Scotland's West Coast links golf courses are in full bloom this week
TROON, Scotland – I’d never seen anything like it in all my travels.
Playing Royal Troon Golf Club’s Old Course felt like walking through a yellow forest fire. The gorse lining the fairways was in full bloom with wave after wave of glowing yellow flowers. Thankfully I never hit it in that thorny stuff, but it still was a gorgeous setting for links golf.
The sun shined brightly upon my first day of a week-long trip through the links of Scotland’s west coast. I foolishly scheduled walking 36 holes right off the overnight flight from Detroit. My game suffered trying to tackle Prestwick Golf Club, site of the first Open Championship, and Royal Troon, although my spirit certainly soared, basking in the light winds and fresh sea air.
The courses couldn’t have been more different. Prestwick was historic and quirky, filled with blind shots. Troon felt like one of the game’s great walks, a links loaded with charm and beauty. Check out the shot above of Royal Troon with the train flying by. It might be the most beautiful golf picture I’ve ever shot. Those colors pop even more magnificently in real life.
It’s too bad all that golf delayed my arrival at Turnberry, a grand resort fresh off a world-class renovation. I stayed last night in the sweet Watson suite, named after Tom Watson, who won the famous “Duel in the Sun” against Jack Nicklaus in the 1977 Open Championship and almost duplicated the feat at the 2009 Open at Turnberry, losing in a playoff to Stewart Cink. I hope to make magical happen like Watson on the spectacular Ailsa Course at Turnberry today. On a sunny day, there might be no better place in golf.
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