Every golf course is unique. The bends of the fairway, unforgiving bunkers, water hazards, and quality and contours of the green makes each course special in its own way. It’s fun to explore a course and become familiar with its properties, but nothing compares to your first tee off at a new, unfamiliar course.
Chris Maynord from Austin, TX knows that feeling all too well. In June of 2013, Chris traveled to Scotland to play at the infamous Carnoustie Golf Links in Scotland. For most, simply being able to make this trip and visit Carnoustie would make for a successful journey. However, there was another reason why this trip was special for Chris. After nailing his final putt on hole 18 of Carnoustie, Chris had reached the remarkable milestone of playing his 500th unique golf course. That’s right, his 500th unique golf course!
When Chris began playing golf with his childhood friends at age twelve, he had no idea it would be such a big part of his adult life. Now, some 55 years later, Chris has played his favorite game in 28 states and 5 foreign countries, all leading up to his “golf trip of a lifetime” last June at Carnoustie.
While the list of courses played over his lifetime certainly includes the obscure, it also includes well-known courses such as St. Andrews, Whistling Straits, Pine Valley, Bandon Dunes, and Augusta National. There was also a seven-year period in which Chris lived in Nigeria, Russia, and China due to his career in agribusiness. This chapter of his life allowed Chris to play at some exotic courses including Ikoyi Club in Lagos, Nigeria, the Moscow Country Club in Russia, and the coastal Shilorean Club in Qingdao, China.
Chris on Swilican Burn Bridge on the Old Course at St. Andrews.
Chris has accrued many wonderful memories throughout his golf career, but one of his fondest is from a time when he was spectating, not playing. In 1988, Chris was attending the Masters in Augusta when he spotted Sandy Lyle at the practice range. Chris was fortunate enough to chat with him for a bit about a tournament in Nigeria in which Chris had played and Sandy had won ten years prior. As the start of the tournament was nearing, Chris wished Sandy good luck and went on his way. Chris was about to witness history. Sandy Lyle’s infamous bunker shot on the final hole set him up for a birdie putt to end the tournament, making him the first Briton to wear the green jacket.
Golf has given Chris many incredible experiences and numerous friendships over his lifetime. His milestone of playing at 500 unique courses is a testament to his dedication and love for the game of golf. It doesn’t seem he is slowing down either. Since June, Chris’s total has risen to 508 unique courses played, 25 of which are in the ClubCorp network!
At 67 years old, Chris has his eyes set on one day being able to “shoot his age.” In the meantime, we would like to congratulate Chris Maynord on his outstanding achievement of golfing at 500+ unique courses and wish nothing but the best for him as his journey continues.