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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2016
    Location
    Westchester, New York
    Posts
    4,258

    8 Days in Heaven on Earth, Scotland

    This trip was suppose to happen in July 2020.
    Then COVID hit and everything got canceled.

    We rescheduled from July 14th to 21st 2021.
    Sunday Open, play St. George's on Monday and 5 rounds in St Andrews.
    Sounds great, right?

    UK didn't lift 10 day quarantine until July 19th even for fully vaccinated people.
    Trip got canceled again.

    Now September 3rd to 11th, we are trying for the third time but not sure if it'll happen.

    First off.
    Ida hit New York area and everything went under water.

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    Our cat Jackson knew something was up and not happy.

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    Wednesday all the flights at JFK got canceled.
    Thursday all the flights were delayed.
    We are leaving Friday 7pm with tons of paper work in hand.
    (CDC vaccine card, 72 hour PCR negative test result, passenger locator form and the receipt of 2 day PCR test kit ordered to our hotel)
    Because we can't check in online due to paper work to proof, check in line at JFK terminal 4 was an hour long.
    Took 1.5 hour to clear check in and security.
    We are finally heading to Amsterdam.

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    There's no more non-stop from JFK to Scotland, we flew over Scotland to Amsterdam and back track to Edinburgh.
    Crying baby the whole duration of the flight, group of Chinese in hazmat suits, fatigue from 14 hour journey, nothing mattered when we finally arrived in Scotland.

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    We booked our trip through an agency which provided transportation from the airport to our hotel.
    It was nice not to worry about driving on the left side of the road.

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    Our home in St Andrews for 6 days.

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    This was the view on my computer for few years now.
    I can't believe I'm finally here to see and experience everything in person.

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    https://youtu.be/tZ8hzdqaWGw

    https://youtu.be/h7RrjzTyJH0

    R&A (The Royal & Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews) and Hamilton Grand.

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    I am so excited and my head is about to explode from overloading sensations.

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    Can't stop taking pictures of this view.

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    New and Jubilee Clubhouse cross the fairway of the old course.

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    Jigger Inn (which was the stationmasterís lodge) conveniently located at our hotel off of 17th hole (road hole) fairway.

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    These pints stood no chance over two thirsty tourists.

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    Random view of home of golf.

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    7 days and 6 rounds of golf to continue.

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    Last edited by nutmegchoi; 10-04-2021 at 10:03 AM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2016
    Location
    Westchester, New York
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    4,258
    Day 2

    Breakfast was included in our room which was really nice.
    It also came with the view.

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    I have no idea how this golf ball got here from the old course.
    Either way, this ball was gone by afternoon.
    Balls are about 25% more expensive in the UK.

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    Our first round in Scotland was Dumbarnie Golf Links.
    Just hosted Scottish Women's Open so it was very exciting to play the course I was watching it on TV.

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    Reward after a sweet round.

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    Back to more tourist stuff.


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    It was our routine to walk over the old course's 18th and 17th fairway.

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    Last edited by ill-advised strategy; 09-30-2021 at 08:20 AM. Reason: Embedded youtube vids

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2016
    Location
    Westchester, New York
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    Day 3

    The Castle Course is the newest addition to St Andrews Links.
    It opened in 2008 becoming the seventh course at the Home of Golf and part of the largest public golfing complex in Europe.
    Designed by David McLay-Kidd.
    Set on a rugged cliff-top with spectacular views over St Andrews.

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    https://youtu.be/5pGtvHuVi5c


    It is a hard course to play and a hard course to walk.
    We were very lucky to have experience caddies to help us with our bags and navigate the course.

    https://youtu.be/Fjf4u7v4U3M

    https://youtu.be/JTtGtQrDNfY

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    Regardless, I was very, very happy.

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    https://youtu.be/lH-89T0fmQs

    Back to our hotel watching people playing the Old.
    Good bois are allowed.


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    https://youtu.be/EbDokr6y5MU

    Good babies as well.

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    End of another great day.

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    Last edited by nutmegchoi; 09-27-2021 at 03:40 PM.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2016
    Location
    Westchester, New York
    Posts
    4,258
    Day 4

    This is the day why we came all the way to Scotland.
    To play a round where it all began.



    Our tee time at Old Course was high noon.
    We were paired with a very nice couple from Pittsburg whom we played a previous round at The Castle Course.

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    Dressed to the nines, ready to go!

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    Most people get really nervous at the 1st tee at the Old Course.
    I think I was overwhelmingly excited and didn't have room for the nervousness.
    Hit a little too left but a decent tee shot to layup right before The Swilcan Burn.

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    Settled the 1st with a bogey and a birdie on the 2nd.
    Things were looking up.

    Neil was my caddie from the Castle Course.
    He started caddying at St Andrews when he was 15.
    37 year veteran who got tired of traveling with PGA/European tour after 12 years, came home to spend more time with his family.
    If it wasn't him, I would've scored so much higher at The Castle Course and Old Course.
    He truly was my guiding hand.

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    Started losing my game but never lost smiles.
    Just so happy and grateful to have a privilege to play the Old.

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    7th & 11th crossing was a crazy spot.
    I never seen this many people on a golf course at the same time!

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    Boyfriend surviving Hell Bunker.

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    17th (The Road Hole) tee shot.

    My driver naturally fades, so the hole was perfect for my tee shot.



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    Of course we can't miss the shot!

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    The last approach.

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    Started and ended with bogeys.
    I was just happy I didn't screw up the 1st tee shot, didn't kill anyone at the 17th tee shot and didn't hit a car at the 18th fairway.



    View from New & Jubilee Clubhouse rooftop.

    St Andrews Ladies' Putting Club Himalayas and the Old 1st & 18th fairway behind.

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    New Course's 1st fairway and the Old's 2nd fairway.
    Absolutely breathtaking.

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    We decided to have a nice dinner at our hotel to celebrate.
    But I didn't bring decent clothes.
    I packed a pair of jeans, two pairs of shorts and yoga pants with bunch of t-shirts and hoodies.
    Other than golf clothes, I had nothing fancy.
    So, I just wore my golf clothes.

    Oysters were fantastic and Sea Trout was delicious.

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    Around sunset, we always set on one of two bench off of 17th fairway.
    Just have a beer and watch people finishing rounds.

    https://youtu.be/r6Srqbh-xaA

    This was the day I would never forget for the rest of my life.

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  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2016
    Location
    Westchester, New York
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    Day 5

    Another beautiful day in St Andrews.
    We were very lucky to have beautiful weather with very minimum wind.

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    Today was originally a day off from golf and do some sightseeing.
    But since this might be the last good weather, I much rather play another round.
    So we canceled everything but a distillery tour at The Glenturret.

    The Glenturret Distillery is in the middle of nowhere about an hour and a half north of St Andrews (we had a driver).
    Established in 1763, it is the oldest running distillery in Scotland.

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    I was just missing our cats and needed some fur contact.
    And there he was, greeting me belly up.
    One of two resident feline pest control expert at Glenturret.
    His name is Glen.

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    This was an hour tour through out the distillery to learn their history and hand operated Glenturret single malt whisky making.

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    Learned where "blind drunk" and "monkey shoulders" originated from.

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    Turret is sleeping while on duty.

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    They had a female long-haired tortoiseshell cat called Towser (Towser the mouser) from 1963 till 1987.
    She currently holds the Guinness book record victim count estimated 28,899.

    I don't think that record is breaking anytime soon.
    Especially not by Turret.

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    The fun part!

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    The Glenturret Lalique restaurant

    Italian high end crystal Lalique Group purchased Glenturret 2018.
    They poured some new money into the distillery and upscaled the restaurant.
    They currently have Michelin starred chef Mark Donald who was creating some unbelievable cuisines.

    This was the most beautiful bar I've ever seen.
    In the middle of nowhere in Scotland!

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    Unfortunately we didn't have enough time to enjoy the full course.
    But little we tasted were amazingly flavorful.
    Next time we'll have more time and dress better.
    I felt like I was going around to crash all these beautiful places in my shorts and hoodie.

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    Shame we never stay in our room long enough to truly enjoy this view.

    I much rather be out and playing golf though.
    So we won't get this nice of a room next time.

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    We got a last minute tee time at Jubilee.

    6742 yards, par 72.

    The third championship course at the Home of Golf, the Jubilee is considered by many to be the most challenging course on the famous Links.
    Built in 1897, it was originally intended for use by ladies and beginners.
    However, after seeing its prime golfing location between the New Course and the sea, the Jubilee was converted to a championship layout in 1988.

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    It was late afternoon and sun was setting.
    Just two of us and same caddies from two previous rounds.

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    We were enjoying ourselves too much, didn't even take much pictures/videos.

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    We had one pound per hole skins and winning team's caddie was getting extra 20 pounds.
    Me and my boyfriend were neck and neck going into 18th.
    I got a par and he got a bogey.
    I won a pound (plus bragging rights) and took a great care of Neil.

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    More seafood and local beer!
    Tailend Restaurant was fantastic.

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    Drinks in Dunvegan.



    Nightly walks over 18th & 17th fairway back to our hotel.

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    Last edited by ill-advised strategy; 09-30-2021 at 08:31 AM. Reason: Youtube assist

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2016
    Location
    Westchester, New York
    Posts
    4,258
    Day 6

    First rainy day in Scotland which we welcome for the full Scottish golf experience.

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    The Carnoustie Championship Course.

    The Championship Course has hosted eight Open Championships, two Women’s Open and two Seniors Open making it one of the very few to have done so in the UK.
    It is one of three courses used for the annual Dunhill Links, the others being Kingsbarns and the Old Course in St Andrews.

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    Just two weeks prior it hosted 2021 Women's British Open.

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    The course is hard and the conditions were tough.

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    https://youtu.be/t1F0vrx7X54

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    I didn't play my A game and was struggling through.
    Yet somehow my boyfriend was having a round of his life!

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    Well, I didn't suffer as bad as he did.

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    Playing Carnoustie in rain and wind 5th straight day playing golf, I would say this is as good as it gets!
    What a round he had!!
    Cheers!!!

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    Back to the Old.

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    Old Course is a public course over common land in St Andrews, Fife, Scotland and is held in trust by the St Andrews Links Trust under an act of Parliament.
    The Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews clubhouse sits adjacent to the first tee, although it is but one of many clubs (St Andrews Golf Club, The New Golf Club, St Regulus Ladies Golf Club and The St Rule Club are the others with clubhouses) that have playing privileges on the course, along with some other non-clubhouse owning clubs and the general public.
    Originally known as the "golfing grounds" of St Andrews, it was not until the New Course was opened in 1895 that it became known as the Old Course.

    St Andrews Golf Club & The New Golf Club.

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    Guinness & Extra Cold Guinness at The Keys Bar.
    5 degree temperature difference.

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    Since we'll head to Edinburgh right after our round at Kingsbarns tomorrow, this is our last night out in St Andrews.

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    I'll be counting down days to return.

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    Thank you for everything, St Andrews.

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    Last edited by nutmegchoi; 09-28-2021 at 02:03 PM.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2016
    Location
    Westchester, New York
    Posts
    4,258
    Day 7

    Last morning in St Andrews.

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    Our last round in Scotland was Kingsbarns.

    It opened in 2000 and has been rated as one of the best courses in Scotland.
    Owned by American and majority of golfers are Americans as well.
    Visually stunning and fun & fair course.

    Protip:
    While it is an expensive round to play at £328 (roughly $445).
    But the half price replay covers a week, not the same day.

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    We were joined by two American single players.
    An older gentleman who is well connected in the area and a university student who's attending a semester at The University of Edinburgh.
    He happened to come from the same hometown area as my boyfriend so we made an instant bond.

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    Our caddies from St Andrews booked Lindsey and Dennis for us at Kingsbarns who were also great caddies and really nice guys.
    Another pleasant walks and talks.

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    Always have time to stop and meet a good boi.
    A beautiful Scottish Deerhound.

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    Casually making an eagle at 16th hole 504 yard par 5.
    Knew he was a good player, but didn't know he was a plus handicap player.
    Shot 2 over just because he never played the course with no help from a caddie.



    I'm just gonna take a picture of my shoes, flowers and bunkers.

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    What an experience to play 6 great courses in Scotland.
    Coming here we thought this would be the once in a lifetime trip.
    As we are leaving, we are thinking about when will be the next time.
    Hopefully soon enough!
    Last edited by ill-advised strategy; 09-30-2021 at 08:36 AM. Reason: Youtube embedding assist

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2016
    Location
    Westchester, New York
    Posts
    4,258
    St Andrews & Edinburgh

    St Andrews is not only Home of Golf, it’s also home to the University of St Andrews which is ranked as the second best university in the United Kingdom, behind the University of Cambridge (also where Prince William attended and met Kate Middleton).
    Town is filled with electric energy from the golfers around the world and the university students.
    It’s beautiful buildings, kind people, breathtaking sceneries, great food, unlimited beer and whisky selections (not whiskey!) should be enough reasons to visit even if you weren’t a golfer.
    I miss our nightly walks over Old Course’s 17th & 18th fairway back to our hotel.

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    Our last stop was the capital city of Scotland Edinburgh.
    We didn’t have any expectations and pleasantly surprised by the beauty of this city.
    The city was full of gorgeous old buildings and castle.
    People were well dressed, out and living their lives.
    Too bad we didn’t have enough time to explore more!

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    The moment of truth.

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    I finally got to try Haggis with neeps and tatties.
    (savory pudding containing sheep’s pluck minced with onion, oatmeal, suet, spices and salt with turnips & potatoes)


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    Which wasn't bad at all?
    It just tastes like minced meat.
    I did hear it can be bad, but mine was pretty darn good.
    It's not something I would crave and look for to order, but I'm glad I tried!

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    Last edited by ill-advised strategy; 09-30-2021 at 08:48 AM. Reason: Youtubes embedded

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2017
    Location
    on the banks of Fish Creek
    Posts
    4,595
    I like the upstate weather!

    How much does one round cost on that course?

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2016
    Location
    Westchester, New York
    Posts
    4,258
    Quote Originally Posted by m2711c View Post
    I like the upstate weather!

    How much does one round cost on that course?
    Weather was actually perfect while we were there.
    High 60's and low 50's with 5-10mph wind.
    The only wet/windy day was at Carnoustie and it wasn't even that bad.

    Courses are about $120-350.
    Old Course would be the hardest to get on and not guaranteed.
    One of the reasons why we went with the agent.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Dec 2020
    Location
    Idaho
    Posts
    891
    Really impressed. You are hard core!

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Location
    Before
    Posts
    24,830
    No haggis?
    Merde De Glace On the Freak When Ski
    >>>200 cm Black Bamboo Sidewalled DPS Lotus 120 : Best Skis Ever <<<

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    On Vacation for the Duration
    Posts
    14,161
    AWESOME!
    A few people feel the rain. Most people just get wet.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Feb 2016
    Location
    Westchester, New York
    Posts
    4,258
    Quote Originally Posted by Buster Highmen View Post
    No haggis?
    Coming up!

  15. #15
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    inpdx
    Posts
    16,079

    8 Days in Heaven on Earth, Scotland

    Quote Originally Posted by Buster Highmen View Post
    No haggis?
    Quote Originally Posted by nutmegchoi View Post
    Coming up!
    Ewww

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Location
    Before
    Posts
    24,830
    Quote Originally Posted by nutmegchoi View Post
    Coming up!
    atta girl!

    It's generally served with a little snort of scotch on the side for good reason.
    Merde De Glace On the Freak When Ski
    >>>200 cm Black Bamboo Sidewalled DPS Lotus 120 : Best Skis Ever <<<

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Posts
    17,780
    Swing is good. Starting to look natural.

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Feb 2016
    Location
    Westchester, New York
    Posts
    4,258
    Quote Originally Posted by 4matic View Post
    Swing is good. Starting to look natural.
    Thank you.
    Thoughts are eliminating one by one.
    Not going away fast enough though!

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Posts
    17,780
    Quote Originally Posted by nutmegchoi View Post
    Thank you.
    Thoughts are eliminating one by one.
    Not going away fast enough though!
    Itís best when you keep the left arm firmer and donít go past parallel. Keep it simple.

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Feb 2016
    Location
    Westchester, New York
    Posts
    4,258
    Quote Originally Posted by 4matic View Post
    It’s best when you keep the left arm firmer and don’t go past parallel. Keep it simple.
    I agree.
    I don't know why I can't keep the same backswing from iron to wood.
    Ongoing struggle.

  21. #21
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Posts
    17,780
    Quote Originally Posted by nutmegchoi View Post
    I agree.
    I don't know why I can't keep the same backswing from iron to wood.
    Ongoing struggle.
    The ark feels shorter with longer clubs so we compensate by getting loose at the top. No need for that.

  22. #22
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Carbondale
    Posts
    11,342
    Most excellent TR.
    www.dpsskis.com
    www.point6.com
    formerly an ambassador for a few others, but the ski industry is... interesting.
    Fukt: a very small amount of snow.

  23. #23
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Vancouver, BC
    Posts
    1,178
    Great TR, really enjoyed all the pictures. Thanks for posting!

    And now searching out tour operators....

  24. #24
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Posts
    292
    Great TR. Golf & scenery looked awesome, but I really appreciate the haggis closeup!

    Well done all around!

  25. #25
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Verdi NV
    Posts
    9,380
    What you did has been on my bucket list for a long time. Awesome TR

    As a golfer who used to be addicted to the game

    I would suggest you become a member of a local corse and join the men’s/ women’s club
    Get a handicap and compete in tournaments

    It’s a beautiful thing
    Own your fail. ~Jer~

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