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Germany & Scotland (part 2)

twogreen

Well-Known Member
Aug 7, 2006
492
54
Returned to our hotel after golf at Charleton for an excellent meal (my first experience with Haggis) and a pleasant evening in the bar swapping lies with the locals. A quick word about the hotel...it is a small establishment with only three rooms for rental. It obviously doesn't survive on revenue from rental income; but seems to thrive on being a very popular restaurant and watering hole for the locals and tourists. Adam (the manager) said that, when major golf tournaments are being played nearby, it is not uncommon to serve 200 meals nightly. No major tournaments were being played during our stay; but there was a steady stream of locals in the dining room and the bar.

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The bar is small and cozy with a definite golfing theme for the decor. It is the type of place where you cannot remain a stranger for more than five minutes after ordering a drink. It is pet friendly; and many of the locals stop in for a drink...or five...while taking their dog for an evening walk.

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Here are the two Yanks at the bar. I am the good looking one on your left and Ed is on your right. You can see that the bar, while small, is well stocked with anything you might desire for a "wee taste".

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This was an interesting group of Aussies who were occupying the remaining rooms of the hotel on our first night there. The couple in the center is on the third month of a one year tour of the world they are taking. They sold their home in Australia, couldn't decide where to buy a new one, so they decided to think about it for a year while traveling. The other couple linked up with them in England; but will only be traveling for three weeks. All great, friendly, interesting people.

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After a lot of discussion with our new friends at the hotel, it was decided that the next days golf should be at Balcomie Links. Surprisingly, most of the Scots with whom we talked don't think much of St Andrews as a playing course. They all recognize its historical significance; but don't recommend it as a course to actually play.

Balcomie Links is located in Crail (about 10-15 miles down the coast from St Andrews). The Crail Golfing Society runs the course; and the Society is recognized as the 7th oldest golfing society in the world. Balcomie Links was designed by Old Tom Morris and built in 1895. Notice how the flags of the different countries seem to defy gravity...that my friends, is proper links wind...it is the first thing you notice as you exit the car in the parking lot. We were blessed with relatively good weather for our day at the links with only a few holes being played in a light drizzle; but the wind was always present. It wasn't just a factor on longer shots, either. There were many times that I stood to putt and was unable to keep my body from moving with the wind, while watching the ball actually "quivering" in place on the green. Speaking of greens, these proved to be faster than any greens I had ever played. I lost quite a few strokes because of this.

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The next few pics are just random shots of the course from different perspectives. The first one is taken from #17 tee box, looking back at the clubhouse.

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Although different that what we had experienced in the states, there is no shortage of hazards on a links course. Did I mention the wind? I am convinced that Old Tom Morris had an agreement with God where the wind would always blow directly at a hazard.

Ed demonstrates the proper dress for proper links golf. We did not take the proper headgear with us, so we quickly remedied that by purchasing "wooly-pully" hats in the pro shop.

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Ed knows his golf ball is in here somewhere...the real question is what to do with it, even if he finds it.

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Ed also managed to land a shot into this general area. He wisely decided not to ruin international relations by trying to play it with Adam's borrowed clubs.

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No discussion of Scottish golf would be complete without a mention of the dreaded Gorse plant. Gorse is a low growing, thorny bush with small green leaves, and often pretty yellow blooms which grows wild along the coastlines. It seems to flourish best in close proximity to desired landing areas for golf balls. Once again, Ed's luck didn't hold out, so I snapped this picture when I stopped laughing.

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After close review of this thread, one might think I am singling out only Ed's trouble shots. Well, after all, it is my post...if you are interested in some of my results, you will just have to wait until Ed joins the forum.

Enough for today...soon to follow will be pics of visits to other courses and our participation in a Scottish tournament.
 
OP
twogreen

twogreen

Well-Known Member
Aug 7, 2006
492
54
  • Thread Starter
  • Thread starter
  • #5
Beautiful, it just looks so...flat.

Jeff,
The pictures tend to make it look flatter than it really is. It is by no means mountainous; but some of the holes have enough undulation so that you are forced to make a blind shot towards the green.
 

IrishGolfer

Fac ut gaudeam
Supporting Member
Sep 1, 2004
6,401
4,809
Ah Crail, a lovely links course I have had the pleasure of playing, some nice pics included. Not surprised the locals sent you there rather than St. Andrews. Much better value for money and a better layout, without all the Razmataz. Crail is a proper links course in every sense of the word. We have had a very wet summer here, which probably slowed the greens down a bit!!! :) You need a dry summer to fully appreciate links.

Wind and gorse is something us Celts face every week, so glad that you foreigners can get a taste for it and share the challenge. :)

All adds up to what sounds like a great trip. Thanks for sharing.
 

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