Following the fantastic Episode 156 of the “Talking GolfGetaways” podcast episode with golf writer and author Jay Revell, hosts Mitch Laurance and Darin Bunch share a fun and informative Emergency 9 golf-travel quiz with Revell, whose recent book “The Nine Virtues of Golf” has vaulted to the top of Amazon’s New Releases-Golf Books list.
Revell, as captivating a storyteller as you’ll find, in person as well as in his writing, begins the E9 by explaining why Ballyneal, the Tom Doak-Renaissance Golf Design gem in Eastern Colorado, is his Favorite Course or Destination. He then splits the answer for what tops his bucket list between Scotland and a certain well-known course on the Central California coast. “If there’s anyplace in America, it’s Cypress Point,” Revell says of his deep appreciation for the work of Dr. Alister MacKenzie.
The question of Best Place You’ve Ever Stayed brings two more answers from Revell — Florida’s Streamsong, his absolute favorite golf-specific resort, and North Carolina’s Stewart Cabin at Tobacco Road, which sits hard by the 14th green with its peaceful and intimate setting. Revell also shares a great tip for a non-golf property with his mention of Clint Eastwood’s Mission Ranch Hotel in Carmel, Calif., which offers a reasonable price and wonderful experience near the golf treasures of the Monterey Peninsula.
Revell, full of information and opinions, keeps up his multiple responses when asked about the Single Best Thing He’s Eaten on a Trip, listing a pork shank-risotto combination at Streamsong’s SotoTerra restaurant; ribeyes and the green chile breakfast burritos at Ballyneal; and the great menu and bar of the Marion Hollins House behind the iconic Pasatiempo Golf Club in Santa Cruz, Calif.
The question of what’s the Most Important Thing on a Golf Trip, Besides the Golf and People brings out Revell’s relaxing side as he raves about Streamsong once again, this time highlighting the Spa with its whirlpools-steamroom-sauna combos, though he adds that the Solarium at Sea Island in Georgia might be the “best place in the world to take a nap.”
As a “die-hard walker” while playing golf, Revell’s choices for the One Piece of Golf Apparel You Can’t Live Without” come down to shoes, including the True Linkswear Knits for dry weather and Puma’s membrane model for playing in inclement weather.
If you’ve read Revell’s book or his frequent contributions to such publications as The Golfer’s Journal or McKellar, you already know that he’s a very flexible 1.5 handicap player, preferring to enjoy the game from different tee boxes and getting enjoyment wherever he happens to tee it up.
Revell has played with many partners, but when asked Who Is The Most Interesting Person You’ve Played Golf With, he shares the joy he had playing with former U.S. Poet Laureate Billy Collins at the Winter Park 9 course after good friend and fellow author extraordinaire Tom Coyne, who had fallen ill, passed that opportunity on to Revell. He calls Collins a “genuine guy, a lover of golf, with a truly eloquent way of framing things.”
Revell’s home club in Tallahassee, Fla., is the Capital City Country Club, is a club that was founded in 1908, with a nine-hole course first laid out in the 1920s and later expanded to 18 holes by legendary architect A.W. Tillinghast. Revell’s obvious love for the club is evident as he explains why it’s the One Golf Course He Wishes Everyone Knew About.
Finally, and fittingly for this terrific storyteller, Revell shares his Best Golf Course Story with a full recap of his lowest round, a personal best accomplished in the second round one day during the coronavirus pandemic, part of a 104-hole golf marathon during that 3 day span. It’s a perfect ending to a most enjoyable Emergency 9 with one of our game’s most passionate and articulate scribes.
—Words by Mitch Laurance