By Jim Vinerman Particular for the Publish-Dispatch
Mark Shoup has the right combination of pursuits for his purpose of taking part in every of the 386 golf programs in Missouri. He loves sports activities, began taking part in when he was 10 years previous. He loves his residence 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 taking part in 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 thought for his private golf tour was born when he would journey between Kansas Metropolis and St. Louis and cross by means of the Halfway Golf Complicated west of Columbia alongside Interstate 70. “I all the time felt like I might moderately cease and play the course,” he remembers.
His alternative to cease at Colombia turned a actuality when he retired in 2014 and shortly was a purpose 386 occasions greater than taking part in a course. Schupp started taking part in golf for his purpose in 2016, and by 2019 had performed virtually all hyperlinks within the state earlier than the remaining programs have been placed on maintain attributable to COVID.
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At present, Shoup has 9 extra programs left to play, which he’ll do within the fall. “Not solely does Missouri have a listing of programs for any degree of participant, however we’ve among the greatest programs within the nation,” he says. “There might simply be many golf trails arrange like these in different states.”
He often used a cart each time doable 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 is no sluggish group forward, after which I depart that gap.” As soon as golf equipment discovered of his quest to play at programs throughout Missouri, privateers additionally let him in.
Schupp quickly realized that he would wish 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 School. 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.
Need 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 overview pops up, together with images and key stats like course size, variety of holes, web site, cellphone quantity, and extra.
Notably attention-grabbing is the map the place Missouri programs are discovered. “It would not matter the place you’re within the state, one course, or a number of near you,” Shoup says whereas a pc printout from the web site. “Listed here 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 ranking and 5 balls have the very best ranking.
“I’m notably proud that the membership’s professionals have advised 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 attempting 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 anybody State. ,
“Frankly, I am undecided which is more difficult,” he says. “I’m so envious. Anybody who may very well 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 shocked to study that it’s free to make use of. “We get about 50,000 hits a yr and when you do a search on ‘opinions of golf programs in Missouri,’ we would be the first ones to indicate up,” he says. “However I have not carried out it to earn a living, though there is no doubt that I might. I see it as a useful gizmo for golfers and a technique to enhance the state. I like the game and I am comfortable to do it.”
St. Louis County State Senator Brian Williams is a typical ardent consumer and fan of Shoup’s web site. Taking part in golf repeatedly for 3 years, Williams makes use of it to preview the programs he’s involved in taking part in and to find out if they’re a very good match for his degree of play.
“It is surprisingly straightforward to make use of, even when you’re not tech savvy,” he says. “Mark has images of each course, describes gala’s and greens, and generally 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 among the few to earn Shoup’s high ranking of “5 balls”. Their overview states that it’s “the ‘Mona Lisa’ of the Missouri golf course. The views are gorgeous, and each element was thought of when designing and sustaining the course.”
The Rivercut Municipal Golf Course, owned by town of Springfield, can also be one in every of his favorites. His overview rated the course at 4 balls and stated 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 personal Dalhousie Golf Membership in Cape Girardo 4 and a half balls, and it makes their record as one of many high personal programs within the state. Bellerive in City and Nation can also be one of many high 5 personal programs and receives related scores, whereas St. Louis Nation Membership earns high 5 honors and a four-ball ranking.
Schupp is a member of Norwood Nation Membership in Jennings, by 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 may all the time exit to play with minimal ready, and every course may be very completely 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 showcase, 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 bushes in surprising locations are particularly memorable. At New Madrid Nation Membership, 84 yards from the tee proper in the course of the golf green within the tenth gap there’s a large tree with no house on both aspect.
Throughout a fairway at Windmill Golf Course in Clark is a stand of mature bushes. “The opening it’s 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 one in every of his favourite programs within the state. “It is not simply golf. The within of the clubhouse resembles a rural dance corridor. A wide range of native occasions and actions happen right here. Outdoors, there’s a horseshoe pit, a stage for dwell leisure and different actions If you would like a really completely different golf expertise, I believe it is definitely worth the drive.”
The native course in Fayette is a big space with nearly no separation between the holes. “There isn’t any roughness, or possibly no fairways. Who is aware of? The one break is a raised mound that is a tea field, and flat, spherical sandbags.”
“You would in all probability play from the again of a pickup truck,” Schupp continues, earlier than defending the course as a chance to play golf for this very rural neighborhood and change the city sq. and fantastically maintained county courthouse with Americana. as described.
Alongside the way in which Schupp has collected quite a lot of locations to eat, which generally make it into course opinions. Notable is the Fortunate Jay Steakhouse and Enviornment in Carthage, the place he dined overlooking an enviornment and watched cowboys and cowgirls prepare for rodeo competitions. “I simply bear 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 just a few journeys with me and makes preparations to satisfy 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 usually information scores between 78 and 88. At present his handicap is 10.8, he says, including that he has been “taking part in 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 ranking:
Schupp’s High 5 Personal Programs:
1. Porto Border, Dawn Seaside
3. Bellerive, City and Nation
4. St. Louis Nation Membership
5. Dalhousie, Cape Girardo
Schupp’s High 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