When you think about a dream trip, what comes to your mind? Laying on the beach, doing snow sports and hiking in the mountains, seeing a new city, or even eating those foods you never thought you would? Maybe for you, it is visiting that one place you have always wanted to experience but have never been able to justify the expense.
Everyone’s answer may look very different to that question. Some will want to see all the sights, experience all of the culture, and not sleep much if it means following the strict itinerary. Others will be content getting to their destination and sitting oceanside and turning off from the rest of the world for the next few days before returning home to the hustle and bustle of everyday life. While there is no problem with having a different idea, some will have very similar tastes.
If you have stumbled across this article, that means you may have an idea like me. My answer to this question was able to come true with the help of many hands pushing me into the right person’s email inbox. As a 22-year-old recent university graduate with a love of golf and meeting new people, a trip to the motherland of the game was a dream of mine. Visiting Scotland, more importantly, St. Andrews is a dream destination for anyone with a love of grass, irons, and the continual pursuit of the perfect golf round.
I have played for the last 14 years of my life through high school and into college so the thought of playing some of the most historic courses in the world has always been in the back of my mind. This trip however does not come around often, especially for a young person. I was able to use a few of my contacts to meet Mr. Winton with Distincte Travel, I feel as though through all of this I can now call him a great friend. His contacts helped to open the door to many amazing opportunities and it was going to be up to me to take them. The biggest door that was opened was a contact with Kingsbarns Golf Links. I was able to intern and learn from this first-class establishment. I met and worked with most of the team in all the different areas around the property, from the bag drop station greeting the day’s players, to the pro shop sorting and stocking shelves, and to cutting holes on the greens one morning with the world-class greens team.
My time here opened another door, the door to the most known course around the world, The Old Course. While riding with the course ranger, (course marshal), just a simple conversation of why I was over led to the question, “Well, are you playing the Old?” Followed by the response, “No sir, I haven’t planned it yet but of course I am going to find a way.”
We then proceed to enter the lottery, one of only a few ways to secure a tee time. We found out we had been selected and it was scheduled, Three o’clock two days later. Playing this historic track, especially with Locals, is the only way to do it in my opinion. From the Swilcan Bridge, the Road Hole, the original Out and Back layout, and of course the sausage roll and coffee, it was one of the most perfect days.
My time in St. Andrews was all about Golf and the reality that the city is the ultimate definition of golf. The culture does live and breathe because of the game. The Dunvegan, Jigger Inn, Auchterlonies, and the numerous other golf shops were what made the city what it is today and all are stops that must be made while visiting. After cutting short my time in what quickly became my favorite city on Earth, my journey then continued to the Highlands and back down to the West Coast continuing to play golf and learn and meet new people. From Castle Stuart to Turnberry and everywhere in between.
After finishing my journey I have been able to stay in touch with most of my new friends that I was able to meet along the way. Overall, I go back to the original question. What does your dream trip look like? Is it something like me where you cover most of a country in two weeks playing some of the greatest golf destinations you can?
Well if that is the case, I would love to share the rest of my story with you. If this is something you would be looking to experience for yourself, I know my great friend Mr. Sean Winton and his wonderful team at Distincte Travel will be more than happy to help you plan the journey of a lifetime for you and your closest friends.
Always remember that some opportunities do not come around often, and sometimes you must say yes even when it may be uncomfortable in the moment. But in the end, it is worth it!