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Pebble Beach

For some, drinking helps calm the nerves on the golf course. For others, like me, it doesn’t help until after the round. Some people will drink beer on the golf course (or after) but there are many specialty drinks and specifically unique bars around the world of golf that are worthy you calling in some favors and possibly using up some of that pile of frequent flyer miles that you have been stashing. Here’s a list of some of the best places (and things to) drink in the world of golf…

Planter’s Punch At Fishers Island

Fishers Island is one of the harder courses to get invited to play in America. The Seth Raynor track is on an island that is technically in New York but is a lot closer to Connecticut in terms of overall proximity. No matter how you play it, you likely will take a boat to get to Fishers Island be it from The Hamptons in Long Island (about 40 min) or from New London, Connecticut (about 10 minutes). When you arrive at the dock on the 17th tee prepare for one hell of a golf experience. The course, like National Golf Links in South Hampton, New York has all of the classic holes such as a redan, a Biarritz, a punch bowl and more. Their signature drink is the Planter’s Punch which is a blue-ish concoction that is fruity, summery and goes down way too easily. They bring coolers of their signature cocktail out and the members tend to make sure the drinks flow freely.

The Maidstone

Right across the Long Island Sound is the toney neighborhood of The Hamptons. There are so many amazing but somewhat tricky courses to get out at, private courses in the Hamptons including: Shinnecock, National Golf Links, Sebonack, Friars Head and the topic of this drink expose: Maidstone. Maidstone is a super-fun course to play and like Fishers Island, comes with a beach club for those who would rather chill than golf. The course has been updated by Coore-Crenshaw who build nearby Friars Head which is also a gem. Their drink “the Maidstone” is a closely kept secret as to what is in it. With a more lemonade or margarita like coloring you will fund rum, lime and some sort of simple syrup although there seems to be more to it. I don’t care what you shot, a “Maidstone” or two is well in order after a walk around this lofty track.

Best Drinkers Club: East Coast Edition

Staying in Long Island for one more segment, Garden City Men’s Club is another fantastic, links-style course that has two rules. 1. You must wear your blue jacket at all times in the club house (and they don’t mess around with this) and 2. No women (other than some rare exceptions). The course is better than its Top 100 ranking and like Maidstone, has gotten some modern updates from Coore-Crenshaw. As for drinking, I asked what is their signature drink and the bartender said “we don’t have one but we can make all of the drinks from the other courses out here”. And he wasn’t kidding. The course ends on a Par-3 hole and the members sit outside and often heckle their buddies. Do yourself a favor if you get to play Garden City… get a limo to and from. Trust me.

Best Drinkers Club: West Coast Edition

Another course that should have an Uber-only policy is Bel Air Country Club. This is one of the big three George Thomas designed courses in Los Angeles (Los Angeles Country Club and Riviera being the other two) and with all due respect, Bel Air Country Club is the best of the drinkers club. It isn’t uncommon to see the likes of Dodgers announcer Vin Scully chatting it up with NFL announcer, Al Michaels. Before the USC scandal, designer Massimo was “the Mayor of Bel Air” holding court over their outside balconies. Their drink of chose is Cuervo La Familia tequila. It is reported that no one location drinks more of the oak-aged and scotch-like tequila than Bel Air. Many of the big money games at Bel Air come complete with bets that include hammering a shot of the expensive tequila before a “press”. Talk about added pressure.

When In Nebraska, Drink Scotch

ScotchWe’ve mentioned a lot of Coore-Crenshaw courses here on this list but Sand Hills is not just the first project for the design team, it is their highest ranked on the Golf Magazine Top 100 at no. 9. The course is built into ancient sand dunes and located truly in the middle of nowhere. When I say the middle of nowhere – I mean it. Mullen,  Nebraska is about 1:30 away from North Platte which is the closest place that you can fly into be it private or commercial. There are about 400 people in Mullen and there isn’t much to do there other than golf on the property, eat the best dead cow of your life and drink scotch. And when I mean drink scotch, I am not kidding. Their bar (and no, you aren’t leaving the property to go somewhere else) is stocked with over 130 single malt scotches. It is like a library of liquid awesomeness.

Cabo Wabo

CaboWhat if you want to skip all of this fancy, foo-foo drinks and get down to a beer in paradise? What if you don’t want to (or can’t) call in favors at the country’s best, most exclusive clubs? You aren’t left out in the cold. Not by a long shot. At the Jack Nicklaus designed Cabo Del Sol, their shrimp tacos are served at the turn and they don’t suck. And in an icy bowl, are freezing cold Pacificos and slices of lime. In the Cabo heat and overlooking the ocean, I could see you calling it a day and putting down some serious tacos and cervesas.

One In A Lifetime Drinks At Pebble Beach

For many of us in Southern California, the five hour drive up the coast or the 44 minute private jet trip to Carmel is on par with the best of golf trips including The Hamptons. At the center of the golf Mecca in Carmel is Pebble Beach which hosts the AT&T every year and a U.S. Open every 10 years. The course is a classic even if it has a small number of clunker holes. The experience is top notch and must be experienced by all golf travelers who like the finer things in life. From a booze perspective, there are so many ways to go. A bottle of Peter Michael Chardonnay and two dozen cold-water oysters in the main lobby after around at the Holidays (complete with the decked-out Christmas tree) is over-the-top good. But if you want to go big time, Pebble was one of the few places other than the 21 Club in Manhattan to buy at auction a complete flight of 25 year Macallan scotches. They brought us out a Macallan 1939 (in the cask for 25 years and the bottle after that) that was $2,000 a shot. We got to smell it but my Black Card doesn’t have enough limit for $2,000 a pop scotch. Everybody knows that.

A Milkshake Isn’t A Cocktail But…

At Jack Nicklaus’ home course in Columbus, Ohio Muirfield Village, they are known for having the best milk shake anywhere. As somebody who tries to eat carefully, I tried avoiding said milkshake when our group was staying on property at the PGA Tour stop. When the waiter found out during breakfast that I didn’t have their shake, he got pissed off and went and got me one. Simply put: they should come up with a new name for this as it was so much better than any milkshake that I’ve ever had that it wasn’t funny. The fact that my gut was hanging out over my golf pants for the 36 holes that we played that day (Scioto and Ohio State Scarlet Course) is beside the point. That was one fine milk shake.

With all of this talk about tasty drinks at even more tasty golf courses, I am feeling a heading to an AA meeting is in order. Remember, if you are going to drink it up – get an Uber to and from the course.