Loving St. Andrews
Four couples from the Reserve Vineyards and Golf Club outside Portland recently traveled to Scotland for more than two weeks of golf. Our adventure took us to Carnoustie, St. Andrews, Royal Dornoch, Royal Troon, Nairn and Turnberry. It’s difficult to select a favorite moment, but gathering at dusk on the Swilcan Bridge, after an emotional round on the Old Course, ranks at the top. We all agreed it was the golf experience of a lifetime.
Jean Clark West Linn, Oregon
Two Nineties at Boca
My dad turned ninety last May, determined to shoot his age on his birthday. When the day came he found himself in a greenside bunker on the eighteenth at the Equestrian Course in Boca Raton, needing a bogie to make the number. He hadn’t gotten out of a bunker since 1977, but on this day he hit it ten feet from the hole and made the putt (another first). Ninety years young—God, I hope it’s in the blood!
Andy Batkin Manhattan Beach, California
Two Men on the Island
My son Jim and I played twelve courses in fourteen days in Ireland and Northern Ireland in August. Most memorable were Enniscrone, both courses at Ballyliffin, and the Island Golf Club near Dublin. Readers should seriously consider the north, where the courses are delightful, the costs are less than in the more well-known southwest, and the seafood chowder and Guinness are always perfect.
Harry Snyder Sunset Beach, North Carolina
Bonding at Ballybunion
The weather could not have been better for our unforgettable round at Old Head Golf Links near Kinsale, Ireland, one of the most beautiful golf settings in the world. Afterward we talked with Michael Flatley, the creator of Riverdance, in the clubhouse. We also played at Ballybunion and stayed at Seanor House, where Sean Stack, a club member, shared the secrets of success on the Old Course. Too bad we didn’t listen more closely!
Rick Hetzel Cape Girardeau, Missouri
My father and I went on a wonderful golf trip this past August to the Pebble Beach area in California, the highlight of which was a memorable round at Cypress Point. My dad has played more than five hundred courses, but he claimed that playing Cypress Point made for the best day of his golf life. We both played well, shooting in the 70s, and although I was lucky to beat him, I was even luckier to have shared the experience.
CJ Gauss Boulder, Colorado
A Birdie at Makalei
My husband, Jim, and I took a golf trip to Hawaii in June. We enjoyed seeing the petroglyphs in the lava rocks at the Waikoloa Beach Course on the Big Island, but the real gem was the lush Makalei Golf Club high above Kailua-Kona, uncrowded except for its resident peacocks. I had to buy the club’s signature peacock head cover, of course, and now I think of the birds of Makalei every time I tee off.
Carol Ann Janca Portsmouth, Virginia
From Texas to Turnberry
In September I had the opportunity to play at Turnberry’s Ailsa Course, site of the 2009 British Open. I have played many of the world’s most famous courses, but none has impressed me more. The next day I traveled to Prestwick Golf Club, renowned for hosting the first twelve Opens. It was a thrill to walk the same hallowed grounds as Old Tom Morris and Young Tom Morris, who collectively won eight of those championships.
Bill Cole Allen, Texas