S: Golf in the Kingdom 2011
BC: Golf is a game to teach you about the messages from within, about the subtle voices of the body-mind. And once you understand them you can more clearly see your "hamartia" (fatal flaws), the ways in which your approach to the game reflects your entire life. Nowhere does a man go so naked as he does before a discernin' eye dressed for golf. - Shivas Irons - Golf in the Kingdom | Old Course, The Open, RCD, Muirfield Machrihanish, Lytham, Scotch on Islay, Turnberry, Prestwick, Birkdale | . | The Stats: - 16 days (15 playing golf).* - 5 Countries. - 22 Courses (Approximately).** (17 in Top 100, 8 of 14 courses that have ever held The Open) - 2500 miles on rental vehicle. - 160 miles walked approximately.*** - 0 Deaths or serious injuries (that were reported)! *Dean 9 days (8 golf), but a great 9 days they were. **technically Daryl 24, Ken & Charles 22 (since you wimped out on the yellow & blue courses at Portmarnock), & Dean 14 ***extrapolated from Charles wearing a pedometer a few days. | Notable Quotes/Comments from the trip: "Are yinz guys from America?" - Charles upon finally spotting Ken & Daryl on 17th tee at Sunningdale GC. "How about all those those curbs? I've never seen so many!!" - Charles on driving in England on day 1. "Daryl you're really missing the boat, these trolleys are really smooth!" - Charles moments before crash #1 "Smashing trainers you're wearing!" - Belfry pub patron to Dean regarding his workout shoes. "Handsome outfit there chap!" - English man to a scantily clad Charles, Dormy house hallway 4:30 am. "Daryl, are there robes in the room we are supposed to wear?" - Charles shortly after above comment. "That's OK, we expect that (being rude) from you Yanks!" - McDonalds patron to Charles after he cut in line. "Where are you from Dean, your accent, it is Delicious!" - Count Chocula to Dean when they met.
FC: Golf in The Kingdom 2011 | “The game is meant for walking. Pay attention to the walking part. Too bad not enough people do.” - Shivas Irons | In Scotland, between the Firth of Forth and the Firth of Tay, lies the Kingdom of Fife, known to certain lovers of the game simply as “The Kingdom.”
1: Par 3 -4th (Old) | Par 4 - 5th hole includes the first man made water hazard in the world on the right side of the landing area | Par 5 - 7th (Old) | 7/14/2011 arrive London Gatwick | This is London Heathrow Airport (where Charles landed), it is nowhere near London Gatwick where Ken & Daryl were waiting) | Par 4 - 5th (Old) | Par 4 - 10th (Old) | Par 4 - 12th (Old) | Behind the 10th is the halfway house. Home to the best sausage sandwich in the world. Or close to it! | Our home for the next 16 days. | Well 2 of us arrived at Gatwick (a.k.a. "Catlick" per Charles). After waiting several hours Ken & Daryl secured a Mitsubishi Shogun rental SUV and headed off for Sunningdale GC. They arrived there unscathed and so did all 4 tires on their SUV. Charles eventually made it there too, but not so much for all of the tires on his red Pugeot, thus gaining his first of many nicknames for the trip... | ..."Curby"
2: Just when we had almost given up hope, Charles finds us on 17th hole!! | "Are yinz guys from America?" | Par 5 - 6th (New) | Par 4 - 7th (New) | 7/14 - Sunningdale | Reunited!! | "Home" hole Daryl, Tom, & Charles
3: Pembroke House B&B | The Brickmakers Pub | Par 4 - 8th (New) | Par 3 - 14th (New) | Par 5 - 13th (New) | Par 3 - 10th | We met our new friend Julia (Mum) and checked in at Pembroke House. A long, but great day comes to an end with a great meal, beers, and fantastic service at the first of many great pubs we found on the trip. Our first of MANY fish & chips meals. The comfortable beds soon had us sound asleep to prepare for another day... | The Brickmakers Pub | Ken & Tom on 16 | Our host Tom Birkert was as gracious as one could ever hope for. Even with us being late!!
4: Friday 7/15 am - Surrey to Heathrow to Royal Porthcawl GC, Wales. | Crossing the Severn Bridge from England into Wales. "Do you guys have your passports?" | Par 4 - 1st | Par 4 - 1st | Whiff!! | Par 5 - 5th | Charles tips his "smooth" trolley for the 2nd time (many more to come) | Soaked!! Courtesy of the Spaniards in front of us!! | The guy can fall asleep mid sentence! | "Smooth" take 3 | Par 4 - 1st | Par 4 - 18th
5: Sat 7/16 | Par 3 - 4th | "Smooth" take 4 | Par 5 - 5th | Par 3 - 8th | Par 3 - 13th | Charles "Barkley" hole | 14th | Heather lesson | Par 4 - 18th | Waiting out the rain at the 10th. | "Sleepy" | aka: Swindlers Forest & Shindlers Forest per Charles
6: Sun 7/17 - Dean arrives at Heathrow, our foursome is complete, and the SUV is full! | Wind, rain, sun, repeat... Everything you should experience at The Open. Good thing we had access to the hospitality tents. | After early charges by Phil Mickelson and Dustin Johnson faded, Darren Clarke took the Claret Jug. And by all accounts he put it to good use for the next several days, as we could attest to a few days later... | Monday 7/18 - The Belfry - Birmingham, England | Drivable Par 4 - 10th | They had these awesome commemorative beer glasses in the VIP tent that our waitress let us have. Unfortunately they don't take dropping very well. Isn't that right Charles?
7: 7/18 pm - Little Aston Club | Putting green/course | Par 4 - 8th | A great day with our host Ian Randell. LAGC is a lovely club. We changed into our coats and ties, had a proper lunch, then a spirited golf match, & a couple of beers afterward on the patio with some of his fellow members. We were surprised at how well traveled on golf in the States they all were. We got to see the members locker room on the way out. Very nice! | Back to the Belfry for dinner at Sam's Pub. Looking forward to some time in the Jaccuzi. However in another example of the exemplary English customer service that we would see, they wont let anyone enter the spa less than an hour before closing time. No exceptions!! | Ian on the Par 4 - 8th | The weather turned out better than forecast. A little off and on drizzle but overall a pleasant day. | Dean & Ian Par 5 - 15th | Par 4 - 18th
8: Tue 7/19 - Royal Birkdale GC - Southport | Par 5 - 6th | Par 4 - 10th | Par 4 - 3rd | Par 4 - 16th | Par 5 - 18th | Par 4 - 11th | Par 5 - 15th | Par 5 - 17th | Possibly the hardest course of the trip. | The starter, Bert Beddows, landed on the | beach at Normandy on D-Day. He was a charming gentleman and a great host. Great lunch in the clubhouse before overlooking the 18th. Weather was cold, windy, and sporadic rain, another perfect "Open" day. Charles only tipped his trolley once today.
9: Royal Lytham & St. Annes Dormy House | On the drive from Birkdale to Lytham we ate at San Marco's restaurant, great meal, but we think Charles got charged 2 or 3 times for the meal. Good thing he enjoyed his time there. | View from your room of the clubhouse, 1st, and 18th. | Paul the Mgr of the Dormy House was very gracious although we arrived later than the arranged time. Charles made a new friend on the way to the bathroom at 4 am. | Bobby Jones's scorecards from 1926 Open victory | Tom Lehman's third round course record 64 | en-route to his 1996 Open Championship victory. David Duval also won in 2001. | The clubhouse that night was like a museum. We got a couple beers at the bar and wandered through the clubhouse taking it all in before returning to our rooms. In the morning we woke to a view of the course out our windows, and walked down for breakfast before our tee time. The Dormy House was a fantastic experience!! | Wed 7/20 - Royal Lytham & St. Annes GC. | Par 3 - 9th | San Marcos Restaurant | Dean on 9th | Par 4 - 4th
10: Royal Lytham continued. | After our round we convinced the ESPN film crew we had met at breakfast to take a picture of us by the 18th green with the clubhouse behind us. Not too shabby!! | A quick round on the short course before our overnight ferry ride from Liverpool, England to Dublin, Ireland. | Par 4 - 18th | Royal Lytham short course | Par 4 - 6th | Heading out across the Irish Sea. | Par 4 - 17th | Par 4 - 18th | “Golf is for smellin’ heather and cut grass and walkin’ fast across the countryside and feelin’ the wind and watchin’ the sun go down and seein’ yer friends hit good shots and hittin’ some yerself. It’s love and feelin’ the splendor o’ this good world.” Shivas Irons
11: Ken & Charles, this is what the 6th hole on the blue course looks like. The hole Arnold Palmer calls the best par 3 on the planet. | Thur 7/21 am - Portmarnock GC, Ireland | These top 3 photos pretty much sum up the front 9 weather on the red course. You have to have at least one day like this in Ireland. Don't you? | Portmarnock features a fully stocked proshop. They are proud vendors of... | The worlds foremost maker of rain pants. Isn't that right Ken? | 7/21 pm - Royal County Down GC, N. Ireland - #1 ranked golf course in the world!! | The weather cleared enough in the afternoon to allow for a lovely day at RCD. Continued... | Par5 - 3rd at RCD | 3rd tee with the Irish Sea behind. | Par 3 - 4th | Par 4 - 8th
12: Royal County Down continued | Par 4 - 16th | Par 3 - 14th | Dean at RCD | Adam, Jack, & John | Par 4 - 16th | Duty called & Dean could not play with us during the afternoon round. Three young guys from Newcastle caddied for us and added to the experience!! | 7/22 Friday - Portstewart GC, N. Ireland | Par 4 - 2nd "Devil's Hill" | Par 5 - 4th "Thirsty Hollow" | Par 4 - 5th "Rifle Range" | Par 4 - 9th | Arrived before the shop opened to get off early so we could make our pm ferry. The guy that unlocked the clubhouse turned us loose.
13: 7/22 - Royal Portrush GC | We arrived at Royal Portrush over an hour early for our tee time. We dropped Daryl off at the proshop to see if we could get off early. When he walks into the proshop he sees Darren Clarke standing right next to him. Apparently the celebration is going on 5 days. He quickly runs out to get the other guys. Upon returning he realizes that standing next to Darren is Graeme McDowell. So we get our picture in the parking lot with 2 recent major | Par 3 - 6th "Harry Colt's" | Par 3 - 3rd "Islay" | Par 5 - 2nd "Giants Grave" | champions. Darren had just donated his gold medal from The Open to the club who put it on display in the trophy case. | Charles discovers his favorite new word today..."Seriously?"
14: Par 4 - 5th @ Royal Portrush "White Rocks" | Par 3 - 6th "Harry Colt's" | Charles loved those shelters! | Dean on 16th | Par 3 - 11th with Par 4 - 15 behind. | "Documented" crash #5 | Dean and Ken on the Par 4 -13th "Skerries" | We dashed out of Portrush driving past ruins that looked like they could have been in Highlander, stopping only long enough to eat some French Fries with garlic butter (just what we needed), racing to make our ferry to Scotland. Along the route we sailed close to Ailsa Craig (where curling stones come from), & saw some useful warning signs on the ferry.
15: Sat 7/23 - Machrie GC - Islay, Scotland | We arrived very late on Friday Night and checked into Stonefield Castle. Dean got a personal, private tour of the room by "Count Chocula" who explained the custom of pushing the beds together. | Early morning ferry ride from Kennacraig to Port Askaig on the island of Islay. | Three tee shots on the Par 4 - 3rd | Par 4 - 11th | Charles is accused of being Daryl's private photographer
16: Par 3 - 5th | Par 4 - 4th at Machrie GC | Par 4 - 9th - balls on the punchbowl green | Dean and Ken climb the hill to 11th tee no problem so surely Charles can do the same right? | ...Maybe not!! | "Documented" trolley crash #6, maybe you should just carry them fireman style Charles. But you are right, those trolleys really are "smooth". After what looked very average from the parking lot, surprising Machrie GC turns out to be one of our favorites for the whole trip. The dunes were amazing, and the routing fantastic!!! | Par 4 - 11th | After our round at Machrie, Daryl was finally able to collect the rent on his plot of land he owns at Laphroaig Distillery. We ate lunch at "Sports Day" on the village green in Port Ellen, stopped in the village of Bowmore for some supplies while Charles chatted up the tourist information / ice cream sales person. Then went down to the tiny little village of Port Askaig to wait for the ferry back over to the Mull of Kintyre It was on the ferry ride back that Daryl discovered Irn-Bru, the drink the locals said "cures what ails you!" It's addicting!! | By the way I am enjoying a glass as I work on this book | We borrowed golf from Scotland as we borrowed whiskey. Not because it's Scottish, but because it's good. - Horace Hutchinson
17: Sun. 7/24 - Machrihanish GC, Mull of Kintyre | After a scenic drive past some of the most rugged landscape you will ever see we arrive and find ourselves on the first tee at Machrihanish GC. Undoubtedly the most spectacular tee shot in the UK! | Ken in a bunker on the Par 4 - 17th - "The Burn" | Par 4 - 1st "The Battery" | Par 4 - 3rd - "Islay" | Gotta get some rest wherever you can! | Another lovely day on a spectacular golf course. We ate lunch at the pub at Machrihanish Dunes, and none of the rookies would try the haggis. Wimps!! Heading out of Campbeltown we hit rush hour traffic Kintyre style and saw more rugged scenery. We arrived early evening at our hotel/nursing home overlooking Turnberry GC. Dean, Daryl & Charles walked down to the village and ate at Wildings Restaurant. Fantastic!!! Ken was busy burning a hole in his pants with the iron in the room.
18: Mon 7/25 - Turnberry (Ailsa Course) site of "The Duel in the Sun" -1977 Open | Par 4 - 2nd Ailsa Craig in background. | Dean on Par 4 - 8th | Par 4 - 10th | Par 4 - 16th - What's the ball retriever for? | Par 4 - 18th | After a great day on one of the best courses on the trip, we had lunch in the clubhouse overlooking the 18th hole. Many of us had Fish & Chips for the umpteenth time. Then a short drive up the road to Prestwick. | The 12th hole is named "Monument" because of the monument to WW I and WW II pilots who took off from the runway located there but never made it back. | 12th
19: Mon 7/25 - Prestwick GC - Birthplace of The Open in 1860 | Prestwick remained in the Open's rota until 1925, hosting the championship 24 times in all, which is second only to the Old Course. | Trolly tipping count: Charles: 10 Ken: 1 | Par 4 - 17th "Alps" | Par 3 - 5th "Himalayas" (ps, it's blind) | No matter how tired you are Charles you can't ride the power trolley. Besides with as many trolleys as you've tipped over Prestwick won't rent you one. | Cemetery hard right of 1st green. | Did I mention that there are a lot of bunkers on Prestwick! | What did you make Ken? | (left) What did you hit Ken? A: 7-I. Then again he hit that club a lot! | This was Dean's last round, and with a heavy heart we dropped him off at days end for his flight home | Par 4 17th
20: Now much lighter and more nimble with just three people and their belongings in tow we sped to St. Andrews to catch our first glimpse of The Old Course at dusk. As you drive into the village | Tue - 7/26 - The Old Course - "The home & birthplace of golf" | The Old Course catches your view on the left. It's a view you'll never forget! We checked into Greyfriars hotel the biggest room we had on the trip. Daryl headed down to the Dunvegan Pub to figure out how early we need to be on the singles que. The consensus was 4:30am to be sure you got off early in the am. Charles & Daryl decided to try, Ken decided he would come down later. Very tired, must sleep... | Although the alarm didn't go off Daryl & Charles got down to the que by about 5:30, and were able to play together. Ken got there about 7am and although 10th in line, got off just a few groups behind them. | Early morning on the 1st tee.
21: Charles in Shell bunker, Par 4 - 7th - "High Out" | Valley of Sin shortly before dusk. | Par 4 - 17th - "Road" | Shot of the trip? Par 4 - 18th - "Home" | 14th century golf/farming stone | Hell Bunker Par 5 - 15th - "Long" | Charles rolled this putt on 17 to about 1 foot. Unreal par!! | After our rounds we headed back to the room to think about a possible second round that day, but we all fell asleep. When we woke up too late, we decided to get some ice cream and walk | around the "auld grey toon" We saw the ruins of the cathedral, the castle, and Young Tom Morris's | headstone in the cemetery. We saw dusk starting to fall over the university, the R&A Clubhouse, and The Old Course. We walked back out | to the Swilcan Bridge. (The Swilcan Bridge is a Roman arch bridge built over 700 years ago.) We ate our second meal of the day at | Dunvegan. We saw several LPGA players who had come over from The Womens Open at Carnoustie at the next table. Charles friend stopped by the pub. Great to just walk back to Greyfriars. | The reason the Road hole is the most difficult par 4 in the world is that it was designed as a par 6. - Ben Crenshaw | Another great day!!! | Sheena, the owner Daryl had met last trip.
22: Wed 7/27 - Castle Course, St. Andrews | Par 5 - 15th | Par 4 16th | View of St. Andrews from 6th green. | Getting a little tired at this point. | Tee at Par 3 - 8th | Par 4 - 9th | Ken on Par 3 - 17th | Par 3 - 17th | Great views of the town of St. Andrews from almost every hole! | 18th & 9th double green. | As the day passed the weather improved every hour. We finished The Castle Course in partial sun, & arrived at Kingsbarns to the most spectacular, sunny day we saw on the | entire trip. Kingsbarns was one of the most visually spectacular courses of the trip and to see it in the weather we got was really a treat. We grabbed a quick bite to eat as we ran to the first tee to make our tee time. They had American style hot dogs at the turn, and we were so happy to see them after some of the things we had eaten the last few days.
23: 7/27 - Kingsbarns GC | Might as well get it out of the way on the 1st hole. Documented crash #7 | Par 5 - 3rd "Brae" | Approach on Par 4 - 4th | Massive bunker on the 3rd | Par 4 - 4th "Castle" | Par 4 - 6th "Auld Links" | Par 4 - 6th | Par 5 - 3rd "Brae" Back Tee
24: Par 3 - 8th "Wee Dunt" | Ken on Par 3 - 8th | Charles with the trolley upright for once! | The view from the 9th fairway, down over the 7th green, and the 16th hole hard by the water beyond. The essence of Kingsbarns. | Par 4 - 11th "Woods" | Par 5 - 12th "Ordeal" | Par 3 - 15th "Rocky Ness" | The old man & the sea? | Par 5 - 16th "Burnside" | Par 4 - 17th "Harbor" | 36 holes and we're getting a little tired. | 7/27 cont.
25: The notorious 13th hole at "Burningbush", an uphill par-3 whose green can be reached only by carrying a field of gorse called Lucifer's Rug. | Par 4 - 18th "Cundie Brig" | There are some beers you will never forget! | ICE cold Tennents at the 19th... | We finished up on the 18th at Kingsbarns (our 36th for the day), tired and hungry. We grabbed some food and drinks in the clubhouse overlooking the finishing hole. A day that will be hard to top!!! We then drove down the road to Crail GC to stop by and see the Balcomie Links. Charles friend Gale from the Visit Scotland booth at the Open told us that Crail was the basis for Burningbush GC | in the book Golf in the Kingdom, the spiritual theme for this photo book. We got to see the famed 13th hole at Burningbush and Lucifer's Rug where most all of the action takes place between Michael Murphy and Shivas Irons. We thought about trying to play another 9 holes as there was still plenty of daylight left at 8:30pm, but after 36 holes this late in the trip our bodies were getting tired, and the course was pretty full as well. So we just went out and walked around the hole. Then it was off to Gullane, driving around the Firth of Fourth to Muirfield Green our B&B, where Gilly was waiting for us! We were a little later arriving than she expected and she let us know about it!! | The game was invented a billion years ago, don't you remember? - Shivas Irons | A greeting at the B&B we wont soon forget!!
26: About the 12th hole Charles had to say, "you know we haven't had any wind, rain, and Open Championship like conditions in quite a while on this trip." Thanks Charles, it came in on 17th hole!! | Thu. 7/28 - Muirfield - Home of the Honourable Company of Edinburgh Golfers | Par 4 - 18th | Par 4 - 6th | Greywalls Hotel Clubhouse | Very cool to just walk out of the B&B and walk to the clubhouse and first tee at Muirfield. Very stuffy feel to the place. No cameras in the clubhouse. After Charles made his comments the weather turned rainy and COLD!! We got all cleaned up and put on our coats and ties for the proper lunch. It was a huge buffet with an amazing array of choices. Charles stunned the staff with his unending appetite for Yorkshire Pudding. | After warming up and eating well no one felt like getting cold and wet again. The vote was taken and North Berwick was passed on for the afternoon round. You could see your breath when we walked back to the B&B. Daryl still wanted to go see the original Redan hole at North Berwick, so we went. We drove in to downtown Edinburgh, spent over an hour trying to find a Pizza Hut for Charles (it was his Birthday request), and eventually saw Edinburgh Castle on the way out of town. Back to Muirfield Green B&B where Gilly had done some much needed laundry for us while we were gone during the day. | Par 4 - 14th | Charles & Daryl hit it close on Par 3 - 13th | Ken on Par 3 - 13th... and he made par!!! | One par, one birdie... | Redan | North Berwick GC
27: Fri 7/29 - Old Musselburgh Links | - The oldest golf course in the world still played upon. | In the late 1800's Mrs. Forman's Inn and Pub located behind the 4th green used to have a small window through which an entrepreneurial Mrs Forman used to sell "Refreshments" to the passing golfers. The first turn shack was born! Charles earns yet another nickname, "Beaner" when he hits into the group in front of us, nearly hitting the two older locals. They waved us through muttering something about us Yanks!. | Par 4 - 6th "The Table" | Requires a drive over the racetrack! | Birdie on the last hole of the trip a perfect ending! | Par 4 -9th | The Circle is complete!! | Charles said this sign looked like a coal miner to him. | We saw lots of these signs fortunately we never ran afoul of any of them or any law enforcement people. The roads there aren't conducive to much speeding anyway. | - Early home to Hon Comp of Edinburgh Golfers. - Course where 4.25" hole was established originally. - Early Open Rota course. | With a heavy heart we put our clubs away for the last time, and make the long drive back to London, & Pembroke House. Along the way we pass Hadrian's Wall, & lots of cool scenery. Goodbye UK!! | Par 4 - 4th