By Jim Vinerman Particular for the Submit-Dispatch
Mark Shoup has the right combination of pursuits for his objective of enjoying every of the 386 golf programs in Missouri. He loves sports activities, began enjoying when he was 10 years previous. He loves his dwelling state, has an innate curiosity to discover the again streets and loves to find uncommon locations to eat.
However extra importantly, Schup, 66, of Crave Coeur, feels that enjoying and reporting on each course is her manner of giving one thing again to the state the place she was born, graduated faculty and located success in enterprise. He was a model supervisor at Anheuser-Busch and later began his personal promoting company.
The concept for his private golf tour was born when he would journey between Kansas Metropolis and St. Louis and move by way of the Halfway Golf Complicated west of Columbia alongside Interstate 70. “I all the time felt like I might somewhat cease and play the course,” he recollects.
His alternative to cease at Colombia turned a actuality when he retired in 2014 and shortly became a objective 386 occasions greater than enjoying a course. Schupp started enjoying golf for his objective in 2016, and by 2019 had performed nearly all hyperlinks within the state earlier than the remaining programs had been placed on maintain because of COVID.
Individuals are studying…
Right this moment, Shoup has 9 extra programs left to play, which he’ll do within the fall. “Not solely does Missouri have an inventory of programs for any stage of participant, however now we have a few of the finest programs within the nation,” he says. “There might simply be many golf trails arrange like these in different states.”
He normally used a cart at any time when potential to play two to a few programs a day. “I play quick and attempt to play alone once I’m reviewing a course,” he says. “I play each gap till there isn’t any gradual group forward, after which I depart that gap.” As soon as golf equipment realized of his quest to play at programs throughout Missouri, privateers additionally let him in.
Schupp quickly realized that he would want an internet site if he was going to share his experiences with aspiring golfers, so he enrolled in a course on web site coding and design at Meramec Group Faculty. By no means thoughts that it took her 10 hours to finish in 10 minutes for her youthful classmates, because the result’s a user-friendly listing discovered at MoGolfTour.com.
Wish to know what programs are provided in any metropolis in Missouri? Click on on the web page that lists programs by metropolis, and the programs or programs seem in that metropolis. Then click on on a course and Shoup’s evaluate pops up, together with photographs and key stats like course size, variety of holes, web site, cellphone quantity, and extra.
Notably fascinating is the map the place Missouri programs are discovered. “It would not matter the place you might be within the state, one course, or a number of near you,” Shoup says whereas a pc printout from the web site. “Listed below are two programs within the decrease finish of the Missouri Boothel on the border with Tennessee, Arkansas and Kentucky, and right here within the reverse nook of the state, one close to the Missouri border with Iowa and Nebraska.”
Schupp additionally charges every course utilizing golf balls as an alternative of stars. One ball has the bottom score and 5 balls have the best score.
“I’m notably proud that the membership’s professionals have instructed me that my feedback on their course are correct and truthful,” says Shoup.
Jason Marciniak, the main golf professional at Norwood Hills, says he is aware of many individuals making an attempt to play the highest 50 or 100 programs ranked by Golf Digest, however he is by no means heard of anybody like that. , who has performed all of the programs in anyone State. ,
“Frankly, I am unsure which is more difficult,” he says. “I’m so envious. Anybody who might be keen to do that, and obtain it, is a stupendous achievement, and Mark has gone a step additional together with his web site.
Anybody utilizing the web site is stunned to be taught that it’s free to make use of. “We get about 50,000 hits a 12 months and if you happen to do a search on ‘opinions of golf programs in Missouri,’ we would be the first ones to indicate up,” he says. “However I have never performed it to become profitable, though there isn’t any doubt that I might. I see it as a great tool for golfers and a option to enhance the state. I like the game and I am pleased to do it.”
St. Louis County State Senator Brian Williams is a typical ardent consumer and fan of Shoup’s web site. Enjoying golf repeatedly for 3 years, Williams makes use of it to preview the programs he’s thinking about enjoying and to find out if they’re an excellent match for his stage of play.
“It is surprisingly straightforward to make use of, even if you happen to’re not tech savvy,” he says. “Mark has photographs of each course, describes gala’s and greens, and typically goes into the hospitality of the employees and the meals on the clubhouse.”
Amongst public programs in Missouri, the Buffalo Ridge Springs course in Branson is likely one of the few to earn Shoup’s high score of “5 balls”. Their evaluate states that it’s “the ‘Mona Lisa’ of the Missouri golf course. The views are gorgeous, and each element was thought-about when designing and sustaining the course.”
The Rivercut Municipal Golf Course, owned by the town of Springfield, can be considered one of his favorites. His evaluate rated the course at 4 balls and mentioned that “when the course was constructed the individual driving the bulldozer was an artist, taking a clean canvas of the river mattress and sculpting every gap into a unique murals.” In all places you look, one thing particular and distinctive occurs.”
Near St. Louis, Tapwingo in St. Louis County is ranked among the many high 5 public programs at Shoop’s within the state.
They rated the non-public Dalhousie Golf Membership in Cape Girardo 4 and a half balls, and it makes their listing as one of many high non-public programs within the state. Bellerive in City and Nation can be one of many high 5 non-public programs and receives related scores, whereas St. Louis Nation Membership earns high 5 honors and a four-ball score.
Schupp is a member of Norwood Nation Membership in Jennings, through which he ranks on 4 balls. “I’m proud to be a member for 2 causes,” he says. The primary two are 18-hole programs so you possibly can all the time exit to play with minimal ready, and every course could be very totally different.
“My second motive for becoming a member of Norwood Hills is due to the folks, each the employees and the members. They don’t exhibit, and I may even put on my flip flops to the bar. It’s definitely worth the worth of admission alone!”
As with all programs performed, there have been certain to be these with distinctive holes. The holes with timber in sudden locations are particularly memorable. At New Madrid Nation Membership, 84 yards from the tee proper in the midst of the golf green within the tenth gap there’s a big tree with no area on both aspect.
Throughout a fairway at Windmill Golf Course in Clark is a stand of mature timber. “The opening it is best to hit is about 180 inches” he says, nonetheless considerably in awe.
At Ellsberry on the Solar Valley Course, the fifth gap is a whopping 720 yards and a uncommon par 6.
Though Shoup rated Redneck Nation Membership in Holden as “a ball”, he says it’s considered one of his favourite programs within the state. “It is not simply golf. The within of the clubhouse resembles a rural dance corridor. Quite a lot of native occasions and actions happen right here. Outdoors, there’s a horseshoe pit, a stage for reside leisure and different actions In order for you a really totally different golf expertise, I feel it is definitely worth the drive.”
The native course in Fayette is a big space with nearly no separation between the holes. “There is not any roughness, or perhaps no fairways. Who is aware of? The one break is a raised mound that is a tea field, and flat, spherical sandbags.”
“You could possibly in all probability play from the again of a pickup truck,” Schupp continues, earlier than defending the course as a possibility to play golf for this very rural group and change the city sq. and superbly maintained county courthouse with Americana. as described.
Alongside the way in which Schupp has collected a wide range of locations to eat, which typically make it into course opinions. Notable is the Fortunate Jay Steakhouse and Area in Carthage, the place he dined overlooking an area and watched cowboys and cowgirls practice for rodeo competitions. “I simply keep in mind sitting there considering how uncommon it was to have dinner at a spot like that,” he says.
Schupp’s spouse Jill is a state senator. “She would not play, however has gone on a couple of journeys with me and makes preparations to fulfill native politicians and residents once I play,” Shoup says. “It is labored out effectively for him.”
Readers questioning how good golfer Shoup is will wish to know that he charges himself as “above common,” and says that he sometimes information scores between 78 and 88. At present his handicap is 10.8, he says, including that he has been “enjoying poorly of late.”
Variety of programs in Missouri: 386
Variety of Semi-Personal and Personal Programs: 141
Variety of Public Programs: 243
Variety of Navy Programs: 2
Programs to earn Schupp’s score:
Schupp’s Prime 5 Personal Programs:
1. Porto Border, Dawn Seaside
3. Bellerive, City and Nation
4. St. Louis Nation Membership
5. Dalhousie, Cape Girardo
Schupp’s Prime 5 Public Programs
1. Buffalo Ridge Springs, Branson
2. Tiffany Greens, Kansas Metropolis
3. Eagle Knoll, Hertsburgh
4. Shoal Creek, Kansas Metropolis
5. Tapavingo, Sundown Hills