Conquering the Castle

I recently returned from a fabulous golf trip to Scotland with eight guys, each of whom knew only two or three of the others before our departure. We played Prestwick, Royal Troon, Muirfield, Carnoustie, Kingsbarns, and the Old Course and Castle Course at St. Andrews. Our Castle Course caddies gave us a great tip: On the par-three seventeenth, aim to the right of the bunker on the left, and the ball will roll thirty yards down to the flag. Oh, and I loved the haggis, too!

Fred Doerfler Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Up to the Challenge

In October I was vacationing in Maui and decided to take a boat to Lana‘i to play the Challenge at Manele. I was paired up with two guys who own homes on the island and really know the course, which has spectacular views of the ocean and the perfect crescent beach at the Four Seasons Resort below. I thank John, one of my playing partners, for taking this fantastically timed photo of me on the twelfth tee, which sits atop the island’s cliffs. This shot landed within five feet of the hole!

Douglas Macdonald Los Angeles, California

A Point for Punta Espada

My good friend Steve Simon and I were vacationing in the Dominican Republic when we literally stumbled across this amazing gem. Punta Espada’s eighteen holes of ocean-view golf were truly a delight. Steve and I have been to Pebble Beach and have a tendency to play Top 100 courses when we travel, but Steve has now ranked this number one, ahead of Pebble. We also had a chance to play Teeth of the Dog, Dye Fore and La Cana. What a great trip!

Brian Waller West Des Moines, Iowa

Into Patagonia

A few friends and I traveled to Patagonia in Argentina for a ski and golf trip in September. The powder was fresh in the mountains, but the golf courses were just opening up. We played at the five-star Llao Llao (pronounced “zshao-zshao”) Resort, which is located in Bariloche, and has hosted world dignitaries from Castro to Clinton, who even played there. Incredible views, a Cuban cigar and hitting off the snow all made for a great trip.

Mike Urbanski Orange, California

A Taste of Muirfield

Last spring I took my friends Corey and Derek to play golf in Scotland for the first time. We played Kingsbarns, Royal Troon, Carnoustie, North Berwick and Musselburgh Links, the oldest course on record. We stayed a night at Muirfield, where my friend Robin is a member, and enjoyed the famous lunch between rounds. If you look closely at the photo, you can see Derek’s ball flying out of this bunker on Muirfield’s sixteenth hole and toward the green.

Sam Goldstein Salt Lake City, Utah

A Shelter at Doonbeg

Having started a tradition in 1996 of venturing to the Emerald Isle every other year, our group of Southern California boys had the great pleasure of playing Doonbeg the year it opened, and it’s been on our must-play list ever since. We start planning our next trip as soon as we return, and we all agree Ireland offers the best in golf, people and beer—Guinness, that is! Taking shelter at Doonbeg’s sixth are, from left to right, the Big Easy, Divot, Eagle and the Wine Guy.

Tom “Eagle” Doran Newport Beach, California

When in Wales

In this photo, I am teeing off from the seventeenth hole at Pennard Golf Course in Wales. Pennard is a truly outstanding course, located about an hour from Cardiff. Well-regarded by course architect Tom Doak, the course is set wonderfully into a great landscape and is well worth a visit. The club professional, Mike Bennett, has been at Pennard for more than thirty years, and after visiting, I can certainly understand why. I didn’t want to leave, either.

Peter Stackpole Melbourne, Australia