If you are a long-time golfer, you have surely stumbled across golf courses that wowed you beyond expectations – most likely because you had no expectations. That feeling of serendipity and discovery is at the heart of why I have just launched a new web site, OffTheBeatenCartPath.com. There you will find reviews from average golfers of unexpected gems that are unknown outside their local community and under-appreciated by the rest of us because we have never heard of them. They may not be difficult to get to – indeed my favorite such golf course, Keney Park, is “hidden” in plain sight in the city of Hartford, CT – but they certainly are worth going a little out of the way to play.
I purchased the web site OffTheBeatenCartPath more than a decade ago from another devoted golfer. There is a small trove of reviews from the mid 2000s at the site that span a number of states and provide enough guidance to consider playing those courses; I have checked, and they are all still in business. (Given the golf industry’s woes of recent years, these survivor golf courses are likely to be very good indeed.)
I want OffTheBeatenCartPath.com to feature as many reviews by our readers as possible and, over time, to inspire some of you to “show off” your hidden gems to other readers who may be passing through your area. (I extend an invitation to play with me at Keney Park to any of you who might be in the Hartford, CT, area. The first post-round drink will be on me.)
In coming weeks and months, I intend to build other features into the site, including short recommendations for a pre- or post-round meal; and since life is not all about golf (nyuk, nyuk), we might add some local color to our reviews. And we certainly intend to expand the number of states that feature excellent golf off the beaten path.
Mostly, though, I hope OffTheBeatenCartPath will inspire others to share their favorite local golf courses with the rest of us. Send us your ideas through the web site and we will make it as easy as possible to post your review. And don’t worry about writing skills; I spent 40 years in a career that included editing, and I enjoy the art of wordsmithing.
I look forward to seeing you off the beaten cart path.