Most golfers dream of the opportunity to play any of America’s 100 Greatest Courses. Mark Greer has played 95 of them, and he has the souvenirs to prove it. Some might opt to collect ball-markers, hats, or shirts from these courses as a keepsake, but Greer chose to collect a more unique item: divot-repair tools. “Divot-repair tools will never wear out or go out of style like shirts and pullovers, although I have tons of those too.” He’s got a point.
Greer’s divot-repair tool collection represents far more than just proof of an impressive golf course resume, as they are really about the memories and many friends he has met along the way. “There are a lot of fond memorials when I look at these tools. I’ve met so many great people who’ve helped me along the way. Just about every one of those tools reminds me of a person. Someone who hosted me or helped me access a course. Friends who’ve traveled with me. Buddy trips. So many fun times!”
When asked Mark if he had a personal favorite from his extensive collection, he didn’t have to think too much about it. “That’s easy: Augusta National, Pine Valley and Cypress Point. Not only are their divot tools my favorites, but those are my favorite courses that I’ve played as well. And they are my best experiences in golf. Better than any tournament I’ve won.” These are not surprising choices, as Pine Valley, Augusta and Cypress, are currently ranked first, second and third in our most recent rankings.
Greer, one of Golf Digest’s course-ranking panelists, doesn’t use any of these special tools for normal rounds. In fact, there’s only one he uses, and it’s the first tool that started his collection.
“I grew up in Richwood, W. Va., which is about an hour from the Greenbrier. The Greenbrier was the first great course I ever played. None of the others have ever been used.”
As any golf nerd knows, conquering America’s 100 Greatest Courses is no easy task. Greer is five shy of reaching that milestone (Merion (East), Aronimink, Oak Hill (East), Oak Tree National and the Valley Club of Montecito). “I have friends at each of these clubs, and hopefully I’ll be able to complete the quest this year. COVID-19 has affected my travels plans though,” said Greer, an optometrist who resides in Tennessee.
Greer’s commitment to his passion does not come without humility. “I’m very fortunate and I’m very grateful to all those who’ve helped. And I’m lucky to have a wife and children who’ve supported my quest.”