The 2014 Ryder Cup trip report: from Gleneagles to North Bertwick

Four friends, four golfers and one week ahead of us: destination Scotland, the Home of Golf and the host venue for the 2014 Ryder Cup.
The plan is simple: Golf, Ryder Cup, Golf, Ryder Cup, Golf....and some local whiskies and beers.

We landed at Edinburgh on a cold and windy Wednesday morning. Autumn was already there and the forecast for the week were for cold and some rain. We had our winter golfing gear out ready to challenge the elements and enjoy ourselves.
We all know the Scottish weather is the most unpredictable thing in Scotland, but we could never have imagined we would find ourselves playing in the sun for five days in row at more then 20C (around 70F).

First stop The Bruntsfield Links Golfing Society, in Edinburgh, the fourth oldest golf club in the world dating back to 1761. A parkland located just a few miles from EDI airport, with spectacular views over the Firth of Forth. Initially designed by Willie Park Jr. has been reconstructed by Alistair MacKenzie in 1922 and Fred Hawtree in 1974.

For its strategic position we chose the city of Dundee as our base, located just a half hour drive from Gleneagles.

Attending a Pga Tour or a Europen Tour event is an awesome experience, but the Ryder Cup, the 24 best players in the world...simply terrific. The Pga Centenary Course, one of the three world class courses at Gleneagles Resort, transmitted an electric atmosphere. A magic location in the hearth of the Home of Golf, where almost 200,000 golf fans (45,000 every day) filled every possible space of the course.
We all know how the Ryder Cup ended and us, as European Team supporters, we couldn't be more happy.

We are avid golfer, we were in Scotland, and after watching the two teams competing on the course we couldn't resist the idea of playing a bunch of holes on the nearby golf courses, even if late afternoon.
We find ourselves playing King James VI Golf Course on Thursday and Craigie Hills on Friday, both courses located in Perth, completing on both days 18 holes in total darkness.
What a unique experience!!

King James VI is a true gem and has been an unexpected surprise, a picturesque layout located on Mocreiffe Island on the river Tay which runs through the city of Perth.
The course, built in 1897 and designed by Old Tom Morris, is a private layout accessible only on foot via a walkway on the rail bridge in Tay Street. King James VI is the one of the only two courses in the world situated on an island in a river, and is believed to be the only golf club in the world that members cannot drive to.

Craigie Hills is a Golf Club steeped in history. Founded in 1911, the course is located on the western edge of Perth. The challenging layout is designed around the natural contours of the land, providing huge elevation changes and some of the most breathtaking scenery of any course in the area from the magnificent meandering of the River Tay to the city of Perth. The par 4 5th hole named the Spion Kop is known to be one of the hardest holes in Britain.

After three days on inland courses it was time to challenge the Scottish links.
Four day, four links in a row for a memorable itinerary where the everything began six centuries ago, from the Kingdom of Fife to East Lothian.

We started with one of the newest addition to the St. Andrews Link Trust portfolio, the Castle Course, opened to the public in summer of 2008.
Designed by David McLay Kidd, creator of Bandon Dunes, the Castle Course is a modern links offering a collection of seaside holes played along, around and over rugged cliffs with wonderful views of St Andrews and St Andrews Bay. 

We moved then 10 miles south of St. Andrews to play the 36 holes of the Crail Golfing Society, the seventh oldest golf club in the world, founded in 1786. The club boasts two traditional links courses, Balcomie and Craighead.
Balcomie, the older of the two, was formally laid out by Old Tom Morris in 1894. A taste of how golf was when the game fist took off in Scotland, with stunning coastal views and a collection of unforgettable seaside holes.
Craighead was addeded in 1998 designed by world-renowned golf course architect Gil Hanse, who was selected to design the course for the Olympic Games at Rio de Janeiro in 2016.
Overlooking the Isle of May, Bass Rock and the East Lothian coastline, Craighead Links is a modern links which boasts spectacular views of the sea from every single hole.

Probably we saved the best for last, North Berwick West Links, located on the Firth of Forth. A combination of stunning coastal views, centuries of history and hugely enjoyable golf that makes North Berwick one of Scotland's golfing gems.
North Berwick was founded in 1832, making it the world’s 13th-oldest golf club. A true championship links course which stretches for 2 miles from the edge of the town centre to the nature reserve at Yellowcraigs providing some of the greatest holes in links golf.  The signature hole maybe considered the No. 15, a par 3, called "Redan" and has been copied all over the world thanks to its blind green that slopes front-right to back-left. 
A classic links with a breathtaking scenery that must be included on every golf itinerary in Scotland.

We came back home filled with positive emotions that only a land like Scotland with its golf courses, its sceneries and its people can provide.

Keep following Skygolfblog for a complete review and more photos of every golf course.

Landing in Edinburgh

The Bruntsfield Links Golfing Society, Edinburgh
2014 Ryder Cup, Gleneagles, PGA Centenary Course
2014 Ryder Cup, Gleneagles, PGA Centenary Course
2014 Ryder Cup, Gleneagles, PGA Centenary Course

King James VI Golf Club, Perth
Craigie Hills Golf Club

Castle Course, St. Andrews

Castle Course, St. Andrews

Crail Golfing Society, Balcomie, Crail

Crail Golfing Society, Balcomie, Crail

Crail Golfing Society, Balcomie, Crail

Crail Golfing Society, Craighead, Crail

North Berwick West Links, North Berwick

North Berwick West Links, North Berwick

North Berwick West Links, North Berwick

North Berwick West Links, North Berwick

North Berwick West Links, North Berwick


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