If you think your summer travel schedule is hectic this year, you want reconsider.
Meet Harry Scott, a 78-year-old retired CPA from Somers Point, N.J. The young-at-heart former accountant is now moonlighting as a national traveler/golf enthusiast.
As of last Friday he was halfway through an incredible journey that will take to all 50 states — a journey that will require well over 20,000 miles of driving and a pair of planes rides — in just over a month and a half.
On May 1 Scott set out to achieve a personal goal that — while it can’t be confirmed — has most likely never been accomplished in the history of mankind.
Scott aims to play 50 rounds of golf in 50 states in 50 consecutive days, an ambitious goal for any golfer, let alone a 78-year-old, who just took up the sport 15 years ago.
You were warned. Your summer travel itinerary is nothing.
On a rainy Tuesday morning in Connecticut, Scott set out on his quest where he was promptly rained on for four straight days, a rough start for sure.
Last week Scott was in Platteville at the Platteville Golf and Country Club to complete the Wisconsin portion of his to-do list.
“The driving isn’t all that much fun, but I do enjoy seeing the country,” said Scott. “I know it’s not a big deal around here, but I still get a big kick out of crossing the Mississippi River every time I do it.”
Scott isn’t raising money. He isn’t even promoting a cause per say. His trip is about doing what he loves.
“The idea here is that golf can be played by all ages and all skill levels,” he explained. “I’m not a great golfer by any stretch, but that doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy it as much as the next guy. And I like to travel and see new places.”
In 1995 Scott, who was widowed five years ago last week, traveled the country and saw a Major League Baseball game at all 28 stadiums in 28 consecutive days. Two years ago he did it again — this time with 30 stops as baseball expanded in 1998 adding franchises in Tampa and Phoenix.
While Scott has been a lifelong traveler, he didn’t pick up the clubs until 15 years ago, well after his eight children were grown and only after he had put away the calculator, spread sheets and tax brackets after a long rewarding career as an accountant.
“I didn’t have time to play when I was younger,” Scott added. “Golf takes up too much time when you are raising a family and working.”
So what brought him to Platteville?
“Logistics had a lot to do with it, but the Platteville Country Club has a good reputation,” said Scott. “All of the courses on my list are full 18-hole courses, no par 3s or nine-hole courses, and they have to be at least 6,000 yards from the white tees. The idea is to play a wide variety of courses including private clubs, college courses and munis.”
Scott usually shoots in the 90s these days, but he didn’t want to disclose his score from Friday’s round in Platteville.
“I played fairly well, but I don’t want to say my score,” he said. “I can hit a good shot here or there, but it’s difficult to score well when I play a different course every day, that I’ve never seen before.”
Scott was in Rockford, Ill. on Thursday and set out for Albert Lee, Minn. immediately after Friday’s interview with The Journal. Sunday he played in Altoona, Iowa and picked up a friend Dave Bozarth, who will travel with him for the next week.
The friends drove 375 miles to Carthage, Mo., for an early Memorial Day morning tee time. Then it’s was on to Pine Bluff, Ark., for Tuesday and Greenville, Miss. on Wednesday.
Scott will conclude his tour through the continental 48 states in Bremerton, Wash. before catching a flight to Hawaii. He will finish his trip with a late night round of golf in Wasilla, Alaska on June 19, hoping to hole out on the 18th at 11 p.m. — roughly one hour before the 50th day of his journey ends.
His progress can be followed on-line on the golf page of the Press of Atlantic City website (http://www.pressofatlanticcity.com).