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Scotland Golf Trip 101 (The Compass Guide)


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#31 Hawkeye77

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Posted 06 January 2018 - 10:52 AM

 davep043, on 05 January 2018 - 08:38 AM, said:

 RSK7070, on 04 January 2018 - 09:52 PM, said:

Great recommendations and tips in the thread already!

I won a lottery spot to play St. Andrews Old and the Castle course in April 2018 as a single. Talking to some friends and judging from tips on the forum, I'm looking to get out at Kingsbarn, Crail, and Carnoustie in addition to the two rounds at St. Andrews. Any tips for a single at those courses? Will Carnoustie be ground under repair in April with the Open there this year? Is it worth 200 pounds?

I have a budget in mind, but I'm still working on pricing out airfare, lodging, etc.. Does anyone have some tips for less expensive courses in the area? I value a good test of golf with scenery more than the name.

Thanks
First, congratulations, you'll love St Andrews!.  For reasonably priced lodging, I'd suggest the B&Bs in Murray Park or Murray Place, there must be close to 20.  I've stayed at Burness House(http://www.burnesshouse.com/) and next door at Craigmore House (http://www.standrews...o.uk/standrews/).  Both were just fine, I preferred the Burness House.  For nearby courses, I liked Elie, Lundin Links, and Panmure, and I know there are a few more good choices.  A good resource for the single golfer is www.golfnook.com.  My favorite pub in town was NOT the Dunvegan, too many American golfers there, I get that at home.  Try the Whey Pat (http://www.wheypat-standrews.co.uk/)

Whey Pat - acoustic folk night every Tuesday!

Good tip.

Edited by Hawkeye77, 06 January 2018 - 10:52 AM.

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#32 davep043

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Posted 06 January 2018 - 11:58 AM

 Hawkeye77, on 06 January 2018 - 10:52 AM, said:

 davep043, on 05 January 2018 - 08:38 AM, said:

 RSK7070, on 04 January 2018 - 09:52 PM, said:

Great recommendations and tips in the thread already!

I won a lottery spot to play St. Andrews Old and the Castle course in April 2018 as a single. Talking to some friends and judging from tips on the forum, I'm looking to get out at Kingsbarn, Crail, and Carnoustie in addition to the two rounds at St. Andrews. Any tips for a single at those courses? Will Carnoustie be ground under repair in April with the Open there this year? Is it worth 200 pounds?

I have a budget in mind, but I'm still working on pricing out airfare, lodging, etc.. Does anyone have some tips for less expensive courses in the area? I value a good test of golf with scenery more than the name.

Thanks
My favorite pub in town was NOT the Dunvegan, too many American golfers there, I get that at home.  Try the Whey Pat (http://www.wheypat-standrews.co.uk/)

Whey Pat - acoustic folk night every Tuesday!

Good tip.
I was there more for the beer, at the time they had at least 5 real ales on hand pumps.  I also enjoyed being away from the golfers part of town and into the more "locals" pubs.  We met a member from Crail who highly recommended the new(ish) course there, a Gil Hanse design along the clifftops.  Maybe next time.  We DID catch a bit of open mic night at the Criterion, and made friends with a domino-playing granny at the Cross Keys.

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#33 kmdut

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Posted 08 January 2018 - 11:32 AM

Fantastic list....I am not sure if you just forgot or if there is a reason but I would put Panmure on the West list, its a great 2nd course on your Carnoustie day if you're looking for some extra punishment.

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#34 RSK7070

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Posted 08 January 2018 - 08:29 PM

Thanks for the additional tips gentlemen. It will be my first trip and probably won't be back for a decade at best. Carnoustie it is!

Took a look at Panmure and looks like a find

Edited by RSK7070, 08 January 2018 - 08:30 PM.


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#35 6x6

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Posted 08 January 2018 - 09:40 PM

 RSK7070, on 08 January 2018 - 08:29 PM, said:

Thanks for the additional tips gentlemen. It will be my first trip and probably won't be back for a decade at best. Carnoustie it is!

Took a look at Panmure and looks like a find

Good call on Carnoustie, I played there early last May and really liked the course. About 2 weeks before playing there, I played Royal Birkdale which had the Open last year.  Not sure if the Open setup timeline would be the same but at Birkdale there was no interference with play at all. Some grandstands were in place but that was about it. Fun watching the Open on TV after I had played it just a few months prior.


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#36 Metzexpress4

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Posted 10 January 2018 - 02:10 PM

Asking this question in this thread as I think the collective expertise will be very helpful.

My wife and I will be traveling to Northern Ireland this coming October for a wedding and will take a detour after to St. Andrew's for my 30th birthday. We will be in St. Andrews part of the day on Monday, October 22, 2017 and all day on the 23rd and 24th. The Old Course is obviously on my bucket list and I am willing, able and prepared to get up early and wait for a walk-on slot as a single. Based on your experiences, do I have a realistic shot at getting on the old course on the 23rd and/or 24th as a walk-on at that time of year? Both the 23rd and 24th are NOT on the busy date calendar on the St. Andrews site.

If I do make it on the Old Course on the 23rd, I am looking to play again on the 24th but hopefully with a tee time or something tentatively planned to make life a little easier. I looked at advanced tee times and there is not much on the 24th at the other St. Andrews courses. Is it worth trying to get a single slot on the old course again, should I try to play one of the other courses at St. Andrews or play elsewhere? If a different course is recommended, where should I play?

Thanks in advance for the help and advice! I'm unbelievably excited about our detour to St. Andrews and the possibility of playing the Old Course!
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#37 flog2

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Posted 10 January 2018 - 02:13 PM

 Metzexpress4, on 10 January 2018 - 02:10 PM, said:

Asking this question in this thread as I think the collective expertise will be very helpful.

My wife and I will be traveling to Northern Ireland this coming October for a wedding and will take a detour after to St. Andrew's for my 30th birthday. We will be in St. Andrews part of the day on Monday, October 22, 2017 and all day on the 23rd and 24th. The Old Course is obviously on my bucket list and I am willing, able and prepared to get up early and wait for a walk-on slot as a single. Based on your experiences, do I have a realistic shot at getting on the old course on the 23rd and/or 24th as a walk-on at that time of year? Both the 23rd and 24th are NOT on the busy date calendar on the St. Andrews site.

If I do make it on the Old Course on the 23rd, I am looking to play again on the 24th but hopefully with a tee time or something tentatively planned to make life a little easier. I looked at advanced tee times and there is not much on the 24th at the other St. Andrews courses. Is it worth trying to get a single slot on the old course again, should I try to play one of the other courses at St. Andrews or play elsewhere? If a different course is recommended, where should I play?

Thanks in advance for the help and advice! I'm unbelievably excited about our detour to St. Andrews and the possibility of playing the Old Course!
The NEW course (runs beside the OLD, is exceptional and far better layout (apart from the OLD's 17th)

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#38 Metzexpress4

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Posted 10 January 2018 - 02:20 PM

 PerseveringGolf, on 10 January 2018 - 02:13 PM, said:

 Metzexpress4, on 10 January 2018 - 02:10 PM, said:

Asking this question in this thread as I think the collective expertise will be very helpful.

My wife and I will be traveling to Northern Ireland this coming October for a wedding and will take a detour after to St. Andrew's for my 30th birthday. We will be in St. Andrews part of the day on Monday, October 22, 2017 and all day on the 23rd and 24th. The Old Course is obviously on my bucket list and I am willing, able and prepared to get up early and wait for a walk-on slot as a single. Based on your experiences, do I have a realistic shot at getting on the old course on the 23rd and/or 24th as a walk-on at that time of year? Both the 23rd and 24th are NOT on the busy date calendar on the St. Andrews site.

If I do make it on the Old Course on the 23rd, I am looking to play again on the 24th but hopefully with a tee time or something tentatively planned to make life a little easier. I looked at advanced tee times and there is not much on the 24th at the other St. Andrews courses. Is it worth trying to get a single slot on the old course again, should I try to play one of the other courses at St. Andrews or play elsewhere? If a different course is recommended, where should I play?

Thanks in advance for the help and advice! I'm unbelievably excited about our detour to St. Andrews and the possibility of playing the Old Course!
The NEW course (runs beside the OLD, is exceptional and far better layout (apart from the OLD's 17th)
Is there a walk-on policy for singles on the New course? Does it operate similar to what I need to do for the Old Course?
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#39 davep043

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Posted 10 January 2018 - 02:34 PM

I just took a quick look, the website suggests you can only make advanced tee times for 2 or more players on the New or Jubilee.  I'd be confident that you'll find a spot on either the New or Jubilee as a walk-up.  The both run from the same clubhouse, just walk to the right of the Old Course, and they're both really good golf courses.

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#40 ParParAgain

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Posted 10 January 2018 - 04:48 PM

 TheInfidel, on 22 June 2017 - 05:36 AM, said:

 thezinfan, on 21 June 2017 - 12:26 PM, said:

Good list. If anyone is planning on a Scotland golf trip, I recommend Allan Ferguson's book Golf in Scotland https://www.amazon.c...asap_bc?ie=UTF8. Allan actually assisted booking my first and second trip to Scotland, and I self-booked trips 2-5! Avoid the tour companies unless you have a biiiiiiiig group and want to be driven around, but you are paying a 50-100% mark up for that.

Excellent recommendation.  I've read some of Allan's stuff and it's excellent.  I'd also recommend St Andrews Alum Graylyn Loomis' website, linked below.  He has some fantastic advice on the Fife and East Lothian areas as well as some really helpful itineraries which would maximise your travel and off course arrangements.  There's a huge amount of advice on his website for free.  

http://www.graylynloomis.com/


Thanks to TheInfidel for the link to the loomis website.  I was previously unaware of it.  I found it especially useful for accommodation ideas and options.


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#41 TheInfidel

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Posted 10 January 2018 - 04:55 PM

View PostParParAgain, on 10 January 2018 - 04:48 PM, said:

View PostTheInfidel, on 22 June 2017 - 05:36 AM, said:

View Postthezinfan, on 21 June 2017 - 12:26 PM, said:

Good list. If anyone is planning on a Scotland golf trip, I recommend Allan Ferguson's book Golf in Scotland https://www.amazon.c...asap_bc?ie=UTF8. Allan actually assisted booking my first and second trip to Scotland, and I self-booked trips 2-5! Avoid the tour companies unless you have a biiiiiiiig group and want to be driven around, but you are paying a 50-100% mark up for that.

Excellent recommendation.  I've read some of Allan's stuff and it's excellent.  I'd also recommend St Andrews Alum Graylyn Loomis' website, linked below.  He has some fantastic advice on the Fife and East Lothian areas as well as some really helpful itineraries which would maximise your travel and off course arrangements.  There's a huge amount of advice on his website for free.  

http://www.graylynloomis.com/


Thanks to TheInfidel for the link to the loomis website.  I was previously unaware of it.  I found it especially useful for accommodation ideas and options.

You're very welcome sir. Glad you found it helpful.
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#42 spud3

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Posted 10 January 2018 - 06:05 PM

View PostTheInfidel, on 22 June 2017 - 05:36 AM, said:

View Postthezinfan, on 21 June 2017 - 12:26 PM, said:

Good list. If anyone is planning on a Scotland golf trip, I recommend Allan Ferguson's book Golf in Scotland https://www.amazon.c...asap_bc?ie=UTF8. Allan actually assisted booking my first and second trip to Scotland, and I self-booked trips 2-5! Avoid the tour companies unless you have a biiiiiiiig group and want to be driven around, but you are paying a 50-100% mark up for that.

Excellent recommendation.  I've read some of Allan's stuff and it's excellent.  I'd also recommend St Andrews Alum Graylyn Loomis' website, linked below.  He has some fantastic advice on the Fife and East Lothian areas as well as some really helpful itineraries which would maximise your travel and off course arrangements.  There's a huge amount of advice on his website for free.  

http://www.graylynloomis.com/

Awesome site - thanks so much for this!
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#43 RSK7070

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Posted 23 January 2018 - 07:37 PM

Didn't want to create a new thread and hopefully not to get too off topic, but can anyone weigh in on three travel bag options?

I have a gift card to Golf Galaxy so cost isn't really a consideration. Getting a durable product that will last and keep my sticks safe is tops on the priority scale.

Narrowed it down to Club Glove's Last Bag - Collegiate and Large, and Sun Mountain's Club Glider Meridian. I keep a lightweight Wilson carry bag I'd be OK traveling with or a reasonably sized Cleveland stand bag. I've heard the Collegiate bag is on the smaller side, but the Large and Meridian seem too big and unwieldy. Prefer to stay away from hard cases for storage reasons.

If it helps, the carry bag is a Wilson Nexus II and the stand bag is a Cleveland SKU# 12089662.

Thanks

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#44 davep043

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Posted 25 January 2018 - 08:31 AM

I don't know specifics about your two golf bags, I can just share my own equipment.  I play with a 3-year old Ping Hoofer.  I use a Club Glove travel bag, what is now the Collegiate.  My bag fits fine, along with 2 pairs of shoes and some clothing (rain gear typically).  I've never had a problem, but even so I just bought the Club Glove Stiffarm for additional security.  I've also heard lots of people who love the Sun Mountain travel bag you're looking at.
Just one word of caution, a larger travel bag might seem like a good idea, but you can cram enough stuff in it to go way over the weight limit.  I always take a small travel scale to make sure each of my checked bags stays under the 50-pound limit to avoid extra charges.

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#45 TheInfidel

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Posted 13 March 2018 - 04:49 AM

So.....is anyone making the trip across the pond to watch Carnoustie take lumps out of the tour guys?  I did some recon up there last weekend and it's looking fantastic.  Though I think they're narrowing it in.....

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#46 flog2

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Posted 16 March 2018 - 04:06 AM

View PostTheInfidel, on 13 March 2018 - 04:49 AM, said:

So.....is anyone making the trip across the pond to watch Carnoustie take lumps out of the tour guys?  I did some recon up there last weekend and it's looking fantastic.  Though I think they're narrowing it in.....
imo its one of the worst and ugliest on the rota - sorry.

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#47 Ralphyboy84

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Posted 16 March 2018 - 01:08 PM

Iíve got my week ticket for Carnoustie. And the course is looking fantastic. Plus theyíre growing the rough for it. Hopefully itís a blood bath!

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#48 Malvern

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Posted 16 March 2018 - 06:21 PM

View PostRSK7070, on 23 January 2018 - 07:37 PM, said:


Narrowed it down to Club Glove's Last Bag - Collegiate and Large, and Sun Mountain's Club Glider Meridian. I keep a lightweight Wilson carry bag I'd be OK traveling with or a reasonably sized Cleveland stand bag. I've heard the Collegiate bag is on the smaller side, but the Large and Meridian seem too big and unwieldy. Prefer to stay away from hard cases for storage reasons.


Think you are on the right track, hard cases are a PITA when you need to get around in a car, fortunately over the years I have never had a problem with the softer cases.

Nowdays you can just detach the heads on your driver and 3 wood. I'm with @davep043, would prefer a slightly smaller bag, use it for shoes and some clothes, pack the rest in a carry on.

Understand cash is not an issue however if you wanted a slightly cheaper option, I have used these for years http://www.ogio.com/golf/golf-travel/

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#49 critchtc21

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Posted 30 March 2018 - 12:41 AM

View PostPerseveringGolf, on 16 March 2018 - 04:06 AM, said:

View PostTheInfidel, on 13 March 2018 - 04:49 AM, said:

So.....is anyone making the trip across the pond to watch Carnoustie take lumps out of the tour guys?  I did some recon up there last weekend and it's looking fantastic.  Though I think they're narrowing it in.....
imo its one of the worst and ugliest on the rota - sorry.

Never been but I can see that you do not have great views or anything like that. But that course is probably the one I am looking forward to most in Scotland. It is exactly what envision about golf there.

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#50 driveandputtmachine

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Posted 02 April 2018 - 09:11 PM

View PostTheInfidel, on 13 March 2018 - 04:49 AM, said:

So.....is anyone making the trip across the pond to watch Carnoustie take lumps out of the tour guys?  I did some recon up there last weekend and it's looking fantastic.  Though I think they're narrowing it in.....
I have tickets for Saturday and Sunday.  Playing the old course and kingsbarns the Thursday and Friday of the tourney with some locals.  Castle Stuart and Royal Dornoch at the beginning of the week while we are staying in Inverness.

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#51 TheInfidel

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Posted 20 July 2018 - 09:25 AM

View Postkmdut, on 08 January 2018 - 11:32 AM, said:

Fantastic list....I am not sure if you just forgot or if there is a reason but I would put Panmure on the West list, its a great 2nd course on your Carnoustie day if you're looking for some extra punishment.

Hey, Panmure is a special place for me, I was a member there for  4 years during University, it was our club course.  It's on the East list at the bottom, as it's in Angus.  Can't recommend it and the club enough.
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#52 Argonne69

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Posted 31 July 2018 - 11:44 AM

I'm considering a trip early next year. Mid-February would be the earliest, and mid-April would likely be the latest. Are the courses "playable"? I'm certainly not looking for ideal conditions, but I don't want to play with temps in the upper 30's. Upper 40's would probably be fine.

Are the courses generally lightly played at this time of the year, especially the Old Course? I'd be playing as a single, and my schedule would likely be flexible. Limited daylight will certainly be a factor I'm sure.

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#53 dcmidnight

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Posted 31 July 2018 - 12:20 PM

View PostArgonne69, on 31 July 2018 - 11:44 AM, said:

I'm considering a trip early next year. Mid-February would be the earliest, and mid-April would likely be the latest. Are the courses "playable"? I'm certainly not looking for ideal conditions, but I don't want to play with temps in the upper 30's. Upper 40's would probably be fine.

Are the courses generally lightly played at this time of the year, especially the Old Course? I'd be playing as a single, and my schedule would likely be flexible. Limited daylight will certainly be a factor I'm sure.

At least into March this year I remember seeing pics from the Old Course with frost delays and or snow - and the lows generally will be in the 30s.

IMO I wouldnt want to go in February.
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#54 Argonne69

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Posted 27 August 2018 - 01:51 PM

Is a rental car a necessity, or can one (a single) get around the St Andrews area via taxi, public transportation, or a local shuttle/limo service? I'd likely be there for 3 or 4 days, and would like to avoid getting a rental car if possible.

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#55 davep043

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Posted 27 August 2018 - 02:02 PM

View PostArgonne69, on 27 August 2018 - 01:51 PM, said:

Is a rental car a necessity, or can one (a single) get around the St Andrews area via taxi, public transportation, or a local shuttle/limo service? I'd likely be there for 3 or 4 days, and would like to avoid getting a rental car if possible.
You can get to St Andrews via bus, or to Leuchars by train and bus (or taxi).  If you're happy playing the St Andrews courses in town, you definitely don't need a car, everything is within easy walking distance.  If you're looking to go a little further, perhaps to Kingsbarns or Crail, I'm sure you can find a taxi.  I'm sure you could pay a taxi to take your further, to Carnoustie, or the courses on the south coast of Fife, but I don't know when the cost becomes excessive.


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#56 dcmidnight

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Posted 27 August 2018 - 06:04 PM

View PostArgonne69, on 27 August 2018 - 01:51 PM, said:

Is a rental car a necessity, or can one (a single) get around the St Andrews area via taxi, public transportation, or a local shuttle/limo service? I'd likely be there for 3 or 4 days, and would like to avoid getting a rental car if possible.

Are you going to be staying in town? All the hotels there can arrange cabs or shuttles for you. The courses in town you can all walk to obviously.

IMO I would not rent a car there. There are a lot of narrow streets and the traffic can be surprisingly tight. Just one additional headache you really dont need.

The travel company we used went with St Andrews Executive Travel, not sure how much they are but all their drivers/vans were great.
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#57 Hawkeye77

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Posted 27 August 2018 - 07:06 PM

How are you getting there in the first place?
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#58 schley

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Posted 27 August 2018 - 07:11 PM

View PostArgonne69, on 25 July 2017 - 10:30 AM, said:

Are all the courses listed open to the public, i.e. don't require a club pro to call? Do any require an on-site stay, or can you lodge elsewhere? Also, do all allow singles to book, or do singles have to come out and hope to get on?

I'm considering a solo trip, and booking/playing as a single always involves more challenges than it should.

I did a solo trip to Fife and East Lothian in June.  Great move for flexibility and being able to get on the old course back to back days.  I am used to traveling by myself so really nothing new for me.  Although I would have liked to have walked over the swilican bridge with my dad.

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#59 wareagle902

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Posted 27 August 2018 - 07:45 PM

I assume we are in the trust tree here so with that being said I noticed there is an opening at Muirfield Oct 2nd which is when I was hoping to play.  Of course I soon realized you have to book a foursome and Iíll be a single. Anyone got 3 trying to play that day that wants to add me as the 4th?  

Also, I was going to play North Berwick that day if I canít get out at Muirfield. Do I need a tee time there or can I get out pretty easily as walk up?  I got a tentative tee time but donít really want to prepay and then Muirfield opens up.

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#60 davep043

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Posted 28 August 2018 - 06:57 AM

View Postdcmidnight, on 27 August 2018 - 06:04 PM, said:


IMO I would not rent a car there. There are a lot of narrow streets and the traffic can be surprisingly tight. Just one additional headache you really dont need.

I've already said that you probably don't require a car, but in my experience having a car isn't really a hassle, and does provide more freedom.  Now its been a couple of years, I was there in May 2011 and June 2012, but I didn't have any issues with navigating the streets.  Parking isn't exactly plentiful, but it available if you're willing to drive around the block a couple of times.  In 2012 we even had a 9-passenger van, and while we had to be kind of selective about where we could park it, we always found a spot within a reasonable distance.


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