Courses & TravelAugust 11, 2011

Dream Trip to Scotland, Day 2: Royal Troon

Kevin Daly is a good friend who's on a dream golf trip to Scotland with his brother Mike. After he sent me his itinerary -- 21 rounds in 14 days -- I asked him to file a series of trip reports, which I'd post to the blog. Here's Day 2:*

  •               __9:40 a.m., [Royal Troon (Portland Course)]( Waking up to wind and rain, Mike and I could only smile. It's not a golf trip to Scotland without wind and rain. In the Troon parking lot, two jolly members told us, "Keep your head and ball down today, laddies, else you'll lose both." The Portland Course was a solid warm-up to expand our links repertoire before stepping onto the Old Course, which is the one used for the Open Championship. Even after doing my 15-minute yoga sun salutation in the Gentlemen's locker room (members found this highly entertaining), I couldn't find my swing. Scores: Mike, 77; Kevin, 101 (embarrassing to report, I know).  __Lunch:__ Scottish clubs are quirky about serving meals. A "proper" lunch allows one to sit in the "proper" dining room. "Lounge food" allows one to sit in the lounge. We recommend a proper lunch in the decadent dining room, where I had wine, steak and single malt ($24) with a fantastic view of exhausted golfers hitting into a two-club wind on the 18th. In addition, a rather large portrait of the Queen keeps an eye on you, as if to make sure you eat with "proper" manners. 


3:10 p.m., Royal Troon (Old Course): A classic out-and-in layout. I found my swing for a stretch, played some heady golf and shot 41 on the front nine, which was downwind. Mike shot 37. (I hate him.) Coming back into the wind was a challenge. "A tale of two nines," according to Mike. We played with Edmund from Hong Kong and Michael, a Canadian living in London, whose caddies were nice enough to give us tips. Understanding their Ayrshire dialect was almost as tough as negotiating the wind. If you're in the neighborhood, you should obviously play the Old Course at Troon. The first third and last third of the course are not so interesting, but the middle six holes are a blast. That being said, it's a course that neither of us would want to play again. Scores: Mike, 80; Kevin, 88. Immediately after our round we drove three hours to a B&B, down the street from the ferry to Islay, which is where we're going in the morning. Bottom line: I deposited $137 in January; 60 days in advance of the tee time I paid the balance of $137. The $274 included rounds on both courses, which is obligatory. A pullcart was $8. __[#image: /photos/55ad73dfadd713143b4253a8]|||Daly_knapguesthouse.jpg|||

Lodging: The charming and clean Knap House B&B in Tarbert (pictured) for $57, which included breakfast and was only a five-minute drive from the ferry. Total cost of Day 2: $363__Two-day total: $799.

--Kevin Daly

(Day 3 will post on Tuesday. You can follow me on Twitter @Matt_Ginella.)

More from The Loop