The Places

Western Gailes Golf Club: From Hidden Gem To Crown Jewel

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As I stand on the first tee at Western Gailes Golf Club, it suddenly dawns on me how lucky I am. Not just lucky in the sense that I’m about to play one of Scotland’s finest links courses, but lucky because there’s barely a breath of wind on the Ayrshire coast, this late…

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Prestwick Golf Club: one of golf’s great cathedrals

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There’s barely a cloud in the sky over Prestwick Golf Club as we turn off Links Road and into one of the game’s great cathedrals. The morning sunshine bathes the famous stone clubhouse in a golden glow and the white flags on the 14th and 18th greens, for once, hang limp in the…

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Dundonald Links: the ultimate base for Ayrshire golf trip

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It would be understandable if Dundonald Links felt just a little threatened by Ayrshire’s embarrassment of golfing riches. After all it sits within minutes of storied Open venues such as Royal Troon and Prestwick Golf Club. Another, Turnberry, is 30 minutes down the coast. Wonderful Western Gailes is within a wedge. Barassie, Glasgow…

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The Machrie: unique links experience will capture your heart

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A day or two at The Machrie is all it takes to understand why so many who visit Islay leave a piece of their heart behind.  The idyllic isolation from the everyday would, on its own, be the perfect tonic to the bustle of modern life. But when you combine that with the…

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Woodhall Spa’s wonderful Hotchkin Course On The Rise

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There’s a rare sense of stillness and tranquillity as you walk Woodhall Spa’s iconic Hotchkin Course. This secluded, unassuming corner of Lincolnshire may be home to one of the best inland golf courses on the planet but there’s no fuss or fanfare here. The contrary is true, in fact. From the moment you…

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Woodhall Spa’s beautiful Bracken Course should not be missed

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There’s no escaping that the Bracken Course at Woodhall Spa Golf Club is, like many other fabulous venues the world over, will always exist in the shadow of its more celebrated big brother. The New and The Old Course, St Andrews. The Cashen Course and The Old, Ballybunion. The Castle Course and The…

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The Open: Magic And Memories At Royal St George’s Golf Club

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As I walk towards the 18th green at Royal St George’s Golf Club, through the funnel of Open Championship grandstands either side of me, I allow myself a moment to take it all in. The magnificent lunar landscape of linksland here is exactly as I remember it. The vast dunes, verdant fairways and…

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Southport & Ainsdale: Rich History Lives On At Links Masterpiece

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A par-3 opener: 200 yards, into the wind, eight bunkers around the green, Walter Hagen looking on. Ok, so I made that last bit up – sort of – but we’ll come back to Mr Hagen shortly.  Southport & Ainsdale Golf Club is one of the jewels among the treasure trove of links…

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Ballybunion Old Course: A slice of golfing heaven

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Mythical Ballybunion in south-west Ireland is one of the world's great links courses. The Wandering Golfers travelled to County Kerry and discovered a place that would leave a lasting imprint and a golf course that was the stuff of dreams…

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Royal Portrush Golf Club: Beauty lies in being bold

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Royal Portrush has the honour of being the only club outside mainland Britain to host the Open Championship. The Wandering Golfers went to Antrim to play it a matter of weeks before the 2019 edition came to town…

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The Masters: the inspiration for ‘unique’ Augusta

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Augusta National Golf Club is, unquestionably, unique. The vibrant natural beauty, the stunningly manicured fairways and greens, the magic and the mystique of Magnolia Lane. A tradition unlike any other, as the saying goes. And yet if you look just beneath the surface, it’s clear that deep within its DNA, the ancestry of…

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Does England deserve more acclaim as a golf destination?

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If Scotland is the home of golf, Ireland the luxury holiday villa you can’t wait to go back to, what of England?  Scotland and Ireland are quite rightly lauded as mythical golf destinations the world over – St Andrews, Ballybunion, Royal Dornoch, Lahinch – the names trip off the tongue. But a new…

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Hallamshire Golf Club: warmth and wonder high in Sheffield hills

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Like Rome, Sheffield is built on seven hills. High on one of them, on the cusp of the Peak District National Park, you’ll find the beautiful Hallamshire Golf Club. Perhaps you haven’t heard of it before now – unlike Italy, this has never been a part of the world comfortable shouting too loudly…

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Formby Golf Club: an experience rich in history and class

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There is an inescapable sense of class about everything at Formby Golf Club. You feel it from the moment you turn off Victoria Road, one of Merseyside’s most exclusive enclaves, and into Golf Road which wends its way towards the grand old clubhouse. You feel it in the warmth of the welcome, you…

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Alwoodley: Yorkshire masterpiece lives long in the memory

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Alwoodley Golf Club is a place where loyalty is par for the course. Ever since the great Dr Alister MacKenzie – the man who would go on to design Augusta National – became a founder member here in 1907, there has been a sense that devotion has been sewn into the springy fairways…

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Huddersfield Golf Club: A Rolls-Royce course in the beautiful Yorkshire hills

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In these parts, the story goes that during the 1950s Huddersfield was home to the highest number of Rolls-Royces per capita than anywhere else on the planet, save Beverley Hills.  During the 19th and early 20th centuries, the wool trade meant there was extraordinary wealth, prestige and opulence here. None of that is…

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Royal Dornoch: mystique and emotion at heart of golf’s greatest outpost

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Despite its remote location, some 30 miles north of Inverness, Royal Dornoch has been an established fixture in the top 10 of the world’s best courses for decades…

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Dumbarnie Links: how golf’s most exciting new course defied Covid-19

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This global pandemic has been difficult enough for golf clubs which have been around for centuries. Imagine, then, trying to open a new one. That was the reality facing the team at the breathtakingly beautiful Dumbarnie Links, on the Fife coast, and it was a challenge they embraced wholeheartedly. “It’s been harder than…

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St Andrews and Chariots of Fire: secrets of famous scene

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St Andrews and Chariots of Fire: the association immediately brings to mind the evocative opening moments of the celebrated Oscar-winning film, a sequence which has long since taken its place in cinematic history. The iconic images of young British athletes striding out across a windswept beach in slow-motion are set to one of…

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The Masters: the day I played at Augusta National

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I had read and re-read what was in front of me four or five times before I could muster anything like a reaction. When I finally looked up, I tried to speak but words failed me.So, I looked back down at the piece of paper again which had my name on it. Just…

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