Playing golf in Scotland- Part I

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When you read this, assuming you read it on Wednesday when it is published, I will be in one of two places:  the practice round of The Open Championship at Carnoustie or, if we are lucky and get a lottery pick, playing the Old Course at St. Andrews.

Either way, we will be soaking in some wonderful golf in Scotland.

The Itinerary

I described some of the pre-planning that went into the trip a few weeks ago, so if you happened to miss that and might be planning your own trip, there are several helpful hints that will keep you from re-inventing the wheel.

As I write this, the biggest worry is whether our bags and clubs make it when we make it.  I know there is a 98% chance they will, but that 2% is still out there.  And this is a bucket list trip- it’s not like we will do it again in a few months.

But assuming they do, and everything is as it should be as you read this, here is the plan, Stan:

Monday-Tuesday

We flew out Monday night, landed Tuesday morning at Edinburgh, got our bags, piled them into the rental, and found our hotel in Edinburgh.

Later on Tuesday, we went to Edinburgh Castle which is impressive in its own right but is also the home of the Edinburgh Military Tattoo-here is a sample:

Then to bed early to recover from jet lag and get ready for golf.

Wednesday

We leave our hotel early and drive the 45 minutes or so to St. Andrews, where we will stay the remainder of the trip.  As I said earlier, we either are at the practice round at Carnoustie, or playing the Old Course.  Obviously, there will be photos and stories upcoming regardless of which it happens to be.

We check in to our hotel in St. Andrews, unload, then are off.  Chances are it’s Carnoustie, where we plan on walking the course, and seeing some of the players  We possibly (ok, probably…ok, definitely) will visit the merchandise tent to buy some souvenirs and swag. I plan on sampling fish and chips along with a local brew, and make it a low-key day.

Thursday

Tee time at 0800 at Kingsbarns Golf Links.

Kingsbarns co-hosts the European Tour’s Dunhill Links Championship, and was the host course for the 2017 Ricoh Women’s British Open.  It is on more “Best of” lists than I would attempt to list, but here are a couple:  Golf Digest- Rank of 30th in World’s Top 100 Courses in 2017-18; and, Golf World Magazine- Rank of 6th in UK and Ireland’s Top 100 courses in 2016.

I’ve gone to the website just to drool at the photos more than once.

We have caddies for both Alice and myself, so this will be a true Scottish golf links experience.

Friday

Back to Carnoustie to witness round two of the Open Championship.  After walking Kingsbarns, I’m pretty sure my knee, which has a two-page list of things wrong with it courtesy of my orthopedic surgeon, will be begging for rest, so I am betting we will find a spot in the 18th hole grandstand and watch the golfers finish.

And Friday night will call for a nice dinner.

Saturday

Tee time at 1200 at the Castle Course at St. Andrews.  Some of you may not know that there are actually seven golf courses at the Home of Golf, including the par-3 Balgove Course.

The Castle Course runs along the coastline so we will have some more impressive views, hopefully.  Unless of course we happen to be selected for the Old Course lottery, and then we will be playing arguably the most famous golf course in the world.  Keep your fingers crossed!

Sunday

Today is reserved for sightseeing around St. Andrews, visiting the St. Andrews Golf Museum, the old castle ruins, doing some souvenir shopping, and preparing for the trip home tomorrow.

Also, the Old Course is closed to golf on Sundays, but is open as public grounds for the citizens of St. Andrews.  If we are not chosen to get to play the course, we will walk it on Sunday along with the townspeople and still get a feel for how it would be to play.

Monday

A long trip home begins, ending in Charlotte on Tuesday morning.

And then sorting through all the photos!

Thanks for reading, and Enjoy Shooting Your Age!

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