A big part of our international members trips is making sure the non-golfers have side activities to partake in while the rest of the group is away playing golf. Thursday was moving day where as a group we were checking out of the hotel in St. Andrews and moving into Edinburgh for our last two nights together.
The group was playing Crail Golf Club on the way to Edinburgh. Rather than having Diana Frank and Maureen Gall wait at the golf course I contacted my friend Susie Malcolm. Her husband
Tuesday night was a chance to explore St. Andrews in smaller groups. Wednesday saw five of us play the Old Course -- John Brauer and David Whelchel through the ballot and Tripp Trotter, Tim Pratt, and me through the waitlist.
This was the first day the Old Course required playing off mats from shots in the fairway. Given the slow/no growth until spring, this is felt to be the best way to ensure the best playing conditions through the winter and into the early spring.
This was the first
On Tuesday eight members of our group stayed in St. Andrews as they had been drawn from the ballot to play the Old Course. The remaining ten of us rode about 45 minutes to Carnoustie Golf Links, which will host The Open Championship in July 2018. We were anxious to hear about the plans for the course and the event from our hosts Sandy Reid and Craig Boath.
Craig Boath (foreground, holding Claret Jug) and Sandy Reid (right in blue sweater) explain some of the projects on the Championship Co
One of the biggest unknowns on the trip was whether any or many of us would get to play The Old Course. As the popularity of The Home of Golf has increased the "busy" time to play the course has extended into late October/early November.
Further restricting our chances was the fact that the clocks "fell back" on Sunday leaving less daylight and fewer tee times.
One of the benefits of waiting in line for the Old Course (for me anyway) was getting to see the morning mow.
A random bal
Mike Cook with The Care of Trees has been on so many TurfNet trips that he probably has a TurfNet trip shirt for every day of the week. His company usually hosts a get together on each trip and Sunday night was no exception.
St. Andrews Brewing Company is a short walk from our hotel. We tasted a variety of their beers and a few whiskeys and many of their appetizers. We had a private room and outstanding service from their staff including Robbie the manager.
It was the perfect way for eve
With everyone rested and settled in it was time for our first round of scheduled golf. We were lucky to play Kingsbarns Golf Links on the last open day of their season. Earlier this year the course hosted the British Women's Open yet there were few remaining signs of the infrastructure to host that event.
Kingsbarns lies just seven miles south of St. Andrews, so it was a quick trip there. The golf course opened in 2000 and occupies 1.8 miles of the North Sea coastline. It was designed by Kyl
Andy Campbell picked me up at the Rusacks Hotel at 6 AM and we were off to coordinate the pickup of our group at Edinburgh Airport. By design Saturday did not include any organized golf for the group. The "day off" was intended to help people get rested, acclimated and organized for the six rounds of golf coming up.
The largest contingent (11) was on Delta's non-stop flight from New York/JFK. Thanks to Scott Schukraft for taking this pre-flight photo.
(l-r) Bob Kamp, Brian Green, Kevin
When I am headed somewhere on a trip I typically go online to see if any concerts or other performances are taking place while I'm there. Luckily I discovered that St. Andrews had a Choral Festival in full swing the night before the TurfNet group's arrival in Scotland.
Bjarte Eike and Barokksolistene -- baroque musicians from Norway touring as The Alehouse Boys -- were performing their Alehouse Sessions in a venue with a twist. Rather than setting up in an auditorium, the festival transforme
One of the ways we promote future trips is by having plenty of shirts, hats, and other gift items from our previous trips in circulation. With our domestic trips it's easiest to have these items shipped to (or provided by) the host resort to greet our attendees on arrival, but the gift boxes for the foreign trips need to be sent out in advance so participants can pack the items themselves.
Swag boxes being sent out of the UPS Store in Atlanta.
Swag is also a great way to acknowledge an
The TurfNet Members' Trip Advance Team (read that as me) is on the ground in Edinburgh making final preparations to greet our group of 20 and welcome them to the Home of Golf on Saturday morning.
Favorable exchange rates this year made this first trip to Scotland economically feasible, at long last. Planning has been in the works for over a year with the help of friends and contacts made through our activities with BIGGA and presentations at BTME over the past few years. Many had offered to