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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.

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

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, Portmarnock, and Dublin Island

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. For golfer’s this works well. It presents us with the possibility of combining the cream of England’s open venues with Ireland. Just 20 minutes from Dublin airport are the famous links of Portmarnock. Our first assignment is the ‘Langer’ course which features in a list of Ireland’s top-20. Whereas folk might be a little bit dismissive of resort courses, it’s perhaps worth remembering that the likes of Turnberry and Gleneagles came into existence using this route. The Portmarnock Links are an excellent introduction for the assignment that lies in wait the following day at the more famous Portmarnock Golf Club. This becomes the first of four courses that can be relied upon to hold a world top-100 ranking at any given time. The Portmarnock golf course is widely regarded as one the fairest and truest tests of any links golfer on the planet. If you play well, you’ll be rewarded. If you play badly, you’ll be punished.

After Portmarnock we fly the short journey to northern England and Manchester, where we begin the swing of a trio of Open Championship venues on the Lancashire coast. First up is Royal Birkdale, 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. 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. The trio is completed the next day with Royal Lytham, a course which perhaps we associate with Ballesteros but which has statistically speaking at least, possibly eclipsed Carnoustie as the most difficult on the rotation. Lytham has hosted the Open, the Seniors Open, The Ryder Cup, and the Walker Cup. With its red bricked and green gabled clubhouse, it’s one of the most recognisable in golf. This completes the rump of England’s Open venues with Ireland added for extra value. Only Royal St George’s has alluded us, but we can still say with some justification that this is as good an English golf vacation as you can get without dedicating the whole duration to the task.

We do of course need to return to Ireland so as to fulfil our terms of carriage, for this is whence we came. Our final challenges therefore is the Island Club, a quirky links course of character and legend which appears in the country’s prestigious top-10. ‘The Island’ is certainly no stop-gap designed to fill a place in the diary and facilitate the transit. Some good judges will tell you that they prefer it to the more celebrated options at Portmarnock

For a comparatively short break, the Portmarnock, Royal Birkdale, Lytham, & Hoylake combination is of a surprisingly high-quality. Four courses over six days that hold world top-100 rankings probably doesn’t require any further justification. They advertise themselves. Taken together you’ve got the best of England’s Open venues with Ireland, and can also count Dublin and Liverpool as additional reasons to look favourably on this comparatively inexpensive option.

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Quick Click – clicking any item in the summary box will open a new window with further specific detail if you prefer not to use the day tabs above

 

GOLF NON-GOLF OVERNIGHT
Sunday PORTMARNOCK LINKS Dublin Dublin
Monday PORTMARNOCK GC Glendalough Liverpool
Tuesday ROYAL BIRKDALE Liverpool Liverpool
Wednesday ROYAL LIVERPOOL/ HOYLAKE Chester Liverpool
Thursday ROYAL LYTHAM Blackpool Liverpool
Friday
THE ISLAND, DUBLIN Dublin Dublin

ENGLAND'S OPEN VENUES WITH IRELAND ENGLAND'S OPEN VENUES WITH IRELAND
PORTMARNOCK
ROYAL BIRKDALE
ROYAL LYTHAM
HOYLAKE

  • Premier
  • Affordable

TRANSPORT - This tour involves two flights between Dublin and Manchester and back. It is possible to use a ferry from Dublin to Holyhead but you will need an arrangement that permits you to take a vehicle out of Ireland. There is also an overnight ferry between Dublin and Liverpool which would work, but is also subject to a similar restriction. Faraway Fairways recommend flying instead, but don't include 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. Flights between Dublin and Manchester are plentiful and cheap

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 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

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 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

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

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

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.

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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Customer Review from Connecticut.

St Andrews, Carnoustie, Kingsbarns, Aberdeen, Gleneagles & Portmarnock

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

Reflections on a Spectacular Golf Trip to Scotland and Ireland

Before I get into my chronological recollections of the trip, I think all eight of us would agree that Alun at Faraway Fairways did an absolutely wonderful job of putting this “golf vacation of a lifetime” together for us. His focus on the details was extraordinary from the choice of courses and the timing of the tee times, the amazingly beautiful accommodations along with some excellent meal selections, and the transportation options he provided to get us from place to place. It was truly a wonderful experience and even though I initially viewed the trip as a bucket list “once in a lifetime” experience” I am already trying to figure out how to return for a second helping of Scotland golf in coming summers.

Day 1: The Arrival

Unfortunately, there is no way to make the trip across the Atlantic a quick one but (named airline) made it as palatable as possible despite a little trouble checking in online as a group which cost us a bit in extra baggage fees which I am still hoping to retrieve from the airline. The stopover in Dublin was quick enough however a non-stop flight to Edinburgh would have been preferable but probably a lot more money. The van rental turned out to be a great choice in the end however, as Alun anticipated, our friends at (named company) really need to …. have enough staff on site to avoid a long wait. The one giveback is that two of their employees really went out of their way to get us on the road to Carnoustie for which they should be commended. We would have loved to stop at Stirling Castle, etc. on the way to Carnoustie but with the clock and jet lag looming, we made the first of several executive decisions to head straight to Carnoustie. Once we arrived, the hotel and golf course and the history of the place was all we could have hoped for. The weather, maybe not so much. Our hardy group attacked the course regardless and it was still set up for the Open Championship. We used two fore caddies and they were helpful and fun to have along. When I return, I personally hope for another crack at Carnoustie because I never really got my game going due to the wet weather and like some of the group because of lingering exhaustion. Dinner in the hotel was nice although I think most of us were thinking of bed at that point.

Day Two: Royal Aberdeen

Again, Alun had gone out of his way to set us up with train tickets to Aberdeen from Dundee but with two vans at our disposal we decided for simplicity and drove ourselves. We all loved Royal Aberdeen starting with the little gift bags they gave us. The course was amazing although somewhat difficult particularly given the wind gusts of about 40 MPH and some more Scottish rain. However the beauty of the coastline with the ships at anchor off shore was just spectacular. We had a great light dinner in the clubhouse after the round which included some delicious chicken wings which led one of our group to proclaim that he was going to move to Aberdeen for the golf and chicken wings. (one note is that the club does not allow shorts which was fine because we had rain pants ready to go anyway)

Day Three: St. Andrews

The day started very early because half our group got a 6:50am tee time through the ballot for the Old Course. I drove them to St. Andrews while the others slept to make sure there were no problems or handicap issues They had a great time and played well partly because they utilized four caddies. Young David, shot even par on the Front 9 and finished with a 75 which I believe was the best round of the trip. The failure to get the other four of us on the Old Course will naturally provide impetus for a later return to Scotland *. Anyway, the eight of us met up at the amazing Fairmont Hotel which we were very pleased with. We played the Castle Course in the afternoon which was spectacular both for its golf and its views of St. Andrews. I think I speak for the group when I say this was our favorite of the St. Andrews courses. We had dinner at a great, trendy restaurant (Tailend Restaurant and Fish Bar) in downtown St. Andrews chosen by my cousins who had come to meet up with us.

* Faraway Fairways note: The group played in a particularly high-demand window, (first week of August) and in the shadow of the Seniors Open as well as the Open Championship which having closed Carnoustie for six weeks can have a knock-on-effect. Two possible windows for playing the Old Course were declined. One successful ballot and one unsuccessful was in line with expectation all things considered

Day Four: St. Andrews

This was the first 36-hole day for those who had not done the Old Course Double. Both the Jubilee and the New Course were wonderful, historic golf venues even if they lacked the visual appeal of the Castle Course. I particularly liked the Jubilee Course because the 85 I threw up was my best round of the trip. We would have liked to tackle the Himalayas/Ladies Putting Course while in downtown but time became a factor. We had another great dinner at a restaurant chosen by my cousins (Forgans) although the young fellows on the trip took off for adventures of their own in St. Andrews.

Day Five: St. Andrews

We played the Eden Course in the morning which we quite liked partly because the weather was beautiful and some of our golf ability started showing signs of life. For the afternoon and evening we took the train to Edinburgh for an adventure. The city was hopping because of the Festival which unfortunately limited access to the Castle. Nonetheless, the group had a great time eating Thai food (we had sampled haggis and black pudding sufficiently) and exploring the local culture. On the train trip back, we met some interesting locals and the young guys stayed on the train to Dundee to have some late night adventures of their own.

Day Six: Kingsbarns to Gleneagles

Again we made an executive decision to bypass Lundin Links (next time) partly because we didn’t want to be pressed for time getting to the essential Kingsbarns and partly because we wanted to enjoy a little of the Fairmont facilities before we left. As a side note, I don’t know the quality of the Fairmont in-house courses but their carts/buggies were appealing to my sore feet. Anyway, we loved Kingsbarns for much the same reason as the Castle Course, the venue itself and the views of the water. Unfortunately, their machine for personalizing their bag tags broke down the day we were there but they have since mailed them to me for distribution which I find very decent of them. On the way to Gleneagles we stopped for dinner at the Anstruther Fish Bar. Everyone loved the town and the restaurant and the service staff was great to us. The drive to Gleneagles was a bit of a slog but we knew we had arrived somewhere special when the hotel lobby had a display of Rolex watches upon check-in!

Day Six: Gleneagles

We started the day on the Kings Course which was spectacular but very physically challenging. Again, we made an executive decision to forego the round on the Queens Course which apparently is somewhat less demanding. Perhaps we should have played that first? We would have loved to get on the Centenary Course which apparently allowed carts/buggies but it was being set up for a European Tour event. At this point, we really wanted to enjoy the hospitality (and spa) of the hotel plus one of our group had injured his back which sidelined his golf for the last few rounds of the trip. We had a very, very delicious dinner in the less formal Gleneagles Restaurant.

Day Seven: Off to Ireland and the Island Course

The trip back to Edinburgh and the van return was uneventful thankfully and we got to Dublin unscathed where we were met by Wayne. He was quite the character and we enjoyed our trip to the Island Club with him. The Island Club is a nice venue but again fatigue I think was setting in after an early wakeup and plane trip. The hotel at Portmarnock was very nice but after Gleneagles it had a lot to live up to. After debating where to take our tired bodies for dinner and missing our rental vans, we decided to have a casual but very nice dinner in the on-site pub/restaurant.

Day Eight: Portmarnock

After some initial confusion about which Portmarnock course was which, we got to the Langer Links Course on time which was basically attached to the hotel. Thankfully, they had carts/buggies for hire and we hired them given that we had a double planned that day. The course was very nice and we had a nice lunch at the clubhouse before heading to the Portmarnock Golf Club via taxi. When we got there, we thought we were back at the stately Royal Aberdeen and we were pleasantly surprised to hear we had a subsidized dinner in their very fancy clubhouse restaurant which under normal circumstances would have been off limits to a bunch of shorts-wearing Americans. We had a great but tiring round and a very good dinner. Thankfully, we just beat the rain and taxied back to the hotel for another trip to the pub for dessert and drinks.

Final Faraway at Portmarnock

Day Nine: Heading Home

Wayne arrived on-time to deposit us back in Dublin In fact he was much earlier than expected because he knew the trip through the airport would be a long one. He was right because we had to actually go through American customs and much security, etc. in Dublin. Again, the flight was nice enough and we all made our connections home in one piece. Everyone agreed it was a spectacular time in a spectacular place with a spectacular group of guys!

Final Thoughts:

The proper British breakfasts each morning were delicious and they were a great time for us to get together to plan our golf for the day. The buffet aspect of them did not do much for some of our waistlines however.

When we do this again, I would like to take into account our fatigue factor. Perhaps a rest day or two or finding some of the few courses that offer carts/buggies when we want to pull a double.

A couple of the courses gently (or not) implied that our group could be playing a little faster which was absolutely true. If you do not have guys hitting the ball straight you are going to spend some time searching the fescue grass which will slow you down considerably. By the end of the week, we had sped up our game considerably. (For the record, I personally took eighteen golf balls on the trip and brought nine of them back home!)

Even though we paid a fair bit of money up front for this experience, I was surprised at two things. First, for what we paid, we got the very best courses, hotels, transportation, and extras. I’m not sure exactly how Alun pulled this off but cheers to him for doing so. Second, I was a little surprised at how little money I spent over there. (mainly souvenirs) The meals not pre-paid were quite reasonable compared to the northeast United States and we expended very little on caddies foregoing them except at Carnoustie and the Old Course. Three-wheeled trolleys were available everywhere and fairly inexpensive. Electric versions were nice on occasion but I tended to fight with them a little too much.

An impressive haul of souvenirs

All in all, a great time was had by all and as I stated earlier, I think some of us are destined to return to close our account with the Old Course and to make some new adventures. Multiple people who did not make this trip are already asking when the next adventure will happen? In my mind, summer of 2020 but we shall see!

Thanks again to Alun and Faraway Fairways.

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FAMILY GOLF TRIP, SCOTLAND

Castle Stuart, Nairn, Gleneagles,, Spey Valley, Moray Old Course, Boat of Garten & Traigh

Rather than adopting a traditional ‘point-to-point’ touring itinerary, the Faraway Fairways Family Golf Trip, Scotland, uses a ‘base-and-back’ approach so as to better replicate the comfort and consistency of the family home, allowing you to get settled in and enjoy your surroundings without the pressure of continually moving-on. Naturally the choice of base is crucial. We need to combine world-class golf, with a stunning environment, and a menu of activities for all the family. The Cairngorm National Park ticks all the boxes. The central Highlands is soaked in history from Glencoe to Culloden, has a sculptured landscape of mystery which includes Loch Ness, and a menu of exciting outdoor adventure activities for all ages including white-water rafting, climbing, mountain biking, trail walking, and that’s before you realise there’s a genuine Harry Potter connection to experience with both the Hogwarts Express and the ‘Black Lake’

The golfer has access to some of Scotland’s most picturesque courses. Castle Stuart is a becoming the spiritual home of the Scottish Open, and is an established world top-100 ranked. Gleneagles a recent Ryder Cup venue. Nairn hosted the Walker Cup in 1997. In addition to this trio we’ve also woven a couple of aesthetic shorter-yardage gems into your tapestry. Boat of Garten is like playing a round in Switzerland, whereas Traigh with extended views across the sea to the Inner Hebridean islands is arguably the prettiest short course in Scotland. The Old Course at Lossiemouth probably possesses Scotland’s finest closing hole and finally we’ve introduced the new Spey Valley course at Aviemore. Spey Valley looks destined to rival Gleneagles and possibly even Loch Lomond in the fullness of time, for the status of Scotland’s premier inland 18 holes. If you’re happy to add some mileage in the pursuit of world-ranked links, then top-10 course of Royal Dornoch is feasible to include at your discretion

Faraway Fairways set-up your family golf trip, Scotland using two vehicles so as to afford you much greater flexibility to explore, and pursue separate activities, whilst also allowing you to meet up later in the day. Golf and non-golf activities shadow each other


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GOLF NON-GOLF OVERNIGHT
Friday GLENEAGLES Stirling Aviremore Area
Saturday TRAIGH Hogwarts Express Aviemore Area
Sunday BOAT OF GARTEN Glencoe or Ben Nevis Aviemore Area
Monday NAIRN Loch Ness Aviemore Area
Tuesday CASTLE STUART Culloden Aviemore Area
Wednesday MORAY OLD Aviemore or Speyside Whisky Aviemore Area
Thursday SPEY VALLEY Aviemore Aviemore Area

 

PRICES ON APPLICATION –

7 Nights Duration
  • Luxury
  • Affordable
  • This particular trip can get complex due to group size & number of paying guests/ golfers/ non-golfers etc, and can't normally be presented as a per-person cost. It's less confusing if we work one out bespoke for your group and make it subject to enquiry
CHAUFFEUR GUIDE - The tour described is self-drive. Should you prefer to engage a chauffeur driver instead, this option is available. Please notify us accordingly.

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.

TRAIGH

Traigh Golf Course is the most Westerly golf course on the UK mainland. A series of sandy beaches run alongside the course, with stunning views to the Hebridean islands of Eigg and Rum, and the Cuillins of Skye. It is set in one of the most beautiful parts of the West Highlands of Scotland. It is a nine hole course, (par 68), based on a line of grassy hills, with the springy turf. Traigh is a subtle golf course that rewards accurate shotmaking. One of the biggest challenges you might face is loss concentration brought about by scenery and serenity!

“Photos courtesy of www.traighgolf.co.uk”
For more information of Traigh Golf CLICK HERE FOR SCORECARD

Boat of Garten

This hidden gem, is less hidden these days. The Boat of Garten is flanked by the river Spey on one side, a steam railway on the other, and the snow-capped Cairngorm mountains in the distance. Designed by James Braid, the course is widely regarded as Scotland’s most scenic, cleverly shaped by fairways lined with birch trees, heather and broom, and Highland gorse. The design maximises the natural landscape and vistas to full dramatic effcet. It’s a short course, but above all else, it’s fun

Nairn

Created from a Highland wilderness of gorse and heather Nairn is a perennial Scottish top-10 hoverer. Nairn is a bit like a great symphony which takes you on a journey with each movement getting progressively challenging before developing into a climatic crescendo. Nairn requires you to use every club in you bag, and play a myriad of different shots. Wise heads frequently nominate Nairn as possessing the best putting surface that Scotland has to offer too. One of the slightly more remarkable features is that you can very easily hit the ball into the sea on every one of the first seven! If you’re a ‘leftie’ with a tendency to hook, you might like to consider packing an extra sleeve of balls!

More information

Qualification requirements for play

Nairn operates a handicap threshold of 28 for gentlemnen, and 36 for ladies respectively. Nairn will reserve the right as to whether or not to invoke this since it tends not to be as rigidly applied as some clubs. An appreciation of pace of play, and etiquette, is equally important. If the player does fall below the standard however, they are invited to tackle the alternatives we’ve nominated instead.

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.

Moray Old Course

Moray is a rugged links course, which threads all the essential weaves into it’s tapestry. Heaving sand dunes, heinous gorse, and wicked undulations abound. In addition it’s aesthetic too. You have sea views to marvel at, and a lighthouse on the horizon. Moray is an innovators course requiring an instinctive read of the landscape. Straight driving and accuracy are paramount. It requires fortitude rather than force. A good touch with the putter is likely to serve you better than a blast with the driver, but the real joy is to be had chipping and executing deft links rescues such as the bump and run. The 18th is often cited, as Scotland’s best closing hole with a sense of procession leading into a natural ampitheatre. Here you get the impression that you are at the Open surrounded by the closing hole spectator stands, and buildings. Indeed Moray Old, interacts with the town of Lossiemouth in a way that perhaps only St Andrews otherwise achieves.

SPEY VALLEY

Spey Valley meanders through ancient Caledonian pine forests and along the banks of the sparkling River Spey itself and framed by the mountains of stunning Cairngorm National Park. It is a masterpiece of heathland, woodland, and moorland terrain, and since opening in 2005 has quickly joined the conversation for Scotland’s best inland track. Only Loch Lomond and the cream of Gleneagles can convincingly lay down a stronger claim to the title. The fifth is the courses signature assignment which at 641 yards is currently Scotland’s longest

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

DORNOCH EXTENSION

Royal Dornoch is a links course that is frequently ranked in the world’s top-10 list and a three-hour round trip from Aviemore. The course is renowned for being a supreme test of approach play. If you wanted to add some top-drawer class to your golf itinerary it is certainly feasible to slip it into your programme at the expense of something else. We would advise you to consider budgeting for an additional £100

GLENEAGLES WEEKEND BREAK

Kings Course & Queens Course

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 Gleneagles weekend break, one of four options we’re excited to offer.

The Gleneagles 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 Monday morning. But here’s a twist, by virtue of flying back across time zones, so will anyone from North America.

The Gleneagles 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, 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 Monday and someone enquires whether you “did anything interesting at the weekend?” it would perhaps be nice to reply “played golf at Gleneagles, Scotland. And you?”


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GOLF NON-GOLF OVERNIGHT
Friday
Not applicable Not applicable Flight to Scotland – arrive following morning
Saturday
GLENEAGLES (KINGS COURSE) Perthshire Round Tour Gleneagles (Luxury)
Sunday
GLENEAGLES (QUEENS COURSE) Stirling Castle Flight home
Monday
Back at work Not Applicable Not Applicable

 

KINGS COURSE
QUEENS COURSE
CENTENARY (RYDER CUP) COURSE

1 night, chauffeur driven
  • Luxury

The price is per person and based on two people sharing a twin room for one night, and four people sharing the cost of the transport (a standard golfer's four-ball) serviced from Edinburgh

Gleneagles Big Weekend

Time is rarely our friend. The success of the big weekend depends on getting you into the course as quickly as we reasonably can. So long as we’re moving by 09.30ish on the Saturday, we should be OK

Gleneagles has three world class courses of broadly similar merit to choose from over both days. The majesty of the Kings course, the serenity of the Queens course, the Centenary course, arguably the most famous now by dint of the 2014 Ryder Cup and 2019 Solheim. Although we don’t explicitly advertise it, an early start on the Saturday would set up the possibility of completing their ‘box set’ over a weekend

Your scope for playing a second round on the Sunday will depend on your onward travel commitments

Travelling to Scotland

Big 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, be it their international aiports or respective railway stations.

Golfer’s travelling from within the UK, or flying from continental Europe, do have more options as you would expect. 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 from Newark, New Jersey, and JFK to Edinburgh leaving at 20.05 and 21.55. Alternatively there is a Lufthansa flight operated by United, that leaves Newark at 19.35 and flies direct to Glasgow. The whole secret to the Big weekend is that you’re at least in Scotland early on the Saturday


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

You might find it more helpful however, to simply allow arrival times to direct your travel plans. 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. The time lost waiting for a later arrival at the nearer location (Edinburgh) can be got back on the road. This type of sub-optimal geography usually involves a price increase in the transfer however.

In an ideal world, we would encourage 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). Having suggested this short cut, unless you’re prepared to play with hired clubs, you will hit the usual delay associated there.

Gleneagles, Kings Course

The King’s Course, is a masterpiece of golf course design, which has tested the aristocracy of game, both professional and amateur, and caused Lee Trevino to remark whilst standing on the first, “that if this is heaven I sure hope they have some tee times available”. Selecting the right club for each approach shot is the secret on the King’s. It is certainly one of the most beautiful and exhilarating places to play golf in the world, with the springy moorland turf underfoot, the sweeping views from the tees all around, the rock-faced mountains to the north, the green hills to the south, and the peaks of the Trossachs and Ben Vorlich on the western horizon.


Gleneagles, Ryder Cup Course

Course architect, Jack Nicklaus, described the course as “The finest parcel of land in the world I have ever been given to work with” when he set about designing Gleneagles’s third course. It’s the longest inland course in Scotland. The general advice is to overhit, given that most of the trouble lies in front, this is often easier said than done. Fittingly, the course begins by playing southeast towards the glen, sweeping up the Ochil Hills to the summit of the pass below Ben Shee which joins it to Glendevon. A feature is the feast of views of the spectacular countryside in which Gleneagles is set.

Gleneagles, Queens Course

Threading through high ridges on the north and west sides of the estate, the Queen’s course is the most aesthetic of the Gleneagles trinity and presents you with lovely woodland settings, lochans and ditches as water hazards, as well as many moorland characteristics.At 3,192 yards long, the challenge of the first nine can be deceptive, with even some of the best players finding it a test to make par into a fresh south westerly breeze.

5 Star Luxury

Set deep in the Perthshire countryside, the Gleneagles hotel has become synonymous with luxury and the very best that Scotland has to offer. You probably don’t need to look much further than the string of inter-governmental conferences the resort has hosted, as well as the UK’s round of G7 summits (politicians are normally a good judge of luxury! – they don’t tend to wind up in anything other than!). There’s always the Ryder Cup of course too as additional testimony to the strength of the Gleneagles brand.

Chauffeur drive

‘Big Weekend’ breaks assume arrival at either of Scotland’s major international airports, (Edinburgh & Glasgow) or their respective railway hubs of Waverley or Queens Street stations. ‘Big Weekend’ breaks provide for a chauffeur driven service to and from your hotel of choice. This will typically be a Mercedes Viano capable of taking seven passengers. The Viano has leather seats and a high-spec ride comfort. All of the first choice courses featured are within extremely close proximity of your hotel, and don’t require additional transport to reach them (you’d look a bit ‘odd’ doing so). After completing you programme, you are then shuttled back in good time to your point of departure

Only if you have non-golfers in your party with a desire to travel outside of the hotel environs would we encourage you to consider using a self-drive solution. Self-drive is less expensive, but it is a bit more time consuming to process and does put the responsibility for navigation and timely arrival onto you. Given that the clock is against on this particular ‘break’, it might not be ideal

GLENEAGLES

  • 1 night – Gleneagles Hotel – 5 star
    – Twin sovereign room
    – (includes breakfast)
  • Up to two rounds of golf with green fees for:
    – Gleneagles Kings or Centenary course
    – Gleneagles Queens course
  • Chauffeur driven vehicle
    – (MPV people carrier, typically Mercedes Viano)
  • Includes vehicle fuel, breakdown and insurance.
  • Inbound and outbound transfers from Edinburgh or Glasgow
  • 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.

CARNOUSTIE WEEKEND BREAK

Carnoustie Championship Course & Burnside Course

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 break, one of four 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 Monday morning. But here’s a twist, by virtue of flying back across time zones, so will anyone from North America.

The Carnoustie weekend 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 Monday 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 CHAMPIONSHIP COURSE Glamis Castle Carnoustie
Sunday
CARNOUSTIE BURNSIDE COURSE Arbroath Abbey Flight home
Monday
Back at work Not Applicable Not Applicable

 

CHAMPIONSHIP COURSE
BURNSIDE COURSE

1 night, chauffeur driven
  • Luxury

The price is per person and based on two people sharing a twin room for one night, and four people sharing the cost of the transport (a standard golfer's four-ball) serviced from Edinburgh

Carnoustie Big Weekend

Time is rarely our friend. The success of the big weekend depends on getting you into the course as quickly as we reasonably can. So long as we’re moving by 09.30ish on the Saturday, we should be OK

Carnoustie’s morning tee-times tend to be more popular than those later in the day. Being our furthest jounrey out from our point of arrival this needn’t be as inconvenient to us as it might appear.

Your scope for playing a second round on the Sunday will depend on your onward travel commitments

Travelling to Scotland

Big 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, be it their international aiports or respective railway stations.

Golfer’s travelling from within the UK, or flying from continental Europe, do have more options as you would expect. 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 from Newark, New Jersey, and JFK to Edinburgh leaving at 20.05 and 21.55. Alternatively there is a Lufthansa flight operated by United, that leaves Newark at 19.35 and flies direct to Glasgow. The whole secret to the Big weekend is that you’re at least in Scotland early on the Saturday


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

You might find it more helpful however, to simply allow arrival times to direct your travel plans. 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. The time lost waiting for a later arrival at the nearer location (Edinburgh) can be got back on the road. This type of sub-optimal geography usually involves a price increase in the transfer however.

In an ideal world, we would encourage 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). Having suggested this short cut, unless you’re prepared to play with hired clubs, you will hit the usual delay associated there.

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 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.

 

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

Chauffeur drive

‘Big Weekend’ breaks assume arrival at either of Scotland’s major international airports, (Edinburgh & Glasgow) or their respective railway hubs of Waverley or Queens Street stations. ‘Big Weekend’ breaks provide for a chauffeur driven service to and from your hotel of choice. This will typically be a Mercedes Viano capable of taking seven passengers. The Viano has leather seats and a high-spec ride comfort. All of the first choice courses featured are within extremely close proximity of your hotel, and don’t require additional transport to reach them (you’d look a bit ‘odd’ doing so). After completing you programme, you are then shuttled back in good time to your point of departure

Only if you have non-golfers in your party with a desire to travel outside of the hotel environs would we encourage you to consider using a self-drive solution. Self-drive is less expensive, but it is a bit more time consuming to process and does put the responsibility for navigation and timely arrival onto you. Given that the clock is against on this particular ‘break’, it might not be ideal

CARNOUSTIE

  • 1 night – Carnoustie Course Hotel – or equivalent, 4 star (includes breakfast)
  • Up to two rounds of golf with green fees for:
    – Carnoustie Championship course
    – Carnoustie Burnside course or Buddon Links
  • Chauffeur driven vehicle
    – (MPV people carrier, typically Mercedes Viano)
  • Includes vehicle fuel, breakdown and insurance.
  • Inbound and outbound transfers from Edinburgh or Glasgow
  • 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.

TURNBERRY WEEKEND BREAK

Turnberry Ailsa Course & the King Robert 'the Bruce' Course

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 Turnberry weekend break, one of four options we’re excited to offer.

The Turnberry 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 Monday morning. But here’s a twist, by virtue of flying back across time zones, so will anyone from North America.

The Turnberry weekend 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, and it’s becoming increasingly possible to pull off these types of long-distance weekend golf breaks. The more you think about it, the more you’ll come to realise it. When you walk back into work on Monday and someone enquires whether you “did anything interesting at the weekend?” it would perhaps be nice to reply “played golf at Turnberry, Scotland. And you?”

Home » Tours
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Quick Click – clicking any item in the summary box will open a new window with further specific detail if you prefer not to use the day tabs above

 

GOLF NON-GOLF OVERNIGHT
Friday
Not applicable Not applicable Flight to Scotland – arrive following morning
Saturday
TURNBERRY (AILSA COURSE) Culzean Castle Turnberry (luxury)
Sunday
TURNBERRY (KING ROBERT THE BRUCE COURSE) Ailsa Craig Flight home
Monday
Back at work Not Applicable Not Applicable

 

AILSA COURSE
KING ROBERT THE BRUCE COURSE

1 night, chauffeur driven
  • Luxury

The price is per person and based on two people sharing a twin room for one night, and four people sharing the cost of the transport (a standard golfer's four-ball) serviced from Glasgow

Turnberry Big Weekend

Time is rarely our friend. The success of the big weekend depends on getting you into the course as quickly as we reasonably can. So long as we’re moving by 09.30ish on the Saturday, we should be OK

Turnberry gives priority to hotel residents for the more sought after morning tee-times. This can create a little bit of bottleneck in the afternoon, albeit we would still expect to benefit from being a hotel guest.

Your scope for playing a second round on the Sunday will depend on your onward travel commitments

Travelling to Scotland

Big 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, be it their international aiports or respective railway stations.

Golfer’s travelling from within the UK, or flying from continental Europe, do have more options as you would expect. 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 from Newark, New Jersey, and JFK to Edinburgh leaving at 20.05 and 21.55. Alternatively there is a Lufthansa flight operated by United, that leaves Newark at 19.35 and flies direct to Glasgow. The whole secret to the Big weekend is that you’re at least in Scotland early on the Saturday


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

You might find it more helpful however, to simply allow arrival times to direct your travel plans. 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. The time lost waiting for a later arrival at the nearer location (Edinburgh) can be got back on the road. This type of sub-optimal geography usually involves a price increase in the transfer however.

In an ideal world, we would encourage 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). Having suggested this short cut, unless you’re prepared to play with hired clubs, you will hit the usual delay associated there.

Trump Turnberry

With the iconic Stevenson lighthouse sitting on its craggy headland amongst the ruins of Turnberry castle, recognisable views of Ailsa Craig and the Isle of Arran out to sea, plus a tendancy to put on spectacular sunsets, Turnberry is the most aesthetic of all the Open venues. In modern golfing legend though Turnberry is forever etched in the pages of history as the location for the most absorbing head-to-head in recent Open history; the renowned ‘duel in the sun’ from 1977 when Tom Watson narrowly prevailed over Jack Nicklaus with the rest, nowhere. Myths are made in moments, but legends last a lifetime. In 2016 the course finished it’s stunning redevelopment. Be amongst the first to tackle the new holes 9-11, which look set to become the signature stretch. Not so mmuch Amen Corner, as perhaps a Rocky Horror! The fifth is the hardest on the course and been toughened up further, and 14, an infinity hole out to sea might become the most awe inspiring

King Robert the Bruce Course

Since it first opened in 2001, the old Kintyre course was very much Turnberry’s ‘other course’, good enough to host Open qualifying, but that was probably the ceiling on its ambition. Now having been redesigned in 2017 the renamed, King Robert the Bruce course has moved it into the next league. The middle section is still the most charismatic run of holes, but the redesign makes full use of Bains Hill and has successfully squeezed four new stunning holes out of landscape, making for a massive cumulative net gain. Other major alterations to the personality of the course have seen the removal of gorse bushes and introduction of waste areas to very much more encourage shot making and recovery rather than simply writing off an old ball! The bunkering is also a significant improvement. The Bruce course could easily find itself bettered only by the St Andrews New Course in the rankings of ‘second courses’

Turnberry

Turnberry is the world’s first golf ‘resort’ and the magnificent white stone, red roofed hotel that sits atop a hill with commanding views out across the estate, the sea, and the Isle of Arran beyond is one of the most instantly recognisable in golf. Previously the hotel had been used as a training facility for the Royal Flying Corps in the first world war (shrewd strategic choice doubtless!). Today it has been the subject of major refurbishment and re-established itself firmly in the major league of luxury. Non-golfer’s are particularly well catered for with a variety of rest and relaxation options available to you

Chauffeur drive

‘Big Weekend’ breaks assume arrival at either of Scotland’s major international airports, (Edinburgh & Glasgow) or their respective railway hubs of Waverley or Queens Street stations. ‘Big Weekend’ breaks provide for a chauffeur driven service to and from your hotel of choice. This will typically be a Mercedes Viano capable of taking seven passengers. The Viano has leather seats and a high-spec ride comfort. All of the first choice courses featured are within extremely close proximity of your hotel, and don’t require additional transport to reach them (you’d look a bit ‘odd’ doing so). After completing you programme, you are then shuttled back in good time to your point of departure

Only if you have non-golfers in your party with a desire to travel outside of the hotel environs would we encourage you to consider using a self-drive solution. Self-drive is less expensive, but it is a bit more time consuming to process and does put the responsibility for navigation and timely arrival onto you. Given that the clock is against on this particular ‘break’, it might not be ideal

TURNBERRY

  • 1 night – Turnberry Resort Hotel – 5 star
    – includes breakfast
    – deluxe twin with sea view or Junior twin suite
  • Up to two rounds of golf with green fees for:
    – Turnberry Ailsa course
    – Turnberry King Robert the Bruce course
  • Chauffeur driven vehicle
    – MPV people carrier, typically Mercedes Viano
  • Includes vehicle fuel, breakdown and insurance.
  • Inbound and outbound transfers from Edinburgh or Glasgow
  • Alternative golf course if appropriate (Prestwick, St Nicholas)
  • 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.

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