Mark Schupp is seeing the Show-Me State — one golf course at a time.
Tuesday, the St. Louis-area resident made it to Bolivar to play and review Silo Ridge Golf Course and the Bolivar Municipal Golf Course as part of his quest to play and review all 375 golf courses in Missouri.
Schupp reviewed and played both Silo Ridge and the Municipal Golf Course Tuesday. He said he was very impressed with Silo Ridge.
"In the desert, it would be called a mirage," Schupp said. "This is what this is. This is almost a world-class golf course, out here in the middle of nowhere. It's surrounded by houses and farms, and I was surprised about the quality of this course."
Schupp added that the Municipal Golf Course is more of a “rural golf course." He also had high praise for the town of Bolivar, as well.
"It's the stereotypical, quintessential old town square with the courthouse in the middle with shops surrounding it," Schupp said. "It's a beautiful little city."
Love at first swing
Schupp started playing golf at age 10, with his dad living in Sedalia and his mother in Kansas City. His father he would make the short trip over to KC and took Schupp to a golf course one day. It was love at first swing.
His first round of golf was at Elm Hills in Sedalia, a sand green course.
"From the first time I struck a ball, I was addicted to the game," Schupp said. "I don't know what it is about (golf), probably the independence. You can play by yourself and with other people. You keep your own score. There's no defense. You're always on offense. It's a game I have always loved."
Schupp played golf for three years at Oak Park High School in Kansas City, but plays mostly for fun now. He said he usually plays once or twice a week but is the first to admit his limits.
"I'm not good at it, but I enjoy it," Schupp said.
Schupp's quest to golf across Missouri started after selling his advertising company in 2014. He said he wants to play at every one of the 375 golf courses in the state. Schupp is not just hitting the links at these courses. He is also reviewing them for his website, MoGolfTour.com.
"It wasn't a long-term goal (to do this)," Schupp said. "I retired in 2014 and one of the things I wanted to do was tour the state, every nook and cranny," Schupp said. "I like to explore. When I start driving around and I see a course, I'll stop and play it, just for fun. I thought it would be great to pair my love of the state, love for the game and my previous profession of being a marketing professional. I just decided to play all the courses in the state."
Schupp has already surpassed his goal of playing on 100 courses in 2017 and hopes the weather holds out for another week or two of golfing adventures. With fall starting to set in, Schupp said for purposes of his photos for the website, he needs the grass green and leaves still on the trees.
Schupp's goal of playing every golf course remains incomplete, with courses in big cities like Kansas City and St. Louis left, plus some in southwest Missouri around the Joplin area. Thus far, Schupp said his favorite course has been Buffalo Ridge in Branson and his least favorite is Deer Run in VanBuren.
Lessons on the links
During his tour of the state's golf scene, Schupp said he has learned much more than he expected.
He has noticed a few tendencies in his travels across Missouri. He said on private courses, members will have their own golf cart and their private shed to park them in when not in use. In southern Missouri, he said, some courses will have a big tree in the middle of a fairway.
However, his lessons on the links have gone beyond the game of golf.
"I am finding that playing every course in Missouri is much more about just playing golf," Schupp said. "It is becoming more about meeting and spending time with the great people of Missouri and hearing their stories."