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Episode 63 – Ran Morrissett (Golf Club Atlas)

Ran Morrissett, founder of Golf Club Atlas; a thriving community for fans of golf course architecture joined resident co-hosts Ru Macdonald & Graylyn Loomis to share his knowledge on a range of topical issues in the Scottish golf landscape and of course his hints and tips for a golf trip to Scotland.

During a candid interview Ran started by sharing his earliest memories of golf in Scotland touching on a family golf vacation to Scotland. A memory easily etched on any young American golfer making the maiden trip to Scotland is the iconic sight of the Turnberry Hotel but later visits to Royal Dornoch, St Andrews and Muirfield would go onto realign Ran’s thinking around what makes a true golf course great. This and the many more trips to Scotland thereafter were the catalyst for GolfClubAtlas.com.

As any fan of golf course architecture will note, the successful implementation of the modern links courses of Kingsbarns, Castle Stuart and Trump International have seamlessly embedded themselves onto almost every golfer’s list of ‘Scotland Must Plays‘. Somewhat unfairly, Ru went onto ask Ran how he would begin critiquing each one in tern. As a huge fan of Castle Stuart Golf Links Ran also commented on the announcement that Arnold Palmer would lead the design of the second course.

Golf architecture that has helped shape course design all over the world (excuse the pun) can be found etched on many of Scotland’s aged classics whether it be the Redan hole at North Berwick or the expansive fairways and greens of the Old Course, St Andrews. Ran talks through his favourite Scottish courses finding time to rave about the authentic golf experience that awaits at Brora and Askernish or the fun and intrigue of Fraserburgh near Cruden Bay.

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Fraserburgh, near Cruden Bay

Co-host Graylyn, who admittedly began his love of golf course architecture in much the same way Ran did, visiting Scotland as a late teen this time as a budding student at the University of St Andrews, was keen to quiz Ran on the recent changes to the Old Course by architect Martin Hawtree. Graylyn who at this point was midway through his four year stint in St Andrews was now besotted by the Old Course and would find himself in a front row seat to witness the changes at The Home of Golf.

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Askernish, South Uiist (Image Credit Jamie Gibson)

To conclude what was a thrilling 50 minutes Ru asked Ran to share what the eagerly anticipated opening of Cabot Cliffs in Nova Scotia, Canada will offer golfers and if in fact his time spent in Scotland has influenced it’s final design.

Our thanks goes to Ran for his time. Check out Golf Club Atlas for all things golf course architecture.

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