A Travellerspoint blog

North Berwick

Lesson in Scottish golf

We drove around 2.5 hours south of St. Andrews to play North Berwick Golf Club. We have played a lot of very well known courses so far, which equals a lot of tourists and especially American tourists. North Berwick is a little further off of the beaten path and gives you a complete feel for Scottish Golf. The junior members tournment teed off right in front of us and the clubhouse was situated away from the starters shack with a sign stating that it was for members and their guests only. The whole course area had the feeling of a park, since we were playing on Sunday and the course is all public land.

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We arrived with plenty of time, so Brian had a chance to give Carrie a chipping lesson. I had managed to catch Carri'es cold, so I used the time to relax instead of practice. Luckily Carrie was feeling better.

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Everyone managed to play a decent round. Carrie hit come excellent drives. I pulled my cart all 18 holes in spite of feeling yucky and Brian shot a 72 (one over par). David was also hitting well. I would say we had a successful round a North Berwick.

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We were lucky enough to end the day with a wonderful meal at the restaurant at Greywalls Hotel, Chez Roux. Needless to say that even at a really nice restaurant wee have trouble behaving.
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Posted by sullivnm25 05:41 Comments (3)

Kingsbarns, Saturday afternoon

Brian first played Kingsbarns 10 years ago when the course had just opened. He referred to it as a "baby." Well, this baby bites now. We had only booked two tee times at Kingsbarns, because after a difficult round at the Castle Course in the morning, we didn't expect to get full participation. This turned out to be a very wise move and Brian and I were the ones who decided to push through 18 more holes of golf. Carrie had developed a small cold and David was tired. So off Brian and I went to challenge Kingsbarns.

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It became clear early that 36 "good" holes of golf were not in my cards, but I had a great time hitting balls, losing balls and then challenging Brian to make birdies. In the end this turned out to be a great strategy with Brian shooting 78.

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Our best moment was a par three on the back 9 where we both hit the green with some authority. This was especially true because the green was in complete view of the groups in from and behind us. It really looked like we (especially me) could play!

After a relaxing round, we headed back to St. Andrews for dinner. We have one more night in St. Andrews before heading to Turnberry. We hope to ballot onto the Old COurse tomorrow morning.

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Posted by sullivnm25 04:04 Comments (0)

Castle Course

The newest course in the St Andrews Links Trust

This course was beautiful, but in a different way than most Scottish courses. It was way more manicured and less rugged than the other courses we have played. It had a gorgeous view of St. Andrews. Unfortunately, it also seemed to have elephants buried under the greens. It made it very hard to putt. I joked that you golfed then got to the green and played putt putt. The course had a beautiful view of St. Andrews and served as a warm up for the round I ended up playing with Brian at Kingsbarns in the afternoon. More on that later. For now, here a few pictures of the Castle Course.
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Posted by sullivnm25 00:06 Comments (3)

St. Andrews- The Old Course

The birthplace of golf and scary first tee shots!

The most intimidating shot in golf has to be the 1st tee at the Old Course. It is located nearly in downtown St. Andrews. We were fortunate to have a confirmed tee time at 7:10 a.m., but the individuals trying to get on the Old Course through the lottery or by a line that formed at 1:00 a.m. is still hanging around and watching you tee off. Add that to the historical significance of this course and the nerves really build up. All four off got off the tee without any problems and our round at the Old Course had started.

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The round is a blur. It is hard to take it all in. The course itself appears unassuming in many places, until you walk the fairway and see the pot bunkers and rolling mounds. It seems there is never a flat lie on the course.

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I had a bit of good luck on Hole # 11 , where I managed to stay out of the bunker. I think that the bunker had a lid over it for me, because my second shot to the grenn hit the lip before rolling over. I gave a huge sigh of relief. Unfortunately, Carrie and David were not so lucky.

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We all managed to avoid Hell's bunker on Hole #14. After we successfully avoided it, Brian gave me a friendly thumbs up.

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The bunkers all over the course are impressively deep, but didn't phase David. On Hole #15 he came out of the exceptionally deep bunker like a pro.

Carrie did seem to be speaking with the birds from the time we arrived at the course. The birds squawked at Carrie at most tees. Finally a large black bird attacking her bag.
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The highlight of the round had to be Carrie and Brian's approach shots on Hole # 18. They were both inside 5 feet and Carrie par the hole while Brian birdied it. The gallery of tourists. that collects at the 18th green was impressed enought to clap. Our group definitely managed to put together a respectable round. Brian parred 8 holes in a row on the front.
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David pulled out a par on the "Road Hole." On the same hole I put my ball on the right side of the fairway in front of a group of hotel guests and hit a clean 5 wood to the green in spite of the audience. I bogeyed the hole and won a bet with Brian on whether I could score less than 7 on this difficult par five that starts with a blind tee shot over the old railway shacks.
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It is impossible to put the experience into words. Awesome!

Posted by sullivnm25 00:29 Comments (1)

Spa Day!!!

Brian and David were headed to Muirfield for 36 holes of golf today. Carrie and I wisely decided to take the day off. We spent the entire day at the Kohler Water Spa at the The Old Course Hotel. Our day went something like this, order lunch, relax in pool, eat lunch, get a pedicure, take a nap, enjoy the roof top hot tub and head back to the flat. It was a perfect day and we both have pampered feet for the Old Course!!!

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On the walk home we enjoyed observing the golfers and the pedestrians strolling near the course. My personal favorite thing about Scotland is the number of dogs. EVERYONE has a dog. My two favorite are posted below. I am sure that Lizzy would make friends. Tomorrow is the Old Course and Carrie and I are relaxed and ready!
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Posted by sullivnm25 05:51 Comments (0)

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