DUMMY GOLF TOUR FOR TESTING

Course A, Course B, Course C, Course D, Course E, Course F, Course G and Course H

THIS SECTION IS TEXT USED TO RANK FOR SEO PURPOSES –
(300 words min and readable font size according to Search console. Presentation of the bulleted summary could be improved)

– The Character of this tour

Old Course – Walk-Up-Rule should succeed
Odds against play through the ballot, but not without a sporting chance.
Duration – 3 nights
Logistics – Daily ‘back-to-base’ structure
Transport – Either Self-drive or Managed driver works fine.
Mileage – Low
Travel Class – Luxury
Non-Golf offer – Limited by time (St Andrews & Fife)

There might even be a case for putting less visually striking ‘narrative’ at the bottom of the page where we have that section that’s currently highlighted as not being need, and using the bullets above as a ‘Brief Summary’ and using the bit below to describe to describe ‘The Character’?. Not sure if this will impact the SEO for having the text lower page though and not appearing in the first paragraph? I don’t think it will so long as the key word is in amongst the bullet points

At Faraway Fairways we’ve become increasingly aware that a number of you want to ‘get away from it’, but don’t necessarily want the commitment of a longer ‘tour’. In other words, you want a top golf break over a weekend with a true world class course as the focus, but you have so many other things going on around you that have to get back to. It shouldn’t come as any surprise to learn therefore that Faraway Fairways have just the answer with our St Andrews weekend golf break, one of six options we’re excited to offer.

The St Andrews weekend golf break is designed for someone who can leave work mid-day Friday, or even early evening, so long as they can arrive in Scotland (Edinburgh or Glasgow) early on Saturday. Anyone taking it from the UK or continental Europe will be back at work by Tuesday morning. But here’s a twist, by virtue of flying back across time zones, so will anyone from North America.

The St Andrews weekend golf break isn’t exactly a new concept you might suggest? True, we’ll give you that ‘short putt’! But most of these weekend golf packages tend to be resort first and golf second. Faraway Fairways’ big weekend golf breaks put the golf first. Well to no small extent in Scotland, you have to, Spain we ain’t!

So it might sound a bit ambitious at first, and sure it’s probably not completely unfair to think that this type of Scottish weekend golf break is more likely to appeal to those of you who have fast moving lifestyles and a bit of ‘go’ about you, but this needn’t be an exclusive requirement. Ultimately the world is becoming a smaller a place however, and it is becoming increasingly possible to do these types of things. The more you think about it, the more you’ll come to realise it. When you walk back into work on Tuesday and someone enquires whether you “did anything interesting at the weekend?” it would perhaps be nice to reply “played golf at St Andrews, Scotland. And you?”

Old Course estimate based on the ‘super-peak’ season


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GOLF NON-GOLF OVERNIGHT
Thursday KINGSBARNS Falkland Palace, & Fife Carnoustie or Dundee
Friday
CARNOUSTIE Glamis Castle Carnoustie or Dundee
Saturday ST ANDREWS (OLD COURSE) St Andrews St Andrews or Dundee
Sunday GLENEAGLES Stirling Castle/ Bannockburn Gleneagles or Stirling
Monday ROYAL TROON Tam ‘O’ Shanter Trail or Glasgow Troon
Tuesday TURNBERRY (AILSA) or PRESTWICK Culzean Castle / Ailsa Craig Turnberry or Girvan
Wednesday ROYAL BURGESS Edinburgh Dalmahoy or Edinburgh

 

Click Image to learn more details about the course

I need something to register internal links for SEO. Activating the grid puts the clickable elements to close for mobile and Google penalises it, so I figured the images could fulfil the role and add some much needed colour. Some tours might have 6 highlights laid out 3×2 or four highlights laid out 4×1. Or Maybe on mobile I have to go 2×2 and 2×3?

ST ANDREWS OLD COURSE
CARNOUSTIE
ROYAL TROON
TURNBERRY
DUMBARNIE
GLENEAGLES

NEED AN EXTERNAL LINK (photographers website) FOR SEO
NOT REALLY CLEAR THAT WE NEED THIS SECTION NOW

NOT REALLY CLEAR THAT WE NEED THIS SECTION NOW

DUMMY ACCOMMODATION

I’m guessing this doesn’t require a blow by blow description for each hotel. We might however require a bit of explanation regarding the three travel class categories of ‘luxury’ ‘premier’ and ‘affordable’.

This will probably work better black on white now rather than white on black if we haven’t got an image

We might occasionally come against speciality accommodation like castles or log cabins (family golf) etc. These could require a little bit of explanation beyond the three travel class categories. I appear to have a second editor in the current website currently of supporting the text below. We might need four buttons capable of supporting the 3 classes + anything unusual

Having suggested I don’t need an image in the placeholder, I can suddenly see that a generic one does add to the presentation of what would otherwise be bullet points. Most tours have an iconic hotel attached to them. I’m open minded on it, as maybe the objective is to simplify and I’d need something by way of ‘fill’ to populate the space on the right adjacent to the image, and also having adopted the style, would need to extend it to other categories, some of which won’t work as well by way of an appropriate supporting image

 

‘LUXURY’

 

  • 2 nights – Edinburgh, Scotsman Hotel, – 4 star, ‘Publisher’ twin suite
  • 1 night – Gullane, Renaissance Club – 5 star, ‘Luxury Lodge’ accommodation (room only)
  • 3 nights – North Berwick, MacDonald Marine Hotel – 4 star, Double/ Double, ‘Deluxe’ Family Room
  • 1 night – Dalmahoy Hotel, Edinburgh – 4 star, ‘Classic room (includes evening meal)

All accommodations include breakfast unless room only is specified
 

‘PREMIER’
  • 3 nights – North Berwick, MacDonald Marine Hotel, 4 star, Classic Twin or Double Rooms,
  • 3 nights – Edinburgh, Apex International Hotel, 4 star, Twin or Double rooms, (includes castle view)
  • 1 night – Dalmahoy Hotel, Edinburgh – 4 star, ‘Classic room (includes evening meal)

All accommodations include breakfast
 

‘AFFORDABLE’
  • 6 nights – Edinburgh, Premier Inn, Edinburgh East – 3 star, twin or double, (room only)
  • 1 night – Edinburgh, Premier Inn, Edinburgh Park ‘the Gyle’, 3 star – twin or double (room only)

 

I can foresee that I’m going to need something about single person supplements but would imagine I can catch that with a couple of lines at the bottom as it will apply across the board

Dummy transport

There needn’t be too much to add to this beyond a basic little bit about the choice between self-drive and chauffeur drive, the virtues of an MPV against smaller vehicles for two players, and possibly the need for more than one vehicle if there are non-golfers on the party who intend to explore. Otherwise I don’t see this being much more than one or two paragraphs at the most, and even that might be overkill

I could perhaps put an estimate in for mileage and road time

Some tours will include a ferry, a small hopper flight, or possible angles involving trains. I can’t think we’ve got one that involves all three, so might need at least two buttons to cover these as when they occur, and perhaps there’d be some sense in having the scope for a third to cover things unforeseen

xyx

BALLOT

This category won’t be relevant to every tour we offer. Just those that involve St Andrews, but it’s more or less the most popular question we face. What people want to know is the ‘bottom line’. What are my prospects of play? We might even get away with putting it this starkly and perhaps one or two sentences about the ‘guaranteed reserved tee-time’ and ‘the ballot’

We will likely need to expand on this though with an additional click, although there might be some merit in providing a quick table below even though its come from an article with more detail in it. We’d need to cover the table with a small disclaimer about it being an indicative guide only

indicative guideline daily strike rate by month (albeit we need to remember that hot and cold spots exist within any given month).

  • April = 57%
  • May = 27%
  • June = 29%
  • July = 16%
  • August = 13%
  • September = 19%
  • October = 26%

NON GOLF

Again There needn’t be too much to add to this. I probably don’t need to overdo it.

I think featuring say four highlights with Thumbnails in a strip is one option

A second would be to make the four highlights the subject of a button navigation with a bit of supporting ‘fill’ about club and country and the added value to the deeper richer experience one gets etc from trying to introduce some complementary non-golf stuff

HIGHLIGHTS INCLUDE

ST ANDREWS EDINBURGH STIRLING CASTLE GLAMIS CASTLE

MAP

At face value there isn’t much to put in this section other than what it suggests. There might even be a case for wondering if we need one at all? (although people do perhaps like looking at maps and it helps them visualise things.

The current map plug in I use has navigational pins that expand on clicking etc It would benefit if I were able to trail a directional line of travel drawer over the route. I’m not sure if the capability exists within the plug-in? Haven’t explored it recently, but you feel that it must do somewhere, if not on this plug-in

It might also be somewhere I could put the mileage and road time figures too

Whats Included

This category is going to be bullet point heavy and become more so with every travel class category that potentially applies to each tour. Some tours however only offer the one travel category and could conceivably be displayed with needing a second click. Most will have between two and three though will probably need a button click in order to avoid a cascade and scroll down

I’ve displayed a three class example

The price of your ‘LUXURY’ Tour includes the following:

 

  • 7 nights – Fairmont Hotel, St Andrews – 5 star (Bed & Breakfast, two double beds twin room, sea view, £60 food & drink voucher)
  • 1 night – Dalmahoy Hotel, Edinburgh – 4 star (Dinner Bed & Breakfast, two double beds, twin room)
  • Up to nine rounds of golf with green fees for:
    – Kingsbarns
    – Dumbarnie Links
    – St Andrews Castle Course
    – St Andrews New Course
    – St Andrews Jubilee Course
    – St Andrews Torrance or Kittocks Courses
    – Lundin Links
    – Crail Balcomie Links or Craighead (or both)
    – (The St Andrews Old Course is subject of the ballot). £195 green fee is paid locally when you’re successful in the draw). This could involve forfeiting the green fee for a course that was due to be played should we win the ballot on the same day. All courses will look to reschedule us. We would usually expect to be able to re-jig things in-situ but it will usually involve playing a double-day somewhere
  • One 9 person MPV, Mercedes Vito (or equivalent) – 5 metres in length
    – Vehicle provided to carry 9 luggage items.
    – Driver(s) are included as passengers.
    – Unlimited mileage, includes VAT, breakdown and insurance
    – If your group exceeds eight, an alternative arrangement will be needed. Vehicles are supplied based on respective group size and seating capacities thereafter, with qualified drivers for larger vehicles if appropriate
  • Support and assistance as appropriate

 

The price of your ‘PREMIER’ Tour includes the following:

 

  • 7 nights – Scores Hotel, St Andrews – Superior 3 star (includes breakfast and two evening meals)
  • 1 night – Dalmahoy Hotel, Edinburgh – 4 star (Dinner Bed & Breakfast, two double beds, twin room)
  • Up to nine rounds of golf with green fees for:
    – Kingsbarns
    – Dumbarnie Links
    – St Andrews Castle Course
    – St Andrews New Course
    – St Andrews Jubilee Course
    – St Andrews Torrance or Kittocks Courses
    – Lundin Links
    – Crail Balcomie Links or Craighead (or both)
    – (The St Andrews Old Course is subject of the ballot). £195 green fee is paid locally when you’re successful in the draw). This could involve forfeiting the green fee for a course that was due to be played should we win the ballot on the same day. All courses will look to reschedule us. We would usually expect to be able to re-jig things in-situ but it will usually involve playing a double-day somewhere
  • One 9 person MPV, Mercedes Vito (or equivalent) – 5 metres in length
    – Vehicle provided to carry 9 luggage items.
    – Driver(s) are included as passengers.
    – Unlimited mileage, includes VAT, breakdown and insurance
    – If your group exceeds eight, an alternative arrangement will be needed. Vehicles are supplied based on respective group size and seating capacities thereafter, with qualified drivers for larger vehicles if appropriate
  • Support and assistance as appropriate

 

The price of your ‘AFFORDABLE’ Tour includes the following:

 

  • 7 nights – Premier Inn Hotel, St Andrews – 3 star, twin room only
  • 1 night – Premier Inn Hotel, Gyle Park, Edinburgh – 3 star, twin room only
  • Premier Inn will charge two breakfasts to a room regardless of whether or not you take it. In reality it might just be easier (and possibly less expensive) to present to the breakfast restaurant in the morning and pay cash.

  • Up to nine rounds of golf with green fees for:
    – Kingsbarns
    – Dumbarnie Links
    – St Andrews Castle Course
    – St Andrews New Course
    – St Andrews Jubilee Course
    – St Andrews Torrance or Kittocks Courses
    – Lundin Links
    – Crail Balcomie Links or Craighead (or both)
    – (The St Andrews Old Course is subject of the ballot). £195 green fee is paid locally when you’re successful in the draw). This could involve forfeiting the green fee for a course that was due to be played should we win the ballot on the same day. All courses will look to reschedule us. We would usually expect to be able to re-jig things in-situ but it will usually involve playing a double-day somewhere
  • One 9 person MPV, Mercedes Vito (or equivalent) – 5 metres in length
    – Vehicle provided to carry 9 luggage items.
    – Driver(s) are included as passengers.
    – Unlimited mileage, includes VAT, breakdown and insurance
    – If your group exceeds eight, an alternative arrangement will be needed. Vehicles are supplied based on respective group size and seating capacities thereafter, with qualified drivers for larger vehicles if appropriate
  • Support and assistance as appropriate

 

NOT INCLUDED

The price does not include air-fares, evening meals, or additional hotel expenditure such as drinks or breakfast (unless specified) etc.

The price does not include caddie hire, or any golf course equipment. Such arrangements usually involve paying on the day in local currency (cash for a caddie). We are happy to arrange this at no extra cost.

The price does not include the green fee for the St Andrews Old Course. This is paid locally when you’re successful through the ballot 48 hours before play (it’s more transparent). It will mean cancelling and likely forfeiting the green fee for any provisional round, albeit clubs will make every effort to reschedule you should you wish to play later.

Important Note, the St Andrews Old Course observe minimum handicap thresholds of 24 and 36. If you are unable to meet these we have alternatives available. This will result in a reduction in the overall price.

The price does not include flexible hotel booking rates. Hotels charge an additional premium that permits you to cancel your reservations to a refund within a specified notice period. Should you seek this cover please notify us accordingly. It will likely cost in the region of an additional £225 for Luxury cover, and £125 for other covers

All tours and hotels sold subject to availability and final confirmation. Entrance fees to some of the neighbouring attractions will need to coincide with helpful tee times. In most cases no problems are anticipated, but should we need to, we’ll refund in cash

PRICES

Prices are something of a bleeding wound. They’re a nightmare to maintain and people never buy off the shelf anyway. I do sense however that people appreciate having a ballpark figure to work off, but it will require a paragraph of explanation.

Quite a lot of golf tour operators will take some low-season green fees, perhaps wrap them up with a budget hotel ‘offer’, and then present them as the dreaded “prices from”. Sure it makes for an eye-catching headline. Faraway Fairways could do the same. The question really though is does this help you at all? Probably not in most cases. Does it even help us? Well most golfers probably don’t appreciate having their hopes built up only for them to wade through the detail to discover that the price that caught their attention requires them to comply with all sorts of sub-optimal conditions, usually playing in the winter months, and using an accommodation that they’d perhaps rather not do.

In truth, very, very, few golfer’s actually buy package golf vacations off the shelf anyway. It’s far more common for golfers to have their requirements met by way of a bespoke proposal. For all practical purposes then, the price of Scottish golf vacations varies as people add or omit items. All that a majority of people seem to require is an honest, and broad ballpark figure which they can then use as their foundation to build from

Guide price based on four golfers sharing two twin rooms, and transport costs divided by all during the PEAK SEASON (July & August). The further away from the peak season you play the less expensive things should become

Another real problem associated with the presentation of prices is the number of different potential people it covers. Single players, odd numbered parties, non golfers, and chauffeur driven options will all generate different prices, and that’s before we try and lay any seasonal consideration on top of this. So far to date I’ve been trying to cover this with percentage adjustments in the spirit of estimations as to how much allowance someone considering these should make. It’s not real a very good way of doing it. We might be able to address it through dedicated buttons, similarly we might choose to make the travel class the subject of the dedicated button and try and address these variants through a sub-section with in it

THIS IS WHAT I’M CURRENTLY USING, TRYING TO HANDLE ALL THREE TRAVEL CLASS CATEGORIES ON A SINGLE DISPLAY

Guide price based on four golfers sharing two twin rooms, and transport costs divided by all during the PEAK SEASON (July & August). The further away from the peak season you play the less expensive things should become

Typical Price Range Guide –
LUXURY PEAK SEASON ……………………….£3,249
PREMIER PEAK SEASON …………………….,£2,725
AFFORDABLE PEAK SEASON ……………..,£2,249

Highlights – St Andrews Old, Kingsbarns, Dumbarnie, St Andrews Castle St Andrews New,

Also includes – Lundin Links, & St Andrews Jubilee

Duration – 8 days

Travel class – Luxury, Premier & Affordable

Season – early April to early November

Transport – Self-drive probably works best. Hired driver is feasible though

KNOW ISSUES

This isn’t a major section and can be covered with a few bullet points. It typically involves things like course availabilities, festivals causing price spikes, early booking considerations, and handicap playing restrictions, as well as any other seasonal factor

We might need space for an extra ‘floating’ category to be added as a safety net for the unforeseen

GOLF WITH SCOTTISH HISTORY

St Andrews, Royal Dornoch, Carnoustie, North Berwick, Castle Stuart & Gleneagles

Golf with Scottish History
– The Character of this tour

St Andrews Old Course – 50/50 chance of play through the ballot.
Walk-Up-Rule should succeed
Duration – 9 nights
Logistics – ‘Point-to-point’ touring structure
Transport – Self-drive works best
Mileage – High, but involves a lot of uncongested scenic roads
Travel Class – Luxury
Non-Golf offer – Very strong (Edinburgh, Stirling, ‘the Highlands’, & St Andrews)

At Faraway Fairways we’ve recently seen a welcome increase in the number of enquiries seeking to combine golf with Scottish history. Typically these types of enquiries tend to be friendship groups with non-golfers (usually spouses) being an integral part of the travelling party. They also tend to be point-to-point tours as the objective is to try and cover Scotland whilst also weaving world-class golf and genuine top-tier visitor attractions. The final feature that people seem to ask for is a few days set aside for the whole group to spend time together rather than having any golf scheduled. As it happens we’re in luck

In a lot of cases a lot of Scotland’s apex golf courses just happen to be in close proximity to many of her most celebrated ‘sites’. Combining golf with Scottish history is a surprisingly natural fit. We aren’t having to ‘force’ things and pass second tier locations off in order to justify the golf. They tend to come to us.

The tour begins with Gleneagles and the city of Stirling, famed for its castle and the nearby battlefields of Bannockburn (1314 – ‘the Bruce’) and Stirling Bridge (1296 – William Wallace/ Braveheart). We then take a non-golf departure working our way across the northern section of the Trossachs National Park to Glencoe, scene of the infamous massacre of 1692, and also taking in Glenfinnan and Loch Shiel, where Bonnie Prince Charlie raised his standard to begin the Jacobite rebellion in 1745. We then head north long the shores of Loch Ness, taking in Urquhart Castle, to the world top-10 course of Royal Dornoch, whilst non-golfers can explore Dunrobin Castle. The following day we begin the swing south, playing golf at Castle Stuart and visiting the nearby battlefield of Culloden (1746). We take a break from the golf now and travel down the A9, picking off Blair Castle, The battlefield and gorge of Killiecrankie (1690) and Scone Palace, the ancient crowning seat of Scottish Kings, before undertaking an easterly a loop that combines Carnoustie with Glamis Castle and Arbroath Abbey and driving onto St Andrews. The town is a legitimate visitor destination regardless of golf. The final leg involves two days in Edinburgh with the golfers adding another world ranked course to their haul at North Berwick

This is a comprehensive symphony of golf with Scottish history. The golfers should get five courses that hold world top-100 rankings, whilst the non-golfers have also assembled an impressive haul that takes you through the pages of Scotland’s often turbulent history

The Golf with Scottish History Vacation awaits you

Old Course estimate based on the ‘super-peak’ season


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GOLF NON-GOLF OVERNIGHT
Friday
GLENEAGLES Stirling Gleneagles or Stirling
Saturday NO GOLF Glencoe & Glenfinnan Fort William
Sunday ROYAL DORNOCH Loch Ness & Dunrobin Castle Dornoch
Monday CASTLE STUART Culloden Inverness
Tuesday NO GOLF Perthshire Carnoustie
Wednesday CARNOUSTIE CHAMPIONSHIP Glamis Castle St Andrews
Thursday
ST ANDREWS (OLD COURSE) St Andrews St Andrews
Friday
NORTH BERWICK Edinburgh Edinburgh
Saturday
NO GOLF Edinburgh Edinburgh

 

Click Image to learn more details about the course

golf with Scottish history golf with Scottish history MUIRFIELD EDINBURGH GOLF VACATION
ST ANDREWS OLD COURSE
ROYAL DORNOCH
CARNOUSTIE
NORTH BERWICK

9 Nights Duration
  • Luxury

ST ANDREWS OLD COURSE BALLOT- Anyone intending to play the Old Course through the ballot should make contingency to add £195. This is paid locally once the result of the draw is known 48 hours before play. It will likely mean forfeiting the provisional reservation to a cancellation (Torrance or Kittocks Course), albeit the Fairmont will make every effort to reschedule you should you wish to.

NON GOLF ACTIVITY - Non-golfers get more time for non-golf activity than golfers. An asterisk (*) is used on the ‘Non-Golf’ button in the itineraries to indicate where a golfer could reasonably expect to be able to undertake an activity. Anything left unmarked is only practical for non-golfers to undertake. Check the button called ‘What’s Included’ that appears on the final named day ‘tab’ to see if it’s included in a price.

DISCLAIMER - The content of all tours are sold subject to availability and final confirmation of price. We do not speculatively book hotels in advance. Late bookings might be subject to a market led price increment. The prices displayed are strong indicators of what you would expect to pay but can also fluctuate in line with choices people wish to add or omit. Please check what's included. Prices are per person based on two sharing

Gleneagles

The Gleneagles resort is closer in ambience to an aristocratic hunting estate with deep forest green pine trees, and rounded hills that stop just short of being called mountains. In autumn, the purple heathers and russet bracken blend seamlessly into a patchwork of golfing green, and give this place it’s hues. The yellows of the long rough introduce further colouration into the landscape. It would be categorised as a moorland course. A credible body of opinion regards the Gleneagles Kings course as the finest of its type in the world. In 2014 Gleneagles added the Ryder Cup to its portfolio when the Centenary course’ became only the second Scottish venue to host. The aesthetic Queens course is the shortest and completes the trinity of options.

Non Golf Day - Glencoe & Glenfinnan

To remain faithful to the ‘history’ theme and help establish a golf/ non-golf balance, we really ought to travel north view the Western Highlands. We begin by cutting across the tip of the Trossachs before arriving in Glencoe, one of the most infamous place names in Scotland. The glen is surrounded by steep sided mountains and has a distinctly spooky atmosphere. It was here in 1692 that Campbell troops massacred the MacDonald’s whilst they slept

After Glencoe its about 50 mins to Glenfinnan which sits at the head of Loch Shiel. It was here in 1745 that Bonnie Prince Charlie came ashore to begin the ill-fated Jacobite rebellion. A monument can be climbed to view this most impressive of vistas

If you’re taking this in the height of summer you should be able to use the extended daylight at these northerly latitudes to drive along the ‘road to the isles’ to the coast, and see the Isle of Skye, Arisaig, and Loch Morar

Photo credit by Pixabay, Public Domain work

Royal Dornoch

Golf Digest rated Royal Dornoch the highest of Scotland’s many worthy candidates. The Championship course represented a paradigm in design that endures today. The ‘bump-and-run‘ was the traditional shot to mitigate a links wind. Elevated plinth greens were introduced and ringed with fiendish pot-bunkers to guard them from any such commando approach. Without completely taking the traditional ‘stock shot’ out of the equation, a degree of risk was added. Dornoch therefore challenges you to go the aerial route, and ride the wind. Iron play is the key to the course. The greens are accommodating if you can find them though. The rationale is simple: hit a good approach shot and you should be rewarded. Hit a bad one, and you pay the penalty. Tom Watson said of Dornoch “the most fun I’ve ever had on a golf course”.

Castle Stuart

Another modern addition to the golfing landscape having opened in July 2009. The course is set on two-tiered balaconies overlooking the dark and forboding waters of the Moray Firth. Players enjoy stunning panoramas from the highest elevations. The course is rich in the textured signature landscape of Scottish ‘whins’, gorse and broom, heather, and marram from beginning to end. These change colour with the seasons as Nature commanded, and weave a tapestry of highland hues into this landscape mosaic of rugged beauty. The course has recently been hosting the prestigious Scottish Open, and was used successfully by Phil Mickelson in 2013 as a springboard to Open success a month later at Muirfield.

Non Golf Day - Perthshire

The journey south from the Highlands introduces us to a string of pearls along the A9 corridor deep in Perthshire. The first thing that might catch your eye is the House of Bruar Highland retail outlet village. OK, not really historical, but few visitors pass it up. The next is the striking Blair Castle, Scotland’s white house, and home of the Clan Murray

If you’ve failed to visit a distillery so far, and feel obliged to do so, then Blair Athol is in a direct line of travel (Bells Whisky). You could then take a picnic lunch at the ‘Queens View’ an elevated vantage point that looks length of Loch Tummel to the mountains of Lochaber in the west

The final pair of attractions are probably the most historically significant. The gorge of Killiecrankie was the scene of a battle in the first Jacobite uprising (1690). Although it was a victory for the Jacobites it came at a cost and possibly set in train a chain events that would result in the Glencoe massacre. The final destination is the pink stoned, Scone Palace, the ancient crowning seat of Scottish Kings and famed for its ornate gardens and magnificent state rooms

Photo credit by Benutzer:Brunswyk under CC by S.A 3.0

Carnoustie Championship Course

American media commentators wasted no time dubbing the Tayside course ‘Car-Nasty’. Few would deny the claims of Carnoustie to the crown of toughest Open venue of them all. Carnoustie is long, dark, and menacing. It has a number of challenging holes, particularly the par fives. The Spectacles’ (14) and ‘Hogan’s Alley’ (6) are the two toughest assignments on the stroke index. The par 3 sixteenth is another shocker. It’s the enduring image from the 1999 Open of Jean van de Velde paddling about in the Barry Burn however, that cemented Carnoustie’s legend. Sports Illusrated described the course as being “a nasty old antique brought down from the attic by the R&A after 24 years” as scoring soared. Carnoustie revels in such notoriety. If the wind gets up (and surprisingly a lot of people hope it does) you’re unlikely to ever play a tougher assignment

More information

Qualification requirements for play

Carnoustie operates a handicap threshold of 28 for gentlemnen, and 36 for ladies respectively. Players who are unable to meet this standard are invited to tackle the alternatives we’ve nominated instead

St Andrews Old Course

St Andrews, the home of golf, needs little introduction nor hype from us. The first surviving record of the game being played here dates to 1522. The town oozes atmosphere and the course is soaked in heritage. The view from the iconic Swilcan Bridge on eighteen, looking back up the final fairway to the magnificent R&A headquarters, flanked by the red bricked Hamilton Hall is one of the most instantly recognisable in world sport, never mind golf. The Road Hole 17th, is another signature assignment, as are the unique and massive double greens. The secret? don’t be over-awed. Keep out the 112 bunkers, especially so ‘Hell Bunker’ at the 14th. Then attack the course! St Andrews is actually one of the more obliging links, so don’t leave wondering what might have been. It can be tamed!

More information

Qualification requirements for play

“A current official handicap card (Golf Club affiliated to a Golf Union/Association) record or certificate must be presented to the starter prior to play. Maximum handicaps – 24 Men, 36 Ladies. St Andrews will not accept letters of introduction from a local Club Professional”. Players who are unable to meet this standard are invited to tackle the alternatives we’ve nominated instead

The Ballot

One of the most remarkable things about St Andrews is that it’s actually a public course. Luckily the Scot’s also have a tradition of egalitarianism and although golf has often taken on an exclusive aura in many countries, the Scot’s have guarded a sense of open access quite preciously.This means that the Old Course is subject to a public ballot drawn 48 hours before play. It’s important that we stress that we rely on this method. The ballot does NOT guarantee you a tee-time.

We’re often asked ‘what are the chances of success on the ballot’?. The time of year is an important factor. Applications that avoid July, August & September are more likely to succeed. We also make more than one application using the different days available to us. Thursdays and Saturdays have the most ballot times available. It also depends on how flexible you’re prepared to be, regarding days of the week, times of the day, and group size. We’re normally confident for April, May, June, October & November. We’re more cautious regarding the summer months, but more people who set out to play the Old Course succeed than fail. This guidance stops short of being a guarantee though.

Guaranteed tee-times

There is a price premium to guarantee a tee-time. This involves a minimum hotel stay in St Andrews of three nights, and playing additional St Andrews courses. If you’re playing the Old Course as part of a wider ranging tour across Scotland or Ireland however, then you won’t always have the luxury of being able to spend three days here. In this case you either have to extend your stay, or take your chance through the ballot or the ‘walk up’ rule.


KITTOCKS & TORRANCE COURSES

The Kittocks and Torrances courses are slight departures from the links tradition of St Andrews, being a few miles outside of town on a stunning cliff-top location overlooking the bay and town below. The result is spectacular. With a splendid sense of isolation and exposure they both play ‘linksy’. The venture has been a tremendous addition to the St Andrews portfolio.

The Kittocks course is a long and challenging, requiring nerves of steel to navigate its many holes running alongside the coastline. It’s played host to Europro Tournament 2007 and 2009 and Scottish Youths National Championship 2016.The Torrance course is characterised by its deep revetted bunkers, and large greens and has hosted the Seniors European Tour Event six times between 2009 and 2014. They tend to be held in similar regard and its genuinely difficult to recommend one over the other

North Berwick

The links of North Berwick are a traditional out and back nine. Undulating fairways, blind shots, tricky burns and even stone walls make their presence felt in the landscape. The course really is a throw back to the experiences of the game’s pioneers. They had to interpret the landscape and weave the hazards nature handed them into their own personal tapestries. The courses were handcrafted, and North Berwick has an endearing old-fashioned feel. It also possesses the original ‘Redan’ hole, (15). Found the world over, ‘Redans’ are the most copied hole in golf. With an eerie similarity to Turnberry’s Ailsa Craig, Bass Rock rears out the ocean, and lends North Berwick further personality. It would be wrong to think that it’s a curiousity relic though. It’s a beguiling top-100 course in its own right

More information

Qualification requirements for play

North Berwick operates a handicap threshold of 24 for gentlemnen, and 36 for ladies respectively. Players who are unable to meet this standard are invited to tackle the alternatives we’ve nominated instead

Non Golf Day - Edinburgh

Few trips to Scotland could really be considered complete without Edinburgh. The Scottish capital is frequently regarded as one of the UK’s most charismatic cities and famed for the castle that overlooks the city, as well as being an arts, entertainment and hospitality centre.

Most visitors will prioritise the castle that overlooks the city below. Greyfriars Bobby, Holyrood Palace, and the various galleries are all legitimate attractions. Prince’s Street is the main shopping thoroughfare with its adjacent gardens providing respite.

Edinburgh is quite a hilly city in places and for this reason we include a 48-hour hop-on/ hop-off, rover bus ticket, which also permits you to travel out to Leith to visit the Riyal Yacht should you choose

It’s perhaps worth noting that Edinburgh is where the national public records is located. Anyone who is interested in tracing an ancestral link should find they can use this invaluable archive. The staff are always happy to help, albeit the more information you provide for them, the better

Photo credit Mike McBey/ Flickr/ CC by S.A 2.0

Time to say goodbye

Time, as they say, waits for no man, and sadly we’re no exception. Today it’s time to bid you farewell, hope you enjoyed your stay, and will consider returning soon. Better still, the return match awaits. We’ll ensure you get to your airport for a safe, and comfortable return across the Atlantic, where the benefits of flying east to west will now become apparent, as you land a mere two hours after you took off! Don’t forget to stay in touch through our blog, email, or the social networks, as we update information. Once again, thank you

PORTMARNOCK DUBLIN WEEKEND GOLF BREAK

Portmarnock Golf Club, The Island Golf Club & The Portmarnock Links

Portmarnock Weekend Golf Break
– The Character of this tour

Duration – 3 nights
Logistics – Daily ‘back-to-base’ structure
Transport – Either Self-drive or Managed driver works fine.
Mileage – Low
Travel Class – Premier
Non-Golf offer – Good (Dublin)

At Faraway Fairways we’ve become increasingly aware that a number of you want to ‘get away from it’, but don’t necessarily want the commitment of a longer ‘tour’. In other words, you want a top golf break over a weekend with a true world class course as the focus, but you have so many other things going on around you that you haven’t really got the time to extend much beyond a few nights.

Dublin has long been recognised as one the top-tier weekend break destinations in Europe. The Portmarnock Dublin weekend golf break seeks to tap into this and is frankly ideal. We have three top rate golf courses all within 20 minutes of Dublin airport, with a resort hotel that puts all of them within 10 minutes of where you staying. This is one weekend break where you get let the golf come to you. Furthermore the fabled attractions of the Irish capital are on your doorstep too. It’s only a 40 minutes journey right into the heart of central Dublin for those of you who wish to test the city’s well earned reputation for hospitality

The package is designed for someone who can leave work mid-day Friday, or even early evening, so long as they can arrive in Ireland early on Saturday. Anyone taking it from the UK or continental Europe will be back at work by Tuesday morning. But here’s a twist, by virtue of flying back across time zones, so will anyone from North America.

The Portmarnock Dublin weekend golf break isn’t exactly a new concept you might suggest? True, we’ll give you that ‘short putt’! But most of these weekend golf packages tend to be resort first and golf second. Faraway Fairways’ big weekend golf breaks put the golf first. Well to no small extent in Ireland, you have to, Spain we ain’t!

So it might sound a bit ambitious at first, and sure it’s probably not completely unfair to think that this type of weekend golf break is more likely to appeal to those of you who have fast moving lifestyles and a bit of ‘go’ about you, but this needn’t be an exclusive requirement. Ultimately the world is becoming a smaller a place however, and it is becoming increasingly possible to do these types of things. When you walk back into work on Tuesday and someone enquires whether you “did anything interesting at the weekend?” it would perhaps be nice to reply “played golf in Ireland”. And you?”


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GOLF NON-GOLF OVERNIGHT
Saturday
PORTMARNOCK LINKS Dublin Portmarnock
Monday THE ISLAND Dublin Portmarnock
Monday PORTMARNOCK GC Glendalough Portmarnock


 
Click Image to learn more details about the course

Portmarnock Dublin weekend golf break Portmarnock Dublin weekend golf break
PORTMARNOCK GC
PORTMARNOCK LINKS
THE ISLAND

3 Nights Duration
  • Premier
  • SEASONAL PRICE GUIDE, SPREAD - FROM £999 - TO £1,125

Portmarnock & Dublin

Dublin has long been recognised as one of Europe’s ‘great’ weekend breaks. It’s a firm favourite with those enjoy a bit of life. Good fortune also allows it to support the simplest and most concentrated of the Faraway Fairways weekend golf breaks

Dublin airport is just 20 mins from Portmarnock Golf Club (world top-100 ranked). The Portmarnock Links (ranked in the top 20 in Ireland) is owned and managed by the Portmarnock hotel. It’s literally on your doorstep. The Island course completes a trinity of top class links, and again holds an Irish top-20 ranking. The Island is about 10 mins from the hotel.

This isn’t far off being a case of land, airport, transfer play, and then return. Everything is so close together that you simply allow the golf to come to you

Dublin city centre is about 45 mins south of Portmarnock by local taxi. You’ll probably want to spend some time there, and in truth, you’d be letting yourself down a bit if you didn’t. The Portmarnock weekend golf break is slightly unusual in that it’ll be the non-golf activity (Dublin) that generates the greater mileage, but in all honesty it’s not that much of a burden

Travelling to Ireland

Long weekend golf breaks are designed to minimise disruption to your working week. Schedules are built on an assumption that you can leave work mid afternoon to early evening, on a Friday. We envisage you arriving at Dublin International Airport

Golfer’s travelling from within the UK, or flying from continental Europe, do have more margin. Many of you will be able to arrive in Dublin on the Friday evening. This will incur an extra nights accommodation, but will allow you to make an earlier start the next morning

Those of you flying the Atlantic however will arrive early on Saturday morning. There are direct flights to Dublin. The whole secret to the Long weekend is that you’re at least in Ireland early on the Saturday. The return leg is easier as you’re flying with the time zone

We wouldn’t necessarily discourage those of you who practically can do, to arrive on Friday evening. This extends your scope for securing favourable tee times and would be particularly helpful for the St Andrews Old Course on Saturday.

It would probably be advisable to travel as light as you can in order to make check-in and baggage reclaim much quicker. You might even find you’re able to do this using the clothes you’re wearing, some small items in hand luggage, and if necessary, buy a few extras from the pro-shop whilst you’re here (they also double as souvenirs of course). You might even decide to play with hired clubs (though in fairness, hardly anyone ever does).

PORTMARNOCK LINKS

This links Bernhard Langer designed links borders its illustrious neighbour, the Portmarnock Golf Club. For such a new layout, the Hotel Links is a very natural and understated course. There is nothing showy about the design; the natural land is used simply and effectively. The first eight holes play across gently-undulating ground with definition provided by varied grasses and pot bunkers. Then, around the turn, a cluster of shaggy sand dunes provides a much more pronounced aspect. Resort courses tend to be regarded by golfer’s with suspicion, but this one quickly established itself in Ireland’s top-20 and should be treated as an exception

THE ISLAND GOLF CLUB

For good reason this course ranks # 78 in the top 100 ‘Architects Choice’. The Island Golf Club enjoys a unique setting bordered by sea on 3 sides. A classic links course set in a rugged terrain & nestled between the highest sand dunes along the east coast. The Island was indeed once on an island. It’s now attached to the mainland but it’s still an isolated peninsula-like spur of links land, sandwiched between the Irish Sea, the beach of Donabate and the Broadmeadow estuary. Few people know about The Island Golf Club, despite the fact that the course is over 100 years old and has featured in numerous ranking tables over the years.

PORTMARNOCK

With a rich history closely aligned to the progression of golf in Ireland, Portmarnock has hosted numerous Irish Open Championships, the Walker Cup, the Irish Amateur Championship and the British Amateur Championship. From Sam Snead to Seve Ballesteros, some of golf’s best-known names have tested their skills this majestic narrow tongue of shallow dunes-land, just north of Dublin. Considered by many as one of the fairest links courses in the world it delivers an incredible challenge and true test of golf. In 2016 Portmarnock secured a prestigious world-25 ranking, perhaps five-time Open Championship winner Tom Watson summed up the links best during his visits saying “There are no tricks or nasty surprises, only an honest, albeit searching test of shot making skills.”

4-Star (Luxury)

Today’s Portmarnock hotel is the old home of the Irish Jameson whisky family. The residency sits on the shoreline offering commanding views along the stretch sandy beach, ‘the strand’. Golfer’s use either twin rooms that overlook the rear gardens are the sea. Perhaps the most appealing thing about the Portmarnock hotel however is it’s proximity to the airport. It only takes 20 minutes and you’re here. It’s ideal for a weekend break, and made even more so by the fact that the links course is on your doorstep (literally) whilst the famous Portmarnock Golf Club is only 2 miles down a country lane

Self Drive or Chauffeur

The Portmarnock & Dublin ‘Long Weekend’ golf break assumes arrival at Dublin International Airport, (it’s difficult to imagine how else otherwise?).

Faraway Fairways normally recommend self-drive for our golf packages but the ‘Long Weekend golf breaks’ might be the exception? Chauffeur driven options can work perfectly well and nowhere is this more apparent than the Portmarnock/ Dublin option. The airport is only 20 mins from the Portmarnock hotel, which in turn is no more than 10 mins from the furthest golf course we’re scheduled to play (The Island).

The additional cost associated with self-drive is difficult to justify under the circumstances, and we’ve duly based the price on a serviced transport arrangement

If you wish to go into Dublin itself (and you should take the opportunity to do so) then the absence of a self-drive is going to push us towards using a local taxi. In truth, you could easily find this is what you’d do even if you had a self-drive. Driving around Dublin needn’t be that enjoyable an experience, and one of the reasons we can perhaps anticipate for visiting would be a ‘night out’ in which case your vehicle would become a burden to you anyway

If you do choose to adopt a chauffeured/ taxi approach to the transport, we’d probably advise that the half-day trip to Glendalough isn’t worth undertaking on a hired driver arrangement. That would be the only casualty of the itinerary but it isn’t material to the integrity of the programme so you could probably absorb it

PORTMARNOCK

  • 3 nights – Portmarnock Hotel –
    – (includes breakfast & one evening meal)
    – Deluxe twin or double room (garden view)
  • At least three rounds of golf:
    – Portmarnock GC
    – Portmarnock Links
    – The Island
  • Self Drive – or – Chauffeur driven vehicle
    – (MPV people carrier, typically Mercedes)
  • Support and assistance as appropriate

NOT INCLUDED

– Friday night accommodation.
– Flexible hotel cancellation booking rates.
– Air-fares
– Evening meals, or additional hotel expenditure such as drinks (unless specified)
– Caddie hire, or any golf course equipment. We are happy to arrange this at no extra cost.

All tours and hotels sold subject to availability and final confirmation.

Long Weekend

Guide price based on four golfers sharing two ‘Deluxe twin rooms’ (sea view)
Transport costs based on self-drive and divided by all (chauffeur drive is perfectly viable)

 

Typical Price Range Guide –

LUXURY PEAK SEASON …………………….,£1,125
LUXURY SHOULDER SEASON ………….,,£1,075
LUXURY LOW SEASON …..,,……………..,£999

Quite a lot of golf tour operators will take some low-season green fees, perhaps wrap them up with a budget hotel ‘offer’, and then present them as the dreaded “prices from”. Sure it makes for an eye-catching headline. Faraway Fairways could do the same. The question really though is does this help you at all? Well most golfers probably don’t appreciate having their hopes built up only for them to wade through the detail to discover that the price that caught their attention requires them to comply with all sorts of sub-optimal conditions. Instead we’re using a ‘guide price’ which needn’t be ‘spot on’ but should be close

Highlights – Portmarnock Golf Club, The Island Golf Club, and Portmarnock Links

Duration – 4 days

Travel class – Premier – Portmarnock Resort Hotel

Season – April to October

Transport – Self drive, although chauffeur drive with local taxis works very well for Portmarnock.

 

Important – Dynamic prices do alter dependent on the choices we make, the month/ week we book for, and in the case of hoteliers that operate revenue yield management models outside of fixed rate contracts, the month/ week of year we process a booking. As a general guideline, the nearer we book to the day of arrival, the more expensive things become

KINGSBARNS AND DUMBARNIE WEEKEND GOLF BREAK

Kingsbarns and Dumbarnie with the St Andrews Torrance or Kittocks courses

Kingsbarn and Dumbarnie Weekend Golf Break
– The Character of this tour

Old Course – Odds against play through the ballot, but not without a chance.
Old Course isn’t part of the package, but the opportunity to ‘roll the dice’ would exist.
Duration – 3 nights
Logistics – Daily ‘back-to-base’ structure
Transport – Either Self-drive or Managed driver works fine.
Mileage – Low
Travel Class – Luxury
Non-Golf offer – Limited by time (St Andrews & Fife)

At Faraway Fairways we’ve become increasingly aware that a number of you want to ‘get away from it’, but don’t necessarily want the commitment of a longer ‘tour’. In other words, you want a top golf break over a weekend, but since you have so many other things going on around you that you need to get back to, time is a problem. It shouldn’t come as any surprise to learn therefore that Faraway Fairways have just the answer with our Kingsbarn and Dumbarnie weekend golf break, one of six options we’re excited to offer. This particular option is different to the other five in so far as we have at least two world class courses as the focus rather than an apex draw and a supporting cast. There’s a real potential bonus in this one though. We’re staying in St Andrews. Yes, we can enter the Old Course ballot, and yes we are near enough to play the Old Course if we win, and yes we should be able to shuffle the pack in such a way that we’ll be able to salvage Kingsbarns or Dumbarnie if they go into conflict with the Old Course tee-time. It’s a shot to nothing really, for it we lose, then we just play Kingsbarns or Dumbarnie as planned

The Kingsbarn and Dumbarnie weekend golf break is designed for someone who can leave work mid-day Friday, or even early evening, so long as they can arrive in Scotland (Edinburgh or Glasgow) early on Saturday. Anyone taking it from the UK or continental Europe will be back at work by Monday morning. But here’s a twist, by virtue of flying back across time zones, so will anyone from North America.

The Kingsbarn and Dumbarnie weekend golf break isn’t exactly a new concept you might suggest? True, we’ll give you that ‘short putt’! But most of these packages tend to be resort first and golf second. Faraway Fairways’s big weekend golf breaks put the golf first. Well to no small extent in Scotland, you have to, Spain we ain’t!

So it might sound a bit ambitious at first, and its probably not completely unfair to think that this type of break is more likely to appeal to those of you who have fast moving lifestyles and a bit of ‘go’ about you, but then the world is becoming a smaller a place. When you walk back into work on Tuesday and someone enquires whether you “did anything interesting at the weekend?” it would perhaps be nice to reply “played golf in Scotland. And you?”


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GOLF NON-GOLF OVERNIGHT
Friday
Not applicable Not applicable Flight to Scotland – arrive following morning
Saturday
KINGSBARNS East Neuk of Fife St Andrews (Luxury)
Sunday
TORRANCE or KITTOCKS St Andrews St Andrews (Luxury)
Monday
DUMBARNIE Edinburgh St Andrews (Luxury)
Tuesday
Flight home Not Applicable Not Applicable

 

Click Image to learn more details about the course

Kingsbarns and dumbarnie weekend golf break Kingsbarns and dumbarnie weekend golf break
KINGSBARNS
DUMBARNIE
TORRANCE or KITTOCKS COURSE

3 Nights Duration
  • Luxury
  • SEASONAL PRICE GUIDE, SPREAD - FROM £1,425 - TO £1,725

Kingsbarns Image by Iain Lowe,
permission from, and images supplied by Audrey Hogg, Kingsbarns Golf Course
To view some of Iain's work [CLICK]

Kingsbarns & Dumbarnie

The combination of Kingsbarns and Dumabarnie on the Fife coast is a truly beguiling one. Everyone loves a new course to get excited about, and Dumbarnie looks destined for Scotland’s top-table. The combination of Dumbarnie and another world top-100 ranked modern design at Kingsbarns means the two centre pieces of this weekend break offer you a remarkably similar stern challenge. Unlike some of the other weekend breaks which feature an apex course and a supporting cast, this one has a greater depth of co-equals

Maybe it’s the third course that holds the key though. The choice of Fairmont tracks (Torrance or Kittocks) would permit us to take a stab at the St Andrews Old Course. We’re near enough to pull this off, so no harm in trying. If we win an Old Course ballot we’ll need to shuffle the pack to play four courses in three days, and if we lose, well you’ll just have to settle something that’s very good instead

The hotel is only 3 miles from St Andrews. We can certainly make ballot applications for Saturday and Monday. There is a risk that we could end up forfeiting a green fee at Dumbarnie. If we do, then we’re afraid you might just be required to ‘suck it up’ in exchange for playing the St Andrews Old Course. The greater likelihood however is that we’ll be able to salvage the round and re-arrange it, putting it into a double day with one of the Fairmont courses

Travelling to Scotland

Long weekend golf breaks are designed to minimise disruption to your working week. Schedules are built on an assumption that you can leave work mid afternoon to early evening, on a Friday. We envisage you arriving at either Edinburgh or Glasgow international airports or respective railway stations.

Golfer’s travelling from within the UK, or flying from continental Europe, do have more margin. Many of you will be able to arrive in Edinburgh/ Glasgow on the Friday evening. This will incur an extra nights accommodation, but will allow you to make an earlier start the next morning

Those of you flying the Atlantic however will arrive early on Saturday morning. There are direct flights to both Edinburgh and Glasgow. The whole secret to the Long weekend is that you’re at least in Scotland early on the Saturday. The return leg is easier as you’re flying with the time zone, and can even sneak an extra round if routing back through London


Ordinarily Faraway Fairways would tend to advise that you aim to arrive as follows;

  • Edinburgh if playing St Andrews
  • Glasgow if playing Turnberry
  • Edinburgh if playing Carnoustie
  • Either if playing Gleneagles with slight preference for Edinburgh

The ultimate objective is to get you into the course as quickly as we can, especially if you’re arriving on Saturday morning, or playing St Andrews.

Glasgow and Edinburgh are about 60 minutes apart by road. It might happen that an earlier arrival at say Glasgow, can result in an earlier arrival at St Andrews, despite it being further away. You might even route through London or Dublin

We wouldn’t necessarily discourage those of you who practically can do, to arrive on Friday evening. This extends your scope for securing favourable tee times and would be particularly helpful for the St Andrews Old Course on Saturday.

It would probably be advisable to travel as light as you can in order to make check-in and baggage reclaim much quicker. You might even find you’re able to do this using the clothes you’re wearing, some small items in hand luggage, and if necessary, buy a few extras from the pro-shop whilst you’re here (they also double as souvenirs of course). You might even decide to play with hired clubs (though in fairness, hardly anyone ever does).

KITTOCKS & TORRANCE COURSES

The Kittocks and Torrances courses are slight departures from the links tradition of St Andrews, being a few miles outside of town on a stunning cliff-top location overlooking the bay and town below. The result is spectacular. With a splendid sense of isolation and exposure they both play ‘linksy’. The venture has been a tremendous addition to the St Andrews portfolio.

The Kittocks course is a long and challenging, requiring nerves of steel to navigate its many holes running alongside the coastline. It’s played host to Europro Tournament 2007 and 2009 and Scottish Youths National Championship 2016.The Torrance course is characterised by its deep revetted bunkers, and large greens and has hosted the Seniors European Tour Event six times between 2009 and 2014. They tend to be held in similar regard and its genuinely difficult to recommend one over the other

Kingsbarns

Records of golf being played at Kingsbarns date to 1793. The modern course itself opened in 2000, and is set on three-tiered levels, sloping towards the coast. Nearly every hole has stunning views of the North Sea. The 12th and 15th require you to play a tee shot over the ocean! Kingsbarns is often compared with Pebble Beach. Its noticeable just how many people familiar with both accept this. Perhaps of greater significance is the number of times it beats more illustrious neighbours in surveys. It did so again in 2013 when it topped the poll for Scotland’s favourite course amongst visiting Americans, as its always immacuately presented. It completes the trio of East Coast giants that host the Dunhill links challenge each year alongside Carnoustie and the Old Course

Image by Iain Lowe
with permission from, and supplied by Kingsbarns Golf Course

Dumbarnie

Dumbarnie is Scotland’s newest world class golf links, and opened in 2020. It’s located on an escarpment which is 80 ft above sea-level at its peak. This has allowed the design to adopt two loops of nine, and make good use of the natural contouring this affords to introduce views of the sea. A number of elevated tees have been used to provide the drama of hitting drives out to the ocean. The terrain has been worked into a series of hillocks, knobs and knolls. Perhaps uncharacteristically for a links, Water has also been introduced albeit mainly confined to burns rather than lakes. The fairways are wide and forgiving with driveable risk and reward par 4’s a particular feature of the lay-out

5-Star (Luxury)

The Fairmont is one of two luxury 5-star hotels in St Andrews. It sits atop a cliff slightly outside of the town with commanding views out to sea and overlooks the town itself looking down towards it. Although a little bit detached from the town itself and therefore quieter, the hotel provides a regular complementary shuttle bus into St Andrews for its guests. The Fairmont is surrounded by two Championship golf courses ensuring that the extended views are out over rolling green golf courses. It’s an altogether more relaxing experience

Self Drive or Chauffeur

‘Long Weekend’ golf breaks assume arrival at either of Scotland’s major international airports, (Edinburgh & Glasgow) or their respective railway hubs of Waverley or Central stations.

Faraway Fairways normally recommend self-drive for our golf packages but the ‘Long Weekend golf breaks’ might be the exception? Chauffeur driven options can work perfectly well (particularly St Andrews or Gleneagles). This will typically be a Mercedes capable of taking seven passengers. The Mercedes has leather seats and a high-spec ride comfort.

Self-drive affords you more flexibility and independence, but it is a bit more time consuming to process. Long weekends can be quite intense, and the responsibility for driving might be one stress point you’d be happy to lose

The only long weekend package where we needn’t be convinced that a chauffeur driven solution works that well would be the option that involves playing Shiskine on the Isle of Arran as part of the Turnberry break. You might also be forgiven for wishing to have some transport autonomy at Carnoustie too as the town needn’t have the appeal of St Andrews, and the hotel probably hasn’t got the depth of non-golf facilities that Gleneagles and Turnberry can call on

Our pricing schedules are modelled on self-drive. Chauffeur driven options normally cost slightly more, but in some cases this could be negligible and might even be less dependent on how you decide to operate a base location, as they could involve little more than airport transfers to a resort hotel which in itself can provide for all your needs

ST ANDREWS

  • 3 nights – St Andrews, Fairmont Hotel – or equivalent
    – (includes breakfast & £30 food/ beverage voucher)
    – Deluxe twin or double room (sea view)
  • Old Course ballot applications & management
    – Includes cancelling and rescheduling
  • At least three rounds of golf:
    – Kingsbarns
    – Dumbarnie
    – St Andrews Torrance or Kittocks Course
  • Self Drive – or – Chauffeur driven vehicle
    – (MPV people carrier, typically Mercedes)
    – Complementary shuttle bus from hotel to St Andrews
  • Walking Tour of the Old Course (Sunday)
  • Support and assistance as appropriate

NOT INCLUDED

– Green fee for the St Andrews Old Course (between £195 or £95 dependent on the season).
– Friday night accommodation.
– Flexible hotel cancellation booking rates.
– Air-fares
– Evening meals, or additional hotel expenditure such as drinks (unless specified)
– Caddie hire, or any golf course equipment. We are happy to arrange this at no extra cost.

All tours and hotels sold subject to availability and final confirmation.

Long Weekend

Guide price based on four golfers sharing two ‘Deluxe twin rooms’ (sea view)
Transport costs based on self-drive and divided by all (chauffeur drive is perfectly viable)

 

Typical Price Range Guide –

LUXURY PEAK SEASON …………………….,£1,725
LUXURY SHOULDER SEASON ………….,,£1,649
LUXURY LOW SEASON …..,,……………..,£1,425

Quite a lot of golf tour operators will take some low-season green fees, perhaps wrap them up with a budget hotel ‘offer’, and then present them as the dreaded “prices from”. Sure it makes for an eye-catching headline. Faraway Fairways could do the same. The question really though is does this help you at all? Well most golfers probably don’t appreciate having their hopes built up only for them to wade through the detail to discover that the price that caught their attention requires them to comply with all sorts of sub-optimal conditions. Instead we’re using a ‘guide price’ which needn’t be ‘spot on’ but should be close

Highlights – Kingsbarns, Dumbarnie, St Andrews Torrance or Kittocks course, St Andrews Old Course possible (ballot)

Duration – 4 days

Travel class – Luxury – Fairmont hotel

Season – April to October

Transport – Self drive although chauffeur drive probably works just as well in St Andrews.

 

Important – Dynamic prices do alter dependent on the choices we make, the season we book for, and in the case of hoteliers that operate revenue yield management models outside of fixed rate contracts, the time of year we process a booking. As a general guideline, the nearer we book to the day of arrival, the more expensive things become

CARNOUSTIE WEEKEND GOLF BREAK

Carnoustie Championship Course & Burnside Course & Buddon Links

Carnoustie Weekend Golf Break
– The Character of this tour

Duration – 3 nights
Logistics – Daily ‘back-to-base’ structure
Transport – Either Self-drive or Managed driver works fine.
Mileage – Low
Travel Class – Premier
Non-Golf offer – Limited (Glamis Castle, Scone Palace & St Andrews)
St Andrews Old Course – Odds against play through the ballot, but not without a chance.
The Old Course isn’t part of the package, but Carnoustie is near enough
The opportunity to ‘roll the dice’ would exist.

At Faraway Fairways we’ve become increasingly aware that a number of you want to ‘get away from it’, but don’t necessarily want the commitment of a longer ‘tour’. In other words, you want a top golf break over a weekend with a true world class course as the focus, but you have so many other things going on around you that have to get back to. It shouldn’t come as any surprise to learn therefore that Faraway Fairways have just the answer with our Carnoustie weekend golf break, one of six options we’re excited to offer.

The Carnoustie weekend break is designed for someone who can leave work mid-day Friday, or even early evening, so long as they can arrive in Scotland (Edinburgh or Glasgow) early on Saturday. Anyone taking it from the UK or continental Europe will be back at work by Tuesday morning. But here’s a twist, by virtue of flying back across time zones, so will anyone from North America.

The Carnoustie weekend golf break isn’t exactly a new concept you might suggest? True, we’ll give you that ‘short putt’! But most of these weekend golf packages tend to be resort first and golf second. Faraway Fairways’ big weekend golf breaks put the golf first. Well to no small extent in Scotland, you have to, Spain we ain’t!

So it might sound a bit ambitious at first, and its probably not completely unfair to think that this type of weekend Scottish golf break is more likely to appeal to those of you who have fast moving lifestyles and a bit of ‘go’ about you, although this needn’t be exclusive. Ultimately the world is becoming a smaller a place however, and it is becoming increasingly possible to do these types of things. The more you think about it, the more you’ll come to realise it. When you walk back into work on Tuesday and someone enquires whether you “did anything interesting at the weekend?” it would perhaps be nice to reply “played golf at Carnoustie, Scotland. And you?”

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GOLF NON-GOLF OVERNIGHT
Friday
Not applicable Not applicable Flight to Scotland – arrive following morning
Saturday
CARNOUSTIE BUDDON LINKS Glamis Castle Carnoustie
Sunday
CARNOUSTIE BURNSIDE COURSE St Andrews Carnoustie
Monday
CARNOUSTIE CHAMPIONSHIP COURSE Scone Palace Carnoustie
Tuesday
Flight home Not Applicable Not Applicable

 

Click Image to learn more details about the course

Carnoustie weekend golf break Carnoustie weekend golf break
CHAMPIONSHIP COURSE
BURNSIDE COURSE
BUDDON LINKS

3 nights
  • Premier
  • SEASONAL PRICE GUIDE, SPREAD - FROM £895 - TO £775

The price is per person and based on two people sharing a twin or double room for three nights, and four people sharing the cost of the transport (a standard golfing four-ball)

Travelling to Scotland

Long weekend golf breaks are designed to minimise disruption to your working week. Schedules are built on an assumption that you can leave work mid afternoon to early evening, on a Friday. We envisage you arriving at either Edinburgh or Glasgow international airports or respective railway stations.

Golfer’s travelling from within the UK, or flying from continental Europe, do have more margin. Many of you will be able to arrive in Edinburgh/ Glasgow on the Friday evening. This will incur an extra nights accommodation, but will allow you to make an earlier start the next morning

Those of you flying the Atlantic however will arrive early on Saturday morning. There are direct flights to both Edinburgh and Glasgow. The whole secret to the Long weekend is that you’re at least in Scotland early on the Saturday. The return leg is easier as you’re flying with the time zone, and can even sneak an extra round if routing back through London


Ordinarily Faraway Fairways would tend to advise that you aim to arrive as follows;

  • Edinburgh if playing St Andrews
  • Glasgow if playing Turnberry
  • Edinburgh if playing Carnoustie
  • Either if playing Gleneagles with slight preference for Edinburgh

The ultimate objective is to get you into the course as quickly as we can, especially if you’re arriving on Saturday morning, or playing St Andrews.

Glasgow and Edinburgh are about 60 minutes apart by road. It might happen that an earlier arrival at say Glasgow, can result in an earlier arrival at St Andrews, despite it being further away. You might even route through London or Dublin

We wouldn’t necessarily discourage those of you who practically can do, to arrive on Friday evening. This extends your scope for securing favourable tee times and would be particularly helpful for the St Andrews Old Course on Saturday.

It would probably be advisable to travel as light as you can in order to make check-in and baggage reclaim much quicker. You might even find you’re able to do this using the clothes you’re wearing, some small items in hand luggage, and if necessary, buy a few extras from the pro-shop whilst you’re here (they also double as souvenirs of course). You might even decide to play with hired clubs (though in fairness, hardly anyone ever does).

Carnoustie, Buddon Links

Carnoustie’s Buddon Links are the newest addition to the family. The investment and introduction of two new holes in 2014, increased the quality of the course significantly. Locals now refer to the new Amen Corner at holes 11 and 12 where golfers are tested to the max. Whilst there are links elements on the Buddon course, there are other features such as a heathland stretch at the 6th where heather and silver birch trees are more reminiscent of a Highland golf course. Playing the 18 also provides you with a lesson in British military history given the number of holes named after battles.

Carnoustie Burnside

It lacks the length of its monsterous neighbour, but otherwise the course is similar in style to the Championship course, playing inside of it as it does. Mercilessly though, it is shorter. Sensible driving will let you test your mid to short game as the key is working out where you think you can most effectively play your second shot from given the heather whins and rough that come into play. The closing two holes are normally cited as the round wreckers and better suited to the neighbouring championship course. The fifth is worth noting. A natural meander in the Barry Burn has created an island green similar to the 17th at Sawgrass. The Burnside proved to be a decent overture for Ben Hogan in 1953. He qualified on the Burnside before going onto lift the claret jug.

 


Walking Tour

Walk the fairways of the Old Course and get up close and personal with some of golf’s most celebrated holes. See ‘Hell bunker’ at 14. Soak up the notorious 17th, the ‘Road Hole’, and the bunker known as the ‘Sands of Nakajima’. Survey the tee shot from 18 across the Swilcan Bridge and onto the ‘Valley of Sin’ in front of the iconic R&A Headquarters building that overlooks the green. We’re able to offer you an exclusive walking tour of the Old Course most Sundays. It’s also worth noting that St Andrews is home to the National Golf Museum with over 16,000 exhibits. St Andrews is also a legitmate non-golf attraction in its own right too, and is famed for its ancient university, it’s ruined catherdral and cliff hugging old castle.

Carnoustie Championship Course

American media commentators wasted no time dubbing the Tayside course ‘Car-Nasty’. Few would deny the claims of Carnoustie to the crown of toughest Open venue of them all. Carnoustie is long, dark, and menacing. It has a number of challenging holes, particularly the par fives. The Spectacles’ (14) and ‘Hogan’s Alley’ (6) are the two toughest assignments on the stroke index. The par 3 sixteenth is another shocker. It’s the enduring image from the 1999 Open of Jean van de Velde paddling about in the Barry Burn however, that cemented Carnoustie’s legend. Sports Illusrated described the course as being “a nasty old antique brought down from the attic by the R&A after 24 years” as scoring soared. Carnoustie revels in such notoriety. If the wind gets up (and surprisingly a lot of people hope it does) you’re unlikely to ever play a tougher assignment

More information

Qualification requirements for play

Carnoustie operates a handicap threshold of 28 for gentlemnen, and 36 for ladies respectively. Players who are unable to meet this standard are invited to tackle the alternatives we’ve nominated instead

Carnoustie

Sitting at the end of final fairway, overlooking the 18th green with the notorious Barry Burn snaking its way out to sea in front of it, the unmistakable white stone course hotel at Carnoustie is fast becoming one of the most striking in golf. Unlike some of the other options available in the ‘big weekend’ suite, Carnoustie isn’t really a resort. The golf comes first, second, and third here. The consequence is that the hotel is more affordable than St Andrews, but is a 4-star

Self Drive or Chauffeur

‘Long Weekend’ golf breaks assume arrival at either of Scotland’s major international airports, (Edinburgh & Glasgow) or their respective railway hubs of Waverley or Central stations.

Faraway Fairways normally recommend self-drive for our golf packages but the ‘Long Weekend golf breaks’ might be the exception? Chauffeur driven options can work perfectly well (particularly St Andrews or Gleneagles). This will typically be a Mercedes capable of taking seven passengers. The Mercedes has leather seats and a high-spec ride comfort.

Self-drive affords you more flexibility and independence, but it is a bit more time consuming to process. Long weekends can be quite intense, and the responsibility for driving might be one stress point you’d be happy to lose

The only long weekend package where we needn’t be convinced that a chauffeur driven solution works that well would be the option that involves playing Shiskine on the Isle of Arran as part of the Turnberry break. You might also be forgiven for wishing to have some transport autonomy at Carnoustie too as the town needn’t have the appeal of St Andrews, and the hotel probably hasn’t got the depth of non-golf facilities that Gleneagles and Turnberry can call on

Our pricing schedules are modelled on self-drive. Chauffeur driven options normally cost slightly more, but in some cases this could be negligible and might even be less dependent on how you decide to operate a base location, as they could involve little more than airport transfers to a resort hotel which in itself can provide for all your needs

CARNOUSTIE

  • 3 nights – Carnoustie Course Hotel – 4 star
    – (includes breakfast)
    – Golf Course View, twin or double rooms
  • Up to three rounds of golf with green fees for:
    – Carnoustie Championship course
    – Carnoustie Burnside course
    – Carnoustie Buddon Links
  • Self Drive – or – Chauffeur driven vehicle
    – (MPV people carrier, typically Mercedes)
  • Walking Tour of the St Andrews Old Course (Sunday)
  • Support and assistance as appropriate

NOT INCLUDED

– Friday night accommodation.
– Flexible hotel cancellation booking rates.
– Air-fares
– Evening meals, or additional hotel expenditure such as drinks (unless specified)
– Caddie hire, or any golf course equipment. We are happy to arrange this at no extra cost.

All tours and hotels sold subject to availability and final confirmation.

Long Weekend

Guide price based on four golfers sharing two ‘golf course view’ twin rooms
Transport costs based on self-drive and divided by all (chauffeur drive is perfectly viable)

 

Typical Price Range Guide –

LUXURY PEAK SEASON …………………….,£895
LUXURY SHOULDER SEASON ………….,,£865
LUXURY LOW SEASON …..,,……………..,£775

Quite a lot of golf tour operators will take some low-season green fees, perhaps wrap them up with a budget hotel ‘offer’, and then present them as the dreaded “prices from”. Sure it makes for an eye-catching headline. Faraway Fairways could do the same. The question really though is does this help you at all? Well most golfers probably don’t appreciate having their hopes built up only for them to wade through the detail to discover that the price that caught their attention requires them to comply with all sorts of sub-optimal conditions. Instead we’re using a ‘guide price’ which needn’t be ‘spot on’ but should be close

Highlights – Carnoustie Championship Course, Carnoustie Burnside Course & Carnoustie Buddon Links

Duration – 4 days

Travel class – Premier – Carnoustie course hotel (course view rooms)

Season – All year round

Transport – Self drive or Chauffeur drive

 

Important – Dynamic prices do alter dependent on the choices we make, the month/ week we book for, and in the case of hoteliers that operate revenue yield management models outside of fixed rate contracts, the time of year we process a booking. As a general guideline, the nearer we book to the day of arrival, the more expensive things become. The Carnoustie ‘shoulder season’ is generous and encompasses April up until mid May and the last two weeks of October. The course is open for play during the winter but doesn’t tend to push these dates. We have to go in search of them

Customer Review from Arizona.

featured Royal Troon, Turnberry, & Western Gailes

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Faraway Fairways and Alun Davies did a fantastic job of setting up our golf and lodging on our recent trip to Scotland. The accommodations were excellent and were centrally located for the golf courses we chose.

Alun was able to get us booked at every course we requested and he scheduled our tee times and caddies for times that allowed us the freedom to do some sightseeing on the side. In addition, he stayed in touch with the tide tables and was successful in altering a time to ensure the best views for us while we played!

Alun sent us intriguing information about the courses we played in the weeks leading up to our trip and followed up with us during our trip to make sure all was going well.

I will definitely utilize Faraway Fairways for my next Scotland golf trip!

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    Customer Review From California.

    featured St Andrews, Carnoustie, Kingsbarns, Troon, Turnberry, North Berwick & Lundin

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    The following was written by a group leader from California. The only edits Faraway Fairways have performed is to protect identities of individuals or specific named companies. Enjoy

    When I first started planning a trip for my father, my best buddy, and myself to go to Scotland, I was sure I could do it myself. I could find the top courses, I could book tee times online, I could find my maps — it would be no problem. I am so glad that I didn’t go that route. After a few short correspondences with Alun from Faraway Fairways, I knew that I that my trip would be better if I used his expertise.

    The service that Faraway Fairways provided ended up to be invaluable. They knew things about that area that I just wouldn’t have been able to know from the internet. (Who knew that it would be difficult to find a good dinner if we came off a golf course at 8 PM.) Not only did they plan the best six days of golf that a golfer could ask for, but they went above and beyond to create an itinerary for the non-golfer that tagged along, my mother. They even secured a castle to stay in for my parents to celebrate their 54th wedding anniversary! The best part was that the service was surprisingly affordable.

    They were thousands of dollars below other quotes that I received, in fact the prices were very similar to what I would have paid if I would have booked everything on my own. Using Faraway Fairways ended up being the best decision I made regarding the trip.

    LUNDIN

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      Customer Review from California.

      St Andrews, Carnoustie, & Dunbar

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      The following was written by a solo player from California. The only edits Faraway Fairways have performed is to protect identities of individuals or specific named companies. Enjoy

      Above and Beyond

      I was fortunate to work with Alun here at faraway fairways on a very last minute trip organization. It began on my European vacation. My trip was planned to visit (named company) factory to tour and get fitted for new boots so I could go skiing in Cortina D’Ampezo. I took the chance to visit the factory in person as when I called the fellow answering the phone only spoke Italian and I did not, but I did get that they would be open again on Monday as I was calling on Friday evening. I took a 30 minute bus ride and walk, 2.5 miles to get to the factory and it turns out they don’t have tours or sell products at the plant. I took the chance that it would work out and being that it did not work out I immediately switched modes to go golfing.

      I sent out a few email questions to different tour companies and Alun at Faraway Fairways responded quite soon after my inquiry. I was looking to get on courses within 2 days and this did not leave time necessary for Alun to actually put together one of their packages. So in lieu of a package deal Alun just started giving me a day to day itinerary with all possible options and all needed information to get onto the most famous and iconic golf courses in Scotland.

      Faraway Fairways comment – we don’t get many emails late on a Sunday evening from abandoned ski trips in Italy, asking about how the possibility of playing St Andrews from Wednesday onwards, and our first reaction was perhaps akin to “what!!” but after about 30 secs consideration, we thought actually, we should still be able to do this

      Through his guidance and suggestions, I was able to play the St Andrews Old course twice, Carnoustie, Longniddry, and Dunbar. His guidance and detailed information meant all I had to do was follow his advice and show up to the course each day.

      I was driving myself around, no small feat with the cars driving on a different side of the road and steering wheel on the other side of what I am used to. Alun was constantly in contact through emails to ensure I was on the right path and able to have a most unforgettable trip that will have me telling the stories of my experience for the rest of my life. Like the day I played Carnoustie, I showed up at 9:45 for a 12:15 tee time with caddie. The wind was blowing a steady 40 mph and I was not too sure about playing.

      I walked toward the clubhouse and noticed that there really was no one around and I could see no one on the course. I walked into the clubhouse and was greeted by (named person) and (named person) and again no one, short of course employees being around, seemed to be there. I spent a few minutes talking with them who convinced me I had come a long way to not play. We checked the weather forecast, which was no better for the rest of the day, and I went to the restaurant upstairs to have some water as I debated what to do. There were only three people in there as I stood at the all glass wall and saw the beginning and last holes on the course.

      I walked over to the three gents sitting having their breakfast and asked if they would play in conditions like this. Their answer was they had a tee time for ten. After just a few minutes of introductions and such, they invited me to join them for the round. It would save me hiring a caddie as they would happily lead me around THEIR course.

      Now I am in a small panic as I need to rent clubs, get dressed and make out there to join them. In the clubhouse they had a brief conversation, who got to allow me to be their guest for the round. This changed my green fee from 220 pounds, British currency, to 20. I did not realize this as I left my card with the pro shop as I ran back to my car to get my clothes to play.

      It was a good thing I nearly went skiing as I played in the same clothes I would have to go skiing. Windproof jacket and pants, three layers of shirts just to protect from the wind. It was not until the 6th hole I realized we were playing a match. (named person) who supported me as his guest against (named person) and (named person) .

      It is amazing how great company I was in. These fellows let me feel like I was part of their regular game. I was invited to their clubhouse for after round shandies, my first. They also introduced me to just about everyone in their clubhouse and spent a great deal of time talking and letting us get to know each other. I now have good friends that I will look up the next time I go and there most certainly will be a next time. This little episode of my trip is merely a small portion of the fantastic experiences I had for the freewheeling week of golf set up with Alun Davies help and support.

      You cannot go wrong with the support Faraway Fairways offered. I did this trip solo and all last minute but I have already begun to plan the next trip which will include my best golfing buddies. Thanks Alun

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        ENGLAND’S OPEN VENUES WITH IRELAND

        Royal Birkdale, Royal Lytham, Hoylake, Royal County Down, Royal Portrush, and Portmarnock

        England’s Open Venues with Ireland
        – The Character of this tour

        Duration – 7 nights
        Logistics – Follows an ‘out-and-back’, ‘point-to-point’ touring structure
        Transport – Self-drive works best
        Mileage – Medium to High. Involves two Irish Sea ferries
        Travel Class – Premier & Affordable
        Non-Golf offer – Good (Dublin, Antrim Coast, & Liverpool)

        At Faraway Fairways we’ve noticed an increasing number of overseas visitors seeking to utilise the often less-expensive ‘gateway’ of Dublin as their point of arrival. It presents us with the possibility of combining the cream of England’s open venues with Ireland in a beguiling circuit. Our first assignment is the world top-100 rated Portmarnock golf course, which is widely regarded as one the fairest and truest tests of any links golfer on the planet. The following day sees us heading north where we tackle the world top-10 rated masterpiece at Royal County Down before moving onto Belfast. The next day sees us launching a snatch and grab raid against the host of the 2019 Open Championship venue, and world top-20 ranked links of Royal Portrush, before returning to Belfast to begin our pursuit of England’s Open venues

        We have the choice of flying, or sailing overnight, either way are target is a trio of Open Championship venues on the Lancashire coast. Royal Lytham has perhaps, statistically speaking at least, eclipsed Carnoustie as the most difficult on the rotation. Lytham with its red bricked and green gabled clubhouse is one of the most recognisable in golf. Royal Birkdale, is widely regarded as England’s premier links golf course, and the host venue that allowed Jordan Spieth to have his name carved onto the claret jug in 2018. The next day we play Hoylake on Merseyside, an old-fashioned links that since it returned to the Open rotation has rewarded Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy. This completes the rump of England’s Open venues with Ireland added for extra value.

        All that remains left now is to get back to Dublin (although you might of course decide to fly open jaw and head back home from Manchester?). Our scheduled day of arrival back in Ireland will be a Saturday, which does limit our scope. The Portmarnock Links are an excellent course which features in a list of Ireland’s top-20.

        For a comparatively short break, this truly is a pageantry of golfing royalty. Royal County Down, Royal Portrush, Royal Lytham, Royal Liverpool and Royal Birkdale are amongst four clubs to have hosted the Open Championship. Six courses, played over seven days hold world top-100 rankings. That’s impressive in any language and probably doesn’t require any further justification. Taken together you’ve got the best of England’s Open venues with Ireland, and can also count the vibrant and atmospheric cities of Dublin and Liverpool as additional reasons to look favourably on this comparatively inexpensive option. You could do a lot worse than build yourself a ‘recovery day’ into the itinerary!

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        GOLF NON-GOLF OVERNIGHT
        Sunday PORTMARNOCK GC Dublin Dublin
        Monday ROYAL COUNTY DOWN Belfast Belfast
        Tuesday ROYAL PORTRUSH Antrim Coast Liverpool or night ferry
        Wednesday ROYAL LYTHAM Blackpool Liverpool
        Thursday ROYAL BIRKDALE Liverpool Liverpool
        Friday
        ROYAL LIVERPOOL/ HOYLAKE Chester Dublin or night ferry
        Saturday
        PORTMARNOCK LINKS Dublin Dublin


         
        Click Image to learn more details about the course

        ENGLAND'S OPEN VENUES WITH IRELAND ENGLAND'S OPEN VENUES WITH IRELAND
        ROYAL PORTRUSH
        ROYAL BIRKDALE
        ROYAL LYTHAM
        ROYAL COUNTY DOWN

        7 Nights Duration
        • Premier
        • Affordable

        TRANSPORT - This tour involves crossing between Ireland and England. There are two ways of doing this (although you could mix them up). A night ferry from Belfast to Liverpool, followed by another night ferry from Liverpool to Dublin. This arrangement permits us to take our vehicle out of Ireland and avoids processing new pick-ups each time we land. An Irish Sea ferry isn't a 'cruise', although we can achieve some degree of comfort by using private two-berth cabins. Spending two nights at sea does reduce the hotel prices slightly. The crossing takes eight hours, but can leave you 'kicking your heels' a little bit on arrival as they get in fairly early. It's why we've scheduled Lytham (the furthest drive) on your Wednesday

        Alternatively we could fly between Belfast and Liverpool or Manchester, and back from Liverpool or Manchester to Dublin. Despite us having modelled and indicatively priced the ferry, on balance, Faraway Fairways would probably recommend flying. We haven't included the price of any flights in the cost. You will need to make this arrangement yourselves once we have been able to confirm tee-times. Flying is more expensive and will of course incur two extra nights hotel accommodation that the ferry would otherwise absorb. There is probably less that can go wrong flying however, and it's likely to be less fatiguing too

        NON GOLF ACTIVITY - Non-golfers get more time for non-golf activity than golfers. An asterisk (*) is used on the ‘Non-Golf’ button in the itineraries to indicate where a golfer could reasonably expect to be able to undertake an activity. Anything left unmarked is only practical for non-golfers to undertake. Check the button called ‘What’s Included’ that appears on the final named day ‘tab’ to see if it’s included in a price.

        DISCLAIMER - The content of all tours are sold subject to availability and final confirmation of price. We do not speculatively book hotels in advance. Late bookings might be subject to a market led price increment. The prices displayed are strong indicators of what you would expect to pay but can also fluctuate in line with choices people wish to add or omit. Please check what's included. Prices are per person based on two sharing

        PORTMARNOCK

        With a rich history closely aligned to the progression of golf in Ireland, Portmarnock has hosted numerous Irish Open Championships, the Walker Cup, the Irish Amateur Championship and the British Amateur Championship. From Sam Snead to Seve Ballesteros, some of golf’s best-known names have tested their skills this majestic narrow tongue of shallow dunes-land, just north of Dublin. Considered by many as one of the fairest links courses in the world it delivers an incredible challenge and true test of golf. In 2016 Portmarnock secured a prestigious world-25 ranking, perhaps five-time Open Championship winner Tom Watson summed up the links best during his visits saying “There are no tricks or nasty surprises, only an honest, albeit searching test of shot making skills.”

        ROYAL COUNTY DOWN

        Royal County Down is the world’s highest rated golf course according to Golf Digest on their 2016 rankings. It is framed in one of the most stunningly natural links settings. The Murlough Nature Reserve provides the stage, the magnificent Mourne mountains the backdrop. The narrowest ribbons of fairways thread their way through as impressive a set of sand dunes as could be imagined. The fairways are surrounded by purple heather and golden gorse, so beautiful to look at but so punishing for any who may stray from the prescribed path. The ‘bearded’ bunkers are world famous and feature overhanging lips of marram, red fescue and heather. The greens are fast and many are domed, rejecting any shot lacking conviction. This is a true test of any player’s command of the traditional bump and run, the preferred way to play any links.

        Royal Portrush

        Sited on a particularly beautiful stretch of the North Antrim Causeway Coast, Portrush is constructed on an area of natural dune land with limestone cliffs. The Open was held here in 1951, and won by Max Faulkner. The reasons for its absence since are well documented, but in 2019 it returned, Shane Lowry playing the elements better than anyone else proved a popular local(ish) winner. Two holes dominate. The fifth is an iconic short par 4, that taunts you into over clubbing. Get it wrong and you plunge down the cliff onto the beach below. The sixteenth is arguably even more famous, an intimidating par 3 that involves driving across a valley of no recovery onto a surface in another dune system that falls sharply away on all sides. With out of bounds down both sides, Rory McIlroy’s first hole quadruple has probably entered folklore too. It’s difficult to imagine that the Open has a tougher opening assignment

        ROYAL LYTHAM

        Royal Lytham could never be described as a “classical” links course. It doesn’t have any giant shaggy dunes, nor does it have undulating roller-coaster fairways or pretty sea views, but with its red roofed, green gabled clubhouse it has character and bags of history. The course itself is extremely tough. An analysis of the most recent Open Championships that Faraway Fairways has undertaken suggests that Lytham is in fact the most difficult of the courses on the rotation. Numerous sandhills, particularly long and snaggly grasses, and an abundance of bunkers (174 of them) do the defending. It’s perhaps not surprising that a renowned escapologist like Seve Ballesteros twice lifted the claret jug here

        Image by Wojciech Migda.
        CC by SA 3.0, License [CLICK]

        ROYAL BIRKDALE

        Whereas the argument to be called Scotland’s best links is competitive, the English title is less contested. Royal Birkdale is widely acknowledged to wear the crown and renowned for its fairness, immaculate condition, and being a tough assignment to conquer. The fairways are laid out in the flat-bottomed valleys between towering dunes making it particularly hazardous is the wind. Shots breaking from sheltered positions suddenly begin to take on their on sense of independent thought. It’s part of select group of courses to have hosted the Open (10 times) and the Ryder Cup. Birkdale’s roll-call is equally impressive with the names of Palmer, Trevino, and Watson prominent, who can possibly forget the trevails of Jordan Spieth at the 13th in 2017 on his way to victory

        Image by Sue Adair, CC by SA 2.0

        Hoylake

        Hoylake has a long and illustrious history of playing host to the Open, and has now staged twelve, its first in 1897. Since it’s return the names of Woods and McIlroy were added to the claret jug, which perhaps hints to the fact it rewards the worthy. Founded in 1869, Hoylake is the second oldest seaside links course in England. Hoylake is a tough links. Only six holes are in the dunes – otherwise there is little protection from the ever-changing wind. The land is unusually flat, offering little in the way of definition and reference points, in this regard it requires you to envision a shot

        PORTMARNOCK LINKS

        This links Bernhard Langer designed links borders its illustrious neighbour, the Portmarnock Golf Club. For such a new layout, the Hotel Links is a very natural and understated course. There is nothing showy about the design; the natural land is used simply and effectively. The first eight holes play across gently-undulating ground with definition provided by varied grasses and pot bunkers. Then, around the turn, a cluster of shaggy sand dunes provides a much more pronounced aspect. Resort courses tend to be regarded by golfer’s with suspicion, but this one quickly established itself in Ireland’s top-20 and should be treated as an exception

        Time to say Goodbye

        Time, as they say, waits for no man, and sadly we’re no exception. Today it’s time to bid you farewell, hope you enjoyed your stay, and will consider returning soon. Better still, the return match awaits. We’ll ensure you get to your airport for a safe, and comfortable return across the Atlantic, where the benefits of flying east to west will now become apparent, as you land a mere two hours after you took off! Don’t forget to stay in touch through our blog, email, or the social networks, as we update information. Once again, thank you

        Customer Review from South-Carolina.

        featured St Andrews, & Kingsbarns

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        The following was written by a group leader from South Carolina. The only edits Faraway Fairways have performed is to protect identities of individuals or specific named companies. Enjoy

        You are about to tee it up in a Major. Perhaps the major golfing event in your life. You have prepared to invest a precious fortune. It is not just the money. It is the emotion, the hopes, the expectations, the time and energy to plan, prepare, and act to get to achieve your goals. Complicating the process is the inevitable unexpected and often unavoidable need to adjust to uncontrollable circumstances, such as the weather. Will you handle it like a champion?

        The 1964 Open at St Andrews is perhaps a perfect example of the average players first journey to links golf. Jack Nicklaus final round of 66 put him 5 strokes from his nearest competitor, Tony Lema. Lema was one of the most graceful golfers of all time. Yet, poor Tony arrived in St. Andrews late and had time for a 9 hole practice round. He had never seen a seaside links of any kind, much less the Old Course. On the opening day winds approached 50 mph. Yet, Lema persevered. His greatest asset was not skill, competitive psychology, or good luck. His key to success was wisdom. Tony Lema played the shots, while his legendary local caddie, Tip Anderson, guided him through the nuanced challenges of the Old Course. In the end Tony and Tip finished within 5 strokes of Jack Nicklaus. More correctly 5 strokes ahead as Tony Lema was crowned “1964 Champion Golfer of the Year“.

        For your “Major” golf experience. You want above all the wisdom of a great caddie. A person who can:

        • Understand and clarify your personal goals and expectations
        • Avoid hazards. Identify the “hidden pot bunkers” in your itinerary
        • Seek positive alternatives if your goals or circumstances change.
        • Make wise choices in planning and during your trip.
        • Have alternatives to the bad bounce, be right beside you in an emergency.

        Alun Davies is a master travel caddie. His attention to detail, and ability to give wise counsel is exceptional. Every step of my trip was expertly planned. The circumstances of my trip required at least a dozen major changes prior to departure. My goals and expectations were in flux even in transit. Alun not only stuck with me, he negotiated every request and concern professionally and enthusiastically. His expertise was evident from my initial contact with Faraway Fairways. During the 8 months between initial contact and the trip completion, Alun kept in constant contact insuring everything planned came to fruition. His travel briefings and itinerary guide were vastly superior to travel guides prepared by best selling writers and TV travel advisers. In fact this trip was better organized and implemented than any other travel experience I have had and that includes major Cruise lines and other golf travel programs.

        I was initially attracted to Faraway Fairways because they offered the best value. However, I did contact several agency’s and hotels, all officially “Authoirzed providers”, in addition to Faraway Fairways. My evaluation process was greatly simplified. Several providers took the time to conduct rather nice interviews to get to know my goals. Yet, the approach of most was to press for a decision to accept their pre arranged program. Some providers took two and three days to return a call or email. They were efficient and offered nice programs. I needed a bit of flexibility and just did not fit the cookie cutter approach. Alun quickly distinguished himself as more than a travel arranger. Like the great caddie, he intuitively understood my goals and provided me the path to success. Every caddie can tell you yardage and estimate wind effect, but the best know how the shot will land, how it will bounce, and how it roll out.

        You are about to tee it up in your Major. Seek wisdom, integrity and professionalism. Alun Davies and Faraway Fairways will not disappoint you. They cannot assure a calm sunny day with temperatures in the 70’s on the Old Course. But they can get you ”on the tee” and let you experience a trip of a lifetime. One caveat. I hit my first drive on the Old Course straight down the middle about 70 yards from the pin. A few hours late I received a call from Alun. He, of course knew my starting time. I was not surprised that he made a follow up call regarding the days experience. I was surprised when he asked if I chunked my pitch shot into the Swilcan burn. He watched on the webcam. Alun should be your guide. He will become a friend.

        Faraway Fairways note: we seem to have put the albatross on a few people playing the first on the Old Course in recent visits. Not the first one to get wet!

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