angeles, CA #2. Los Angeles, California . We head to Roscoe's in Los Angeles to sink our teeth into the best chicken and waffles in the country.
Griffith Park Golf Club's two regulation golf courses – the Wilson and Harding layouts – have been testing golfers since the mid-1920s. Located within Griffith Park, one of the largest urban parks in the U.S., the golf club hosted the L.A. Open from 1937-39. Noted course architect George C. Thomas, Jr. designed Griffith Park's Wilson course and Harding course, and at $48 for non-residents, it's a great value for a piece of golf history. [TravelGolf.com]
263 Crown St., New Haven, CT #1. New Haven, Connecticut . We pay homage to the grandfather of all chow down spots -- Louis Lunch, the home of the very first ever hamburger.
Follow up your old school lunch with a throwback golf course, Alling Memorial GC ( , New Haven, $60). Fresh of a 2005 renovation, this classic parkland track is a good value. Tee times are first-come, first-served, so get there early.