Introduction

Hello, and welcome.

I'm going to be writing about and including some pictures from some of the many golf courses I have been fortunate enough to play around the world. 

First and foremost, this is just a series of personal observations, mainly for me and my family and I'm learning how to use this blogging capability. That means some head scratching and questions to the support team.* Some commentaries will take me years to complete, partly as I aim to play 100 courses in Scotland over the next decade before I am 70. I have a load of courses on my bucket list including tough to crack places like Cypress. This all means a lot of writing and photographing and hopefully a lot of laughs and new friends along the way too.

 Down town Doune!

Down town Doune!

In fact, this blog began life in March 2017.  I suddenly realized early in 2017 that I was in my late 50's and have played golf all over the world: I have played with family, with close friends, and met lots of interesting fellow golf aficionados along the way, collecting hundreds of pictures and memorabilia and great memories. I was even President of  a Club in New York. I've stayed in lots of different places, gone to restaurants and bars and had lunches and dinners after playing to congratulate, rationalize, but ultimately was able confirm that the world is infact a marvelous place when seen through the lens of the golfer.

But I never kept the memories in a single location. With new technology, it's become considerably easier, even for a luddite like me,  and so I thought I'd give it a go, starting on a very cold and snowy day in New York.

After just a couple of hours of writing notes and importing pictures, I realized just how big a project this will be! But, I also realized just how fortunate I have been to travel to so many different countries where I have also been able to play golf. I have been blessed to play at some of the most prestigious courses in the world including the likes of Winged Foot and Pebble Beach, Royal Sidney and Royal Cape Town, but I am also a very proud member of 4 clubs in Scotland: Archerfield, North Berwick, Pitlochry,  and Renaissance. In 2016 I became a Member at Winged Foot in New York. Truly, the highlight of my golf career! Thank you Kevin, Dick, Clarke, Jim, Roy and a boat load of other great people who facilitated my application.

I have enjoyed playing golf, although sometimes it's such a frustrating sport. As of today, I am playing to a 6.9 Index, which is going to put me at around 8 handicap on most but the toughest of courses. Not bad.

The first reference to golf is a little difficult to verify, but some believe it was King James 11 in 1495 who declared that "Fute-ball and Golf be utterly cried down". A distraction for the masses and a mis-use of the land I guess. I believe in the following from Ben Hogan:

"A good round of golf is if you can hit about three shots that turn out exactly as you planned them".

I completely agree. I now walk the first three holes at Winged Foot and think two things: am I under 15, if so, I get a chance to break 40 on the front, and secondly, did one shot do as I intended. Usually one does. Only one. For the entire round, I ask myself if I had more than 6 good shots. Usually, the answer is no. But that's all about expectations as much as skill. 

Originally I was just going to make this about Scotland, but very quickly decided to expand to cover as many of the places I have played.

* Thank you Squarespace. 

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About me:

 You can see the tremendous pressure of traffic, the constant construction and bustling nature of this town of 450 people... .

You can see the tremendous pressure of traffic, the constant construction and bustling nature of this town of 450 people... .

I was born and raised in Scotland, in a small town made famous by a group of comedians* more than for it's historic castle, the much prized antique pistols or its Roman ruins. I spent a few years in England before moving to the States in 1995. I have travelled to more than 50 countries and have played golf in many of them, and certainly made a point of visiting courses to grab a score card or logo'd ball for the collection if I was unable to tee it up. I joined Winged Foot in 2016. I think my Grandfather Russell and Uncle David who were keen golfers and initially taught me about the game would have been amazed and so proud of that. My father in law Chris was also an avid golfer, Captain of his course in Pitlochry and with whom I enjoyed many a round.

 A nice picture of the famous bridge and Castle in the background.

A nice picture of the famous bridge and Castle in the background.

Pretty nice, huh? Now the whole town was in the Film and my favorite scene was the following:

King Arthur: How does it... um... how does it work?

Sir Lancelot: I know not, my liege.

King Arthur: Consult the Book of Armaments!

Maynard: Armaments, chapter two, verses nine through twenty-one.

Minstrel + minor role: And Saint Attila raised the hand grenade up on high, saying, "O Lord, bless this thy hand grenade, that with it thou mayst blow thine enemies to tiny bits, in thy mercy." And the Lord did grin. And the people did feast upon the lambs and sloths, and carp and anchovies, and orangutans and breakfast cereals, and fruit-bats and large chu...

Minstrel + minor role: And Saint Attila raised the hand grenade up on high, saying, 'O Lord, bless this thy hand grenade, that with it thou mayst blow thine enemies to tiny bits, in thy mercy.' And the Lord did grin. And the people did feast upon the lambs and sloths, and carp and anchovies, and orangutans and breakfast cereals, and fruit-bats and large chu...

Maynard: Skip a bit, brother...

Minstrel + minor role: And the Lord spake, saying, "First shalt thou take out the Holy Pin. Then shalt thou count to three, no more, no less. Three shall be the number thou shalt count, and the number of the counting shall be three. Four shalt thou not count, neither count thou two, excepting that thou then proceed to three. Five is right out! Once the number three, being the third number, be reached, then lobbest thou thy Holy Hand Grenade of Antioch towards thy foe, who, being naughty in my sight, shall snuff it.

Minstrel + minor role: And the Lord spake, saying, First shalt thou take out the Holy Pin. Then shalt thou count to three, no more, no less. Three shall be the number thou shalt count, and the number of the counting shall be three. Four shalt thou not count, neither count thou two, excepting that thou then proceed to three. Five is right out! Once the number three, being the third number, be reached, then lobbest thou thy Holy Hand Grenade of Antioch towards thy foe, who, being naughty in my sight, shall snuff it.

Maynard: Amen.

King Arthur: Right. One... two... five!

Sir Galahad: Three, sir.

King Arthur: Three!

 

Ok, so that's the first blog entry more or less complete.