The misinformed golfing hopeful planning a visit to Scotland often raises concerns around access to the various golf facilities. Such a golfer remains unaware at the comprehensive accessibility to these world renowned golfing venues even now which must be harmful to attracting golfers to the birthplace of golf.
It was when posting pictures to my social media accounts this summer I began noticing an unusually high interest in my golfing companion who just happened to be the family dog. It later transpired when interviewing guests on the podcasts about their recent golf trip to Scotland many would recount amongst their fondest memories, witnessing dogs on the golf course while they played. Why, because to them it symbolises all that is great about Scotland’s golfing culture; the game for the working class, open to all even dogs! It then dawned on me. Golfing in Scotland is different.
Meet Mac, my family’s 6 year old Golden Labrador from Scotland whose hobbies include long walks on the beach and sleeping. Often these walks are with yours truly and attempting to overcome the male stereotype I multi-task and head for the golf course. Both man and dog chasing birdies late into the long summer nights.
This symbolic message can be quite profound to those intrigued by a golfing pilgrimage to Scotland. If a dog can walk the links so can you. All but a handful of courses in Scotland are public meaning you or I can pay our green fee and golf. The land isn’t privately owned, restricted only to member access but for the community to respectfully enjoy alongside golfers. Play almost any links course in Scotland and see a wide variety of recreational activity being enjoyed including dog walking, jogging and even on occasion the odd brave surfer. So public access to some of the golf courses but what about the Championship venues like St Andrews?
When golfing here in Scotland I do so naive to the golfing culture overseas having only known it one way. As my golfing horizons have grown however I've began to appreciate my swift round with the dog as a pastime embedded in our golfing culture. No matter how golf has evolved elswhere, it's these humble beginnings still preserved today which remind us that we have golf in it's purest form.
— Sally Watson (@sallywatsongolf) December 8, 2014
Our doors are well and truly open so stop making a 'dog's dinner of it' and come visit.