One of the things I liked most about playing golf over in Scotland was that even though the courses are famous all over the world, they haven’t been turned into ultra-touristy golf theme parks. Don’t get me wrong. You can certainly go into the pro shops of any of these courses and pay out the nose for a crappy hat or ball marker with the club logo on it. But for the most part, the focus remains on the golf and golfing experience, not in squeezing every last penny out of you. Either that, or I’m a sucker for getting every last penny squeezed out of my wallet.
One thing to keep in mind when visiting over there is managing the expectations you have for what constitutes a “good” golf course. Here in America we tend to equate super green grass and well manicured fairways and rough as a sign that a golf course is nice. We also look for some kind of “signature” element that stands out, such as a waterfall in the middle of a pond on the course. If these are your ideas of a great course, you would think a place such as St. Andrews is ugly. The beauty of a real golf course lays in the design of a course, in the way that a course seems to naturally blend into the the land on which it sits. [click to continue…]