America’s Guest

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So I’m watching golf this weekend and realize that the PGA Travelers Championship is being played at TPC River Highlands in Cromwell, Connecticut.  I then realize that I played that course one Friday on the way to do a Lafayette game against Harvard or Yale (I don’t remember which).  I also remember playing the TPC course in New Jersey and the TPC Potomac at Avonel Farm, again through my Lafayette ties.

This got me to thinking about some of the great courses I have had the privilege of playing.  So I went to this site: https://golf.com/travel/best-golf-courses-pennsylvania-2020-2021-ranking/ and saw the list of the top 20 golf courses in Pennsylvania.  I was shocked to discover that I had played or will play EIGHT of them, including four of the top five.  I was also shocked that I never PAID to play ANY of them.  Allow me to explain.

My good friend, Joe (I’m not sure he would want me to use his last name), a company president and RCN customer, gave me the moniker “America’s Guest” during one of the many rounds I played with him.  He came up with this name when he realized how my job often allowed me to play in charity tournaments paid for by the company.  Since he belonged to four different courses – Saucon Valley, Aronimink, Manufacturers, and the Philadelphia Cricket Club – he was not jealous, just amazed that I was able to play so many courses without paying, thus the term “America’s Guest”.  Here is a brief history of my journey through the very best courses in the state:

#20 –   Saucon Valley Grace – I have played this course many times as an invited guest, on media press day, or as part of a company-supported charity event.  Any time you are heading to Saucon Valley for golf, it is a special day.

#16 – Lehigh Country Club – This one is a yearly Sacred Heart charity event that RCN supports and graciously asks me to play.  Who am I to say no?

#14 – Saucon Valley – Old – This great golf course has been the venue of many PGA events with the Senior Open coming up next year.  Each of these events called for Press days where the tournament specifics were offered up followed by lunch and a round on the golf course.  I am guessing that I have played the Old Course at least half a dozen times.  It is hard to believe there are 13 better courses in Pennsylvania.

#11 – Saucon Valley – Weyhill – This is the most exclusive of the three Saucon Valley courses and is the best.  Recent renovations have made it even better and more challenging.  I have played here by invitation only and have appreciated every one of those invitations.

#5 – Fox Chapel (Pittsburgh) – Another Joe (again, I will refrain from using his last name) invited me and a Lafayette colleague to travel to Pittsburgh.  We played in a Coca-Cola tournament on Thursday at Fox Chapel.  I managed to get Mets-Pirates tickets that night for the three of us through Mets catcher, Brian Schneider.  Joe is a huge baseball fan and I was so glad I could contribute something to the two days.  I’ll tell you about the next day shortly.

#4 – Philadelphia Cricket Club – Wissahickon – This is where the first Joe comes in.  I will be playing the Philadelphia Cricket Club on Friday, July 2.  Joe is always a terrific host and I look forward to another great day on another great golf course.

#3 – Aronimink – Joe again.  This time I played with the President of the Club and my Lafayette colleague and Joe.  It was a member-guest tournament.  My greatest memory was a par-three hole where I put my tee shot about six inches from the hole, tapped in for a two, got a stroke based on my handicap, and won a “skin” with a “net” hole-in-one.  My actual greatest memory was playing this golf course.  It is one of the most renowned courses in the country, not just Pennsylvania.

#1 – Oakmont – We culminated our weekend in Pittsburgh on Friday morning, playing the #1 course in Pennsylvania.  This occurred due to the generosity of Coca-Cola Joe.  He, too, is an amazing host.  Valet parking, lunch, a caddy with a great sense of humor, and one of the world’s great (and most difficult courses) made this a day to always remember and cherish.  I spent more time in sand traps than I wanted, but did not mind so much.

So I am forever indebted to a couple of “Joes” and to RCN for creating the opportunities to experience golf at its zenith.  I’m not quite sure why I was the recipient of such generosity, but I will tell you there is no downside.  Trust me, it is great to be “America’s Guest”. 

ABOVE THE EARS (SOME MUSINGS)

  1. What will the Eagles end up doing with Zach Ertz? His days in Philly are supposedly over, but the next stage is taking a long time to happen.  No one wants his contract or a high trade price.  Teams, I think, are just waiting for him to be released before he is picked up.  This has become a mini-series.
  1. So the Phillies stop Jacob deGrom’s shutout streak at 31 innings by scoring two runs and raising his ERA to an amazingly low 0.69. The Phils lost anyway.
  1. It is still hard to fathom that both the 76ers and the Nets are out of the Eastern NBA Finals. With all that star power and talent, who would have believed this would happen?  The Atlanta Hawks and the Milwaukee Bucks have not won a title for a combined 113 years.  Yet, they are in the Eastern Finals.
  1. Tuesday, June 29, our Blue Mountain League Game of the Week features two teams in the top echelon of the standings – Northampton Giants at Hellertown Royals. It is on LIVE at 6:00pm.  The BML shuts down for July 4th week.  We will be back on July 13.
  1. There will be no blog next week due to the July 4th Enjoy your family and stay safe.

 

 

Gary Laubach About Gary Laubach

Gary began his broadcasting career with Twin County in 1972. Twin County eventually became C-TEC and then RCN. Gary holds the dual role of Director of Media Services and Sports Director/Broadcaster. He currently broadcasts about 140 sports and entertainment broadcasts a year, and oversees the scheduling of all sporting events for RCN.

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