Bob Plaskett picked up his first golf club when he was 12 years old and 65 years later he’s still playing. But even more impressive than the fact that he’s been playing golf longer than most of us have been alive, is that Plaskett has played the game in all 50 states. Through a combination of vacations, business trips, and living in four different states over the years, Plaskett had managed to play golf in 28 states as of about seven years ago. That’s when his wife, Marge, saw a story about someone who had run marathons in all 50 states. Realizing that her husband was more than halfway there, Marge encouraged Bob to accomplish the same feat with golf.
Fortunately, getting it done wasn’t going to be much of a hardship. “She likes to travel, I like to play golf, and we put the two together,” says Plaskett. To that end, the strategy was simple for playing rounds in the 22 remaining states: knock off three or four courses in one trip. For instance, the Plasketts drove west so Bob could play golf in Kansas, Nebraska, and Iowa. Another trip was a flight to New England for rounds in Connecticut, New Hampshire, Vermont, Maine and Rhode Island. They also paired a reunion trip to Maryland with golf in New Jersey, Delaware, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia.
In an effort to make playing multiple courses in one trip a little easier, Plaskett would eschew famous courses such as Pebble Beach in favor of ones that made more sense geographically. “When I was picking courses to play, I’d go to the internet and find courses by location,” says Plaskett. “I was looking to see what courses I could get that were maybe at the edge of a state so I could get to a course in the next state.” That was not an option when looking for a course in the state that would complete his 50-state quest – Alaska. He settled on the Anchorage Golf Course and was lucky enough to get a 60-degree day one August. The weather wasn’t quite as favorable for his round in Santa Fe, New Mexico, where early-morning snow made play a little tricky, not to mention a little chilly.
The Plasketts were among the original residents of Carmel’s Brookshire neighborhood when it was new back in 1971. They lived there for 13 years before moving around a bit (including several years in Wisconsin) and finally settling in Noblesville. However, Bob still plays the majority of his golf at Brookshire Golf Club. Now that he has reached the 50-state plateau and with a hole-in-one to his credit (on a Mississippi course when he lived there in 1963), what golf goals does the 77-year-old Plaskett have left?
“I’d like to shoot less than my age,” says Plaskett. “It seems to be getting more difficult because as I get older, the scores go higher.”