Chapter 5 – Final Chapter
Can you believe it – we have now completed almost 5 weeks of an incredible and magical journey golfing around Ireland and Scotland. It truly has been fantastic!!! 18 great golf courses – a journey we dreamed and talked about for a very long time. Now we have new experiences and memories we will cherish forever.
Finishing the European portion in Edinburgh and seeing relatives was a great way to close out the trip – for those of you who have yet to visit Edinburgh – it is truly one of the most beautiful in the world and our favorite! We completed our full journey in Toronto with two of our kids Britt and Cam – a wonderful, fun filled three days!
So…. What can we say about Ireland and Scotland – they are both spectacular countries – rolling green hills – majestic ocean cliffs – soothing miles of long sandy beaches – castles and history everywhere – and of course pubs on every street corner! If we had to choose between playing in Ireland or playing in Scotland – we both agreed we couldn’t do it – you just have to play in both countries.
Links style courses (defined as being on the ocean – carved out of sand dunes – little if any trees – fescue and gorse – almost always wind) are visually stunning – challenging – and a sheer joy to play.
We had caddies on about half of the courses we played. Truth be known, we have mixed feelings on whether we would use caddies again. When you get a good one it really adds to the experience and accuracy of play. When you get an average or poor one, it really detracts from the game and enjoyment. Overall we enjoyed the caddies we had in Ireland more than in Scotland – they seemed to be more knowledgeable and always had a fun story or joke to tell. Next time, we will use caddies more sparingly and rely on the golf course guides.
A number of folks that follow our blog asked about tracking the whiskies we tasted in Scotland – we certainly were up for that challenge!
Most of the drams we sipped were on the smooth side (no peaty or smoky ones). Here are the key ones what we tasted and our impressions (by they way there is no such thing as a bad whisky – just one’s better than others):
- Glenmorangie – Original – good value and an easy sipper
- Glenmorangie – Quinta Ruban – excellent – very smooth and a bit sweet (from the sherry cask it is stored in)
- Clynelish – 90% of what they produce goes into Johnny Walker blended scotch – surprisingly good – easy to sip and smooth
- Old Pultney – delicious – very rich with a hint of smoke
- Tamdhu – our favorite – has an almost butterscotch silkiness to it
- Kingsbarns Single Malt – smooth – similar to Glenmorangie Original with a little bite
- Renaissance Club Single Malt – lighter whisky – easy on the palette
- Monkey Shoulder (name came from the shoulder pain workers developed when shovelling the barley on the malting floor) – very good whisky – smooth and clean to the pallet
- Pigs Nose – we never had a chance to try this one but loved the name – it came from the distillers determining the whisky was as smooth as the inside of a pigs nose – which begs the question how would they have known that?
- Sheep Dip – again not one we had a chance to try but loved how the name came about. Originally (a long time ago) the makers of this whisky avoided taxes by labelling their whisky barrels Sheep Dip – unfortunately they were eventually caught – however the name became legendary
Before we close off and provide our final set of stats we want to express our sincere gratitude to…
- Aaron (our son) for helping us design, produce the blogs and of course emailing them out
- Tom Kennedy, Alice Thompson and the rest of the team at Experience Ireland Golf & Travel – for creating an amazing trip and itinerary for us – we would definitely recommend them to anyone who is thinking of having a golfing experience in Europe
- All of the wonderful people we met along the way on the golf courses, hotels, restaurants, and pubs. All our journeys have been so incredible because of the people!
- And to all of you for being interested in our travels
FINAL FUN FACTS of the trip:
- Total steps walked on the golf courses – 260,000+ (over 200 km)
- Total number of golf holes played – 324 (# of holes played well … priceless)
- Total golf balls lost (including with Roscoe and Cheryl) – 60+
- Total birdie juice, par punch, and sympathy shots consumed on the golf course – too embarrassing to mention
- Total number of Pints consumed on the 19th hole – 40+
- Total number of visits to the dentist – 2
- Pubs visited – 25+
- Favourite beer in Ireland — you guessed it – Guinness followed closely by Kilkenny
- Favourite beer in Scotland – Tennant’s Lagar followed closely by BellHaven Best’s Ale
Until we meet again on our next adventure – Slainte!