Ayrshire and Southwestern Scotland
First stop was in Glasgow to see the city and pick up rental car before heading down to the Ayrshire.
Glasgow is a huge modern city.
After some internet searching, accommodations were found in the small town of Cumrock at the Dumpfries Arms Hotel. This is a gem of a small hotel run by Heather and Gerard Cipa. Heather (shown below, right)was most helpful via several emails and arranged golf at Turnberry, with her husband Gerard, and at Old Prestwick, home of the British Open for many years before it was moved to St. Andrews.
Monday, we were off to Turnberry, down on the Ayshire coast. Our green fee included a 'roll' before teeing off and lunch after golf. Turned out the 'roll' was a small breakfast (shown with Gerard, below), to compliment the 'Full Scottish Breakfast' at the hotel!
After a warm up hitting a few balls at the Colin Montgomerie Links Golf Academy next door, we were off and quickly learned of the hazards on Scottish golf courses, like the ever present gorse, heather and whispy grass. Gorse is the heavy green stuff shown in background of the photo below. If your ball goes into the gorse, forget it! Its like a thick vine of briars. Bunkers were awesome at all Scottish golf courses.
Turnberry is one of the newer Scottish courses and built over the site of a WWII airfield. The lighthouse is a main landmark as is the Ailsa Craig in the ocean . Also the photo below includes a monument to flyers lost in WWII. This is shown on the far left of the photo below. This photo is from the tee of hole 9. The green is hidden from the tee on the rocks below.
Next day was spent exploring the local sights. First stop was the Robert Burns birthplace (photo below) and Tam O'Shanter Heritage Park.
Next stop was the Culzean Castle. This castle sits high on the coast. The top floor was given to General Eisenhower by the Queen of England for his WWII service. He used this site for many vacations during and after his Presidency. Now it contains a comprehensive display about the United States effort in WWII.
Next day was golf at Old Prestwick, oldest of Scottish courses. Caddies are a must, as this course has many unique features and blind shots, making it almost impossible to play without assistance from a caddie. As luck would have it, a knowledgable caddie, who was a Greg Norman look-a-like (below, left), was assigned. His comment as he handed you the club was "HIT IT FIRM, MATEY!". Periods of rain and wind blew in from the ocean, which made for a memorable day of quality golf.
Final day in Ayrshire was spent in the south, visiting the down of Dumfries and the Drumlanrig Castle. The Castle grounds included a very comprehensive museum of bicycle history and artifacts.
Finally, it was time to say farewell to the Ayshire area, town of Cumrock, and the people at the Dumfries Arms Hotel. The food was great, including the Scottish Haggies! The housekeeper, Syliva, also cooked the knockout Scottish breakfast every morning.
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