A very belated tale of our annual Scottish golf trip it is then….
There were 20 intrepid explorers when our tale begins…. And at the end too as it happens, so it met the first criteria for a successful trip, nobody died….
Day 1, meet up at the fabulous Southerness Golf club. Meet the guys, share a joke, admire each others new drivers etc etc, then send one arcing down the fairway, or, in my case, into the heather…
Stunning course, fairly difficult, even though we played it in what were described as “the best bloody conditions for years and years”, 18 degrees and not a breath of wind. “It’s a wee bit different if she blows I tell ya”…..
As expected, I was awesome….
To the hotel! About which the less said the better, but then it was just somewhere to drink and sleep…..
Day two. Portpatrick golf club, and the windiest day I have ever played golf. “How windy was it Mark?”. “Bloody Windy!”
For instance, the 11th green, highest, most exposed point on the course. Not only were the balls moving on the green, so were we. Genuinely finding it difficult to stand up.
Then, to the 12th tee, a downwind, downhill drive to a square green, about 300 yards to the pin. Nick (plays off 12, spiky haired youngster from
Anyone who took a driver went right over the green needless to say, and in one case over the cliff.
The 15th, a 100 yard comedy par 3, but into the wind. Nick takes 7, I take 6, both come up short!!!!
However, the absolute high point of the round was Nick snap-hook on the 9th, off a piece of scaffolding on the building site to the left and straight into the half-built house to ricochet around for a second or two… We were pissing ourselves picturing some poor plasterer found dead with a strange head wound….
Once again, I’d had a couple of bowls of awesome for breakfast, and it showed.
Day three, and to Stranraer golf club. Stranraer? Stranraer? (Apologies to peter Kay).
Great course, again very windy. Most spectacular hole, a huge drive off a cliff to the fairway maybe 100 feet below, with the sea running all along the right side of the hole. I found the course really tough, but bad luck always makes my head drop and spirits sag….
Comedy moment. Steve Wharton, who is off around 14 or so, and a big hitter, says “Sod it, I’m cutting the corner, over the sea, over the gorse, the lot”. Proceeds to hit a massive drive doing just that. I step up, “same for me”, making a joke, everyone has a laugh knowing I wouldn’t dare. I wind up, backswing, huge thump, exactly the same shot, over everything, onto the fairway. By accident! I’d been aiming for the safe shot and have no idea how I sent it over that direction! I spent about 4 seconds with my heart in my mouth, and my ball in the sea! Stunned silence followed by a quiet “bandit”.
9.5 from the Russian judge for awesomeness.
Day four. Wigtownshire county golf club. Comedy moment? The owner, when asked for the postcode had supplied his home details, so half the crowd followed their sat-nav to his front drive. Christ knows what the neighbours thought.
Front 9, some of the worst golf of my life. True links, very exposed, right be the sea and the first 6 holes are into the wind. I swear there must be a dozen srixon soft feels on that sodding beach. Really very downhearted, finding the course far too difficult for me, running out of ability about half way down the fairway, if I got that far. Threatening to chuck the whole game, and then……
The sun came out, the back nine are all wind-assisted and I play some of the best golf of my life. 20 points on the back nine, which is very good for me. Net birdies galore, loving every minute, thinking about called the R & A “Hello, how do I turn pro?”. Best nine holes of the week.
Do you really think I need a comment about how awesome I was? No, didn’t think so.
Our fifth and final day! Newton Stewart golf club. Very interesting, lots of elevation change, lots of very high quality golf, none of it from me sadly. I was awful, truly awful. Suffice to say, the highlight of the round was on the 18th tee, elevated, into the wind. Steve hits a drive and it’s a massive slice. I step up, do the same. Steve steps up, does the same. I step up and do the same again. Someone else says “well it’s a good job school’s not in, because there’s the playing field over there”. “Our 4th guy says, naw, they all went into the skate park, you’ve probably killed four hoodies. We fell about pissing ourselves. How wrong is that?
So, 5 days of golf, great courses, awesomeish performances by me and no rain! But lots and lots of wind…..
Bring on next year, Galashiels.