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Old 07-21-2013, 12:56 AM   #26
A-Rod's Cousin
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Re: A Good Week (TR/Warning: Pics)

A putting course sounds awesome. Do we have those in The States? Like mini-golf but there are no bumpers to even out the field.
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Old 07-21-2013, 03:41 PM   #27
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Re: A Good Week (TR/Warning: Pics)

Day 5: A Jubilee

Our last day in St. Andrews. Really, we could easily have been based here for our entire trip. It would have been an easy drive up to Carnoustie and there are a couple more highly regarded tracks in that area. Several people recommended the Ladybank parkland course not far from St. Andrews. We could have played Kingsbarns, the Fairmont courses, the Duke's Course, the Castle or New Courses or even the Eden and Strathyrum courses. I think we would have been perfectly happy doing that, St. Andrews is that amazing.

As it was, we packed up and checked out, did a little quick souvenir shopping and headed down to the Links clubhouse for a late morning time on the Jubliee Course.



The three primary courses run side-by-side. The Jubilee is closest to the water, then the New, and the Old is furthest "inland". Redone in the 1980s as a championship course, this is straightforward links golf. Not as quirky as the old but still a solid challenge. I had a good front nine, then had the first hints of a little fatigue on the back, shooting 36-46-82.




just another evil pot bunker




on the left, the Eden estuary. On the other side is an air force base that was *very* busy on this day




the last hole in St. Andrews

After playing we had a quick lunch in the Links Clubhouse - not the most charming spot but the food was good and the view is very nice. Once finished, it was time to say good bye to Fife and make the 2 1/4 hour drive across the country to the southwest coast and the courses of Ayrshire.
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Old 07-21-2013, 03:45 PM   #28
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Re: A Good Week (TR/Warning: Pics)

A couple more shots of the Himalayas. I think it's like 2 pounds to play it. One of a million things we didn't get around to doing, definitely should have done that the first day!





Next: EXTREME BRUTALITY
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Old 07-21-2013, 04:30 PM   #29
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Re: A Good Week (TR/Warning: Pics)

Awesome TR. Those holes look ridic hard.
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Old 07-21-2013, 10:10 PM   #30
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Re: A Good Week (TR/Warning: Pics)

Is it what I think it is and you "tee off" from a designated spot for each putting hole? I can't tell but that's what I assume and hope it is. Looks like you just want to take your 2 putts and RUN to the next tee box amirite.
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Old 07-25-2013, 07:19 PM   #31
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Re: A Good Week (TR/Warning: Pics)

Day 6: Brutalized

Woke up after a good night's sleep. For the next couple nights our home away from home was a guest house in Prestwick, about 30 miles south of Glasgow. Oh, and across the street from Prestwick Golf Club, where early Open Championships were played ...



Another great place to stay. Can't recommend the guest houses highly enough, really nice people, reasonable rates and very, very comfortable.

We had a late afternoon tee time so we played tourist for most of the day, driving down the coast. We stopped at Culzean Castle, which is very cool. It's an estate and run by the National Trust.





Very much worth the visit. You can't take pictures inside (probably because you'd want to take pictures of everything and it would cause all sorts of problems) but it's pretty amazing. Some of the random things that impressed me - the 30'+ ceilings, a kitchen with hundreds of copper pots hanging on the wall, the enormous portrait of Napoleon brought back from the wars against him by one of the historical owners of the place, lots of stuff.

It also has an amazing walled garden:





Plus a deer park and lots more. It was definitely worth the stop.

"But what's all this non-golf crap," you say? Okay, fine. After grabbing a quick lunch it was back up the road to play golf. The day's destination: Western Gailes.

Holy cow. Hardest. Course. Ever.



You know that wispy stuff you just saw at Muirfield? Well this course has that in abundance, except at the bottom the grass is lush, green, thick as hell and you can't find your ball. Hit it just a bit off line? Goodbye ball.

Add in some blind or semi-blind shots and the crummiest yardage book of the trip (seriously, why not put obvious landmarks or some commentary on there?) and it was incredibly, incredibly hard. I mean it when I say it was the hardest course I've ever seen.





We paused for a minute on the 8th tee. At that point I thought I was down to 2 golf balls remaining ... after losing them at about a one per hole pace.

And I realized that I was tired. This was not so good.







Western Gailes had more bunkers with stairs than anywhere else. By far.



Hard. I don't know what I shot -- the scorecard was an inspired work of pure fiction -- but I'm reasonably certain that playing by the rules I would not have broken 100.

I am not complaining. I would LOVE to play this course again. Several times, in fact. Next time, though, I would be rested, take my vitamins and be prepared. On this day, I was not. Whew. By the time we were finished I felt like I'd been run over by one of the trains that runs frequently along the boundary of the course.



4 hours and 45 minutes, way slower than pace and a slog. I was glad that we went off as a 2 ball -- we left the 4 ball behind us (with caddies) in the dust, slow as we were.

Still, it was another picture perfect evening and a relaxing pint on the deck made it all better. We had the place to ourselves - other than the manager and the bartender - until the group behind us finally came in.

I somehow managed not to lose another ball on the last 10 holes but it was nerve-wracking - I have never, ever been in a position where running out of balls is a possibility. My companion was losing them at a faster pace than I was, so no chance of getting more there.

Another amazing day. Short drive back to town, a lasagna dinner and I crashed hard. Glad to be able to sleep in.
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Old 07-25-2013, 07:43 PM   #32
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Re: A Good Week (TR/Warning: Pics)

Day 7: A Friendly Walk in the Sun

Good sleep and another fantastic breakfast left us recharged for another day. On this day we were to play another rota course: Turnberry - Ailsa Course. Another twilight tee time left us all day to play tourist. We drove up the coast and checked out Royal Troon. and the village of Troon. Another gorgeous seaside links. Haven't pulled pics of that yet. We shopped a bit and just generally wandered around. Lunch back in Prestwick at the Red Lion - pub where the Open was organized back in 1860 or whatever.

Turnberry is a leisurely drive down the coast and is kind of by itself. I didn't remember that it's a fairly substantial resort.














The ruins of Robert the Bruce's castle near the turn







The pictures pretty much speak for themselves. This is a remarkably picturesque course. It is also very fair - what you see is what you get - and the rough wasn't nearly as penal as at Western Gailes. In the end, we agreed that it tied with the Old Course as our favorite of the trip. I don't have a score as our card was lost midway through the back nine, but I only carded one double bogey and lost one ball -- on the last hole. I made enough pars to have been in the low 80s.

It was very late before we got back to town and an interesting ride back - they definitely roll up the sidewalks early in small town Scotland. No activity at all in most of the little burg we rode thru. Dinner was from a place that was open - a takeaway pizza spot. Probably the worst meal of the trip but still just fine.

I would definitely play Turnberry again and I would even think about spending the extra money to stay there. Driving down for the day and playing twilight was comparatively a huge bargain at 99 pounds for the greens fee but what a place.

Almost done. Boo.
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Old 07-25-2013, 07:58 PM   #33
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Re: A Good Week (TR/Warning: Pics)

Day 8: Wrapping It Up

Last full day. Boo. In anticipation of upcoming travel I made a mid-morning time at Dundonald. Dundonald is a newer links course owned by the Loch Lomond golf club. It's literally across the tracks from Western Gailes, so we had an idea of what we'd be getting.

As a newer design (done by Kyle Phillips iirc, who did Kingsbarns), Dundonald is a little different because it isn't an out-and-back routing. Instead, holes go in all different directions and you never get used to the wind. That made it challenging, but it was not brutally difficult.


A par 3 on the front side. I am particularly fond of this photo because I made a birdie after taking it!






If you look, you can see a freighter in the background...


That building on the other side of the tracks is the Western Gailes clubhouse. Directly behind me (not pictured obv) is the Glasgow Gailes course. Three great tracks side-by-side.





I enjoyed the walk. Dundonald wasn't quite the caliber of the top courses, but it was a very solid test that I would happily play again.

Tired but happy, there was time for lunch and a beer afterward, followed by a highway drive back to Edinburgh and an overnight in a hotel by the airport. One miserably long travel day back -- note, if you are arriving through Newark give yourself more than 2 hours between flights -- and it was back to reality.

It was a trip to remember. Everything was pretty much perfect. Okay, my golf bag didn't make it back until the next day, but who cares about that. The weather could not have been any better. The golf was amazing. The accommodations were fantastic. The food was good. The people were friendly, though I have to admit I had a hard time with the different accents - especially when tired. I really don't think things could have been better.

/End
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Old 07-25-2013, 10:57 PM   #34
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Re: A Good Week (TR/Warning: Pics)

**** yes dude, **** yes.
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Old 07-25-2013, 11:00 PM   #35
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Re: A Good Week (TR/Warning: Pics)

2 random questions you don't have to answer if you don't want to, i'd understand.

1. can you post a pic of yourself? preferably with whoever you were playing with and with some sort of awesome background. (if you already have, forgive me. the golf porn made me forget)

2. how much was the entire trip? if that's too prying, see 2a.

2a. how much was each course? best value? best food? worst food? biggest annoyance? best caddy story? worst caddy story? things you'd do differently? betting stories? tips for anyone else that wants to one day do this? etc.

this **** was awesome to read and see (more awesome to see), thanks a lot for sharing.
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Old 07-25-2013, 11:09 PM   #36
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Re: A Good Week (TR/Warning: Pics)

Nice TR Booker
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Old 07-26-2013, 09:23 AM   #37
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Re: A Good Week (TR/Warning: Pics)

Quote:
Originally Posted by wiper View Post
2 random questions you don't have to answer if you don't want to, i'd understand.

1. can you post a pic of yourself? preferably with whoever you were playing with and with some sort of awesome background. (if you already have, forgive me. the golf porn made me forget)

2. how much was the entire trip? if that's too prying, see 2a.

2a. how much was each course? best value? best food? worst food? biggest annoyance? best caddy story? worst caddy story? things you'd do differently? betting stories? tips for anyone else that wants to one day do this? etc.

this **** was awesome to read and see (more awesome to see), thanks a lot for sharing.
The entire trip was somewhere in the vicinity of $3500-$4000 each. Air was $1700, lodging ran about $600, rental car and fuel $300, then golf, food and miscellaneous stuff. Saved some by booking it myself versus a package deal but otherwise didn't really price shop.

Greens fees, from memory (in pounds, multiply by ~ 1.5 for dollars): Old Course 150, Crail 70, Lundin 60, Jubilee Course 70, Western Gailes 85 (twilight, 130 regular), Turnberry 99 (twilight, 199 regular), Dundonald 95.

Best value? All of it. Seriously. One of the guys I play with is going to Pebble Beach in the spring and between the greens fee and resort he is forking out huge dollars. I didn't think any of the courses were bad values. Maybe I'd say the twilight rates at Western Gailes and Turnberry - they start at like 3 pm and it's light until 10, so it's not like you won't finish.

The food was really quite good. Honestly, most of what was on the menu was what we're used to. One of the bigger differences was the beef - scottish beef is much denser than U.S. beef. Less fat, way less water.

Not many annoyances. I got annoyed with myself for having a hard time understanding people, especially when tired. Driving took some adjustment. Places aren't open late and definitely not 24 hours. Hardly anything and what there was was so trivial.

No caddie stories, we didn't take any. Carried our bags, just used the yardage books. They were sufficient, though it was definitely nice to have one of the other guys in the group have a caddy at the Old Course. It would have been useful to have one at Western Gailes, otherwise, they're just a luxury.

I'll give some thought as to whether to post a picture - not sure how many I have since I don't do selfies.

Happy to answer questions and will think about tips, stories, regrets, anything else I can add.
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Old 07-27-2013, 07:50 AM   #38
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Re: A Good Week (TR/Warning: Pics)

Very good read

Makes me want to go over to scotland to play some golf
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Old 08-02-2013, 08:18 PM   #39
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Re: A Good Week (TR/Warning: Pics)

Holy ****.

I hope to one day be able to afford to do this. Thank you for the trip report.
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Old 08-02-2013, 08:21 PM   #40
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Re: A Good Week (TR/Warning: Pics)

$150 to play the Old Course seems hilarious when I pay 85 to play the like 15 year old "nice country club" with no history and mediocre playing conditions here in Lincoln ****ing goddamn Nebraska.
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Old 09-19-2014, 01:47 PM   #41
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Re: A Good Week (TR/Warning: Pics)

This is such an awesome bucket list TR!! Well done! YOu've made most of us here quite jealous..
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