Dreaming of Scotland

The weather and my schedule have been in perfect opposition the past few weeks. If I’m busy, the weather is good; if I have free time, it’s cold, windy, and rainy. Instead of playing, I’ve been buying golf balls (I got some Srixon Soft Feels for the cold weather) and I finally found a new pair of golf shoes that fit, so I’m ready to go when the stars are properly aligned.

In my down time I’ve been looking through The Scottish Golf Book, by Malcolm Campbell. If you like a little golf history and great photographs of courses and historical figures, it’s hard to beat this book. It has a few pages on each of a variety Scottish courses, with beautiful photos of the courses and the surrounding land. As a bonus, it has maps of some of the most famous courses in The Open Championship rotation.

Several things stand out when I look at the photos. First, it’s interesting to see how different many of the courses are from those I typically play. I’d really have to rethink my game if I regularly played classic links courses. Second, it’s rare to see cart paths or electric carts in the pictures. Instead, you see a lot of golfers carrying bags or using pull carts. Electric carts are visible in a photo of The Duke’s Course in St. Andrews, and the story makes a point of explaining why. The course was built for hotel guests, and there are some long treks from green to tee box.

The Duke’s Course was designed by Peter Thompson, who is quoted as saying that the “challenge should be getting to the green, not just landing on it.” He also said “putting should be fun.” There’s a lot of opportunity to run the ball up onto the greens, and the greens looked sufficiently sloped and contoured to be very interesting, if not fun. I bet it’s a real bear to play on a windy day.

Anyway, imaginary Scottish golf has occupied me when real Texas golf couldn’t. I’m hoping for decent weather tomorrow, because the long range forecast looks like my schedule and the weather will continue to be in opposition next week.

If it’s cold and windy tomorrow, I may just decide to play in Scottish weather.


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