It’s the day after Christmas, and all through the house, it’s time to take out the Christmas trash and begin planning for your best ever year in golf, 2018.

Perhaps you’ll want to end the year with a golfing quick-trip, in which case I recommend the easy drive to the Golden Nugget in Lake Charles, where you can find fun, food, entertainment, gambling and golf — something for the entire family.

The Country Club at Golden Nugget was ranked 35th on Golfweek’s list of best casino courses for 2017. Given its Galveston connection, I like to think of a trip there as an investment in our own community. Playing the golf course is a guaranteed winner.

If travel does not appeal to you, but warming up for 2018 and your best-ever golfing year does, help yourself to a heaping helping of our area courses. If you haven’t played all of them, commit to teeing up at the ones you’ve not visited.

If you are just visiting the area for the holidays and want to tee up, Galveston County offers a variety of golfing experiences.

The Galveston Country Club, one of the oldest courses anywhere, is not only friendly (if you are driving it well), but can also boast of having hosted some of the most famous entertainers and athletes the country has ever known. It was also a favorite of former President George H.W. Bush during his golfing years. Plus, the menu and bar are both well stocked and tasty.

Nearby Moody Gardens Golf Course is as fine a public course as you will ever play. The family can drop you off and visit the pyramids or take in a movie while you feed your golf hunger.

Across the bay into Texas City, Bayou Golf Club offers a challenging 18 holes plus a brand new nine-hole pitch-and-putt course.

A bit further up the road, Beacon Lakes features night golf — which if you have never tried is a really different and fun experience.

On one side of League City is the 27-hole links course set up off of Magnolia Creek, with appropriate names England, Ireland and Scotland. On League City’s east side is South Shore Harbour, where you can get your fill of golf, and then retreat to Kemah and Boardwalk of sights, shops and restaurants. The Chaparral Club is a nine-hole experience sure to entice you to play another nine.

If you are a local golfer and have played all those courses in the past year, but don’t care to drive over to Louisiana, broaden your horizons by visiting The Wilderness in Lake Jackson, Eagle Pointe in Mont Belvieu or Timber Creek, which is just barely not in Galveston County but feels like the Carolina pines.

Regardless of whether and where you decide to play, be sure to check course conditions in advance.

Or, perhaps you might like to just watch some of the many meaningless, poorly attended bowl games that lead up to the primo, not quite so meaningless bowl games that precede the national collegiate championship game that settles, well, nothing.

SETTLED

Steve Barkman, Wayne Henderson, David Alexander and Mike Olsteen settled matters in last week’s senior scramble at Bayou Golf Club by carding a 12 under par 60 to edge by one shot the team of Marc Napier, Charlie Campbell, Gary Potter and Ray Voss. Nothing like a lagniappe cash at Christmas!

UNSETTLING

If you have decided to watch some of those meaningless bowl games, I recommend filling in the meaningless halftime minutes by googling “The Front 9,” which is the official newsletter of the PGA Tour.

Find “15 of the best and worst trick shots of 2017,” and be prepared to be absolutely amazed at what some people can do with a golf club and ball. And what they can’t.

“ONE”

That was a great song by Three Dog Night. While I am relatively certain that group in no way intended to connect to golf, the part that goes “One is the loneliest number that you’ll ever do” does have relevance. Tune in next week for details.

Be safe, on and off the course.

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