ANKENY, Iowa — Golf is a game of skill, combining perfect form, tempo and balance to master. Rod and DeeDee Miller of Ankeny are a self proclaimed work in progress.
“That’s why we play best ball,” Rod Miller said.
The couple started playing together nearly a decade ago, shortly after they were married. After years of playing whenever they had free time, they noticed a trend.
“Early 2019 we realized, gosh, we’ve already done ten counties and it turned into a ‘Forrest Gump’ thing of we’ve gone this far, might as well keep on going,” Rod Miller said.
The game they loved, turned into a quest to play all of Iowa’s 99 counties, spending down time mapping out routes to canvass the state over weekends and vacations.
“We’re moving suitcases out to get the clubs and putting everything back in and I’m like we got to do something different because this is a lot of work,” DeeDee Miller said.
Adjustment were made.
“Once we realized we had a goal of getting done this year we realized we had to step up our game and knock out ten or eleven counties in three or four days. That’s when we came up with the idea of stay and play concept and that’s been interesting,” Rod Miller said.
They started checking off one county at a time in sickness and health.
“I got really sick the one night in western Iowa,” DeeDee said. “I think I played three holes and I was like, I’m done. I played the county. I sat back in the cart and told Rod you can finish out.”
Three years later, the quest is nearly complete.
“On Sunday, September 4 we’ll do our 26th county this year, which is our 99th overall. Jasper County in Newton at Westwood golf course,” Rod said.
Looking back at the past three years, the Miller’s say it’s never been about the score on the card.
“Find something you can do together as a couple,” Rod said.
“You grow as a couple. So the experiences are something you form together,” DeeDee added.
For better or worse, until golf balls run out.
The Millers plan to play all of the counties again starting next year while blogging and photographing their journey, which they plan to develop into a book.