Friday, June 25, 2010

Scotland 2.0


(Just a heads up, if you'd like to read my post about Scotland from last year, click right here. Or just Google, "Best Article Ever Written" and it'll be right up near the top.)

I'm a lucky kid. Unlike most people that love the game of golf, I've been blessed with a family that, for some reason, loves taking golf vacations. My sister doesn't mind it, my mom enjoys it and my dad is obsessed with it. For a man that doesn't travel much outside of work, a few days on the links in Scotland is his getaway. It's the place that brings out the big smiles.

The last few years I've spent more time in Scotland than most Scots. I worked at St. Andrews for a summer, have been over twice more and was able to swing up when I studied abroad in London. I'm on a first name basis with the lady that runs the Dunvegan. I can spit out holes at Turnberry by memory. I can probably tell you which hotels on the east side of Scotland have air conditioning and which don't. (Note: That is a joke. None do.)

Last week, my family and I again loaded up the sticks and the raincoats for a trip to Men's Paradise.

Right after we landed in Edinburgh, the drive was directly west, towards the home of the first 12 British Opens. Prestwick is a golf course that everyone should play once, just because it takes a normal game of golf, sprinkles some Tabasco on it and serves it deep fried. No other place do you have blind par-3s, tee shots with no clue if the hole goes east or west, and a pretty darn good golf course all wrapped up in one.

To start your golf vacation at Prestwick would be similar to starting your mall experience in Louis Vuitton. "Welcome serious shoppers, you're in for a ride."

Tired, weary and a little sore from the countless hours of travel, the journey began. Ironically enough, when my dad got to the first tee to greet his caddie, my memory started blinking. "I've seen this guy before," I thought. Turns out, he caddied for my father four years ago when we made our way to Prestwick. That's Scotland for you.

After Prestwick (74, not bad to start), we drove down to the Turnberry hotel, site of the 2009 British Open. Our tee time was 9:00 AM the next day, so sleep was essential. The problem is, summers in Scotland is sunlight heavy. You're not getting dark skies until 11:00 PM, so be prepared to have your sleep schedule picked up, bodyslammed and kicked in the teeth.

People always talk about the undulations at Augusta National, and how you don't really get it until you're there. That was something I noticed on the 18th hole at Turnberry. It was simple to say after Tom Watson hit his shot over the green on the 72nd hole that he should have played it short, and avoided any chance of that happening, but being at Turnberry, you see the knob he had to avoid. You can't play that shot short of the green, or you risk getting a nasty kick and finding yourself bunkered, or in high grass.

After Turnberry (71, with an eagle on 17!), we made our way up to Royal Troon.

Now, caddies talk a lot in Scotland, so you have to take most with a grain of salt (or a shaker, depending on the tale), but the east coast guys have always dogged Royal Troon. I never played it, so teeing off that afternoon was exciting. After playing 18 holes there, I can say without a doubt, Troon is my favorite links course in Scotland. The holes are incredible, the layout fantastic and the holes tough but fair. The Postage Stamp (my dad birdied it!) is as interesting a par-3 as there is in golf, and some of the holes coming in can play so tough with a big wind.

Leaving Troon was when our plans died, and we headed to St. Andrews to see what we could find for tee times. While the Old Course was closing on Friday to prepare for the British, we figured we could find some golf around town, and that consisted of Kingsbarns and the Castle Course.

Both are set on the ocean, and both make the word "beautiful" seem like you're talking about gum on your shoe. I've never been to Monterey, but it is hard to believe that place is any more majestic than the courses east of St. Andrews.

All in all, the trip was a success. We had some fun, made some birdies and had some laughs. We have decided that will be the last Scotland trip for a few years, but it is still one of my favorite places on this wonderful Earth.

9 comments:

[konoimo] >-< said...

could you post how much your green fees were for those courses for those of us who may want to check it out sometime?

Jim Dauer, FullForesome.com said...

Sounds like you guys had a nice time. Hopefully this restored your passion for the game.

Nicole said...

Nice to have a family who all enjoy golf vacations together. You don't find that too often.

Patricia Hannigan said...

Do you think your family would ever consider adopting me?

Anonymous said...

FycUzi [url=http://onnrainnmcm.com/#42301]MCM キーケース[/url] BpfFzc http://onnrainnmcm.com/ PqjUbq [url=http://mcmsenmon.com/#84797]MCM 店舗[/url] KpaAkc http://mcmsenmon.com/ HftDgn [url=http://ninnkimcm.com/#05055]MCM 通販[/url] FukFtr http://ninnkimcm.com/ CutXke [url=http://kaidokumcm.com/#66628]MCM 長財布[/url] XhsCon http://kaidokumcm.com/ DepAmv [url=http://manzokumcm.com/#61086]MCM[/url] SswVse http://manzokumcm.com/ RwpTrj http://chloenihon.com/ GhzGth [url=http://chloenihon.com/]クロエ 通販[/url] YwhYqj http://louboutindendou.com/ WhmVvd [url=http://louboutindendou.com/]クリスチャンルブタン ブーツ[/url] SthQua http://guccisenmon.com/ DkzXsh [url=http://guccisenmon.com/]GUCCI ベルト[/url] DjfIpd [url=http://mcmhannbai.com/]MCM[/url] GmoJgl [url=http://mcmhannbai.com/]MCM 通販[/url]

ninest123 Ninest said...

ninest123 08.07
michael kors outlet store, oakley sunglasses, burberry factory outlet, coach outlet, prada handbags, longchamp outlet, nike free, coach purses, replica watches, louboutin uk, longchamp bags, ralph lauren outlet, michael kors outlet, michael kors outlet online, christian louboutin, christian louboutin, kate spade, louboutin shoes, nike air max, coach outlet store online, coach outlet, tiffany jewelry, ralph lauren polo, cheap jordans, michael kors handbags, true religion outlet, prada outlet, ray ban sunglasses, michael kors outlet online, burberry outlet, ray ban sunglasses, tory burch outlet, tiffany jewelry, oakley sunglasses, nike outlet, nike air max, gucci handbags, longchamp outlet, michael kors, chanel handbags, kate spade outlet, oakley sunglasses

ninest123 Ninest said...

hermes pas cher, nike air max pas cher, hollister uk, lululemon outlet, lunette ray ban pas cher, michael kors, longchamp pas cher, abercrombie and fitch, louboutin pas cher, polo ralph lauren uk, nike free pas cher, burberry pas cher, nike air max uk, michael kors uk, nike tn pas cher, abercrombie and fitch UK, nike air max, nike roshe run pas cher, north face uk, nike air max uk, sac guess pas cher, true religion outlet, michael kors outlet online, true religion outlet, ray ban uk, nike air force, north face pas cher, mulberry uk, timberland pas cher, new balance, vanessa bruno pas cher, ralph lauren pas cher, nike free, true religion jeans, nike blazer pas cher, vans pas cher, converse, longchamp soldes, polo lacoste pas cher, jordan pas cher, hogan sito ufficiale, lunette oakley pas cher

ninest123 Ninest said...

instyler ionic styler, nike roshe run, celine handbags, vans outlet, jimmy choo outlet, ghd hair, nike roshe uk, asics running shoes, hermes handbags, herve leger, reebok outlet, giuseppe zanotti, north face outlet, oakley, valentino shoes, mac cosmetics, new balance shoes, chi flat iron, iphone 6 cases, abercrombie and fitch, nfl jerseys, timberland boots, wedding dresses, lululemon outlet, softball bats, north face outlet, insanity workout, bottega veneta, hollister clothing, soccer jerseys, nike air max, p90x workout, abercrombie, babyliss pro, mont blanc, nike trainers uk, soccer shoes, beats by dre, mcm handbags, longchamp uk, nike air huarache, salvatore ferragamo

ninest123 Ninest said...

polo ralph lauren, karen millen uk, thomas sabo uk, louboutin, swarovski uk, juicy couture outlet, converse shoes outlet, uggs on sale, ray ban, uggs outlet, links of london uk, wedding dresses uk, juicy couture outlet, ugg,ugg australia,ugg italia, pandora jewelry, converse, supra shoes, ugg uk, nike air max, swarovski jewelry, uggs outlet, coach outlet, pandora uk, ugg,uggs,uggs canada, lancel, montre pas cher, hollister, vans scarpe, ugg pas cher, uggs on sale, marc jacobs, hollister, uggs on sale, bottes ugg pas cher, replica watches, toms shoes, pandora charms, gucci
ninest123 08.07