Please sign in to post.

Golf in Scotland

I have a lifelong dream to play St. Andrews and several other old courses. Can anyone share their experiences getting to Scotland, the golf experience there and travel throughout. We successfully tackled Italy last year and are wondering how this would compare in planning. Thanks

Jim

Posted by
12172 posts

A friend of mine is an avid golfer and frequently makes golfing the center of his vacation plans. He played at St. Andrews with no trouble getting on. While his wife shopped, he showed up as a single and they put him with a threesome of Scots. He plays well enough to be comfortable and the group was fun and witty.

Here is a Scottish golf joke. After teeing off, my friend was looking for his tee. One of his group asked, "What are you looking for?" He replied, "My tee." The first said, "Don't worry, I'm sure someone will turn it in at the clubhouse." I hope you think it's as funny as I did.

I've also heard nothing but great things from people taking Irish golf vacations, be sure to check that out as an option or addition to your trip.

For me personally, golf will become an option when I can fit my bag in my carry on.

Posted by
5678 posts

I'm not a golfer, but I've run into a lot of Americans in Scotland who have had great times. They liked trying some of the links courses. Dornoch got high marks. I've run into people staying in Dornoch for it or further south closer to Inverness. At any rate they had a marvelous time. BTW there seem to be a lot of local golf courses as well as the top drawer ones.

Posted by
559 posts

My thanks to both of you. I learned in our trip to Italy last fall that Rick is soooo right about packing light. I would take my clothing and shoes and either buy or rent whatever else I need in in Scotland, i.e clubs, balls, TEES, etc. As Rick also says, if you can't find what you need over there, perhaps you should ask how 400 million Europeans can live without it. By the way, I did get the joke and it was funny. I have already passed it on to some friends. Thanks again.

Jim

Posted by
28 posts

Jim, i am also going to play golf in Scotland. I am going to carry my golf shoes with me but buy/rent everything else. I realy would like to play with my own clubs but that is not practical since we will be in England,Scotland and Ireland for 3 weeks!

My base camp will be Edinburgh. I will drive to St Andrews to play.

Good luck

jim

Posted by
189 posts

Jim, I played at St Andrews last September and was not able to get on to the Old Course due to a tournment I did not know about. But I played the Jubliee course (there are 6 courses and a 7th is being built. Later in the day when the Old Course was cleared the very friendly starter let me play the Number one hole and the 18th Hole at no charge. I had my picture taken walking across the bridge on the 18th with a club raised above my hear ala Jack. According to the St. Andrews web site a official letter from your golf pro has to state that your handicap is 96 or below for men. We are again visiting Scotland this May and will once again stay at a B&B in cupar and I will take a 20 minute bus ride to St. Andrews and play two days while the wife sightsees elsewhere. This time I E-Mailed St. Andrews to make sure there were no tournments scheduled when I play on being there. Have fun. Dorsey

Posted by
33 posts

I've been all over Scotland for the golf, and here's my thoughts. Feel free to contact me privately if you want more.

As a single, you won't have any problem getting on the Old Course, simply show up early and be prepared to wait. If you have a twosome or foursome, you have to win the lottery - the procedure is on the Links Trust Website. Make sure you take the time in the Auld City to go to the Cathedral ruins and visit Young Tom Morris' grave.

Then get out, and go play other courses. My favorites are North Berwick West, Prestwick, Machrihanish, Crail Balcomie, Nairn and Royal Dornoch. Obviously, how many you can play depends on how long you're going to be there.

Before you go, take the time to study golf history! One of my favorite experiences was playing Musselburgh Old and stopping in Mrs. Forsman's pub for a pint, just as Young Tom and Old Tom did when they were playing a challenge match against the Parks. Or finding the Old Golf Tavern in Bruntsfield.

Far and Sure!

Posted by
33 posts

Dorsey, the 'tournament' you talk about was the Autumn meeting of the Royal and Ancient. The course is almost impossible to get on then, and also for a few days in the spring.

Full details on when you can NOT get into the ballot (and thus not have any chance of playing the course) are at http://www.standrews.org.uk/golf/the_courses/busy_dates.html

BTW, the 'best' golf course in St. Andrews is the New, not the Old. And even if you can't play the Old, you can walk it and see why it's so famous.

One more thing: the Old Course is closed on Sundays. Old Tom Morris said, "If you do na need the rest, the course does!"

Posted by
28 posts

Thanks for all the advice. How difficult it is it to rent a nice set of clubs preferrably Callaway in St Andrews?

I will play once at a Marriott resort in Edinburgh call Dalmahoy and once in St Andrews. If I do not play the old course, my wife and I will walk it.

Any idea what the drive is like from Edinburgh to St Andrews?

Any more golf will probably land me in trouble with my non golfer wife.

TIA

jim

Posted by
2 posts

Actually, we stayed at the Dalmahoy and my husband walked on at the Old Course. The traffic can be quite dicey so I'd give yourself a good 1 1/2 hours. Once you check in there is a great bakery to grab a sinful donut while you wait.

Enjoy. If you are driving north to Dornoch - The Eagle hotel is awesome!