An early morning flight over the Irish Sea and across Scotland takes us to Edinburgh, Scotland and the east coast of the United Kingdom. The order and simplicity of the Scottish people began with the warmest of welcomes as we arrived. While the adventure and mystery of driving in Ireland was priceless, the Scots seem to understand that signage and simplicity for visitors are a necessity and far less traffic make the ride to St. Andrews a simple task.
It is once again a very uncharacteristically sunny and warm day as we make our way north to the home of golf. The Golf Gods have surely been with us on this trip with only one day of rain in five.
The country side of Scotland is absolutely beautiful with rolling hills and grand vistas with small historic villages sprinkled throughout the way. Golden wheat and rye fields paint the horizons with rolled hay and straw lined up in a very orderly way like a chessboard. The Scotts are a very proud and meticulous people, there is very little out of place with even the oldest homes and buildings very well cared for and very well kept.
The road traffic is sparse at best until we get close to St. Andrews as it become obvious that just about everyone is going or coming from the magical place. The Royal Air force is doing a warm-up for the weekends air show over St. Andrews as the 5 tactical jets in formation scream by and turn out over the sea. As we drop down from the hills into St. Andrews the steeples dart the skyline of this very old place that brought us all this wonderful game of golf.
St. Andrews is a seaside town of about 20,000 along the North Sea with 15,000 permanent residence and about 6000 college students from all over the world at the St. Andrews University. As you make the turn into town you immediately see the Old Course Hotel and the links beyond reaching out into the sea.
Before heading to the Fairmont St. Andrews we stop for lunch in a small cafe in the center of town for lunch and a pint to celebrate our arrival in this great place. The Criterion Pub is a very old establishment in the center of town, our lunch turns out to be another classic to say the least. We head for a bank to exchange dollars for Pound Sterling, $400.00 gets us just over 220 Lbs. It’s not a great rate but prices are in line for food and drink and it all adds up.
Just out of town to the north high on a hill sits the Fairmont St. Andrews a majestical hotel and golf resort overlooking the bay and the city of St. Andrews. It is breathtaking from the outset to say the least as you drive by some of the finest links in the region on the way into the long lane way to the hotel. The 520 acre golf resort is unrivaled by any facility in the region and Its stately opulence and style make it obvious why Conde Nast voted this one of ” The Top 100 Golf Resorts in The World”. There is no question here about where you are, this is Fairmont.
We are greeted to a friendly welcome by Scottish staff in traditional attire upon checking in and meet with hotel marketing manager Graeme Dawson. Our accommodations are simply Fairmont, at the highest level with exquisite detail to service and style. After seeing his room John Sampson and I both agree , we have been knighted!
We make our way over to the club house and have a pint out on the porch which proves to be an incredible experience in itself as this is truly an amazing place.
We met the golf pro on an adventure out to the range to strike a few balls downwind and into the vast horizon a rainbow appeared over the sea for an added touch.
As sunset arrives we drive into town and venture out to the Old Course for some photos and visit to Old Tom Morris Golf Shop run by the R& A St. Andrews Golf Trust. Above the shop which contains much of Old Toms Tools of his trade, his grand daughter still resides. A full sky rainbow appears over St. Andrews and the Old Course which is the second in the last few hours. We find what turns out to be the one of the best Golfers Pubs in St Andrews – The Dunvegan (a local classic indeed). We joined our new local friend Michelle and her friends for a great time and met locals from Swampscott, Massachusetts whose daughter is at the university. We are looking forward to our first round tomorrow at the Castle Course.[nggallery id=30] WHAT'S YOUR REACTION?