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Bryan Izatt

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Scottish Links Golf - A Trip Report
« on: August 17, 2006, 03:08:21 AM »
I’ve just returned from two weeks travelling around Scotland, playing eight links courses – Musselburgh Old Links; Gullane #2; North Berwick, West; The Old Course; Crail Balcomie; Cruden Bay; Brora; and, Royal Dornoch.  Following are random thoughts on the trip; some may even be on topic.

Musselburgh – to hickory or not?  Not – paying £25 to rent the clubs seemed unreasonable against a green fee of £6.  But, I did borrow and hit a Mashie Niblick off the first tee.  Dead over the flag, and the green.  Chipped back in for a birdie.  Who says I can’t play hickories?  Are those Yucca trees in the background?



Quirky – a golf course on the infield of a turf horse racing course.



What’s the definition of firm and fast? Musselburgh in drought and 80 degree heat.  Fairways almost white and cracked.  The surrounding turf course race track was much lusher than the golf course inside.  First drive was close to 350 yards.  A previous thread on here equating fun to the amount of time a ball takes to come to rest comes to mind.  What a blast watching the ball bounce, run, tumble, turn and skip here, there and everywhere.

You want two tier greens?  How about this one at the 5th.  Regrettably I was at the top and the flag was at the bottom.  The bump and run second had a little too much run.  Would modern architects build in this much of a tier?

 

Who needs drink carts when you can just walk through the gate in the fence for a pint at the Mrs Formans pub hard by the 4th green.



Every village you drive through has a course or two or three, and along the eastern coast there is seemingly endless links land to build more.

We stayed literally around the corner from Muirfield in Gullane.  Sure didn’t look like they’d want anyone walking in and looking around.  Archerfield was no more inviting, although their logoed SUV was always around the village.

I walked along the coastal paths near Muirfield.  The land Muirfield is on looked pedestrian, and certainly nowhere near as inspiring or dramatic as say, Cruden Bay or Royal Dornoch.  Here’s a view of Muirfield from afar, atop Gullane Hill.



The vast majority of bunkers on the courses I played had stacked sod walls.  Is it true that they prevent growth in the walls of the bunkers and achieve the blackened look through the use of blowtorches????  Not too many natural looking blowout bunkers on any of the courses.  Here’s a natural blowout bunker in waiting – too bad it wasn’t on a course.  It’s on the seaward side of Muirfield.  If you had that land would you route a hole to utilize that blowout?  Which architects used that style in their bunkers?



On to North Berwick West.

As a slight tangent, on this fifth trip to the land where they drive on the wrong side of the road, the transition in driving habits is getting easier.  While driving, I was reminded of a previous thread on here about difficult to get to courses.  On an earlier trip, I drove from Ambleside in the Lakes District across the appropriately named Hardknott Pass to play Seascale.  Most white knuckle drive ever.  There was no wrong side of the road, since there was only one switchback lane over the mountains – notwithstanding two way traffic – of which blessedly there was little.  Hanging out on cliff side passing spots was no fun.

At North Berwick, they included an insurance certificate with the green fee.  Wisely, I’d decided to park down a side street, not in the limited course parking.  Man, the 18th was claustrophobic on the right.  I’d guess the insurance gets exercised with some regularity.

I’m finding it hard to play the courses for the first time and to try to observe the architectural features in any depth.  I’m beginning to think that playing a course once isn’t enough to really understand it, rate it, or comment on it.  None-the-less, this was one fun course.  Short holes, long holes, blind tee shots, skyline greens, push-up plateau greens, dell greens……  

I had to play a shot off the beach on the second hole.  Why are the beaches on many of the courses marked with white stakes?  Are they really OB?

Interesting holes:  Number 13, the Pit, what a wonderful green in a pit backed by a dune and behind a stone wall that blocks access to the green.  No bump and run ground game here.  Any current architect want to replicate that hole concept?



Number 14, the aptly named Perfection.  What an absolutely stunning driving hole with a wonderful rumpled fairway leading to a green hidden up and behind a 15 foot high ridge.



Number 15, the famous Redan hole.  It was a slight disappointment – probably because of too high expectation on my part.  From the part of the teeing ground in use that day, the green was blind behind the two fronting bunkers.  Pick a line and hit it.  The nature of the green complex didn’t get into my head.  The slope of the green appears subtle from the front, and more severe looking from the back.  It was a bit fuzzy that day, but I can imagine it being a terrifying putt from the front when the green is faster.






The 16th hole, Gate, had one of the most interesting, if not bizarre greens, I’ve ever seen.  Is it a Biarritz?  It looked totally artificial, although I could imagine that they just lopped the tops off of two dunes with a sheep track crossing between them.  It was certainly causing grief to the groups I watched play through it.  Lots of talking and pleading to the ball going on, followed frequently by groans and curses.



Not to mention many wonderful views to distract you from the game at hand.




Bryan Izatt

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Re:Scottish Links Golf - A Trip Report
« Reply #1 on: August 17, 2006, 03:10:21 AM »
Part II

Gullane #2 was next.  It was a relative disappointment compared to the rest of the courses.  I walked part of #1 too, and although it may be harder, the holes looked to be similar in style and land form.  It didn’t seem worth twice the green fee.

The walk up and over Gullane Hill twice in one round in record heat probably detracted from the experience.  The land was considerably less rumpled than N. Berwick and thus less interesting to me.  

The blind driveable short par 4 third hole directly up Gullane Hill was fun to play, but no fun to walk.



The drop shot 215 yard par 3 11th was a neat hole overlooking the sweeping expanses of Aberlady Bay.  The fronting bunkers were deceptively short of the green, and picking out a club for the shot was troublesome.



St Andrews, The Old Course.  My third time around it; second time as a single.  Arrived at 11:30 and was off by 2:30 despite some early doubts from the starter.  

Talked to a tour operator while waiting and was shocked at the prices some of the tour operators charge for a round at TOC.  

A sign in the clubhouse indicates that the annual membership is £191 for locals.  Unbelievable.  

Is it my imagination, or is the dress code and quality of the players of TOC deteriorating?

When they call you as a single it’s a sprint to get off.  Pay the fees, get a trolley, put away the welcome kit, hit the ball.  You’d better be ready.  It took me some holes to remember that the yardage book gave distance to the front edge of the greens, and not the middle.  Ooops, some approach shots came up short on the first few holes.  Daily pin placement sheet is also part of the package.  A nice touch, but who has time to study the book and the sheet and execute the shots, and play at the pace desired in Scotland.  The front nine, especially, has mostly blind tee shots over gorse bushes where it is difficult to pick out the line even with the guide book.  No wonder many choose to get caddies.

I was paired with 3 Americans; sadly, you don’t often get to play with Scots on Scottish golf courses.  One of the Americans hits it 30 yards out of bounds on the first with a wicked slice; and, then proceeded to lose a dozen balls and pick up on a half dozen holes.  But, he still seemed to enjoy the experience.  Another American, a 5 handicapper, wasn’t able to obtain a caddy (they sold out) and struggled mightily navigating around the course.  He kept trying to pitch and lob the ball to the greens. I suggested he try more of a ground game, but he didn’t.  Picking pitch shots off very firm turf to very firm undulating greens was too much for him.  He ended with an 86 and some head shaking after this visit to Hell (bunker, that is).

I was disappointed in the conditioning of the greens.  I’m quite accepting of Scottish greens, but the greens at TOC were really fuzzy (maybe due to the near drought conditions) and some were partly aerated and sanded.  Bad timing I guess, but when you’re paying £120……..

This trip around reminded me of the beauty and challenge of the green complexes and the bunkering.  More three putts than I care to remember.  Three bunkers hit – Shell on seven off a 320 yard drive (it was really, really firm and fast) which I extricated only to 3 putt from the front swale; the Lion’s Mouth on 13 which required a backwards exit, a chip and two putts for a double; and, the Road Hole Bunker off a wonderfully struck 3 iron that rolled up the right side of the green, across the ridge and into the bunker.  Took 2 to extricate myself from that sucker, plus two putts, for another double.  Note for next time – stay out of the bunkers.

My goodness, but the greens are marvellous (did I mention that already?).  A significant defence for the course.  

A different pin position on Eden than I’d seen before, to the right of Strath, behind Shell, and in front of an unnamed pot bunker at the back, and sitting at the edge of a 4 foot ridge. Dropped a beautiful six iron on the top of the ridgeline only to have it come back down.  Another three jack.  Oh well.  Chipped to 3 feet on 12 for a birdie.



And what’s a more fitting finish to TOC than a punch shot to the Valley of Sin leading to a bogey.



In retrospect, TOC is far and away the least photogenic of the links courses I’ve played, hence the paucity of pictures.


Bryan Izatt

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Re:Scottish Links Golf - A Trip Report
« Reply #2 on: August 17, 2006, 03:12:59 AM »
Part III

Crail Balcomie must be the shortest full course I’ve ever played at 5400 yards, but at a par of 67 and a course rating was 67.8 (USGA style), it’s no pushover.  The 73 I shot was good for the ego until you remember the par.  There were a number of holes on this course that I felt I could overpower, but then there were others that challenged with length and wind. The views from everywhere were stunning.  

It was interesting to stand behind the clubhouse looking down over the last 4 hole on the Balcomie, and a couple of holes of the new Craighead course.  The difference in look between the old traditional links and the new modern course was startling. The new course looked totally structured compared to the old.

There were a few marvellous holes to enjoy.  The aptly named number 5, Hell’s Hole.  A yardage book would have been useful for determining how much of the ocean to cut off.  Seems that left of the left fence posts was the line, not the right ones. All risk/reward, and into the wind to boot.



The 416 yard eighth hole, Breeches Buoy, presented a lovely skyline (or maybe that’s a waterline) green.



The 250 yard ninth hole, Dykeside, was a wonderful short par 4 into the prevailing wind.  The stone wall and OB looming up the right side of the hole, and a monstrous bunker protecting the front left of the green made this anything but a driveable par 4 even at this short yardage



Finally, the uphill 207 yard par 3 Craighead was a topsy-turvy green well protected by deep pots.  Getting from the bunkers to anywhere near the pin was a major challenge.  Misses really needed to be kept below the hole.

 Cruden Bay is still one of my favourite adventures.  So many stunning holes.  But, what’s with the subdivision that’s arisen above the course?

I talked briefly to the starter about some of the changes proposed for the course, that I had read about on threads here.  He said there were no firm plans he knew of.  As a member, he was also certain that any changes would need to be approved by the membership.  In any event, the course is still as it has been for the last few years.

The green site on 3 is just magnificent, full of humps and hollows, backed by the village and , in the distance, the ruins of Slain Castle.



Is there any better sequence of a par 3, 4 and 5 anywhere, than the 4th, 5th and 6th.  The setting of 4 is beautiful, and the hole is tough as nails.  



The course was so dry that the 5th was almost shining, but it played as a long par 4 even in those firm and fast conditions



The green complex is just devilish on the 6th with any shot short, left, or right bound for trouble. The hidden burn on the left side with the closely mown bank is especially devlish.



The 11th, a short par 3, doesn’t get much notice, but what a marvellously difficult green to hit.  Watch out for the fall-offs on all sides, the myriad bunkers and the meandering burn up the right side.  Here’s a view from above the back left of the green.



The ridge protecting the green on the par 5 13th.



The rumpled fairway and bathtub green on 14 are the definition of quirky.  The definition of firm and fast – a 3 iron of 280 yards off the tee.

.

.

How do you play the blind 214 yard 15th.  I hit a 5 iron 30 yards past the green on the perfect line.  Firm and fast has its down sides.

The middle-line mound on 17 has been shaved, thereby reducing its hazardness.  But as buried elephants go, it’s more in the order of a tyrannosaurus rex.

Wow, what a thrill ride of a course.  Perhaps the most fun course of the bunch to play.



Bryan Izatt

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Re:Scottish Links Golf - A Trip Report
« Reply #3 on: August 17, 2006, 03:15:10 AM »
Part IV

Brora was a mostly cloudy, sometime foggy, day in a streak of two weeks of sunny hot weather.  It made some of the early holes more challenging than they might otherwise be on first playing them.

When we stepped on the first tee, five young men (of maybe 10 years of age) came up behind us and sat on the bench.  I asked them if they were going out as a 5-ball.   Oh no, they were certainly playing as a 2- and a 3-ball.  As I teed up on the white medal tee, there was quiet muttering from the boys, until one got up the courage to say: “But, sir, you canna play from those tees.  It’s not permitted.  The yellow tees are for regular play.”  Of course, I moved up to the 5872 yard yellow tees, thinking I’m going to overpower this course.  But such politeness and knowledge and etiquette from 10 year-olds was refreshing.

And, although I shot a 72 against the par of 69, the course was no pushover.  A real fun golf adventure full of blind shots, small, difficult-to-hit greens, electric fences, flocks of wandering wild life, and mischievously placed burns.

Notwithstanding the grazing sheep on the course, they maintain an out back mowing pattern on the fairways – very curious.  

For those who like their bunkers penal, Brora’s fairway bunkers would be ideal.  After the sheep trod around in them and s@!t in them, they are no bargain.  For the rules mavens, there is a local rule that sheep and cow droppings can be played as casual water????



The 13th, a mere 108 yard par 3 named Snake sticks in my mind for the lovely setting, meandering burn, and multitude of pot bunkers.



The 17th, Tarbatness, was a fine challenging long uphill par 4 of 438 yard with a centreline fescue covered mound in the landing area.  Why did I think that a 5800 yard par 69 course would be too short?



I didn’t think I’d be a fan of a closing par 3, but the Home Hole was certainly a challenge – uphill and semi-blind at 190 yards.  Not paying enough attention to the yardage book, I tried to punch a running 5 iron in.  Much to my chagrin, there is a very deep closely mown gully across in front of the green.  Seemed to be a popular spot based on the number of divots.  Trying to hit it long is not a good idea either, as there is a fall off behind the green too.

 

Royal Dornoch   So much has been written, I’m not sure I’m adequate to expand on it.  Golf was talked everywhere in the village we went.  We stayed in the 2 Quail Restaurant and Rooms.  A fine establishment with fine hosts.  How can you go wrong when they’re members of the club and selling Rich Goodale’s Dornoch book (even though they didn’t know Rich).

Dornoch was an opportunity to meet and play with some GCA’ers – Tony Muldoon, Willie Dow, and Chris Kane.  Here are the Foxy group on a famous tee.  



There was a brief moment there where I thought – hmmmm, to be 21 again and working in St Andrews for a year like Chris might not be all bad.  Willie was such a fine gentleman and walked 36 holes that day – an admirable feat – with flashes of a fine game.  Thanks to Tony “Chicken Wing” Muldoon for bringing us together.



As for the course, upon playing it for the 4th time, some further observations:

-   The size of most of the greens and the requirement to be on the right part of the green or 3 putts ensue (let me not remember the number of them)
-   The fairways sloping left to right towards the bunkers on the right to left 3rd hole.  The green laid on the land.
-   The perched green on 4 with the ridge running diagonally away.  One place where bump and run will not work well.
-   Hitting the ball off the back of the front bunker on the approach to the 8th and running it down to the flag.
-   The subtle front to back slope at the front of the par 3 10th green that caused even wedge shots to shoot to the back of the green and down the slope.
-   The difficulty in finding a good driving line on the uphill 16th.
-   The bunkering on the 5th hole.



This is Willie on the 5th holding, I’m told, a famous umbrella, well known to at least one frequent poster on this site.

A certain churlish GCA’er (with tongue, no doubt, firmly planted in cheek) suggested that we might pass some critical remarks about the routing of the course where the 14th tee is immediately behind the 12th green, whereas the 13th tee is located some yards back and to the left.  There was little support for this debate.

And, what could be a more fitting conclusion to two weeks of links golf than Royal Dornoch’s 18th.  For me it’s about playing the courses.  Painting my temporal passing on the fine canvases that are links golf.  Thinking, this is your last drive on a links course for a while, so smooth it out there.  A 260 yard bullet up the centre – slightly uphill and blind, so sadly, I can’t watch the roll out through the bumps and hollows.  Followed by a pure arcing 7 iron from 165, with a little draw to 15 feet left of the flag.  The putt for birdie missed.  But, who cares – two pure shots on one of the world’s finest courses and finishing holes.  What better way to end.

Brian Phillips

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Re:Scottish Links Golf - A Trip Report
« Reply #4 on: August 17, 2006, 03:24:48 AM »
Brian,

That is a superb report.

Thanks...did not realise that Chris looked sooo young

Brian
Bunkers, if they be good bunkers, and bunkers of strong character, refuse to be disregarded, and insist on asserting themselves; they do not mind being avoided, but they decline to be ignored - John Low Concerning Golf

Ed Tilley

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Re:Scottish Links Golf - A Trip Report
« Reply #5 on: August 17, 2006, 03:45:20 AM »
Spot the Aussie in the Royal Dornoch picture. The hardened Northern Hemisphere types are in shorts and polo short whereas Chris appears to be wearing his entire wardrobe.

I've always said Australians are soft.

mike_malone

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Re:Scottish Links Golf - A Trip Report
« Reply #6 on: August 17, 2006, 03:51:16 AM »
Bryan,

    Great stuff!!! The members I played with were disappointed in the greens at TOC.It made the putting the most difficult of the trip.


    I wonder if your regard for Cruden Bay is influenced by the impressive dunes. I find the Irish courses I have played to be more spiritual with the huge dunes, particularly Ballybunion.
AKA Mayday

Jim Nugent

Re:Scottish Links Golf - A Trip Report
« Reply #7 on: August 17, 2006, 04:18:49 AM »
Some great pictures.  For the first time ever, I have a good idea what the Redan looks like from the tee.

16 at N. Berwick looks wild.  How big is that back portion of the green?  What club do you hit into it?      

James Bennett

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Re:Scottish Links Golf - A Trip Report
« Reply #8 on: August 17, 2006, 04:20:15 AM »
Bryan

great report.  Brief but voluminous.  Inciteful.  Picturesque.

James B
Bob; its impossible to explain some of the clutter that gets recalled from the attic between my ears. .  (SL Solow)

ForkaB

Re:Scottish Links Golf - A Trip Report
« Reply #9 on: August 17, 2006, 04:30:09 AM »
Great report, Bryan.  Thanks!

Rich

PS--2 Quail would know me, were I not a master of disguise.  I've dined there and delivered 20 books to them last month.

R  

Chris Kane

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Re:Scottish Links Golf - A Trip Report
« Reply #10 on: August 17, 2006, 06:42:45 AM »
Spot the Aussie in the Royal Dornoch picture. The hardened Northern Hemisphere types are in shorts and polo short whereas Chris appears to be wearing his entire wardrobe.

I've always said Australians are soft.

There's no choice but to be soft when visiting a country with such a disgraceful climate.  The people reflect that climate too.

Ed Tilley

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Re:Scottish Links Golf - A Trip Report
« Reply #11 on: August 17, 2006, 06:58:39 AM »
Spot the Aussie in the Royal Dornoch picture. The hardened Northern Hemisphere types are in shorts and polo short whereas Chris appears to be wearing his entire wardrobe.

I've always said Australians are soft.

There's no choice but to be soft when visiting a country with such a disgraceful climate.  The people reflect that climate too.

Wasn't it baking hot when you were in England?

Chris Kane

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Re:Scottish Links Golf - A Trip Report
« Reply #12 on: August 17, 2006, 06:59:32 AM »
It won't be next time I'm down there Ed!

Ed Tilley

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Re:Scottish Links Golf - A Trip Report
« Reply #13 on: August 17, 2006, 07:10:07 AM »
It won't be next time I'm down there Ed!

Nonsense - it's hot and humid down here at the moment. In fact, it's so humid it gives the impression that it's raining heavily.

Kevin Pallier

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Re:Scottish Links Golf - A Trip Report
« Reply #14 on: August 17, 2006, 08:00:51 AM »
Brad

There's some wonderfull variety in those courses Musselburgh, Gullane, North Berwick, TOC, Crail, Cruden Bay, Brora, and, Royal Dornoch. Thanks for bringing back some great memories.

re: Musselburgh - I played 9 holes with the hickories and my modern clubs....a much more interesting round with the former ;)

Like you I loved the sequence of 4-6 at Cruden Bay - they are certainly a dramatic set of holes. Some other enjoyable 3/4/5 combinations that I've played include 12-14 Woodhall Spa, 10-12 RC Down, 6-8 at NSW and Kingston Heath has 2 sets of them 5-7 and 10-12 to name a few.

Sounds like you had a great trip !!!

mike_malone

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Re:Scottish Links Golf - A Trip Report
« Reply #15 on: August 17, 2006, 08:32:04 AM »
 Another surprise at TOC was the severe upslope to the right of 18. I have never picked that up on tv.

   My second time ,I putted from the right front of the green ; almost sunk it, but left a six-eight footer coming downhill. I did not want to "Sanders" it so I played a lot of borrow.Unfortunately, I came up short.


   I really like the great expanse of #1-#18 at both TOC and N.Berwick. You could hit almost anywhere but the shot to the green may call for precise placement.
AKA Mayday

Andy Scanlon

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Re:Scottish Links Golf - A Trip Report
« Reply #16 on: August 17, 2006, 08:47:21 AM »
Bryan:

Nice report.  I'm headed to Scotland in October and your thread has made the next month and a half seem a looonnngg way off. :'(
All architects will be a lot more comfortable when the powers that be in golf finally solve the ball problem. If the distance to be gotten with the ball continues to increase, it will be necessary to go to 7,500 and even 8000 yard courses.  
- William Flynn, golf architect, 1927

John Kirk

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Re:Scottish Links Golf - A Trip Report
« Reply #17 on: August 17, 2006, 10:03:49 AM »
Thanks so much, Bryan.  Easily one of the best field reports this year.

Mike Hendren

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Re:Scottish Links Golf - A Trip Report
« Reply #18 on: August 17, 2006, 10:14:14 AM »
Like a long lost love, just when you think you're over her, somebody goes and posts a bunch of pictures.  Thanks Bryan.

BTW,
I'm guessing Mrs. Forman was the original University of Tennessee football fan, huh Tiger? ;D



Mike
« Last Edit: August 17, 2006, 10:14:46 AM by Bogey_Hendren »
Two Corinthians walk into a bar ....

Tom Huckaby

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Re:Scottish Links Golf - A Trip Report
« Reply #19 on: August 17, 2006, 10:20:45 AM »
Mike - either that or they have Tennants on tap.  ;D

GREAT REPORT!  Fantastic stuff, thanks for the effort.

And I'm not sure who is who other than Willie Dow (who I've met, briefly once in PA) in that Dornoch photo lineup, but whoever is 2nd from right as we look at the photo and Mike Cirba were separated at birth.  Someone PLEASE post a photo of Cirba so the world can see this.  I'm searching....

« Last Edit: August 17, 2006, 10:22:11 AM by Tom Huckaby »

Tiger_Bernhardt

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Re:Scottish Links Golf - A Trip Report
« Reply #20 on: August 17, 2006, 10:42:16 AM »
Great trip. Sean told me I should do the same after my run through Scotland and England earlier this summer. I am sorry your playing partner at Berwick did not appear in the north. Thanks for the pictures and thoughts.

Bill_McBride

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Re:Scottish Links Golf - A Trip Report
« Reply #21 on: August 17, 2006, 01:07:03 PM »
Jim Nugent, re: #16 Gate at North Berwick -

I think the entire green is less than 4,000 SF including the swale which is all mowed green height.  The front plateau is probably half of the entire green, the rear plateau is smaller.

My caddy there gave me an interesting tip for how to line up the putt if you are in front and the pin is back or vice versa.  In spite of all the varying slopes and apparent angles, John told me you putt directly at the hole, no borrow, and the different slopes even out and the ball winds up going straight!  I tested it after we finished the hole and it works!  ;D

You can go in there with all kinds of clubs, it's a medium length par 4.  Great golf hole, part of that wonderful run from #13 on home at North Berwick's West Links.

Bryan, wonderful report on your trip.  I've only played North Berwick, Crail and TOC of your list, but love them all.  Thanks for the photos and details.

Bryan Izatt

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Re:Scottish Links Golf - A Trip Report
« Reply #22 on: August 17, 2006, 01:09:55 PM »
To all, you're welcome.  It was a lobour of love.

Rich,

I know that world famous authors value their privacy and sometimes need to travel incognito.  They did say they knew the producer of the book.  Perhaps they have you confused.

Bogey,

You never get over it.  Time for a return trip.

Tom,

The young man is Chris Kane, Willie you know.  I'm on the left as you look at it.  The fourth is Tony Muldoon.

Jim,

The 16th green at NBW is indeed wild.  I hit five iron into it ('cause I foozled the drive).  Came up short and left and putted up to a couple of feet for par.  The area of the back portion is very small and the green is angled to complicate matters.  You'd need to be hitting short iron in to have a reasonable chance of holding it.  Running it up is a tricky proposition.  

Tom Huckaby

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Re:Scottish Links Golf - A Trip Report
« Reply #23 on: August 17, 2006, 01:13:52 PM »
Bryan - thanks!

OK, Mike Cirba and Tony Muldoon - separated at birth.

 ;D ;D ;D

Tony_Muldoon

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Re:Scottish Links Golf - A Trip Report
« Reply #24 on: August 17, 2006, 05:57:21 PM »
Fantastic report Bryan brings it all back.  I know it takes time to put it all together so thanks for the effort.

It was great playing with you and Marilyn (no chicken wings in her photos) and Bill.  As we walked down the 18th I swear Bill said to me "What restaurant are you dining in tonight, Tony?  If Bobbie and I bump into you, I need help to persuade her that she wants to come back here next July".

I then reversed your trip by heading south.  I played twice at N Berwick and once with another great GCA member Alfie Ward.  We used his hickories on Old Musselburgh and gutta-percha's that he'd made himself.  What fun and a real pleasure to meet him.

ON my last day in Scotland I played N Berwick again.  I was with 2 Americans who had caddies (also club members).  As the visitors were quiet types I had great fun chatting with he caddies.  ON 16 I hit my drive into position A.  About 110 yards to the centre of the green slightly to the left.  The older caddy came over to me and asked if I was up for a wager?  He offered a bet of a pound that I couldn't get down in 3, to make par.  Well despite the fact he now had a good impression of my game, he didn’t know I’d done it 4 days earlier and so I took him on.  Both times the pin was on the back section.  Last time I’d pitched a 9 iron into the swale in the middle of the bank hoping to run it up.  However it hit the rear wall and stopped dead. I surprised myself by 2 putting from there.  So this time I figured to land the ball shorter and let the momentum run it up.  I played it just as I'd imagined it and the ball ran up the face and onto the green and then off again, pin high on the left hand side.  The caddy winked at me and the other one said as consolation that at least on the left side I had 'some chance'.  They had been encouraging us all day to play ready golf and so as he was busy with his client I played my chip up the face of the bank to about 18" - I looked over but he had his back to the pin.  I marked my ball and stood back to allow the guy to play his shot.  The caddy walked upto take the flag out and without looking at me he bent down and put his pound on my marker. Very Sweet. ;D
A most memorable end to a wonderful trip.

Tom, this Cirba fella must be a real stud, right?
« Last Edit: August 18, 2006, 06:50:14 AM by Tony Muldoon »
Let's make GCA grate again!

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