Wes Durham, a sports anchor on US television and a play by play announcer for the Atlanta Falcons shares his recent golf travel experiences after his first golf vacation in Scotland. This was not your average trip as Wes and his buddies secured tee times on some of the most sought after links
Based from North Berwick, Wes and his buddies travelled in search of playing the Open rota courses as for many this was their first golfing visit to Scotland. (a common theme with first time trips)
The West Links at Berwick must rank with many the visiting golfer as a favourite with its historic quirks proving to charm time and time again. North Berwick has it all, quality golf setup and condition, immense history and aura of any good golfing town with views over to Bass Rock and the North Sea.
The Honourable Company of Edinburgh Golfers at Muirfield is the most difficult of Open Championship venues to play while visiting Scotland. With visitor play restricted to two days a week (Tuesdays and Thursdays) you must book this in advance. Interestingly Wes comments on the impact the aura of Murifield had on him during his visit. The impact of the membership and it’s standing in the game of golf was unlike all but one other golf institution comparing Muirfield as Scotland’s Augusta National.
The course was in incredible condition for their visit and it was one of the most enjoyable rounds during the trip as the group very much felt immersed in the history of the game. Playing holes such as the Postage Stamp while not playing well it was evident that Wes was overwhelmed by being apart of the history at Royal Troon together with the beautiful setting and vistas. (Visitor play is limited to Monday, Tuesday and Thursday)
The original characteristics of the game are what you find at Prestwick with blind shorts and quirky designs. The transition between the holes going out and holes coming back remind you of the agony classic links design. Charm of Prestwick, the first Open Championship venue.
A very different golf experience in Scotland with a very exclusive resort layout that includes holes which back onto Muirfield. Wes believes this course is an American design in Scotland and one that all Americans would enjoy playing noting holes 9/10 are among his favourites anywhere in golf.
Every-time you turn you are seeing a famous spot which you have seen since birth on television. Playing Prestwick before allowed Wes to alter his playing style ensuring that he kept it on the fairway. Rarely had the group experienced the mix of nationalities which they encountered while playing the Old Course. It reminded the group that they were in a special place in golf, The Home of Golf.
In the travelling party was a gentleman that helped coordinate the visit of Wes and accompanied him on the most famous links. A man not known in golfing circles here in Scotland but who has invested into Scottish golf in a way which many take for granted. Mr John Imlay, a self made entrepreneur and investor from Atlanta now part owner of the Atlanta Falcons fell in love with golf and Scotland. His donations have helped restore stone bridges at Muirfield, Royal Troon, Prestwick, North Berwick and Carnoustie. A story which is worth noting and celebrating further in the months to come.
Any questions on golf travel to Scotland please get in touch. You can subscribe to the podcast here.