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Reader’s Tee | October 2007

New Zealand zealots

I recently made it down New Zealand way with my wife and daughter and managed to play golf at both Cape Kidnappers and Kauri Cliffs—each equally fabulous in its own right. These two out-of-this-world courses were definitely worth flying halfway around the planet for! Tom Doak has created another masterpiece at Cape Kidnappers.

Pictured here is my caddie (and daughter) Megan and me walking off Cook’s Hook, the fifteenth hole at Kauri Cliffs, after I carded a par five in 25 mph winds.

Doug Kramer, Olympia, Washington

Up and down on gullane hill

Several summers ago I made my first trip across the pond— a trip I can honestly say will never be topped (don’t tell my wife). Everywhere we went we were treated as if we were part of the family. We played many rounds on the trip, including at the Old Course and Carnoustie. This photo is of Colin Armstrong, my buddy and host from Bonnyrigg, on Gullane No. 1. This was truly an amazing shot that couldn’t have been played anywhere else but Scotland, with the imagination of a Scotsman. He got it up and down for an incredible par. Thank you, Colin, for an unforgettable experience.

Kirk Breaux, Larkspur, Colorado

Forever kiawah

Standing on the eighteenth green at the Ocean course at Kiawah Island, you can see forever and reflect on the great experience you just had. Then, after a quick lunch, you can zip off to Turtle Point for an afternoon round. My group of friends from all over the U.S. meets at such a place once a year.

John Crimin, Yakima, Washington

Old head of the class

We were lucky enough to play Old Head Golf Links while on a family vacation to Ireland. Here we are (from left, Heidi, me, Matt and Margo) on the tee box of the par-five twelfth hole, Courcean Stage. Spectacular views over cliffs were standard, as were exceptionally helpful staff, members and caddies. The wind was howling and it rained on two holes, but this was by far the best golf experience we’ve ever had.

Marc O’Connor, Waltham, Massachusetts

Bunkered at doonbeg

Greg Norman’s dramatic, punishing Doonbeg in western Ireland is the kind of challenge that every golfer should hope to test himself against one day. A true links course—nine holes out along the coastal edge, nine holes back through craggy, sea grass–clotted dunes—it is wildly beautiful, unlike many of the country’s more parklike tracks. Find yourself in one of its deep sod-walled bunkers (as did my good friend Kevin Kelly, shown here with his caddie) and you really have your work cut out. Our week in Ireland was a feast of golf, but the detour to Doonbeg, alone on its windy stretch of coast, was a delightful surprise. The course is equal to any we played, including the legendary Lahinch and the fabulously scenic Old Head.

Michael Morris, Ossining, New York

Fiesta At St. Andrews

This is an unusual picture—a Mexican flag being waved on the eighteenth fairway of the Old Course in St. Andrews. It was taken at the Women’s British Open just before Lorena Ochoa tapped in her par putt on August 5 to win her first major. A group of us made the trip all the way from Mexico to Scotland, not just to see Lorena’s win but also to play golf ourselves at Carnoustie, Kingsbarns, the Old Course and other wonderful courses near St. Andrews. The trip was a fantastic and unique experience, not least because Lorena became the first woman in history to win a professional tournament at St. Andrews. We, like all Mexican golfers, are proud to have a star like her representing our country.

Alejandro Ortega Zenteno, Mexico City, Mexico

The legends of Kohler

Our weekend group from the Legends Club of Tennessee takes an annual trip over Memorial Day weekend. The tradition is now in its sixth year, and we usually pick a different destination each time. But 2007 marked our first return to a past site: the American Club at Kohler. None of the fourteen guys pictured was disappointed. It may be the finest collection of four courses anywhere in America. We will return again to Wisconsin.

John Minnium, Franklin, Tennessee

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