Much like our July at Morton Golf, August has been severely impacted by COVID-19. It’s a source of great sadness that we have been unable to welcome many of our international clients to Scotland and Ireland. Needless to say, we are very much looking forward to seeing them in 2021. Scotland will be ready and waiting for you!
In the meantime, we have been making the most of our ‘free time’ and, like July, have spent August meeting with many of our key partners and suppliers; often on a golf course!
In the first week of August (the former owner of Morton Golf) Peter Craigon and I spent some time in St Andrews and played the wonderful Jubilee Course. The back nine on the Jubilee is particularly tricky and puts a real premium on being in control of your golf ball… at times I confess that I wasn’t! It really is a fantastic golf course and a great addition to any trip to St Andrews.
The second week in August saw the Kerr family take their annual pilgrimage to the truly epic Gleneagles Hotel. It’s always a great place to visit but, for the four of us, spending the last full week of the summer holidays together is a great way for us to re-charge.
Whilst there I try to get my hands on early tee times at each of the courses so I can get home before I’ve been missed but this year was a little different as my 2 daughter’s joined me on my round on The PGA Centenary Course – the allure of taking turns driving the golf cart was too good for them to resist!
A few days later it was time to play The Kings Course. This James Braid classic is firmly in my top 10 Scottish golf courses; it doesn’t hurt that I’ve had my only hole in one here and if you haven’t heard about it then clearly we haven’t played golf together. Let’s remedy that!
Last – but not least – I played The Queens Course on a slightly foggy morning and had Mrs Kerr for company. As an aside to Bushnell… I love your products but my range finder did not love the Perthshire fog. All yardages for the first few holes were 7 yards!
As the fog lifted we really were treated to some amazing views over the lush, rolling Perthshire countryside and pleasingly I finished the week playing pretty well.
After returning home from Gleneagles on the Saturday, I headed north on Sunday to play Panmure Golf Club.
In the past I’ve played both wonderfully and poorly at Panmure and, I’m afraid, it was the latter this time. That said, the golf course was terrific. There are a number of holes which force you to really think about your next shot and it’s definitely a course that needs to be plotted around to score well.
Having Rach McQueen playing in front of us – with the UK women’s long drive champion! – forced us all to sharpen our pencils!
The following week saw me take on 2 new (to me) courses in Gailes Links and Comrie. The former with my good friend Martin Dempsey and the latter in the always wonderful company of Allan Minto.
Gailes was a real treat. The weather was excellent, the golf course presented in excellent condition and the members were warm and friendly.
And Comrie was a real delight. A truly excellent 9-hole course with amazing views over (again!) the Perthshire countryside. Often you find that 9-hole courses are easy to play but this one has a bit of bite. Definitely some places where you could come a cropper unless you are concentrating.
I ended the month with another trip north – although I covered some miles in August it was not the 2422 miles in the car of July! – to play Tain Golf Club and Royal Dornoch and stay at the always wonderful Links House.
I played Tain in the late afternoon and rarely have I played a golf course which was so firm underfoot. It made for some (for me!) great drives and encouraged the bump-and-run shot into greens.
After my round at Tain I headed to Dornoch and arrived in ‘golden hour’ just in time to capture this picture of the clubhouse at Royal Dornoch with the sun setting behind it.
Links House always receives amazing feedback from our clients. It’s location, the staff, the food, the rooms, everything is just done well. The breakfast hamper was an absolute delight.
Neil Hampton has just celebrated his 10th anniversary at the club and under his leadership the whole set up has gone from strength to strength. The course was immaculate and the hospitality second to none.
The new 7th hole fits in perfectly and offers amazing views over the Dornoch Firth. Truly spectacular.
The last night of the month was spent in St Andrews ahead of an early tee time on 1st September but I’ll leave that for another article…