CHARLOTTE, N.C. - To this day, I lament the premature breakup of the Knoxville, Tennessee- based alternative country band, the V-Roys. Not only were they lyrically and musically one of the most refreshingly honest and insightful bands of the 1990's, they also wrote and recorded one of history's all-time most underrated tunes during an impromptu jam session over a few cold beers.
"Cold beer hello, I got something to say. I can't keep you long, but I can push you away. Well you look so smooth, I just can't say no. Tell the world good bye, cold beer hello!"
Now, if that opening line doesn't encapsulate the way you feel when bellying up at the clubhouse bar after 18 long holes in the hot summer sun, then I'll take the New Jersey Nets in seven games, Venus Williams in two sets, Mike Tyson in two rounds and War Emblem for the Triple Crown.
In other words, I am pretty confident we'll see eye-to-eye, beer belly-to-beer belly on that issue.
Recently, I went in search of the coldest beer that America's 19th holes have to offer. Okay, so my quest wasn't so recently as much as it was an epic saga spanning the past five years, but doesn't this make the findings of this wanderlusting, gutbusting experiment all the more scientific?
"Well I can't wait to feel you on my lips. And I can't wait to feel your body. You make my knees so weak when you look like this. You'll have me on the floor before no time."
Never, on the floor, always in control, my visits to 19th holes from Myrtle Beach, SC to Scottsdale, AZ were as frequent as three-putts and sliced drives and as calculated as a Tiger Woods press conference. Never more than a couple samples, mind you, as I did not want to cloud my judgment or be discovered by savvy bartenders who had surmised my mission through hours spent observing my stoic game face.
Okay, so maybe my notes were meticulously scribbled after only a couple of rounds, but any imbibing from that point on was strictly voluntary, off the record and immaterial to this diatribe. In other words, I can't remember.
Pulling out a venerable, beer stained memo notebook that served as the official ledger for my research, the preliminary results of my years of diligent work spilled out like an icy cold amber ale into the type of sultry, humid afternoon you can only find on a golf course in the middle of August.
"You look so smooth, I just can't say no. Tell the world good bye, cold beer hello!"
The Legends Complex off Highway 501 in Myrtle Beach pulls an awfully cold pint. Colder than you might expect from a crop of Scottish themed golf courses, and replete with a frosty mug and a very negotiable head. The Heritage Club in Pawleys Island has one of the coziest 19th holes in all the Grand Strand, and a domestic beer tap that produces the coldest Miller Lite this side of Milwaukee.
The coldest bottled beer in Myrtle Beach may just be sitting over at the Recovery Room (bar and grill) next to Coastal Carolina University. This locals only tavern is just peanut tossing distance from the Legends, Myrtle Beach National, and Wild Wing, so it serves as an offsite 19th hole for those few golfers with "South Carolina" on their license plates.
Orlando, Florida - contrary to what the Chamber of Commerce will tell you - is hot, humid, muggy, and nowhere near the ocean. Ah, but overcompensating for meteorological shortcomings is the single best way to induce climatologically-based amnesia. That and lots of cold beer. The town is full of great golf courses and 19th holes that carry some of the coldest suds in the sunshine state.
The International Golf Club off of "I-Drive" provides the following: the coldest draught beer on I-Drive in proximity to a golf course; the best view of an 18th hole while sipping on a cold draught beer in proximity to a golf course; and, just as importantly, proximity to the next coldest beer which is just across the street at the Parc Corniche's hotel bar. A close second, in the great state of Florida, is the Sunset Beach Bar at the Naples Beach Hotel and Golf Club. The fact that the beer is just a few degrees above optimum coldness is easily excusable when the warm surf of the Gulf of Mexico is literally 20-feet away.
"Well, beer-thirty comes but once a day, and I can't let you slip away. But if you do, someone will take your place."
Beer-thirty, in the Grand Canyon state, seems to take forever in the making for us Eastern Standard time zone folks. Therefore, under the flexible guidelines of my research, beer-o-clock was bumped up a couple hours during a recent visit to Scottsdale that involved 36 holes a day and some serious quaffing.
This rescheduling did not seem to be a problem for the invariably accommodating restaurant bar at the Resort Suites of Scottsdale. And it's a good thing, because they, hands down, serve up the coldest, most refreshing brew this side of the Pecos. The kicker? These bad boys, which come in the form of 16-ounce Fat Tire Ales, are two-for-one during happy hour. Habit forming, to say the least.
"I cannot believe he took you away. And he said I can't see you no more. Well, we'll have to meet again some other day. Your man is trying to throw me out the door".
Ah yes, all good things must come to an end. So, until beer-thirty tomorrow ... Cheers.
Thanks to the V-Roys for use of their lyrics and years of musical inspiration. Thanks to pubs across the southern U.S. for use of your bar stools.
June 10, 2002
Simply select where you want to play, find a tee time deal, and golf now!