A North Dakota man seeks to experience the distinctive landscapes and challenges of North Dakota golf courses round after round.
In 2019, Randy DeBolt, a retired military veteran, began a remarkable golf journey. Randy has golfed in 49 states, of which only Alaska remains, and played an impressive 622 courses around the world. However, after retiring from the Navy after 26 years, he decided to return to his home state, where his passion for the sport led him to set a unique goal – to play all 111 golf courses in North Dakota. As one of the best places to live for veterans and with the most classes per capita than anywhere else in the US, Randy has found a good life.
Currently, Randy has completed 93 of these courses and is committed to completing his mission over the next two years. Just like Lewis and Clark's legendary experiences, DeBolt set the stage for managing connections across the state using one map.
“I made a highway map of North Dakota and marked every town that had a golf course in yellow for one golf course and pink for two or more. Then I created a typed document and listed the cities with more than one course,” DeBolt explains. “I then created an Excel spreadsheet of all the places, with information about the places, e.g. B. when they were built, 9 or 18 holes, the architect (of the course), and then I divided the state into six regions to make it easier to plan trips and adventures to complete the search.”
A pop-up camper has assisted Randy on his journey, sometimes playing multiple courses in a day, but the relative ease of getting a tee time at most courses in North Dakota has also helped.
North Dakota native and pro golfer Tom Hoge said, “You would never think of Fargo, North Dakota as a major golf town. I have now seen many golf courses around the world and know how good I was there.”
Randy echoes this statement: “My favorite course is Minot Country Club, but what I've found from playing all of these courses is that they are just interesting playing holes that no one famous designed, just the locals in the community , who put a lot of time and effort into building something for the community to enjoy. I enjoy the anticipation of pulling into the parking lot and finding out what new adventure lies ahead.”
As proud sponsors of the Waste Management Phoenix Open, North Dakota Tourism and Find the Good Life in North Dakota through the North Dakota Department of Commerce are pleased to share Randy's inspiring story and his love of golf in North Dakota. This prestigious event provides an excellent platform to showcase Randy's dedication and the beauty of North Dakota's golf courses.