Three fabulous days in Scotland!

06 September 2014

I had a wonderful weekend of golf last week in Scotland with Ian N, Adrian L and Al S. It was a real privilege to play at the ‘home of golf’ on such famous and beautiful courses over the three days.

After picking me up at the airport on Friday Ian and I had a lovely lunch at the R and A Clubhouse before heading out into stormy weather to play the New Course, which was built in 1895! We had a great round and I managed 7 pars, which I was pretty pleased with, while Ian had a similar number of pars but through in a couple of birdies as well. (He’s a solid golfer) Friday night we were joined by Adrian and Al and had a fantastic meal at a sea-food restaurant in St Andrews with lots of laughs and banter while trying to gain the psychological edge going into the weekend’s Match Play.

After Ian showed the boys around the Clubhouse (which houses the famous Claret Jug) we nervously teed-off on the Old Course into a three-to-four-club wind, and it was so windy the ball was moving on the greens when addressing putts, and affecting the line and strength of the putts, all of which made putting extra tricky. I’d left my driver at home in Wonersh and felt under-powered off the tees as the first nine holes were straight into a ferocious wind and my three-wood just didn’t get the job done. I still managed 6 pars on the day but missed a four-footer for par on the famous 17th Road Hole, which would have squared the match and taken it up the 18th for a grand finale. We finished off a brilliant round with a drink in the bar before heading to Adrian’s home just outside Stirling for a wonderful meal cooked by his wife Kari, and of course more banter!

On the Sunday we played the PGA Course at Gleneagles, where the Ryder Cup will be played at the end of the month. They’ve narrowed the fairways by about half and allowed the rough to grow into a murderous thickness where you didn’t want to spend too much time. With the fairways being so narrow it was tough to consistently find the fairway and it was difficult going. Al and I hung in there until around the 12th hole when Adrian and Ian pulled ahead and ended up winning by four holes. Al and I played poorly down the stretch but the boys really dove-tailed beautifully and played some great golf with Ian stringing together 7 pars in a row at one stage. We ran into John D both on the course and in the clubhouse and it was nice to see him in his golfing environment.

Weekend Awards:

Most Consistent Player- Easily won by Ian who is a cracking good golfer and a tough competitor. Never gives up on a hole and holed some big putts.

Bandit Of The Weekend- Easily won by Adrian who talks a rubbish game but is solid off the tee with power. Will never receive strokes again!

Best Dressed- No doubt about Al winning this one with his flamboyant blue-and- white checked trousers and blue-and-white reversible ‘Rory’ belt that finished off his get-up beautifully! Brave outfit Al, especially teeing-off the first on the Old Course!

Happiest Moment- Me hitting two great shots on the Road Hole to set up a 15-foot birdie putt.

Saddest Moment- Me three-putting the Road Hole!

Best Two-Putt- Adrian two-putting from 120 feet. His first putt was dreadful but he finished it off from about thirty-feet to half the hole! Jammy sod!

Coolest Moment- When Adrian drained a 25-foot birdie putt on the 18th hole of the Old Course, which sent the crowd of tourists lining the back of the green into a roaring ovation, and he casually turned and gave them a ‘Rory-like’ professional golf wave, just as if he holed birdie putts for a living. Brilliant!

It was an outstanding weekend with wonderful golf, great food and fantastic company. Playing the Old Course, which will host next years Open Championship followed by the Ryder Cup Course is a combination that comes around once in a lifetime. Thank you very much boys for organising it all and your stunning hospitality.

And Happy Birthday to me!

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