golfing in Scotland

Sep 3rd, 2009, 09:55 AM
  #1  
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golfing in Scotland

I am planning a surprise 60th birthday golfing vacation for my husband in Scotland for either july or august of 2010. Any thoughts or ideas from anyone? I will probably not be golfing because I have too high of a handicap, but my husband is a 7 handicap. I would like some ideas on what I could do or see while he is golfing. Any golfing tours that someone has used in the past that they were happy with would be a great start.
Also--do they use riding carts in Scotland or does everyone have to walk?
Cyndee is offline  
Sep 3rd, 2009, 11:43 AM
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I personally wouldn't do a tour. No need really and doing it on your own can be MUCH cheaper since most of the golf-centric tour operators only book the highest end hotels etc.

I've taken golfing friends to Scotland a few times (I did all the planning - they played all the golf)

The great thing about most of the "biggies" -- St Andrews, Carnoustie, Royal Dornoch, Troon, Prestwick etc etc - is they are in/near all sorts of major touring centers/sites/scenery.

St Andrews for instance Besides the Old Course and all the other courses there -- you have the castle, the Cathedral ruins, the west Sands, - plenty enough to fill a day for you. Then nearby are all the other Fife east Neuk courses (Crail, Lundin Links etc) surrounded by lovely fishing villages, Falkland Palace/Gardens and more.

Royal Dornoch? The cathedral, Dunrobin Castle, sea coast/lochs/waterfalls

Troon/Prestwick - they are in Ayrshire in Robert Burns country, plus the amazing Culzean Castle.

Then there are hundreds of other courses, and most are public and in scenic places . . . .
janisj is online now  
Sep 3rd, 2009, 05:47 PM
  #3  
 
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If you are interested in the Old Course at St. Andrews, they started accepting applications for summer 2010 yesterday. If he is playing by himself, he probably wouldn't have a problem by just showing up at the course (early) on the day he wants to play. Note that the British Open will be held at St. Andrews next July 15-18, as I recall.
colduphere is offline  
Sep 3rd, 2009, 05:49 PM
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Maybe he/you would like to attend the Open for a couple of days?
colduphere is offline  
Sep 3rd, 2009, 05:52 PM
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Almost everyone walks with a caddie or uses a pull cart. I never saw a riding cart but some of the newer courses may have them.

Will you be driving? If not, you should probably pick one area to visit:

1. West coast...Troon, Turnberry, Prestwick.

2. North...Dornoch, Nairn, Cruden Bay.

3. St. Andrews area...St. Andrews, Carnoustie, Kingsbarns.

If this is your first trip to Scotland I would recommend 3. Stay in St. Andrews, take a day trip to Edinburgh, walk a few courses with your husband. Just don't be too disappointed if he can't get on the Old Course. (Although as a single, he might be able to join a group of three who have a starting time.)

Aah...the thought of single malt scotch and haggis bring back very pleasant memories!

Jim
Jimingso is offline  
Sep 3rd, 2009, 07:48 PM
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St. Andrews will be closed for the British Open from June 19- July 19, 2010, so this may impact your timing.
enchantedacres is offline  
Sep 4th, 2009, 12:18 AM
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There are lots of super things to do in Scotland whilst ones other half golfs. I think we need some notion of budget from you. And time scale.

I do think that since the Open is at St Andrews you'd do well to golf away from there, and take at least one day trip to see it.

Gleneagles or Loch Lomond might be good bases to do other areas. A number of us here can help if you don't want to use a tour company.

Click on my name, however, and you'll find one I recommended a week or so ago.

Here is a useful page about cartsbr />
http://www.golfvacationinsider.com/e...d-ireland-1687
sheila is offline  
Sep 7th, 2009, 05:12 PM
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Hi Cyndee,
Do you guys belong to a golf/country club? Reciprocity among golf clubs may help getting a tee time.

I can also try to get my business partner's father to get your husband a time - he's a member of RSA.
--
flylow
flylow is offline  
Sep 8th, 2009, 11:22 AM
  #9  
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Thanks for all of the wonderful responses! It certainly gives me a lot to think about. I have always planned all of our trips without a travel agent in the past, but I thought that I wold need a tour company to book tee times for me. I use on line services for the US, but never abroad. Myi fear was that we would get there and they would say sorry....!!!
I will get back to you all with additional questions after I do a little more research.
Thanks again,
Cyndee
Cyndee is offline  
Sep 8th, 2009, 11:27 AM
  #10  
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We are no longer members of a country club. My husband felt that we were missing so many courses because we only golfed at one place for fifteen years ---unless we were vacationing. Please let me know if your business partner's father would be interested in assisting us.
Thanks,
Cyndee
Cyndee is offline  
Sep 8th, 2009, 11:33 AM
  #11  
 
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you can contact each course individually by phone or by e-mail. The main one that takes advance work would be the Old Course - but if one is playing single he can usually get on just by showing up on the day. The starter will place him w/ a two or threesome (as long as there isn't a local tournament or it is during the closure prior to the Open Championship)

There is also a phone lottery each day - he calls and places his name in the pool and at 5PM he can check to see if he made a tee time for the next day. Again, being a solo, his chances for making the lottery are pretty good.

Most other courses - even the world famous ones - you can just book a tee time. Of course, the farther ahead, and the more flexibility you have, the easier it is. Be sure to not each requirements re - handicap, whether he needs a letter from his home course secretary, whatever.

And a hint -- if he really just wants to see the Old Course and not necessarily play it (though it is a wonderful experience) -- go there on a Sunday. There is no play on Sundays and the course becomes a vast city park. You can walk the whole thing if you want.
janisj is online now  
Sep 8th, 2009, 01:39 PM
  #12  
 
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Hi Cyndee,

My business partner spoke w/his father about a round of golf at the Old Course at St. Andrew's. His father emailed him the following link:
http://www.standrews.org.uk/golf/the..._bookings.html
Take a look at the info there. He'll help if you get no joy but thinks you won't have a problem.
flylow is offline  
Sep 9th, 2009, 12:55 AM
  #13  
 
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Cyndee, I've booked tees for folk on here before. I'll help if I can
sheila is offline  
Sep 11th, 2009, 10:33 AM
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Thanks all-
I am going to look through airfares and exact times of travel. I will be back for more assistance after I have more information to give you.
Cyndee is offline  
Sep 24th, 2009, 07:42 PM
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Cyndee,

We too are planning to go to Scotland next summer, probably the week of August 9. My husband also wants to play the Old Course at St. Andrews, but as a single he can't book a tee time in advance. janisj also has been helpful in offering lots of advice to us on how he might be able to get on the course and on places to stay in and around St. Andrews.

We haven't booked our flights yet, but as soon as we do, I am going to do some calling to the various golf courses he wants to play (definitely the Old Course and Carnoustie). I can't play the Old Course because my handicap is too high (I just started playing golf in May). My 12 yo son who also plays golf wants to walk the course with my husband, if he is allowed.

If you are planning to be in Scotland at the same time we're going to be there, perhaps we can work together to get our husbands a tee time as a twosome. Just a thought.
freberta is offline  
Oct 8th, 2009, 01:51 PM
  #16  
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I will keep in touch!
Cyndee is offline  
Oct 8th, 2009, 02:14 PM
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Glad to see that you have posted again. I haven't done much planning since the initial inquiries I made several weeks ago. I can't do much, however, until I book flights, and that will probably be early next year. Are you on TripAdvisor? I am, under freberta, and if you would like to contact me directly that way, I am on that site regularly.

We have joined a new golf club and hopefully they might be able to help us get single tee times. If not, we'll figure something out. Unfortunately, my golf game isn't improving, but I'm just thrilled with the idea of going to St. Andrews and other famous Scottish golf courses to watch my husband play.
freberta is offline  
Oct 8th, 2009, 03:29 PM
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Golfing in Scotland is great - don't only play the big name courses.

I second the recommendation for Royal Dornoch. Loved it!

Another one that I loved is Cruden Bay.

janisj is the local golfing expert... she has excellent advice.
surfmom is online now  
Oct 8th, 2009, 05:55 PM
  #19  
 
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"janisj is the local golfing expert"

Thanks for the kind words - I do know a bit and have arranged golf for quite a few friends. But I'm far from 'the local expert'. Sheila is right there in Aberdeenshire and has lots of local knowledge. There is a Fodorite named JinxHoover who is really good w/ info too.

I'll help where I can though . . .
janisj is online now  
Oct 8th, 2009, 06:53 PM
  #20  
 
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janisj, your advice has been dead on in most cases. I usually try to jump in on the golf threads b/c I'm a links golfer - which is best played in Scotland and Ireland. I can't wait until my kids are old enough that I can play regularly again!

accept the compliment, go get a glass of wine, and go to sleep thinking, "I did good today." It isn't every day that we get to say that!

: )
surfmom is online now  
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