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