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Michael Chadwick

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Re: 1st Scotland Trip: Itinerary Feedback / Criticism
« Reply #25 on: September 25, 2022, 10:52:49 PM »
It feels a little unseemly to be bumping my own thread, but I did conclude the trip described in the OP. The only change that happened from the original itinerary was swapping out Kilspindie for an earlier tee time at Gullane #2, so as to be able to transfer to StA earlier on that particular day. The first full day in StA remained a rest/family day.

I have to say that, though I understood people's rationales for suggesting that a day of Cruden Bay and Royal Aberdeen was much too long from St. Andrews, I'm glad to have stuck to my guns on that one. It was difficult enough going to Scotland and not playing any of TOC, Muirfield, or Dornoch; apart from North Berwick, Cruden Bay was the other course I had to see to justify flying all the way out there. My brother and I hopped in the car around 6:30 am, teed off at Cruden Bay 9am, had an unhurried lunch at CB, then drove the 30 mins to Royal Aberdeen and started around 2:30. We had a quick dinner and pint in the club bar and were back to our St.A rental before 9 pm. The entire day was without question one of my top golf experiences to date, an impeccable 36 hole combo, even if it was in sustained winds over 25 mph. 
I'm still digesting the courses, and I'm posting write ups on my Instagram. Unsure still of what's worth discussing on the DG. Maybe North Berwick at some point, because though I loved it, I think current consensus (GOLF Mag's 35th course in world) is a bit overrated. Or perhaps Royal Aberdeen, which doesn't even appear on GOLF's list, and I think it can hold its own in a hole to hole match with Carnoustie. People rave about its outward nine, but I didn't find the inward 9 much of a downshift at all. A big part of me wants to actually give it the highest Doak Score out of any course I saw last week.
Though I'm glad I opted against any modern designs for an introductory trip to Scottish links, and I'm genuinely glad I saw each course I did, I will admit that at the end of the trip it felt like I probably played 2 rounds too many on courses that may be better suited for warm-ups or more extended stays. My only regret is not putting in enough effort to see Muirfield. With 6 days of golf on a trip from Los Angeles, connecting through godawful Heathrow T5, I began to (facetiously) wonder if life's too short to be playing less than Doak 7's! ;)
Here are a few off the cuff superlative awards to give you a flavor of my thoughts. TOC excluded from consideration since I walked it on a Sunday and didn't play:
Best par 3s: Cruden Bay, Gullane #1 (tie)
Best par 4s: North Berwick
Best par 5s: Carnoustie
Best Green Complexes: Royal Aberdeen   
Best Green Surfaces: Carnoustie
Best Clubhouse/Locker: Royal Aberdeen
Most Underrated: Gullane #2
Most Overrated: North Berwick   
Worst Overall: Gullane #3
Best Everyday Play: Elie 
Most Fun: Cruden Bay
Best Overall: Royal Aberdeen
Instagram: mj_c_golf

Niall C

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: 1st Scotland Trip: Itinerary Feedback / Criticism
« Reply #26 on: September 26, 2022, 06:04:05 AM »

Glad you enjoyed the trip. What was it about Gullane 3 you didn't like ?


Thomas Dai

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Re: 1st Scotland Trip: Itinerary Feedback / Criticism
« Reply #27 on: September 26, 2022, 02:09:58 PM »
Interesting thoughts. Iíve long said that Royal Aberdeen is way underrated and from the golfing challenge aspect can embarrass many a players game with ease.


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