Back-Roads Scotland: Tain Golf Club

Tain is an Old Tom Morris layout on southern side of Dornoch Firth. It’s less than five miles in a straight line from Royal Dornoch, and less than ten miles by car. I played it in 1992, on my first golf trip to Scotland. Jerry Quinlan, of Celtic Golf, who planned my trip, had arranged for me to play with the club’s general manager and one of the members. I got lost in the town and didn’t arrive at the club until exactly eight, when we were supposed to tee off. Here’s where I got lost:

The manager, whose name was Norman, and the member, whose name was Ian, were already on the tee when I pulled up. Ian looked peeved and impatient. I jumped from my car, pulled on my shoes, breathlessly hit a drive without a practice swing or a waggle, and took off after them.

Norman and Ian, it turned out, where playing in a club competition. Even so, they played at a pace that would have staggered the average American golfer. I have friends at home who think I play ridiculously fast, but I had to concentrate to keep up. I watched them closely, to make sure I put down my bag on the side of the green that was nearest the next tee, and I always had to be aware of whose turn it was to do what. No plumb-bobbing!

If there was any doubt about the playing order, one of them would quickly establish it. “First David, then myself, then Ian,” Norman said on one hole as he pulled the pin. Each golfer was expected to line up his putt or select his next club while the others were putting or hitting. Even so, we played more slowly than the two players behind us, who occasionally had to wait.

Tain is surrounded by farms and separated from Dornoch Firth by fields full of sheep; at one point, I had to retrieve my ball from a pigpen, which was out of bounds. Still, my round was one of the happiest of my trip. After I had jogged along with Norman and Ian for a couple of holes, they apparently forgave me for being late, and from then on we chatted between shots. Norman told me where to aim on every tee—the bunker on the left, the last tree on the right—and I manged to hit my ball on the proper line surprisingly often. Later, it occurred to me that my unaccustomed accuracy was probably the result of my aiming at something. Before that day, I don’t think I had ever aimed a drive at anything smaller than the entire fairway—in effect, aiming at nothing.


After our round, Norman and Ian bought me a beer in the clubhouse bar. The two players who had been behind us were also there. Ian good-naturedly complained to them that they had talked too loudly during their match, and that their voices had bothered him. “If you had been playing at the proper pace,” one of them said, “you would have been too far ahead to hear me.”

Troon is a Time-travel Wormhole to Machrihanish

Machrihanish is a legendary links course on the Kintyre Peninsula, in western Scotland. Part of the routing was created by Old Tom Morris in 1879, when what was then called the Kintyre Golf Club acquired additional acreage and expanded from 12 holes to 18. Machrihanish has one of the awesomest opening tee shots in golf. Here’s the first tee:


The rest of the course is terrific, too. The only difficulty with Machrihanish is that it’s tricky to get to. The drive from Glasgow Airport can take more than three hours, with little or no hope of golf along the way. But there’s a shortcut, if you do what 11 friends and I did in 2014: charter a boat from an outfit called Kintyre Express. The trip from Troon Harbor (which is just up the road from Royal Troon) to Campbeltown Harbor (which is just down the road from Machrihanish) takes 75 minutes. That means that the round trip saves you more than enough time to squeeze in one entire bonus round at either Machrihanish or Machrihanish Dunes. Here we are getting ready to set out from Troon:


And here’s some of what we saw along the way:


And here’s what Tony looked like when the skipper gunned his engine:


And here’s what we saw as we approached Campbeltown:


And here’s where we stayed, just up a long ramp from the dock:


Three days later, we took the same boat to Northern Ireland—which is even closer to Campbeltown than Troon is. All our golf bags and suitcases went into the hold:


Kintyre Express has lots of other routes, too. The Troon-to-Campbeltown trip starts at £500 for up to 12 passengers. Thanks to Brexit, that currently works out to only about $55 a head. Kintyre also operates regular ferry service to a number of destinations in the same region. Ask for Mairi!


Back-Roads Scotland: Tarbat Golf Club


Last week, Alex Noren, of Sweden, won the Scottish Open at Castle Stuart Golf Links, in Inverness. About an hour farther to the north is Tarbat Golf Club, in the microscopic village of Portmahomack. I played a round there in 2007, and, although I wouldn’t suggest planning a trip around it, if you happen to be in the area you could do worse than to stop by.

Tarbat is a links course on a sandy promontory on the southern side of Dornoch Firth, and on a clear day you can look across the water to Dornoch itself. The course has 10 holes, which are listed on the club’s website as 1-9 and 14. To make an 18-hole round, you play all the holes twice, from different tees the second time around—except the fifth, a 125-yard par 3, for which you substitute an entirely different hole, a 155-yard par 3—the fourteenth. I played with two middle-aged members, both of whom lived nearby and worked in the oil industry.


They were competing in a club tournament but had no expectation of winning any prizes and so didn’t mind having me along. My favorite hole—in fact, one of my favorite holes of the trip—was the ninth/eighteenth, a short par 4 that plays either around, over, alongside, or into a cemetery, depending on the shape and length of your tee shot.





Back-roads Scotland: Grantown-on-Spey


Grantown-on-Spey is a small town on the Spey River, near the northern edge of Cairngorms National Park, in Scottish whiskey country. It was the birthplace of Bobby Cruikshank, a Scottish golf pro whose principal claim to fame is that he lost to Gene Sarazen in a semi-final match in the P.G.A. Championship twice, in 1922 and 1923. The town was founded in 1765 and was named after a local rich guy, James Grant, who is at the far left in the foursome below. I don’t know why the golf clubs these guys are holding don’t have heads:


The local course isn’t one I would plan a trip around, but I did enjoy playing it. It was designed by Willie Park and James Braid in 1890, during the second Scottish golf boom, which accompanied the rise of the railroads. (The first American golf boom took place at the same time. In those days, just about the only thing you needed to be a golf-course architect in the United States was a Scottish accent.)


There’s a practice area in a field next to the course. A member with a tube of shag balls was working on his short game.


Ladies’ Night was about to begin, but the pro said I could tee off ahead of the crowd. A member of another club had told me that Grantown is really three distinct six-hole golf courses—and he was right. The first six holes are flat; Nos. 2-5 work around the corners of a big triangular field, at upper right in the aerial shot below. They were more fun to play than you might think.


To get to the second six holes, I went through a gate and across a road, into much more dramatic terrain.


I liked those six holes the best.


The final six holes are quirky, and are squeezed into a sort of open valley bordered by two schools. I surprised myself, after my round, when I realized that I could mentally walk through all 18 holes, something I’m usually terrible at unless I’ve played a course four or five times.


As I finished, I saw the last of the women’s groups heading out—the grans of Grantown. There were several foursomes, and then the last group was a sixsome:


Two guys were drinking beer on a bench in front of the golf shop when I finished. A carnival had been set up in a field next door, but I didn’t stick around for that.


Back-roads Scotland: Strathpeffer Spa

strathpeffer spa pump house

The village of Strathpeffer is roughly forty-five minutes northwest of Inverness, in the Scottish Highlands. It’s been a popular vacation destination since the Victorian era, when it was celebrated for its sulfur springs. It’s sort of on the route to Brora and and Royal Dornoch. If you’re headed that way on a golf trip and feel like playing an unusual course that none of your friends will have heard of, you should stop at the Strathpeffer Spa Golf Club. The course is barely 5,000 yards long, but it isn’t a pushover, and the scenery is spectacular, and Willie Park, Jr., and Old Tom Morris contributed to the design:P1030258

The first hole, a 330-yard par 4, plays down a vertiginous hill, and if you make a smooth swing, as you almost can’t help doing at that altitude, you can drive the green. According to the club, the tee shot has the longest drop of any hole on any course in Scotland:


The second hole, a 250-yard par 4, plays straight up a different hill, and it’s followed by four consecutive par 3s.


Here’s how severe the elevation changes are: The eighteenth hole is roughly the same length as the first, and the drop from tee to green is almost as long, and the eighteenth green is at almost exactly the same elevation as the first tee—yet the eighteenth tee isn’t the high point on the course.


I followed a junior match, in which the competitors’ caddies—of whom there were five—were frequently unable to agree on which of them was supposed to be carrying what:


The club, which was founded in 1888, has many active, involved members, and because of the topography most of them are as fit as Sherpas. Fifteen years ago, they renovated their clubhouse themselves:

strathpeffer clubhouse

I didn’t spend the night in the village, but I now wish I had—another reason to go back.P1030268

Back-Roads Scotland: Boat of Garten


Eight years ago, I took what’s probably my favorite golf trip ever. I flew to Glasgow,
Scotland, without an itinerary, and spent a little over a week playing only golf courses I’d never heard of. My second stop was Boat of Garten.


The village of Boat of Garten (population 700) was possibly named for a nearby river ferry, long since put out of business by a bridge. The region is a major summertime holiday destination for bird watchers, among others; Loch Garten, a nearby lake, is a national bird sanctuary. The golf course, which is known locally as “the Boat,” began as six holes in 1898, and was extended to 18 holes by James Braid a little over 30 years later. There are four clocks on the wall above the counter in the golf shop; they give the time in Boat of Garten, Pebble Beach, Augusta, and the United Arab Emirates. I paid £32 and, because no one else was around, teed off by myself. The Boat’s first hole runs past a station of the Strathspey Steam Railway:


It’s a so-so par 3, but the second is terrific par 4, and many more terrific holes follow. Here’s the second, from the tee:


On the fourth, I caught up to Andy and Pat, a retired couple from Aberdeen, and played the rest of the way with them.


Andy had lured Pat to the course by assuring her that it was flat, and he did penance for this untruth by pulling her trolley up the steeper hills, of which there were many. (He had already lightened his own load by leaving eight of his golf clubs at home.) This hole is called Gully:

P1020860On the tenth, we got stuck behind a slow foursome, and Andy told me that an American group had once visited his home club, Stonehaven—a seaside, cliff-top course with spectacular views, 15 miles south of Aberdeen—and had played so slowly (five hours) that the club secretary asked them never to come back. I apologized for my countrymen, and didn’t point out that the golfers holding us up at that moment were Scottish.


We waited on the next tee, too, and as we did an old man on a tiny, one-person motorized golf cart came up behind us. He was wearing a broad-brimmed hat, leather boots, a green jacket, brown plus-fours, and long yellow socks. “That may be Willie Auchterlonie himself,” Andy said. I asked him how long he’d been a member. “Fifteen years,” he said — a deeply disappointing answer, Andy and I agreed later.


Andy and Pat were playing a match. Pat had a low, flat swing with a big lift at the top, but she hit the ball a long way. On one tee, she asked Andy what he was waiting for, then looked up the fairway at the group ahead, maybe 200 yards away, and said, “Oh—them?” and gave a great throaty smoker’s cackle. She was three down with three to go and won the last three holes with pars. Good pars, too.







Sunday on TV: Two Great U.K. Links Courses, Two Great Golf Trips


The Scottish Open—that is to say, the Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open—is being played at Royal Aberdeen Golf Club, in northeastern Scotland. My friends and I played two rounds there in 2008. The photo above is of some of the guys on the first tee. St. Andrews is just eighty miles to the south, but you could skip it and still put together a terrific golf trip, playing only courses within bicycling distance of Aberdeen. Maybe start at Carnoustie, on the northern side of the Firth of Tay. Then Forfar, a heathland course, definitely worth the twelve-mile trip inland:


Then Royal Aberdeen, which you can study on TV on Sunday (the Golf Channel in the morning; NBC in the afternoon):


Then Murcar, which is so close to Royal Aberdeen that players on one course sometimes accidentally play onto the other. Here you are looking toward Murcar from Royal Aberdeen:


And here you are looking toward Royal Aberdeen from Murcar:


Then Trump International, which I haven’t played yet but which I walked when it was nearing completion. Then maybe Newburgh-on-Ythan, where I played with two other guys named Dave. The course isn’t the greatest, but if you like to walk you can drive a couple of miles up the road and hike into a nature preserve whose many fascinating features include some enormous sand dunes, which are also visible from the course:


You can also explore the remains of the village of Forvie, which was swallowed by blowing sand in the 1400s. All that’s left are some piles of stones and part of the village church, which was built on high ground:


Then Cruden Bay, which is one of my favorite courses anywhere:


Then maybe Peterhead (where I played with the pro), Inverallochy (where I accidentally set off the clubhouse alarm), and Fraserburgh, whose first and last holes could use some work but is otherwise terrific:


There you go: a great golf trip, and you’ve put barely a hundred miles on your rental car. And if there are non-playing spouses along you can stop for occasional sightseeing without driving more than a mile or two out of your way:


Meanwhile, in England, the Women’s British Open—that is to say, the Ricoh Women’s British Open—is being held at Royal Birkdale, in northwestern England. (You can study the course on ESPN2.) My friends and I visited Birkdale in 2010 and I returned in 2013. Here’s Ray in 2010:

Ray at Royal Birkdale, May, 2010.

Ray at Royal Birkdale, May, 2010.

Birkdale lies near the center of what may be my favorite golf trip, the route for which runs along the Lancashire coast from Royal Liverpool, where the British Open will be played next week, about an hour to the south of Birkdale, to Royal Lytham & St. Annes, where the Open was played in 2012, about an hour to the north. I have an article about that trip coming up in a future issue of Golf Digest. In the meantime, I can tell you that in 2010 nine of us played fifteen rounds in eight days on eleven of the courses between Liverpool and Lytham, and at dinner on our last night in England the nine of us named eight of them as the one we’d most like to play again.


Reader’s Trip Report: Askernish Golf Club, South Uist, Scotland

Askernish satellite view

Askernish is on the island of South Uist, in the Outer Hebrides, off the coast of northwestern Scotland. 


I first visited in 2007, on assignment for Golf Digest, and I went back late the following year on assignment for The New Yorker. Getting to South Uist requires determination. In 2007, I flew from Inverness to Benbecula, which is one island to the north and is connected to South Uist by a half-mile-long causeway: 


In the air, I looked down, through breaks in the clouds, on the fjord-like creases that rumple Scotland’s west coast and on the waters of the Minch, the stormy channel that separates the Outer Hebrides from the Scottish mainland. The only other passengers were the day’s newspapers and two guys accompanying a load of cash for ATMs in Stornoway, on the Isle of Lewis, where we stopped first. Here are the newspapers, in containers belted into the seats:

newspapers on plane

In 2008, I took a ferry from Oban, which is a two-and-a-half-hour drive from Glasgow. The ferry sails three or four times a week and makes a brief stop at Barra, another island. I actually could have flown to Barra, although the flight schedule depends on the tides, because Barra’s runway is a beach:

Barra runway

The South Uist ferry trip takes about six and a half hours in good weather. We passed the islands of Mull, Coll, Muck, Eigg, Rum, Sanday, Sundray, Vatersay, Hellisay, Gighay, and Stack, among others. We also passed this lighthouse, on a tiny island called Eilean Musdile. It’s just off the shore of a larger island, called Lismore, which has a population of 146. The lighthouse was built in 1833:

lighthouse from ferry

Until 1974, cars on the South Uist ferry had to be loaded and unloaded with a crane, like freight; nowadays, you drive on and drive off. The ferry docks in Lochboisdale, a few miles from Askernish:

Lochboisdale harbor

The original course at Askernish was laid out in 1891 by Old Tom Morris. At some point, probably during the Second World War, most of Morris’s holes were abandoned, and until roughly a decade ago they were essentially forgotten. Since then, a plausible version of the old course has been restored, by a group that included Gordon Irvine, a Scottish golf-course consultant; Martin Ebert, an English golf architect and links-course specialist; Mike Keiser, the founder of Bandon Dunes; and Ralph Thompson, who used to be the manager of the island’s main agricultural supply store and now works full-time as the golf club’s chairman and principal promoter. Here are Irvine and Ebert, discussing the routing in 2008:

Irvine & Ebert

My New Yorker article about Askernish caught the attention David Currie, a reader and retired investment banker who lives on a small farm outside Toronto. (He’s front-row-center in the photo below.)  He first visited Askernish in 2010, and has since joined the club and returned two more times—most recently in June, for the first annual gathering of its “life members.” (I’m one, too, but couldn’t make it.)


Currie also sent two photos of the course. Here’s the eighth hole:


And here’s the sixteenth, Old Tom’s Pulpit, which is one of my favorite holes anywhere:]


Currie writes:

I had always known that my roots were in the west coast of Scotland. Although my paternal grandparents came from the Glasgow area, I was aware that the Currie DNA was scattered along the coastal shores north of Glasgow. (Apparently, my ancestors slept around.) Other than that, I had little family history to go by. In 2011, Ralph Thompson mentioned that a Robert Currie had traveled to South Uist from New York to meet with the local council about erecting a memorial cairn acknowledging the contribution of Clan Currie to the cultural development of the island. I was present at the dedication of the cairn, in 2012:


MacMhuirich was our original name centuries ago. And here’s a shot of my opportunistic wife, Liz, who never could resist a handsome man with his own whiskey bottle. Actually, the handsome man is Alasdair Macdonald, the owner of the croft where the cairn was erected:


The Life Members Challenge was a Stableford. Currie came in second, one point behind Eric Iverson, an associate of the architect Tom Doak (who also played).

currie beer

Currie continues:
The initial six holes at Askernish can cause one to question what the fuss is all about. They are certainly quite nice, but nothing unusual or special. However, the WOW factor kicks in as you climb the dunes from sixth green to seventh tee and you stand there gazing out over the Atlantic Ocean. I thought I had died and gone to heaven, but I wasn’t about to allow that to happen, at least until I finished my round!

If you visit South Uist, drive carefully. Most of the roads are single-lane, and you have to share them.


Great Golf Courses: Machrihanish and Machrihanish Dunes

Machrihanish Golf Club, near Campbeltown, Scotland, May, 2014.

Machrihanish Golf Club, near Campbeltown, Scotland, May, 2014.

Machair is a Gaelic word that means pretty much the same thing as links, the sandy, wind-shaped coastal grasslands where the game of golf arose. It’s pronounced “mocker,” more or less, but with the two central consonants represented by what sounds like a clearing of the throat. The word is still used in parts of Scotland—for example, on the island of South Uist, in the Outer Hebrides. The photo below, of me and my golf clubs, was taken on the machair at Askernish, the ghost course, on South Uist, in December 2008:

owenaskernish2008The word machair is also preserved in a number of places in Ireland and Scotland: Magheramore, Maghera Strand, Machair Bay, Macharioch, and Machrihanish. Those last two are villages on the Kintyre Peninsula, in southwestern Scotland. The southernmost tip of the peninsula, called the Mull of Kintyre, was celebrated in 1977 in a song by Paul McCartney, who owns a house nearby. A few miles north of the Mull is Machrihanish Golf Club, which was founded in 1876, with twelve holes, and was enlarged three years later by Old Tom Morris. Here’s the view from the first tee at Machrihanish — one of the coolest opening shots in golf (the beach is very definitely in play):

machrihanishfirstteeAnd right next to Machrihanish is a second course, Machrihanish Dunes, which was designed by David McLay Kidd, the architect of Bandon Dunes. It opened in 2009. It has my favorite kind of clubhouse:

dunesclubhouseMachrihanish was the setting of Michael Bamberger’s book To the Linkslandwhich was published in 1992. One of the most and least appealing features of Machrihanish is that it isn’t easy to get to. If you’re traveling by car, the round trip from Glasgow can be more than seven hours, without much in the way of golf along the route. Flying is possible, although scheduling can be problematic, especially if you’re trying to connect from an international flight. The workaround my friends and I used during a recent buddies trip—with help and planning from Celtic Golf—was to go by water, on a chartered boat, which was operated by Kintyre Express. We made the trip, from Troon, in less than an hour and a half. The boat ride turned out to be one of the week’s many highlights:

tonyrichardboatWe passed this lighthouse on the way:

lighthousefromboatAnd this is what we saw as we entered the harbor at Campbeltown, the town closest to Machrihanish:

campbeltownviewOur hotel was right on the harbor, a short walk from where the boat tied up:

royalhotelAnd both courses were just a short drive (by van) from the hotel. This is Peter A., putting from a fairway at Machrihanish:

peterfairwayputtThe two guys in the photo below, who were out for a walk with their wives in Campbeltown, chatted with us about golf, and then came back without their wives to tell us a story about Tony Lema. I think they were interested in us partly because I had played two Scottish courses they hadn’t believed any American golfer would even have heard of: Reay and Strathpeffer.

twoscottishguysThe photo below is a view of the water from Machrihanish Dunes. The course was built, with numerous conservation restrictions, on what the British call a Site of Special Scientific Interest. The maintenance crew doesn’t use fertilizer, and there’s no irrigation system. Only a tiny fraction of the land was disturbed during construction. And the course is terrific.

The photo below is of a former R.A.F. base, which borders both courses. A U.S. Navy SEAL commando unit used to be stationed there. Part of the facility still functions as Campbeltown’s airport. The runway is so long that even I could land an airplane on it, probably.


After three days at Machrihanish, we got back on our boat and headed to our next destination: Northern Ireland, which is actually closer to Campbeltown than Troon is. Here’s the skipper, loading our golf bags in Campbeltown harbor:

That's Robert G. holding my awesome Sun Mountain Atlas golf-bag travel cover, which I bought years ago, after Northwest Airlines snapped the head off my driver during a trip to Bandon Dunes. It has traveled all over the world with me. I'm sorry to say that Sun Mountain doesn't make it anymore.

That’s Robert G., on the left, holding my awesome Sun Mountain Atlas golf-bag travel cover, which I bought about ten years ago, after Northwest Airlines snapped the head off my driver during a trip to Bandon Dunes. My friends call it R2D2. It has traveled all over the world with me. I’m sorry to report that Sun Mountain doesn’t make it anymore.

On the way to Northern Ireland, we passed the Mull of Kintyre, an area of weird currents and whirlpools, a place where a guy had recently drowned, a goat (basking on some rocks) that was descended from goats that were brought to Ireland by the Spanish Armada, and what used to be the cottage of Gugliemo Marconi—whose name was not derived from machair, and who may or may not have been a golfer, but who was one of the inventors of radio. In fact, he made his first long-distance transmission was from the cottage, which is right on the water, to an island a few miles away. Here’s the cottage as it looks today:


The weather was perfect during our trip. The skipper took us close to both coasts, so that we could get a better view.


Here we are landing in Ballycastle, where the first thing we did was go to a grocery store and buy about a thousand dollars worth of junk food. Then back to golf.


Reader’s Trip Report: Northeastern Scotland

Fraserburgh Golf Club, Scotland, March 13, 2014.

Fraserburgh Golf Club, Scotland, March 13, 2014.

Seth Low, a reader and, not incidentally, a member of the Sunday Morning Group, recently returned from a winter trip to Aberdeen, Scotland. It wasn’t a golf trip, but he hung around for a few extra days and played several courses I like a lot—among them Fraserburgh, shown above. Excerpts from his report:

The non-business portion of my trip started in St. Andrews. I did some local scouting at the Keys Bar, where I ran into Dave, an American expat who has lived in St. Andrews, on and off, for twenty-seven years. He caddies during the golf season and, as far as I could tell, hangs out at the Keys in the off season. 

seth low keys bar

The next day, I took a train to Carnoustie, half an hour to the north. Perhaps because of the time of year, or perhaps because of the weather, I went out solo, no one in front of me or behind me. I muscled an ugly 4-iron into the wind, and then had my first go at hitting from a “winter mat.” Apparently, these are standard in Scotland. I am not a good golfer, but I can generally get the ball headed in the right direction. However, I could not master the mat. My reward for a good drive was inevitably a sculled iron.

seth low winter mat

I found myself hoping I would miss the fairway, to be spared the mat, and when my ball landed close to the rough I kicked it in. It was interesting to find myself in this alternate golf reality, and I spent a good deal of time wondering what it said about me as a golfer (and as a person) that I was more comfortable playing from what most people think of a bad lie.

Fourth green, Carnoustie. The white stuff on the ground (not the ball) is hail.

Fourth green, Carnoustie. The white stuff on the ground (not the ball) is hail.

Next, I headed north, to Fraserburgh, and, once again, went out on my own. I was the beneficiary of a new employee, who told me that mats were unnecessary, despite signs saying otherwise. The course wanders through the shoreline dunes and is truly spectacular.

Fraserburgh Golf Club, thirteenth hole.

Fraserburgh Golf Club, thirteenth hole.

To navigate among the dunes, I had to follow the signs carefully, which wasn’t always easy. If wondered if they were in Doric, a dialect spoken by folks in the area, but it turned out that they had just been beaten up by a long and windy winter.

seth low doric sign

On my last day in Scotland, I headed west from Fraserburgh, at the recommendation of this blog, to play Cullen Golf Club. [Editor’s note: No one who asks me for a Scottish golf recommendation will escape being told about Cullen.] The clubhouse was empty, so I wandered around until a member came in and showed me some clubs I could use. I managed to assemble an almost-full set, consisting of a couple of Wilsons, a couple of irons of an unrecognizable brand, and a Fazer Contender 404 driver:

seth low golf bag

Cullen’s fairways weave across each other, and there is a complex set of bells and “yielding” protocols that the locals know. The course is complicated by a right-of-way that allows walkers to get from the ridge above the course to the beach below. All in all, it was a somewhat hectic scene, and I was happy to be joined by Graeme, a local member, who was out for a Sunday round. Like many in the area, he worked on a fishing boat before getting a job in the oil-and-gas industry. Now he is a cook on an oil rig, where he works two weeks on, two weeks off, four weeks on, four weeks off—leaving plenty of time for golf. I came away with what I hope will be a new addition to my golf lexicon: “hitting into the skink.” I am not sure what it means, but I like the way it sounds.

The first hole, second tee, fifteenth green, sixteenth tee, seventeenth green, and eighteenth hole at Cullen.

The first hole, second tee, fifteenth green, sixteenth tee, seventeenth green, and eighteenth hole at Cullen.