Wang family completes goal of playing all 30 TPC Network golf courses
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The Wang family at the TPC Danzante Bay golf course at Villas del Palmar in the Islands of Loreto. (Photo Credits Villa del Palmar Loreto)
Avid golfers fulfill mission after 16 years of trips, memories
Written by Staff @PGATOUR
Willy Wang didn’t have an urgent family matter to tend to. There wasn’t some crisis hundreds of miles away to deal with, important job interview to attend or wedding to celebrate. But when more than 500 flights were canceled on a random Tuesday in June 2021, he still had an emergency on his hands.
He had a tee time to make.
“We spent the next six hours looking for an alternative flight that would get us into an airport within two hours from TPC River Highlands,” Wang said. “Two connections and 14 hours later, we finally arrived at the golf course one hour before our tee time.
“Although none of us played well that day since we didn’t really sleep for 36 hours, we all were happy and joyful.”
It’s hard to find much to complain about these days for Wang, his wife, Angela, and their two sons, Jonathan and Nathan. This holiday season – Dec. 26, to be exact – the Wangs finally crossed off a family bucket list that began way back in the summer of 2007 at TPC Scottsdale in Arizona. When they tee it up at Mexico’s TPC Danzante Bay Golf Resort, they are believed to be the first golfers to have played all 30 golf courses that make up the TPC Network portfolio.
A mission spanning 20 states, Puerto Rico, Mexico and Canada, the Wang family has spent the last 16 years making birdies and saving pars across the chain of public and private golf courses owned and operated by the PGA TOUR. But the dream wasn’t truly realized until recently, when both Jonathan and Nathan graduated from college in the summer of 2021.
“We decided to take a family trip to the East Coast and play a few TPC courses,” recalled Willy, a longtime Silicon Valley resident who retired from the semiconductor industry. “It wasn’t until after the trip we realized we had already played 19 TPC courses. After that we decided to finish playing all of them as a family goal.”
A little more than two years later, the Wangs will have achieved their objective, perhaps even with improved games. Willy and his two sons are all single-digit handicaps, with Willy’s 3 leading the way (the average among male golfers in 2021 was 14, according to the USGA). The Wangs, who hail from Hayward, California, used the popular TPC Passport program to play every course within the network, with their membership privileges applying to every TPC course they hit.
There were no holes-in-one to be had over the Wang family journey – “We did however manage to get multiple birdies on every TPC course,” Willy notes – there were still plenty of other memories to be made.
Their favorite meal? That would be the ribeye steaks and skillet cookie at TPC Sawgrass in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida. That’s also the spot of their most cherished hole, the famed island green 17th on the Stadium Course, home of THE PLAYERS Championship.
“Majestic, picturesque, beautiful, challenging and unpredictable with wind,” said Willy, who began playing golf in 1992 and calls Tiger Woods his favorite player. “It’s the ultimate risk/reward. It has all the elements of a perfect hole.”
The best rounds? Willy proudly carded a 73 at TPC Toronto at Osprey Valley in Ontario, Canada, and added a 74 at TPC Twin Cities in Blaine, Minnesota, both from the championship tees.
But their most cherished family memories came at TPC Potomac, a private club in Potomac, Maryland, a trip best remembered for the engraved name plates waiting for them at their guest lockers, with additional engraved divot repair tools and other commemorative keepsakes inside.
“From the bag drop attendants to the locker room superintendent, the staff services and friendliness were outstanding,” Willy said. “The starter explained the design of the course and offered tips; the locker room superintendent cleaned our shoes after the round.”
But don’t be quick to anoint TPC Potomac with the top overall crown, Willy notes. That question isn’t quite so easy. Not with all the options to choose from.
“It’s a tough one. I’m in the process of ranking all the TPC courses,” he said. “Aside from course design and attributes, I’m ranking the clubhouse or facility and equally important on staff service and friendliness. Afterall, it’s the ‘overall TPC experience’ that will bring the players back to these properties.
“Once I have finished my matrix, I can answer this question more objectively with our reasons.”
For a complete list of TPC Network courses, visit https://tpc.com/find/location-list/.