August 14, 2008
I am just back from our trip to Scotland. I used your guide to plan the whole thing. We stayed 3 nights in North Berwick at the Glentruim House and 5 nights in St. Andrews at the Burness House. We played ten rounds in 8 days.
Driving was not a problem since I purchased the maps for the UK for my GPS. Without that, it could have been a lot more difficult.
We had a great time and are looking forward to planning another trip.
Your guide was on the money.
Thanks for writing it,
July 28, 2008
I wanted to let you know how much I enjoyed and valued your golf guide to Scotland. I stumbled upon your book on the internet and thought, “What the heck, for $20, let’s see what this guy has to say”. Well, you certainly helped me and it was well worth the $20! Everything from the courses, to the B&Bs, the attractions and the restaurants was spot on. You obviously share the same passion for the game as much as my husband and I do. Based on your book, we wanted to play Royal Dornoch. We also wanted to play the big boy courses, Carnoustie and St. Andrews. Other than that, we would take it one day at a time. Emailing the courses directly was very easy and they replied quite quickly. Carnoustie was fully booked the day we wanted, but I went on the wait list and sure enough, a tee time became available about a month later. I booked everything in April/May for a first week in July trip and I had no issues. I think the weak dollar and the economy have drastically reduced the # of tourists, which is a shame for Scotland, but fine for us! After a long overnight flight, we got in our rental car at 7am and headed for Dornoch. The one thing your guide did not emphasize enough was just how treacherous the drive is from Glasgow to Dornoch. With the winding narrow roads, driving on the wrong side, being exhausted from an overnight flight, not to mention the truck and camper traffic. But alas, we made it to our B&B and had a fantastic meal in Dornoch. Golf the next morning was truly magical. We teed off as a two ball at 8am and there wasn’t a sole on the course. The weather was perfect and with the fighter jets flying over our head, it was spectacular. I actually hit my tee shot on the 2nd hole – par 3 – 2 inches from the cup. So the only thing that could have been better was a hole in one in Scotland. We had a Tenants in the clubhouse after our round and sure enough, met a crazy man who bought our drinks. We then headed for Aberdeen, stopping for lunch in Nairn. Too bad we didn’t have time to play there but…there is always the next trip. We were so excited from our great morning round in Dornoch that we decided to try to play again that night. Unfortunately we couldn’t get on Royal Aberdeen as we were too late. After a good night’s sleep, we headed the next day for Carnoustie, stopping to hike out to Dunnottar Castle in Stonehaven. Again, another perfect morning, perfect weather, and we were the first tourists in the place. We traveled the scenic route down to Carnoustie and had lunch at the club. We also went across the street to see the history and artifacts. Very fun. We were fortunate and thrilled that the starter made a change and let us go off as a two ball. I can safely say Carnoustie is THE HARDEST course we will ever play. That morning, we had called St. Andrews Links Trust, to get in the daily ballot, and sure enough, we got a tee time, no trouble. So day 3 of golf, we head to St. Andrews. It was a very foggy day and you couldn’t see the green from the first tee which made it even more magical. Once again, the starter made a change, and we were able to play as a 2 ball. At your suggestion, we headed to Dunvegan’s where we thoroughly enjoyed more Tenants. Then, we proceeded to the golf museum and also enjoyed the town of St. Andrews. It wasn’t overly crowded and the shop owners were very friendly. My husband and I agree that St. Andrews was our favorite course too.
Day 4 was an open day and with no plans, so I consulted my trusty “Dean’s guide”. I decided that we needed to check out Anstruther’s fish and chips and Elie would be our golf destination. Once again, you did not disappoint us. The coolest thing about the fish and chips place was that they post a sign letting you know which boat actually caught your fish that morning. Day 4 was another perfect, sunny day, and the views at Elie were incredible. What a fun place.
After 4 straight days of golf, we headed to Edinburgh for sight seeing. It poured rain which in the end, turned out fine, since we had not planned to golf. From the castle, to the palace, the art gallery and the Royal Yacht, we were on the go non-stop. In fact, we were on the go each and every day. (I neglected to mention all the interesting castles and other stops we made from Dornoch to Edinburgh but then you would be thoroughly bored).
We have been bitten by the Scotland golf bug and cannot wait to return.
Thanks again for taking the time to share your experiences and advice. I look forward to returning next summer to play all those other courses you recommended. Michelle McLellan
I just want to thank you for the outstanding Scottish Vacation Guide. It gave me the confidence to book our foursome’s trip without going to a tour agent and has saved me considerable money so far. Also, I have found Sheena at the Dunvegan Hotel to be very customer service focused and already know our staying there is a good decision. Lee McGee, Sparks, MD
Wow! the Guide is absolutely great. What detail! I will definitely be using it for all future trips. I'll refer any students making the trip. So many of the things that are your favorites are also mine. My three trips are paltry compared to yours but I have been to many of the same spots. This guide will become the bible of visiting Scotland for years to come. Great job.
Tom Wischmeyer, PGA Professional. San Diego, CA
Dean, Your Guide reads great--A 10/10 Guide on planning a Scottish Golf trip – There is no excuse for your readers not making at least one spiritual journey to the Home of Golf--Scotland. If they do that they will be hooked – just like you 'n' Suzanne. It has all the info anyone would need. If you had done a similar one on say South Carolina, I would be very confident that I could plan my own trip whereas just now all I could name you is Myrtle or Kiawah and even then I have no idea how far is between them, where to stay etc.
Derek Mortimer, Captain, Murcar Golf Club, Scotland
It's a terrific guide to golfing in Scotland! This guide is so well written, a novice golf enthusiast can figure it out. Plus, it includes enough local sight-seeing info to entice the spouses who may not want to spend their entire trip golfing . The pictures are excellent and add to the anticipation of a trip to play these wonderful courses. My hat is off to you.
Rick Deloney , Virginia
Your guide looks good, positive and informative - we understand why folk pay a tour operator - but Americans should certainly consider the alternative of independent travel, as do an increasing number of our European and Scandinavian guests.
Kind regards, Roger, Golf View Hotel, Prestwick, Scotland
You've got a great guide! My congratulations. The additional material is excellent & will enable the reader to see/do things beside just golf. Thus it will have wider appeal. I just know there's a lot of great material here, and golfers/travelers like me are going to want to read it if they only know about it. People will love this Guide.. Whether they're planning to go to Scotland next summer like me, or just thinking about it, they'll treasure this kind of inside knowledge. Anybody going overseas wants to know how to find the "real deals" and avoid the other...reminded me of the 70's when I went to London for the first time and bought a book "London on $10 a Day" and devoured it.
Daryl Coker, Arkansas
I think your Guide is excellent - comprehensive and potentially of great value. This was obviously a labour of love and it shows. Congratulations.
Martin Vousden, Angusshire, Scotland, former Editor scottishgolf.com
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