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733 and counting

Local couple adds to list of golf courses played

Jayne and Ed Shannon’s passion for golf has led them to play on over 730 golf courses both here in this country and overseas. Photo credit: J.M. Simpson

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Ed Shannon was introduced to the game of golf while growing up in Providence, Rhode Island. "I played a bit as a caddy," he said.

Enlisting in the Army in 1963, he went on to serve in aviation logistics to include being an aircraft maintenance officer and test pilot for both rotary and fixed wing aircraft.

"A few years after my retirement in 1992, I got serious about golf."

So did his wife, Jayne.

Married two days after she graduated from nursing school, while he was attending Officer Candidate School, they began their life journey together.

"I did not serve in the military, but being married to a soldier we moved 18 times while Ed was on active-duty," she said. "We played very little golf due to the demands of the Army and raising our kids; we may have played two dozen times during the time he served."

After the Shannons left the Army, their interest in golf began to grow, and in due course they joined the Oakbrook Golf Club in Lakewood.

While recuperating from broken bones he suffered during a racquetball match in 2005, Shannon's wife suggested that to occupy his time he should track and count the golf courses he had played on. "I discovered I had played on over 300 golf courses," he said.

With that revelation, an idea was teed up -- why not see how many 18-hole courses they could play?

"While there actually was no specific goal set as to the number of courses to play, we determined to simply play as many courses as possible," he added.

Three hundred became 400, which in turn became 500, which in turn ... has become 733 for him and 455 for her. "It is wonderful to be able to do this together," he said.

The couple said the biggest challenge they face is finding new courses to play on in as much as they've played more than half of the golf courses in Washington state. "Now that I've played in excess of 700 golf courses, that challenge is more acute," he said.

In meeting the challenge, their golf trips have taken them to 34 states and overseas to Ireland and Scotland. Shortly, they will add a 734th course to their list as they will travel to Vancouver, Washington, to play on the Skamania Lodge Golf Course.

Asked to list his favorite courses, Shannon admitted, "It's totally subjective, but the way the course fits my eye and the surrounding beauty play a large part in my decision."

The Shannons keep their games sharp by playing two to three times a week. "It's good to have a hobby, a passion for something you like to do," she said. "You can't sit idle."

Ed Shannon's top-five golf courses he's played:
1. Old Head in Kinsale, County Cork, Ireland
2. Pacific Dunes, Bandon, Oregon
3. The Old Course, St. Andrews, Scotland
4. Greywolf at Panorama Resort, Panorama, British Columbia
5. Dalhousie Golf Club, Cape Girardeau, Missouri

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