Scottish Links Golf at Galsgow Gailes.
Boy oh Boy. This is some links golf course. Absolutely fantastic.
A shame I played like a complete idiot for the first nine holes or so. I did improve on the back nine, regaining some pride, thank goodness. The 'extra' red wine the evening before was probably not my best preparation for golfing on such a great links course for the first time.
Andrew picked me up at 9am (hic..) and after our 45 -50 minute journey, a cup of coffee, a lot of water and some putting on the practise green I was less than ready to hit the first drive. An over swing and big pull has me on the 18th fairway, only 65 yards off line. Wonderful. The good news, and there is good news..., this is a links golf course in Scotland which means few, if any, trees and there is always a route back to the true fairway. A bogey ensued.
It did not get any better over the following holes but then again not really too bad considering I was nursing a general body numbness. The first nine did try my patience mind you!
Then arrived, from nowhere (!) a truly shocking, topped, drive that somehow managed to get over some bushes in front of the tee and dived with some velocity into thick heather. I assumed the ball was lost and crunched a provisional drive down the centre of the fairway. Infuriating really. Even more infuriating was when Andrew found my first drive. Four shots later I had managed to get extricate myself, and ball, from the bloody heather onto the fairway and after a 4 iron approach, then a chip onto the green and two regulations putts, I was still laughing!
The following 8th hole produced another extraordinary 9 that, out of sympathy to your golfing soul, I really cannot subject you too. Suffice to say that if you can think how not to play a relatively straightforward, 339 yard par 4, then I managed to do so and with tremendous gusto!
I did improve over the back nine, even securing a birdie at the 506 yard par5 14th. Golfer!
Glasgow Gailes is a wonderful links golf course and regulary features in the top 100 courses in Britain. Sandy Lyle, the former Open and Masters champion, described it as 'one of the world's truly great tests of links golf.' It is.
This year it will once again feature as one of the four qualifying courses used by the R&A for the Open Championship at Turnberry and it will be the host of the Scottish Open Amateur Championship in 2010. This is some pedigree.
I did take some photographs and will post them on my Profile page. I look forward to having another crack at the Glasgow Gailes, if asked back, and would like to believe that you guys out there will one day enjoy your own experience of it when touring Scotlanad's great links golf courses.