British Isles

A postcard from Brora Golf Club
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A postcard from Brora Golf Club

On the first day, we play on the shore of the North Sea. It is a windy afternoon on the North Sea in northeastern Scotland. It has taken us 24 hours to get here, four flights from Washington, D.C., and ninety minutes of left-side driving. This was the beginning of the trip to celebrate my…

A postcard from Royal Dornoch
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A postcard from Royal Dornoch

On the second day, we play the No. 2 rated course in the world. We woke up on the morning of Wednesday, April 24, at the Royal Golf Hotel, in view of Royal Dornoch Golf Club, a few steps from the clubhouse.┬áIt was sunny, the wind whipping through the flags by the first tee. The…

A postcard from Machrihanish Dunes
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A postcard from Machrihanish Dunes

On the third day, a 21st century course that seems centuries old. The forecast for Thursday, April 25, had initially called for rain over much of Scotland. But by the time we got to Machrihanish the outlook was more favorable, and the morning suggested there would be sunshine, and there was. I had played Machrihanish…

A postcard from Old Machrihanish
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A postcard from Old Machrihanish

On the fourth day, we battled Machrihanish Golf Club, and the elements. Our room in the wonderful Ugadale Hotel overlooked the iconic first tee at Machrihanish Golf Club, where the tee shot must clear a beach and where, depending on the tide, the golfer must decide, in the words of James W. Finegan, how much…

A postcard from the OId Course
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A postcard from the OId Course

Interlude: We explore the Old Course and St. Andrews. Our exploration of St. Andrews occurred over two days, Friday evening, after the five-hour drive from Machrihanish, and Sunday morning, when we walked every hole of the Old Course, closed for golf every Sunday, and saw the ruins of the castle and the cathedral and the…

A postcard from Craighead Links
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A postcard from Craighead Links

On the morning of the fifth day, an unexpected and wonderful surprise. On this day, Saturday, April 27, we had a 2:50 p.m. tee time at Cruden Bay, about a two-hour drive, and had played the demanding Machrihanish Golf Club the day before and driven about five hours after that. So, what did we do…

A postcard from Cruden Bay
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A postcard from Cruden Bay

A gray, rainy afternoon on day 5 at spectacular Cruden Bay Amazing, how the weather can change, on the North Sea, over the space of a few hours, and just over 100 miles. In the morning we’d played Craighead Links near Crail in shirtsleeves. And in the afternoon, Cruden Bay Golf Club was shrouded in…

A postcard from Carnoustie
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A postcard from Carnoustie

On the sixth day, we fear the worst … and conquer our fears. We played Carnoustie Golf Links in late afternoon, a 3:40 p.m. tee time on Sunday, April 28. In the morning, we’d walked the Old Course at St. Andrews, walked into town and past the ruins of the castle and of the cathedral….

A postcard from North Berwick
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A postcard from North Berwick

Our seventh and final day, my favorite course in Scotland, maybe anywhere. I loved this old course south of Edinburgh when I played here in 2016; loved the views of the islands in the Firth of Forth and the view of the Kingdom of Fife beyond, and the stone walls, and the way the golf…

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