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    The Grand Scottish Golf Tour

    Lockdowns…… shielding…..social distancing. Economies put on hold. Travel put on hold. Lives put on hold. Sport put on hold. Medical and scientific advisors on daily government televised briefings. Without any question this has been the strangest start to any golf season anyone can recall. Now we are getting back on the course,  the first item we pack in the golf bag isn’t a pack of new balls, it’s our anti-bacterial hand wash. We have been out on the fairways in Scotland now for a couple of weeks and my own view is that the restrictions in place are a small price to pay in exchange for a chance to support…

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    We Miss It …When It’s Not There !

    We have now reached ten days since the Scottish Government’s lockdown review process decreed we should be allowed back on to our hallowed greens, tees and fairways. We are allowed back to enjoy this most challenging but most rewarding of sports and please note we play golf; we do not go golfing. During the recent golf lockdown the media could not resist reporting on some of the very regrettable but isolated incidents of damage to courses by a few moronic degenerates. Encouragingly this news was balanced by the vast majority of clubs expressing gratitude for the genuine care and respect shown to courses by those members and non members using…

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    Scottish Tourism + Scottish Golf = Scottish Economy

    We cannot simply forget that a number of “ Red Flags “ were already flying over the Scottish economic landscape heading towards the end of 2019. Our much vaunted North Sea oil industry was feeling the the negative impact of both rapidly declining oil prices and the increasingly influential and vociferous renewable energy crusaders plus the Brexit clouds weren’t going anywhere in a hurry. All this had resulted in nervous markets, investors, business leaders ,employees and consumers. Of course we still had our whisky and we still had our tourism industry. Or at least we did have until someone decided to eat an undercooked bat in their local Wuhan deli…

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    Seminole Shootout

    Sunday’s TaylorMade Driving Relief Skins Challenge was rightly seen by the vast majority of the golfing community as both a genuine contribution in support of front line health workers and as a much needed distraction for those of us still denied the freedom to participate in our all-consuming sporting passion. An opportunity for golf to give something back, courtesy of the event’s main backer United Health Group and the viewing public’s generosity An opportunity to watch four of the top stars of the modern Pro Tour demonstrate their rich talent whilst complying with current social distancing dictates. No caddies = get the carry bags out. No high fives. No crowd.…

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    Two Nations Divided By A Common (sporting ) Passion

    With apologies to George Bernard Shaw who may or not have  stated something very similar regarding the UK’s close relationship with our friends “ across the pond “, the Covid 19 world we all now inhabit has created a number of starkly contrasting attitudes worldwide around the most effective approach to surviving the pandemic, the best way to protect all citizens and precisely what each and every one of us should be allowed to do to occupy the endless hours, days and weeks of lockdown. For nations such as USA and UK with a rich sporting heritage these are strange and challenging times.For the golfing community in UK you can…

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    The New Golf Season 2020

    We are often told that a week is a long time in politics. Certainly the last three months has been a very long time in the world of golf. At the end of 2019, golfers everywhere would be considering any number of seemingly important annual issues. What condition will my course be in this season ? What do I need to focus on to lower my handicap ? Is this my year to win a club trophy ? Will I finally achieve a hole in one ? Who will win the Majors ? Will Rory finally secure a Green Jacket ? Will Koepka simply overpower every course he competes on…

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    Lessons in Golf ( and life )

    One of the key defining elements of the great game of golf is that every golfer is expected to rigorously apply the rules; in effect to referee yourself to the best of your ability and knowledge. It is a unique situation in the world of sport that players at every level regularly call penalties on themselves and report their own score. The recent media frenzy over a certain Patrick Reed’s controversial “ conduct “ is an encouraging reminder of just how important the game’s values are to all participants. They say the game of golf mirrors the game of life.Certainly many of the key values and skills displayed by regular…

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    Golf’s Distance Debate

    Now that  the R & A and the USGA have issued their joint statement on their findings from their latest survey what are we being told ? “ Longer courses mean higher maintenance costs, greater environmental impact and rounds taking more time to complete “. Difficult to argue with ! ”Longer distances, longer courses, playing from longer tees and longer times to play are taking golf in the wrong direction “. Now the arguments can commence ! What no golfer wants to see is another classic old layout consigned to relative obscurity due to it being overpowered by today’s elite big hitters. In recent years we have seen the championship…

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    Ayrshire Golf Tour : what to see & do

    Whilst the region of Ayrshire, located in the south west of Scotland, is rightly proud of its reputation as a great golfing destination, there are many attractions to keep everyone busy when you are not challenging yourself on one of the area’s numerous links and inland courses. Starting your journey in Scotland’s largest city Glasgow and travelling past the towns of Ayr, Prestwick and Troon towards the world renowned Turnberry resort and its Open Championship Ailsa Course you will pass  Scottish National Trust’s flagship property and one of the country’s most impressive stately homes Culzean Castle. On the upper floors of the main castle building there is a small country…

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    Scottish Golf Tour 2020 : Good Hotel Guide part 2

    Set in beautiful countryside and located just three miles from Dunblane, Cromlix House occupies 34 acres of grounds. The original Victorian mansion was built on the site in 1874 as a family residence for the son of The Earl of Kinnoul. The House was converted in 1981, operating as a country house hotel until financial problems forced its closure in February 2012. This sad situation could easily have seen the end of this historic building. However when Scottish tennis legend and “ local lad “ Sir Andy Murray announced that he had acquired Cromlix in 2013, it heralded a fantastic future for the hotel and its staff. Following an extensive…