Houston's Jane Howze has been a busy woman for a long time. As managing director of the Alexander Group, a national executive-search firm, she works 60-hour weeks and is on the road an average of three days a week. Burnout was fast approaching until she took up golf eight years ago.
"The GOLF Magazine Top 100 Courses You Can Play list gave me a second wind," says Howze, 55, who plays to a 14 handicap. "I played for the first time at Mauna Lani in Hawaii in 1998 and the bug bit. Within three months of starting I bought the GOLF Magazine plaque where you put the pegs in to mark which courses you've played and I decided I wanted to play them all. After 25 years of traveling for business, I thought there was no way to make this fun any longer, but the Top 100 list was no way to make this fun any longer, but the Top 100 list was my grappling hook. Most people think I'm pretty nutty, but my quest has been a life raft for me.
"I was like a madwoman trying to get onto Bethpage Black," Howze says. "We have 25 employees and I had all 25 dialing at once to secure a tee time. So I show up and come to find there are no women who play this course. I soon found out why. Women have to play it at 6,600 yards. There are no carts, no caddies and it's very hilly. I had to run to keep up. It was daunting. I'm glad I got to play it, but I don't ever want to see the course again."
Favorites in Howze's travels include Top 100 mainstays Mauna Kea, Blackwold Run (River), Great Waters at Reynolds Plantation and Red Sky. Not as high on her list isSouth Carolina golf. "I get nervous around alligators," she says.
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