The Happy Golfer

News Story: On the road with ‘The Happy Golfer’
April 30, 2009, 3:28 pm
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Here’s a nice story from the Orange County Register about The Happy Golfer’s adventure. Journalist Fred Swegles was Nick Karnazes’ surprise visitor; he spent a few days on the road with Nick as he approached the halfway point of his journey. You can read the story at the link below. There’s a terrific slide show, with lots of fun pictures, too. Enjoy!


Surprise visitor revealed; nearing halfway point and right on schedule
April 28, 2009, 7:03 pm
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Hello from The Happy Golfer. I’m real fine. I’m in Maryland for two rounds; I finished one and I’m playing another here today. Then I’m off to Delaware for two rounds, then New Jersey for two rounds, then Connecticut. I’m nearly halfway through my journey; when I finish New Jersey, I’ll have 24 states completed. That means I’ll be halfway done – half of the 96 rounds will be behind me and half of them will be in front of me – I’ll have 48 more rounds to do. So I’m right on schedule. Seven times I’ve played 36 holes in a day.

One of the people who has read the blog, he’s a friend of Fred Swegles, the reporter from the Orange County Register and the Sun Post News.  Fred was my surprise guest this week! He spent two days with me. Anyway, a friend of Fred is a manager of a Hilton Hotel, and he said he would like to give me a break from the Winnebago View and have me to stay at the Hilton Hotel for free when I was in Maryland. So I finished my first round Monday morning in Maryland, at Beaver Creek Country Club, and then I go to Elkton, Maryland on Tuesday for my second round. I’m at the Hilton Hotel right now and you wouldn’t believe it; they have a workout room! So I get to work out and kind of do some weights and run on a treadmill and stuff like that. I imagine people will get a kick out of that.

I talk daily to my wife, Fran, and she gets the update of where I am at, and checks that I’m eating the proper food and getting a good night’s sleep.  And at the Hilton, I get to work out and jog up and down on a treadmill. Isn’t that great? This is The Happy Golfer signing off for now – keep happy.

The Happy Golfer on TV And Radio
April 25, 2009, 10:23 pm
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The Happy Golfer is getting lots of great support as he travels across the country in his bid to play 96 rounds in 96 days in 48 states. This week, two stations in Virginia interviewed him. You can find one of the clips here, from WSLS 10 in Roanoke. It’s a wonderful piece that really shows the spirit and joy of The Happy Golfer:

You can also catch Nick on The Competitors Radio Show with Bob Babbitt and Paul Huddle; he checks in with them every Friday evening, and you can find and download the podcast here:

 Enjoy, and thanks again for the messages of support. Keep happy.

Karnazes family reunion, no more fuzzy chicken
April 23, 2009, 10:20 pm
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I had a great Karnazes reunion on April 21 in Charlotte, North Carolina. I spent the day with cousins Nick A. Karnazes, George Karnazes and others from the Karnazes family for golf, Greek food, card playing, Greek food, reminiscing about Greece and more Greek food. I first met Nick A. during Dean’s Endurance 50. It was actually Dean who brought us together; Nick had come to his book signing. This was the first visit with the others in the family.

The golf is going great; lots of birdies on gorgeous lush green courses. I am playing the River Course at Virginia Tech tomorrow and will be camping out next to the clubhouse tonight in anticipation. From there, I’m off to Lewisburg,West Virginia, to play on April 25, and then to Wintergreen Resort, off the Blue Ridge Parkway in Virginia. After 30 days of pizza and packaged salads in the Winnebago View, I was ready for some real food! In fact, I had called Fran the night before and asked her why the chicken in my salad looked all fuzzy, like it had spider webs on it. I’d only had it five days. What I didn’t think about was that, sleeping in Walmart parking lots, the refrigerator wasn’t on and it had been really hot. Uh, oh! 

Sunday, I’m scheduled to play Cacapon in Berkeley, West Virginia. It’s easy to veer between states in this part of the country, unlike the vast West where I live. My surprise visitor’s identity will be revealed then … check back in with me.

Also, tune in to San Diego Competitor Radio Station Might XX 1090AM on Sunday night at 8 p.m. California time; I’ll be chatting with Bob Babbitt about my ongoing adventure.

Thanks everyone for the wishes and messages. Keep happy.

The Happy Golfer is nearly a third of the way through his journey!

The Happy Golfer is nearly a third of the way through his journey!

Greek Orthodox Easter in Augusta
April 23, 2009, 1:58 pm
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For Greek Orthodox Easter, we adhere to an older calendar, and Saturday night was the culmination of Lent. True to form, Nick found an Orthodox church just four miles from his Walmart campsite in Augusta, Georgia. He arrived at 11 p.m. on Saturday and participated in the lighting of candles at midnight, when the priest announces, “Christ is risen.” The Liturgy went on until 2 a.m., culminating in the cracking of deep, red-colored eggs. Having a 7 a.m. starting time that morning, Nick graciously abstained from participating in the lamb dinner after the services. Although he didn’t play Augusta National and arrived after the Masters had finished, he did play Augusta Municipal, enjoying the best of Southern hospitality. He looks forward to seeing the “surprise visitor” from home soon; he’s been gone a month now, and the company will be welcome.

Shorts, a haircut and Southern hospitality
April 15, 2009, 1:31 pm
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The Happy Golfer is happily playing his way through the South. After finishing a round in Memphis, he stopped off on Beale Street – the birthplace of both the blues and jazz – to listen to some street musicians and watch folks dancing on the sidewalks. In need of a haircut, Nick asked the pro at the next golf course to recommend a shop. The pro told him to wait while he called one of his cocktail servers who’d been a hairdresser. She came right over to the course with her tools, took him up to the card room, and proceeded to cut and style his hair. True Southern hospitality!


The bad weather has been trailing Nick but never preceding him, so he’s managed to miss the major storms affecting the area. He’s discovered some beautiful campgrounds on lakes where wildflowers are in full bloom. It’s actually becoming very spring-like, so he’s graduated to wearing shorts and slathering on the sunscreen. Those Callaway caps help keep the sun off his face while playing.


A visitor from San Clemente, whose name will be kept secret for a while, will be joining along on the adventure later next week, so stay tuned to find the name revealed in the next blog. (No, it’s not Fran; she had to cancel her plans to meet him in Cleveland when offered a trip to Sydney, Australia instead. Fran will be visiting Nick’s Australian relatives while he’s staying with her Ohio family, and she will join him when he reaches Montana.)


Keep in touch with The Happy Golfer; he loves hearing from home and friends. Check the “Where is Nick” link at left to track his route and see if he’s playing at a course near you!

Headed South, still happy, and shot 76!
April 10, 2009, 4:54 pm
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While passing through Winona, Missouri, the RV’s radio blasting, I heard the disc jockey say: “We play what we want, you listen when you want.” I don’t know about you, but if someone says that to me, I automatically change the station. It’s kind of like “fish or cut bait.” However, they played “I”m a Cowboy” and I like that song. “I’m a cowboy, I’ve got a four-wheel drive, climb in my bed and I’ll take you for a ride. I can take you where you want to go.”


Next, they played “What was I Thinking?” I really, really like that song. The music on the road and across the country is a lot different than what I listen to back home in SoCal. There’s a lot of strange music on my adventure, and there are a LOT of country and western tunes out there! Driving east for 15 plus days, I played 18 different courses. Now I am driving south. I had a pretty hot round in Amarillo, Texas – shot 76 and had three birdies! In Cadiz, Kentucky, it was really quite pretty, with lakes everywhere. No problem with the rain, I had my Callaway umbrella to protect me.


Thanks everyone for your messages and wishes. Stay happy.