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Meridian Golf Tours

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Posts posted by Meridian Golf Tours

  1. First of all, welcome to the forum, Ian.  I'll be really interested to read your contributions.

     

    Zinger, Ian has given some great advice.  I'll add that I've planned two golf trips to Scotland (2011 and 2012) without using a tour operator. I have nothing against the tour operators, I just wanted to do it on my own, and enjoyed doing it that way. We estimated that we would be spending on the order of $5000 for a week, including airfare.  I never did add it all up at the end of the trip, I was afraid to really know.  If you're interested in more of my experiences, please get in touch. The most important thing, if you really want to play the Old Course, be ready to apply for advance tee times in September.

    Hi Dave

     

    Many thanks for you kind comments.

     

    Great piece of advice you have given regarding using the advance reservations method for those wishing to play the Old Course.  

     

    Here is the link to the webpage Advance Reservations webpage for any golfers looking to play in 2016. Advance reservations are now complete for 2015, but will open up last week of August 2015 for 2016 season Tee Times.

  2. Scotland is a bucket list trip for me. What is the best time of year to go? What's the minimum amount of days? What should you plan for as far as a total trip cost? What mistakes should people avoid when making the trip? Finally, how is that new trump course?

    Hi there.

     

    Best time is between April and September, with June, July and August normally having the best of the weather. Saying that you have to come prepared for all types of weather, even in August.

     

    I would recommend a minimum stay of 7 nights.

     

    Cost would obviously depend on the standard of accommodation and the golf courses you choose to play. You could stay in reasonable accommodation, play some wonderful links courses that don't charge the earth and rent a vehicle for around £900 (less than $1400 at £1=$1.51). Then you would have flights on top of that.

     

    At the other end of the scale, if you play all the top courses you would be looking at around $1,500 just for 6 rounds of golf. 5 star accommodation such as The Old Course Hotel can be over $1,500 and with chauffeured transport and caddies every day you would be looking at $4,000 excluding flights. 

     

    For a middle of the road tour with reasonable Hotel, 3 top courses and 3 value courses and self drive vehicle, you should budget around $1800. 

     

    Some mistakes that should be avoided is planning to play in several areas of the country. Travel times from  Turnberry to St Andrews can be almost 3 hours. St Andrews to Royal Dornoch another 4 hours. If you do not plan it sensibly, you will spend half of your golf trip travelling.

     

    If you wanted to see a number of areas plan to play at least 2 courses in each area, Turnberry and Royal Troon, Muirfield and North Berwick and St Andrews and Kingsbarns. Alternatively, Royal Dornoch and Castle Stuart, Cruden Bay and Trump Aberdeen, Carnoustie and St Andrews. 

     

    A great website is Via Michelin, where if you go to the route planner and enter two locations and it will give you both the distance and estimated driving time.

     

    Book your tee times for the more popular courses well in advance to secure the times that you would prefer.

     

    If you want to play the Old Course there are several ways to try and secure a tee time. I will cover that in a separate post.

     

    If you are planning to enter the ballot every day, it would be wise to base yourself in the St Andrews area 

    for most of your trip. Also check out the busy days for the Old Course. You will find that September is the worst month to try to get a St Andrews Old Course tee time as most days are busy will Club Competition finals the entire month. 

     

    Finally, the new Trump course. I have not had the pleasure of playing it yet, but will be this coming season. I can report that one of the guys I play golf with who is a 5 handicapper and has played all over Scotland and abroad played it in the autumn and said it was one of the finest golf experiences he has ever had.

     

    Hope this helps.

     

    Ian

  3. I'm with Golgn' Dude, Royal Dornoch is my favorite course as well.  Second favorite may just be Lahinch.

    I didn't find it difficult to get on the Old Course, but I did plan early enough to apply through the Advanced Reservation system.  In 2011 and 2012 I had times for 8 players.  The application date is early September for the entire following year, and you need all your players listed.

     

    Dornoch is the boyhood home of Donald Ross, designer of Pinehurst #2 (among others), where most of the greens are on little knobs.  Royal Dornoch has a few like that, most notable in my memory the second, fourteenth and fifteenth.  There are some more great photos of Royal Dornoch at http://golfclubatlas.com/forum/index.php/topic,40107.0/

    There were 8 golfers from Dornoch who emigrated to the USA. Donald Ross's brother Bob went over a year after Donald in 1900 and won the 1907 US Open.

    There were three bothers from the MacDonald family who emigrated, Bob, Bill and Jack. Bob was the winner of the 1st Texas Open and a founder member of the USPGA. He also was a great teacher and coached Gene Sarazen, Horton Smith and Babe Zaharias.

    The other golfers to go were Bob Grant, Alex Murray and Don Sutherland.

    A magnificent golf course and no doubt would have hosted an Open Championship if it were not so remote.

    Its popularity with American golfers is reflected in the fact that the Club has over 200 American members.  

  4. Hi

     

    I have just joined and my name is Ian and I am from near St Andrews in Scotland. 

     

    I am member of Leven Golfing Society which is the 11th oldest golf club in the world, formed in 1820 and celebrating its 200th anniversary in 2020.

     

    I retired a couple of years ago and caddy a little during the summer months at Fairmont St Andrews where you will find two fine courses, the Kittocks and the Torrance.

     

    I also started a golf tours company offering Scotland Golf Trips, so if anyone needs any information on Golf in Scotland feel free to ask away and I will do my best to help.

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