Posted by B&B Blogger | Posted in B&B, Hotel, Places to visit | Posted on 19-10-2011
The Old Course at St Andrews Links dates back to the 15th century and is famous for being the oldest golf course in the world. It is home to the Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews, closely linked to the R&A, and has held The Open (known as the British Open outside the UK) a total of 28 times. Of the 18 holes, the Road Hole is maybe the most memorable. Players tee off by clearing a corner of The Old Course Hotel, and with hazards including an old stone wall and a tarmac road, this 17th hole stretches the meaning of ‘crazy golf’ to new dimensions. Five other 18-hole courses, and a nine-hole course alongside them, make St Andrews Links the largest public golf complex in Europe and provide golfing opportunities for beginners and old hands alike. There is also a wide variety of accommodation available here, ranging from campsites and B&Bs to a 5-star hotel.
Another historic Scottish course used in rotation for The Open is Muirfield in East Lothian, where the course was originally designed by legendary golfer Old Tom Morris in the 19th century. The course overlooks the Firth of Forth, and is home to The Honourable Company of Edinburgh Golfers, the oldest organised golf club in the world.
If it’s a diamond in the rough you’re after, you could have a shot at Machrihanish Old Course on the western edge of the far-flung Kintyre Peninsula. With the Atlantic crashing away over your left shoulder and a seemingly endless stretch of beach to negotiate, the opening hole here has been described as the finest in Scotland, if not the world. Accommodation is available in the village of Machrihanish, although Campbeltown might provide a good base to explore other coastal courses in the area (including Machrihanish Dunes and Dunaverty) and serve as a starting point for trips to the islands of Arran and Islay which also have courses with stunning views of the ocean (and world-famous distilleries to loosen the joints).
Back on the fairway, Royal St. George’s in Sandwich, Kent, was the first course to host The Open outside Scotland, and since then has seen a further 13 of these Championships unfold, including the 2011 competition. The undulating dunes and holes of the Club also provide the setting for the annual Challenge Trophy, one of the oldest trophies in golf. There are a number of Open venues along this coastline and plenty of hotels, so a nice relaxing golf weekend may well be on the scorecard.
And out into the rough again…the very hilly Church Course at St Enodoc Golf Club in Cornwall is set among towering sand dunes, one of which, known as the ‘Himalayas’, rises over 75 feet into the air. Some of the holes have more moorland and inland flavours, bringing variety to this seaside course. The course takes its name from a tiny 12th century church tucked away behind the 10th green where former poet laureate John Betjeman is buried.
All of these amazing courses could form part of a fantastic golfing tour of the UK. London car hire with Expedia makes this a hassle-free option for those starting their journeys in the country’s capital.