Saturday, August 2, 2008

British Open Courses 2005 Trip Report

Greetings from the Secretary:

Following is a trip report from our 2005 trip. Look for additional trip reports from prior trips soon.

England/Scotland 2005 British Open Courses trip has come and gone, but what a great trip! I would never have guessed it in advance, but this was one of the most memorable trips our group has ever taken. It is most probably the best yet! From our start in the south of England to the final days in the Kingdom of Fife, St Andrews, there were special things happening each day. There were many firsts on this trip. Here are a few.

1. First time for Dal Riadans to play the south of England (Royal St Georges, Princes, Royal Cinque Ports).

2. First time to experience “Irish style hospitality” in the U.K. (Royal St Georges and West Sussex).

3. The first time Dal Riadans have played a course that was used the same week as a “Qualifying Course” for The U.S. Open (Walton Heath, old and new courses).

4. First time for members of our group to experience an exclusive personalized tour of the Royal & Ancient Clubhouse (including the dining room just before lunch time). Only the Head Club Porter and our six members made this tour.

5. First time our group has played a “British Open Course” (St Andrews) the last week it was open to the public prior to closing in preparation for the tournament.

6. First time a Dal Riadas golfer has shot level par on “The Old Course” St Andrews (Joe Howard).

7. First time Dal Riadans have putted through a golf green covered with hailstones (3rd and 5th holes at Carnoustie).

8. First time to meet the “reigning hickory shafted club champion”, Andrew Reynolds, club pro at Royal Cinque Ports who went around Rye Golf Club in “72” with hickory shafted clubs. Andrew has been club pro at Cinque Ports since 1978, and is not yet fifty years old.

9. First time to witness golfers in kilts (Kingsbarns).

10. First time to play “heathland” golf courses (West Sussex and Walton Heath).

11. First time to play mandatory 2 ball matches (Royal Cinque Ports and West Sussex).

On a personal note it was the first time “the secretary” has shot par on the “road hole”, #17 at The Old Course, St Andrews. Ditto for hole #18 at Carnoustie.

In addition to all this, we almost got to see the British “royal family” at St Andrews. They arrived in town for Prince William’s graduation exercise just hours after our early morning departure (June 16th) for the airport in Edinburgh. Most of our group played 12 rounds of golf on this trip including 36 holes each day at Royal St Georges and Walton Heath.
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