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Off The Beaten Cart Path is more than 10 years in the making; that is how long ago I bought the name of the web site and a collection of reviews and photos from a golfer who had big plans but not the free hours to match. Having played many out of the way golf courses both for pleasure and as part of my work at GolfCommunityReviews.com, I figured it would be a simple matter to maintain both sites at the same time.

It wasn’t, but Golf Community Reviews has become a little easier to manage over time as it has built its online reputation. Now, I finally feel confident that I can focus as well on posting reviews of surprisingly good layouts in places you might not expect to find them. The term "off the beaten cart path" does not mean “rural” or that the courses we will review require a long drive off the Interstate or a helicopter ride to play them. The courses we will feature are generally unknown to anyone but the local golfer.

The cart paths to golf courses we all know well, even if we have never set foot on the first tee there, are well worn. They are Pebble Beach, the Ocean Course at Kiawah Island, some of the Pinehurst Resort courses and other heralded and well-trafficked layouts (and green fees can be as much as 10 times the price of a lesser known but highly playable muni). Think of OFF the beaten cart path courses as those that will surprise and delight you, no matter where they are. You just may have never heard of them.

Spring CreekSpring Creek Golf Club, Zions Crossroads, VA

Some examples include two courses I played in September 2019 in Virginia. One, Spring Creek, is located in a fairly dense community of homes in a small town called Zions Crossroads. It is a modern layout that will delight those who appreciate fairways framed by bright white bunkers that also protect greens and pin positions, and putting surfaces that rival those at well-tended private clubs. The other course was The Foundry, a splendid, more classic layout with one of the most laid-back vibes you can imagine. Our threesome teed off at 9 on a gorgeous late summer morning, and we did not see another group the entire round. The Foundry is private, but if you have a pro at your course willing to call the pro at The Foundry, who knows? It is well worth a little strategic begging.

I hope you will enjoy our reviews and will consider either commenting about them or contributing your own review of a course you have played recently. Don’t worry if your prose is not like Herbert Warren Wind’s or George Peper’s; mine isn’t either. If your words need a little polishing, we have become pretty good at that. The important thing is that you share your thoughts about the courses you play off the beaten path, whether they are in city, town or way out there beyond both. We and our growing list of readers who love this wonderfully mind affecting game will thank you.

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The cart paths to golf courses we all know well, even if we have never set foot on the first tee there, are well worn. They are Pebble Beach, the Ocean Course at Kiawah Island, some of the Pinehurst Resort courses and other heralded and well-trafficked layouts (where green fees can be as much as 10 times the price of a lesser known but highly playable muni). Think of Off The Beaten Cart Path courses as those that will surprise and delight you, no matter where they are. You just may have never heard of them. 

Please help us add to the list of terrific yet largely unheralded golf courses.

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     Dreaming of a vacation home on a golf course?  How about a forever home a short walk to the first tee?  For 15 years, I have helped golfers find their perfect home on the course.  If you would like some recommendations that match your preferences for a golf home, please click here, fill out our Golf Home Questionnaire, and I will get back to you in a few days with some ideas.  By the way, it’s free.
Larry Gavrich,
Editor