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GolfSpy Barbajo

A Round on the Old Course!!

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Great stuff John.  A couple of those pics should no doubt be framed in the office. 

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Great pics.

You'll enjoy the Jubilee and New course, both are actually better challenges than the Old, but the Old trumps it for nostalgia and atmosphere.

Good luck.

 

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Great stuff John, you're getting yourself more solidly entrenched on my list! 

 

83 after very little (if any) sleep and a lot of excitement isn't too bad. Enjoy the next few days.

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Played 36 yesterday - the. Jubilee in the morning, the New In the afternoon. They’re similar but different,’if that makes sense - line twins with different personalities.

From the Jubilee...

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From the New...

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Shot a 79 at the New, 84 on Jubilee. We got some rain yesterday to make it feel like a real Scottish adventure.

Will be playing both again today.


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What an awesome trip! And the Old Course twice?!?!


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Definitely bucket list stuff here John, thanks for sharing!

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3 hours ago, GolfSpy Barbajo said:

 


It gets worse. Wet, miserable day today- cousin Paul suggests on a lark we see if there are any Old Course cancellations. Bottom line,we tee off again in 30 minutes emoji41.pngemoji41.pngemoji41.png


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Whats your honest opinion on the Old course now you've played it twice? (only once for me)

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On 5/30/2019 at 1:57 PM, perseveringgolfer said:

Whats your honest opinion on the Old course now you've played it twice? (only once for me)

That's a great question - I wouldn't say it's anywhere close to the "hardest" course I've ever played - the way it was set up for regular play, anyway. You definitely have to think your way around it, and caddies definitely helped. I can easily see how holes such as #11, the one that gave Bobby Jones fits, can be a nightmare if you're in the wrong place. I got luck and parred it twice, but a couple of miscalculations could have been disastrous.

I bogied the Road Hole twice, both times from the middle of the fairway -- unless you're a hell of a long longer off the tee than I am and the pin is in the front - I don't see how you can get close. It's a tough mother of a hole. Playing 18 twice was interesting - first day was driver/9-iron; the second day was driver/3 hybrid, and I smacked both drives well.

For the first round, there was definitely an 78 or 79 to be had for me - I struggled both on and around the greens, and was fighting a major case of the lefts. Apparently, on the Old Course, that's not a horrible thing. My caddy told me right is where nearly all the trouble is, left my make the hole harder and longer, but you can play it. The only holes where right really isn't a problem is on 9 and 10, since they're side by each.

I didn't play particularly well my second round - still was able to scrape together an 86, but it didn't feel like a good 86. I did lip out 3 or 4 putts that were for either birdie or par (okay, one would have saved double), but it was a scramble the entire round. I shanked a pitch on 18 in front of a group of onlookers - and then 3-putted for a closing double which kind of sealed the deal.

So honest opinion? It's not a particularly hard course, but you do have to use your noodle and if you stay out of trouble and bring a short game, I don't think breaking 80 there under normal conditions would be all that difficult to do. The greens are on the slow side - but from what I understand that's normal for Scottish links golf, and if you're not hitting greens and your short game is giving you fits, it's going to be a long day. As my caddy said - it rarely plays the same way twice.

From the experience standpoint, it was magical - they build up the mystique big time (why wouldn't they?) - but to actually play on that course - and the New and Jubilee as well - where there's so much history - was something I'll never forget.

We played Lundin Links today - a really cool out-of-the-way hidden gem. Half the holes were designed by Old Tom Morris, the other half by James Braid - and they've been playing there since 1868. It was a really fun course, again right on the water.

We play Kingsbarns in the morning and Scottscraig in the afternoon tomorrow - then he head home on Sunday.  

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Did you go through a company to set up your golf or did you do this all on your own?  If you went through a company, can you tell us about it?

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1 hour ago, ballplayer002003 said:

Did you go through a company to set up your golf or did you do this all on your own?  If you went through a company, can you tell us about it?

Another good question - we set the trip up through a British company called Halcyon Golf Travel (link here).

 

The owner and founder is a 23 year old Jack Sallis - a go-getter if ever there was one. I met Jack at the PGA Show in January. His company is about a year old and Jack has worked hard to make contacts in the golf world and thrives on putting together high end, bespoke travel experiences throughout the UK. Ours was bespoke, I guess, but we chose  not to go the high end route -- preferring to sacrifice high end accommodations and other experiences for more and better golf. 

Jack did not book the Old Course for us - by the time we booked the trip (mid-March) all the allotted tee times were long gone...so we did it the hold fashioned way -- showing up at the starter's pavilion early, waiting and hoping. But Jack did a great job putting the trip together and spent the first two days of the trip with us to get us settled and acclimated to Scotland - he even played with us at the Castle Course (he's a SERIOUS stick, even though I did outdrive him on one hole - not bad for someone 35 years older than him!!). 

There are lots of good travel companies that can book a trip like this -- GolfBreaks is one, but there are tons. I personally like working with small outfits like Halcyon, and I like that Jack is so young and doing the work to make a name for himself and his company. That kind of initiative is worthy of respect, IMO. He's earned my business, that's for sure. 

Already talking about a trip next year for my 60th - anyone up for it???

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1 hour ago, GolfSpy Barbajo said:

Already talking about a trip next year for my 60th - anyone up for it???

I think I could mosey on over to The Home of Golf when you come back😉🏌️‍♂️👏

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1 hour ago, GolfSpy Barbajo said:

There are lots of good travel companies that can book a trip like this -- GolfBreaks is one, but there are tons. I personally like working with small outfits like Halcyon, and I like that Jack is so young and doing the work to make a name for himself and his company. That kind of initiative is worthy of respect, IMO. He's earned my business, that's for sure. 

Already talking about a trip next year for my 60th - anyone up for it???

It sounds like it worked out great, its nice to know of another resource in planning these kinds of trips.  I understand the appeal of having a trip planner, but you can also organize one of these trips on your own.  I plan almost all of my own trips, including trips to Scotland in 2011 and 2012.  We planned those far enough in advance to get in through the Advanced Reservation System, and planned the rest of the trip around the allocated dates.  Its really not difficult to organize tee times on most courses, including Carnoustie, the Old Course and Muirfield are notable exceptions.  Lodging and vehicles aren't too difficult to organize either.  Again, I'm glad to know there's a new hungry company doing an excellent job for golfers.

I'd love to make another pilgrimage to Scotland with you, but I have a feeling my wife would object.  But I'm with you, a visit every year wouldn't be too often.

One question, you stayed at the New Inn, how did that work out?

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13 hours ago, DaveP043 said:

 

One question, you stayed at the New Inn, how did that work out?

It was fine -- very simple rooms over a pub. We looked at it like we had a full service bar and breakfast counter in our basement. It was an easy walk to restaurants, and about a 20 minute hike to the Old Course - 30 if you walked along the shore by the old cathedral and castle. 

It was very bare bones -- full bed and twin bed with a full bath. Desk with a hot water pot and instant coffee - plenty of room. Only thing missing was a mini-fridge for snacks or bottled water.  The pub downstairs was fine - not terribly busy though, but fine. Heidi, the owner, made breakfast to order for us every day, and if we gave her enough notice she'd prepare a bagged breakfast for us if we were leaving early, as we did Saturday to play Kingsbarns. 

We could have stayed in a  nicer hotel - even had an option to stay at the Rusack right along the 18th fairway, but opted for less expensive lodging in order to get in more golf and say within budget.

Saturday night she had the European Soccer championship game on, with complimentary food laid out. Again, wasn't overly busy but it was a nice time. I played soccer in high school and can appreciate the talent of the best players in the world, but when you don't care who wins it's extremely boring to watch. 

Enjoyed interacting with Heidi's regulars -- she seemed to know everyone.

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13 hours ago, GolfSpy Barbajo said:

It was fine -- very simple rooms over a pub. We looked at it like we had a full service bar and breakfast counter in our basement. It was an easy walk to restaurants, and about a 20 minute hike to the Old Course - 30 if you walked along the shore by the old cathedral and castle. 

It was very bare bones -- full bed and twin bed with a full bath. Desk with a hot water pot and instant coffee - plenty of room. Only thing missing was a mini-fridge for snacks or bottled water.  The pub downstairs was fine - not terribly busy though, but fine. Heidi, the owner, made breakfast to order for us every day, and we gave her enough notice she's prepare a bagged breakfast for us if we were leaving early, as we did Saturday to play Kingsbarns. 

We could have stayed in a  nicer hotel - even had an option to stay at the Rusack right along the 18th fairway, but opted for less expensive lodging in order to get in more golf and say within budget.

Saturday night she had the European Soccer championship game on, with complimentary good laid out. Again, wasn't overly busy but it was a nice time. I played soccer in high school and can appreciate the talent of the best players in the world, but when you don't care who wins it's extremely boring to watch. 

Enjoyed interacting with Heidi's regulars -- she seemed to know everyone.

I've stayed at B&Bs in Murray Park, those are similarly no-frills kinds of places, but more than adequate, considering how much time we actually spent in the rooms.  The New Inn sounds perfect to me, locals to chat with, a pub on site, good breakfast, and in a quieter end of town so you could sleep early if you chose to.  I'm not a person who prefers luxury, I'll keep the New Inn in mind for my next visit.

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2 hours ago, DaveP043 said:

I've stayed at B&Bs in Murray Park, those are similarly no-frills kinds of places, but more than adequate, considering how much time we actually spent in the rooms.  The New Inn sounds perfect to me, locals to chat with, a pub on site, good breakfast, and in a quieter end of town so you could sleep early if you chose to.  I'm not a person who prefers luxury, I'll keep the New Inn in mind for my next visit.

Same, I would rather skimp on the room to increase the golfing experience.  If you spend tons of time in your room then you are doing it wrong.  I am there to golf.

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@GolfSpy Barbajo The St Rule trophy was just played over the NEW and OLD course. Thought it might interest you to see this as it's just gone up.

 

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1 hour ago, ballplayer002003 said:

Same, I would rather skimp on the room to increase the golfing experience.  If you spend tons of time in your room then you are doing it wrong.  I am there to golf.

For the next trip I'm thinking of staying in the North Berwick area and focusing on the East Lothian courses - with a day trip to St. Andrews if we can secure tee times. Our guy Jack said the accommodations are much less expensive down that way and the courses -- North Berwick, Gullane and if we say our prayers and do good deeds - Muirfield - are amazing. 

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