OBSERVATIONS FROM SCOTLAND
Last week, I made my 4th visit to Scotland for another great golf adventure with three of my favorite golf partners. Since I am lucky to be a member at Royal Dornoch Golf Club, we focused our trip on the Scottish Highlands with 3 days at Dornoch, 1 at Golspie and 1 each at Mar Hall, Royal Troon and Machrihanish.
Links golf is different in from the parkland style courses we mostly play in the US with firm (usually brown) turf and focus on the “ground game”, playing “bump and run” shots and using the natural contours to move the ball where you want. This is cool, but I’m always fascinated by the culture of golf in Scotland. One very upscale club in Scotland we learned about costs no more than the equivalent of $2,500 per year to belong, even for regular, local members. It’s typical for clubs to be most welcoming to outside, public play and not at all unusual to see dogs walking the course with their masters and trolleys of both the push and battery powered varieties all over the golf course. Clubhouses are rarely ornate and only at a very few will gentlemen wear jackets. In Scotland, golf is an “every man’s” game and the pretense often experienced at the best American clubs is nowhere to be found. A round of 18 holes rarely takes as much as 4 hours.