The Glen Golf Club and Fife!!

Trip Start Sep 03, 2007
Trip End Sep 14, 2007

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Thursday, September 6, 2007

   Up at 7:15 for another massive breakfast.  It is wonderfully sunny yet again, so I am lucking out big time so far.  The clubhouse and first tee of the Glen Golf Club was all of 200 yards from the front door, so I walked up from the B&B.  I was lucky enough to be paired with a couple of members from Edinburgh who come down every so often to play.  The interesting thing about golf clubs in Scotland is that they are normally very inexpensive.  That allows golfers to be members at more than one club quite easily.  Normally, membership at a great golf course will be in the 500-1000 pound range ($1000-2000), which is very cheap relative to the U.S.  So, I was paired with Ian and Alistair from Edinburgh.  The first hole starts off in grand fashion, going up about 40 feet on the second shot.  From there you are up on the cliffs, rolling across the land and catching the wind from various directions.  This is not a true links course due to the turf, but it is very much a clifftop course, reminiscent of a Pebble Beach.  By far the best views from a course yet.  Amazing scenes of Tantallon Castle, Bass Rock, and North Berwick.

   On the 8th we stopped and took in the view, with each of us getting a small cup of "rusty nail" which is whisky and Drambuie.  It went down smooth and warm into the stomach.  The 9th was a downhill downwind par 3 of 205 yards, and I hit a nine iron.  The 10th I had 135 yards uphill and into the wind and I hit a 6 iron short.  The amazing things of golf in the wind - distances don't matter - take whatever club will get you there!  The 13th hole was a blind par 3 with the wind in the face - I couldn't even get a ball on the green.  I just admired the view and took an X.  After another rusty nail on the 16th, we finished up coming back down the cliff to the 18th green.  In the club for a Belhaven or two and a sausage roll.  My whole body is turning into a sausage roll at this point, I think.

   I packed up and said goodbye to James and Angie Sandison at the Wing, and took the long way around to Edinburgh past Gullane and Muirfield, the latter being a world famous golf course and club.  I had to get over the Firth Road Bridge before 4 so the traffic wouldn't be too bad.  I zipped around Edinburgh and crossed the bridge around 3:30, getting into the Kingdom of Fife, and the world-recognized home of golf.  I passed through Kinross and then took the side road across to St. Andrews.  It was beautiful country, and I passed close by the Paps of Fife as I drove through.  They are actually the Lomond Hills, but everyone calls them the Paps.  I say, "golf, whisky, and Paps . . . why don't more people live in Scotland?"  I arrived in St. Andrews around 4:30 or so, and drove past the Old Course Hotel ($1000/night) where I was NOT staying.  Into town in search of a B&B. 

   I drove around for a good forty minutes, finding nothing but full rooms.  I was beginning to wonder if I would have to sleep in the car tonight, when I found a B&B on the outskirts of town with an open room.  The Bowmore B&B run by George and Margaret McQueen.  I brought my things up to the room and walked back into town.  I headed towards the Old Course, and it really just pops out of nowhere.  You are walking down a sidewalk, and all of a sudden you see the R&A Clubhouse, and you are standing right behind the 18th green, watching someone finish a round they will never forget.  If you are lucky enough to hit a good shot, the large number of patrons will clap with approval.  It was a perfect night - the sun was setting behind the Old Course Hotel and it was very peaceful, even with all the people milling around.  After I sat in the sun for awhile, I went back into town for some dinner.  I walked back to the B&B, and met George and his son-in-law.  We started chatting and all of a sudden out comes the whisky!!  Another night of talking over whisky.  In bed by 12:30 - hopefully it will be St. Andrews Old Course tomorrow!!!
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