A tour of the crib

 In this episode of Go Around with Alexandra O’Laughlin, Alexandra takes a break from her travels to spend some time at home in Orlando, Florida. Alexandra brings you along to all her usual Orlando stops including her home and Golf Channel HQ.  

An inside look at Chicago Golf Club

Chicago Golf Club was 45 mins from my college campus...so close but so far! I dreamt of playing and only knew stories from fellow golf lovers who were fortunate to have played.

 

Over the last three years of expanding my course experiences, my admiration for C.B. Macdonald and Raynor is off the charts and my desire to make the trip to Wheaton, IL grew stronger. I knew it would be special if I got the opportunity to play. Yesterday it happened!!

 

No phones allowed on site, but my mind is filled with images of the raw, natural fairways, intimidating approach shots, and the spectacular squared off greens and green complexes. 

 

I was able to hit some bombs off the tee and for the most part stayed out of trouble...it’s the second shot where things get incredibly interesting and tricky. *definitely do not tell your playing partner ‘good shot’ until the ball has COMPLETELY stopped* 😬

 

The phrase “far and sure” is on the merch and ball markers...after playing a few holes it makes sense.

No lasers allowed. The caddy program is kept strong. 20 young adults were lined up ready to work when I showed up at 7am. First to put their name on the list gets a loop. My caddy Ryan works six days a week and goes back a seventh to utilize his playing privileges on Mondays.

Every par 3 was interesting (wind adding to the challenge). It was rewarding when shots ended up next to the pin..and humbling when it quickly became a three putt. I proudly shot an 81 (loving my new swing @killengolf!)...the joke on the first tee was that if you’re a 3 handicap somewhere else, you’re a 10 here.

Chicago Golf Club is a course you need to play a handful of times to begin understanding, but as my host said- you never fully will. No matter the course though...golf is a game I’ll play forever and always be surprised♥️

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Episode 1 in the UK and Ireland

 

Alexandra’s summer in the UK, where she plays in the R&A Open Links Invitational, travels to the Irish Open and Scottish Open, plays the Old Course at St Andrews, and ends up at Royal Portrush for The Open. The episode features cameos from Niall Horan, Conor Moore, Patrick Cantlay, Jordan Spieth, Brodie Smith, Miguel Angel Jimenez and more.

Episode 5 in South Korea

 

Alexandra O’Laughlin travels to South Korea to check out the PGA TOUR’S CJ Cup at Nine Bridges on Jeju Island, and even gets to tee it up herself at the Nine Bridges tournament course. During her trip, Alexandra immerses herself in the culture, mingles with PGA TOUR players, and makes a few birdies along the way.

New York & the Gary Player Invitational
 

Go Around goes to New York, where Alexandra O’Laughlin tees it up in the famed Gary Player Invitational at Glen Arbor Golf Club with Stuart Appleby and visits NBC at 30 Rock and the place to work on your game in the concrete jungle. 

TPC Sawgrass' Famed 17th Hole

 

In this episode of Golf Channel's World’s Hardest Holes Alexandra O’Laughlin plays TPC Sawgrass’ famed 17th hole ahead of THE PLAYERS Championship.

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Masters chat with 3x Masters Champion: Gary Player
 

Gary Player is a Masters Champion three times, runner up three times, top ten fourteen times, most number of cuts in a row... and so much more. 

 

What a pleasure to catch up with Gary Player before the 2020 Masters! 

Click here to watch the full interview.

Reversible 9 in Michigan compared to Pine Valley. 
 

Mike Keiser’s first golf course (pre-Bandon Dunes days)....the DUNE’S CLUB😍

nine holes of absolute magic🌟

It wasn’t even a question to make the trip...just a questionable turn into the course as it was unmarked and hidden behind beautiful overgrown shrubbery.

 

I typically spend extra time on 1 tee box to figure out where I should play from. It’s always an internal struggle because I want to play back where the rest of the group is, but not have hybrids and long irons into every green.

Oddly enough I saw no tee markers...hence their handle being-@no_tee_markers 😝 It’s made to be a match play golf course. The winner of the hole chooses where to hit from next. And there are A LOT of tee box options...spanning from different elevations, yardages, and angles. This makes it possible to play 18 and feel like you haven’t seen the holes before.

It’s quiet, secluded and a stunning walk down the fairway- or occasionally through the trees depending on your tee shot. I only passed by one member on the course who invited Assistant Superintendent, Paul Ciccarelli (who we had the privilege of having on the bag) to join him for some holes later in the evening. Made up of mainly Chicago-land members, the Dunes Club gets roughly 25-30 rounds a day according to Tom who has been caddying for 12 years there with his son....”great bonding because we are typically in the same group.”

Paul also beams with joy as he shares how much he loves his job and that his family lives 5 minutes away and gets to see them for lunch most days....probably a nice change from the hustle and bustle of Los Angeles where he worked before at Riviera.

Coming down the last hole I hit my best drive (see above⬆️ 💣)

After the round, Paul showed me ball makers he makes by hand from reclaimed wood on property. He kindly urged me to pick one out. On the back of the half American flag/half smiley face circular wood chip it read “aim better”....extremely fitting for my habit I’m fighting to overcome of aiming too far right.

I left Michigan seeing another side of golf and how creativity plays such a huge role in all aspects of the game. Excited to play more of these 9 hole courses!!

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