Our first experience with Scottish golf was on the day we landed in Edinburgh. We had some time to kill so we headed to The Royal Mile and grabbed some breakfast and a couple pints. Changed into our golf clothes and off we went with Stuart Pearson (the most dependable driver in Scotland) to Kilspindie Golf Club. I highly recommend him for traveling around Scotland. We decided to all of our golfing in East Lothian. Advice we had was to pick a home base and travel to courses nearby. We were glad we made this move. What we didn’t know was that we were about to experience our first beat down on a golf course. Not the “can’t seem to hit a green” or “haven’t made a putt all day” beat down. A beat down where you hold your hands up in the air and ask “what the hell am I supposed to do?”
Kilspindie is one of the closest options to Edinburgh and we were anxious to kick off our trip with a round at 35th oldest golf club in the world. It was also home to 40+ MPH winds and some rain we saw coming 20 minutes before it started to slap our heads. Almost asking if we were sure we wanted to be out there…we were sure we did, but wow. We didn’t even talk to each other on holes 2-5. At one point I started to talk and I’m pretty sure I drooled.
When we arrived to the unassuming club I was immediately struck with the easy going atmosphere. Laid back. No names being announced on the speakers. No driving range. A great clubhouse with loads of history and the number 1 tee within feet of the clubhouse. It felt ceremonial as we teed up our first shot of the trip. Like a maiden voyage. Like our first time riding without training wheels.
The great thing about playing golf in Scotland is you don’t really care what you shoot. You only care that you are playing. Scottish golfers pride themselves on playing at a great pace of play. We did not follow those guidelines. We took every opportunity to soak every shot and moment.
You can see from the video below how windy our first round in Scotland was…
We could not of picked a better course to start our trip on…We needed rain suits during a 3-hole section of the course. Encountered our first stone wall on a course and all shot the worst 18 holes of the trip. The wind was the story of the day though. On one par 4, we had to go driver, 3-wood then wedge to reach the green.
And the wind was just as hard to figure out when it was with our shot. One hole 18, a short 253-yard par 4 – my 5-iron landed past the hole. All day long, adjusting, trying to figure out the wind.
We capped the day off with a couple beers and made it back to Edinburgh in time for a quick meal. We were ready for bed and were heading The Open Championship the next day. Below are some great videos from that day…Scores were high but so were spirits. We had officially kicked off our trip of a lifetime.