Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Golf In Scotland

Of all the places in the world, traveling to play golf in Scotland would have to be the top destination on the list due to the great history, the variety and abundance of links style courses, as well as the chance to play several of the most famous courses in the world.
Golf began in Scotland in the 15th century, is considered the home of golf, and the place where the modern game was developed. The R & A (Royal and Ancient Golf Club) is the governing body for the game, except in the U.S. and Mexico. It is located at St. Andrews (pictured below), one of the most famous golf courses in the entire world.
Several famous Scotsmen are in the World Golf Hall of Fame, including Old Tom Morris, Young Tom Morris, Willie Anderson, Tommy Armour, James Braid, Allistair Mackenzie, Dorothy Campbell, Donald Ross, Willie Park, and Allan Robertson. Both Old and Young Tom Morris (pictured below) are considered to be pioneers of golf and won four British Opens a piece.

There are many famous golf courses in Scotland, such as Carnoustie, Royal Troon, Prestwick, Muirfield, as well as the site of this year's British Open, Turnberry. Former British Open Winners at Turnberry include Tom Watson (1977), Greg Norman (1986), and Nick Price (1994). This year, Padraig Harrington seeks to win his third consecutive Claret Jug, the prized trophy the champion receives.

For many golfers, Scotland is at the top of the list for a golf vacation. With over 550 golf courses in a relatively small area, Scotland provides many great choices. Playing in Scotland would provide a great new experience for several reasons. First of all, the links style courses differ greatly from typical U.S. courses. A player would need to be prepared to hit a lot more low bump and run shots instead of high pitch shots. Links style courses call for a lot more creativity and shot making than typical courses in America.

These courses will have pot bunkers (pictured above) all over them, which usually causes a player to hit out sideways instead of going at their intended target. These courses are known for very deep rough and gorse bushes that can swallow up wayward shots. The biggest difference however, could be the weather. Scotland is known for a huge variance in weather conditions. One moment it could be calm and sunny, and the next you could have a storm come through bringing windy, rainy, and cooler conditions.

All in all, Scotland seems like a golfer's paradise. With the combination of the history, the variety of courses, the possible weather conditions, and the chance to play on several famous courses where history has been made, a trip to Scotland seems to be the ultimate golf destination.