A Travellerspoint blog

Locker Rooms- No Boys Allowed

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In Scotland it is considered rude to change into your golf shoes in the parking lot. Nearly every course has a club and lockers rooms for changing, showering and having a little downtime before or after your round. Carrie and I especially enjoyed chilling in the locker rooms without the boys to supervise. It turns out that Carrie can fit in a locker and a shower after a long golf can almost make you feel human again.

Posted by sullivnm25 02:13 Comments (0)

Driving in Scotland

So our trip has involved a fair bit of driving. We arrived in Glasgow, drove to Dornoch for approximately 4 hours. Then we drove from Dornoch to Cruden Bay for 3.5 hours. From Cruden Bay to St. Andrews was another two hours. On Monday we drove from the east coast to the west coast to arrive at Turnberry (just south of Ayr). This has given rise to car games, drawing pictures, listening to music and lots and lots of sleeping for those of us who did't have to drive.

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Scotland driving involves a significant number of roundabouts instead of stops signs. Brian and David did a great job navigating us through them. Carrie and I mostly slept and read in the back seat. Thankfully our trusty van got us everywhere we needed to go, but I don't think David was sad to return it our last night there.
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Turnberry

Turnberry Resort & Spa is often compared to the U.S. course, Pebble Beach. When the British Open was at Turnberry last year, this comparison was explained in detail. The course is situated on the west coast of Scotland with amazing ocean ciews. Add the world class hotel and resort and it definitely gives Pebble Beach a run for its money. The pictures don't do it justice. We had luxury rooms, meals and spa treatments (for Michele only).

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On our day off we played the Culzean Course.
On Day 12 the group rested. We were staying at a world class resort with wonderfully comfy beds and spa access, so we decided to enjoy it. I woke up and promptly scheduled a massage. The massage therapist commented that my back was too tight and I needed at least a massage a week. After my massage Carrie managed to pull herself out of bed and we joined her for lunch in the main lobby with a view of the ocean and the "Ladies having their tea." It is liking looking through a window at a different lifestyles as the women collect dressed up for their lunch. We were definitely out of our element, but still having fun looking in.

One of the coolest things at Turnberry is Culzean Course pitch & putt. No hole is longer than 60 yards and you take a pitching wedge and putter. The "course" was 12 holes, all par 3. Brian managed to finish one under on the pitch and putt. We played a game of Bingo, Bango, Bongo. Players get a point for first on, closest to the hole and first putt in. The round played quickly and we all had a great time.

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We ended the "relaxing" day with a wonderful dinner. Max & Tim were our waitier. We had a blast harassing them and getting their input on the menu. The meal was wonderful. Truffle butter knnochi, Steak Diane, and 'Textures of Chocolate.'

Even Lizzy & Simba relaxed at Turnberry

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Perfect, luxurious, relaxing day.

Posted by sullivnm25 01:55 Comments (1)

Machrihanish

Located in beautiful middle of nowhere Scotland

Brian and David played this course 10 years ago in sleet and rain. I promised good weather for this trip to the penisula located far west of Glasgow. To drive would have been an approximately 4 hour drive, so we opted to fly into the closest town, Campbelltown. This required an early departure from our hotel that had us all feeling tired.
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We arrived to be greeted at the clubhouse by some of the friendliest folks we met on the trip. Machrihanish is located so far from the other courses that the people are truly excited to have visitors. Carrie and I were welcomed into the women's clubhouse next door to the main clubhouse. You walked into a small foyer crammed with almost 100 pairs of lady's golf shoes left by the members. The little house consisted of a main sitting area, lockers, a kitchen and a bathroom with showers. The set-up definitely gave you the feeling that the women members played and hungout in their clubhouse.

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The wind was pretty strong all day. This resulted in our windbreakers and jackets puffing up making us look like the
Michelin Man.
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We ate breakfast without enthusiams, because we were all still pretty tired and rain was hanging around outside. It consisted of Bacon on a roll, which seems to be traditional breakfast in Scotland. Carrie simply described it as salt on bread. However, as soon as we took the first tee, the rain cleared and sun and wind settled in. We were all tired, so the golf was struggle, but the laughs were plenty. Carrie decided to play an entire hole without her clubs. She pulled out an impressive 12 with only using her hands to get the ball to the hole. I think this is one of those rounds where no one will remember their golf shots, but we will all remember the fun we had.

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Posted by sullivnm25 23:11 Archived in USA Comments (1)

Old Course, Once in a lifetime experience

sometimes twice!!

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On Saturday the group made a decision that we wanted another shot at the most historic course in golf, The Old Course. There are essentially three ways for visitors to get on the Old Course, 1) you can purchase the 'Old Course Experience' for a huge price, 2) you can apply approximately one year in advance to request a tee time (how we got out first tee time) or 3) you can ballot. The Old Course reserves spots to allow visitors to ballot. You request to ballot by 2pm the day before your want to play or on Saturday for Monday play. (The course is closed Sundays and treated as a park). Your chances of balloting on the course are about 20%, but we thought we would take our chances. When Brian and I returned from Kingsbarns we found out that we had been successful in the ballot and that we would get to play the Old Course again. Unreal!

The first tee shot is still intimidating, but we did splurge for caddies this time around. We had the serious workman, Jamey, and the chain smoking Scottish fun caddy, David. Carrie and I opted to carry our own bags and let the caddies tend to the men. It didn't take long for the caddies to figure out that Brian liked for them to help Carrie and I too. Our caddy adapted well and became the jokester and caretaker for all of us. He was hilarious and gave great advice.

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The weather called for rain, but it held out for our entire round. No more than 30 minutes after we got off the course, the rain came down and players were soaked. The weather has been on our side. Carrie hit a whale of a drive on 18 and I managed to par the hole. It was cool and intimidating to role in my par putt and get applause from the tourist bystanders. From St. Andrews we will head to Turnberry on the west coast. It was a fun drive that I will have to describe in another post.

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The Old Course is very close to the town and runs next to the hotel for a few holes. My favorite were the signs warning walkers of the golf in progress. I actually think these should be posted on the course as well.

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Posted by sullivnm25 06:14 Comments (2)

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