A few years back, I played a New York State golf association State Days event at the Robert Trent Jones golf course at Cornell University. The reasoning was simple; I had never qualified for NYS public high school states back in the day and the course is private. I wanted to see one of RTJ’s earliest layouts.

I didn’t count on having a great time and actually finishing in the money (all right, in the pro shop cash.) I learned that not all the great golfing folks of the Empire state play in state championships; many of them enjoy a bit of competition and the opportunity to play some terrific courses.

Let me whet your appetite for 2012 golf with these two names: Transit Valley (East Amherst) and Stafford (Batavia). Transit was designed by Donald J. Ross’ foreman, while Stafford owes its bloodlines to Walter J. Travis. Both courses figure in the early part of the NYSGA State Days schedule (found here.) If you’ve not played them, you’ll certainly want to. I’ll be at Stafford for sure and I might make the scene later on at Mohawk GC in Schenectady. I’d love to qualify for the championship at Yahnundasis in Rome, another Walter Travis design, but that’s a bridge to be crossed later.

Make a call to a few of your friends and get a group together to play in a State Days event in 2012. My suspicion is, you’ll be hooked.