The Loop

Back-Roads Scotland

October 06, 2007

David Owen's story off-the-beaten-path Scotland has generated a lot of mail, both from those who've experienced part of David's trip to those, like Canadian Derek Field, who've only dreamed of it:

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 Scotland has always been a dream trip of mine, but I never really knew much about it until reading "Back-Roads Scotland" in your October 2007 issue. I'm sure I'm among others when I say that if I went to Scotland, I'd make sure to play Carnoustie, Turnberry, St. Andrews... you know, the usual list of "to-play" courses for North American tourists. I never even considered that Scotland may have other hidden gems. After reading this article, I must congratulate the author on his ingenuity, his desirable passion for golf, and most of all, his way of describing the characters and courses he ran into along the way.

      The descriptions that he gave of the courses were remarkable, and while some left me chuckling with delight, others left me baffled. I think it's odd how some courses there can be played without a putter, or even putting surfaces. I also find it odd that some courses can survive on merely a donation box and no set monetary value for playing the courses. But when I think about it, I remember that this was the birthplace of golf and most of the courses he played have been left the same since the early twentieth century.

      On a weekend trip to British Columbia, I read the entire article over and over again, and it held me so captivated that my heart is now set on playing the most original and unknown courses of golf's homeland.


It was a different read for Michael Ogilvie, who not only has played Forfar Golf Club, one of the stops on David's trip, but is a former member there:

For being such a small place, the town is very proud that two of it's former club champions have represented Great Britain on Walker Cups teams. Firstly Sandy Saddler in the late 50's/early 60's, and more recently Steward Wilson who, a couple of years ago, was also "The Open" Amateur Medalist.

The club itself is also very proud of the fact the course hosted the Scottish Professional Golfers Championship one year in the mid 60's. As a high-schooler at the time I remember caddying for one of the lesser pros, but also vividly remember British Ryder Cupper, Eric Brown's dashing play that led to his win.

It was great to read that David enjoyed the course, flax furrows and all, and that he would play it again.

Has a copy of the article been sent to the club? If not I will be happy to give them my copy; I just happen to be going home to visit family there from October 18th to 28th.

Thanks, Michael, please do. Glad you enjoyed it.

--Bob Carney

(Photo by: J.D. Cuban)