What Is the Best Golf Vacation Possible?

Probably combining Scotland with Northern Ireland

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Where is the best golf vacation possible? If we focus on the absolute pinnacle the world's top-20 list, there are two global hot-spots. NY, NJ and eastern PA is one. The other involves combining Scotland with Northern Ireland. One you'll struggle to assemble. The other one you can play.

Image by Kevin Murray CLICK 

Mileage

It’s 265 miles from Royal County Down, the most southerly point, to Carnoustie the most northerly. OK, over all it’s all bit further. You might for instance choose to begin in Dublin, so have 90 miles add there. Getting to and back from Portrush adds another 120, and we’d need to get to Edinburgh from Carnoustie for departure is worth another 75 miles, but all in we’re pretty close to about 600 miles in total in a week for arguably what is the best golf vacation possible in the world. This is manageable.

Muirfield

Muirfield with their restricted visitor days (Tues and Thurs) and fourball only policy up to a max of three groups, often presents us with our biggest hurdle. These aren’t insurmountable however. Plan ahead and we can usually do it. Muirfield usually open their diary at the end of March for play the following year. It’s really a question of being organised and ready to go when the lights change

Image by Kevin Murray CLICK 

Royal County Down

Always seemingly ranked in the world's top-5 and even occupying the absolute top spot on occasion, Royal County Down is undoubtedly going to be amongst the highlights. It's another course that requires planning head though. May is when things begin moving for the following year

Portmarnock

Some golfers who wish to take this trip will choose to arrive Dublin. That's fine. It's cheaper. Rather than travel out on your first day however, you might choose to play the top-50 ranked links at Portmarnock? It's an ideal introduction and only 20 mins from the airport. Makes sense

Royal Portrush

Now re-instated on the Open Championship rotation, Royal Portrush sits on the north Antrim coast of Northern Ireland requiring a day-trip from Belfast to play it. Those who do so are well rewarded by this course which tends to earn a ranking in the region of about #25 in the world

Image by David Cannon licensed to Royal Portrush GC 

Turnberry 11th

Image by Kevin Murray CLICK 

Turnberry

Turnberry ranks in the world’s top-20 (and that might be a harsh judgement). It’s the most aesthetic of the courses on the Open Championship rotation and is tantalisingly positioned for the point-to-point travelling golfer in pursuit best golf vacation possible. It’s a mere 45 mins from the west coast port of Cairnryan to Turnberry. Crossing the Irish Sea itself only takes 2 hrs 20 mins. Door to door its faster to do this than it would be to fly to Glasgow, process a vehicle hire and drive there. You can sail, play and stay in the same day

Royal Troon

Royal Troon only permits visitor play on Monday, Tuesday and Thursday so needs to be handled with thought. The course tends to rank top-50 rather than being on the absolute apex, but it does have a deep history and pedigree as well as some particularly charismatic (and brutal) holes. It’s just 40 mins from Turnberry so represents a natural line of travel continuation. Our preferred option is to try and ‘get in’ on Monday, to set up Muirfield for Tuesday, and St Andrews for the tail-end of the week thereafter

Royal Troon 18th

Image by Kevin Murray CLICK 

18th fairway at St Andrews

17th Green

St Andrews Old Course

Naturally the Old Course needs no introduction and is pretty much a permanent fixture in the top-10 list. The issue we often face here is playing through the ballot and a requirement to lay a siege to the area that allows us to respond to a positive result. If we play Muirfield on their Tuesday, then we can cover Weds, Thurs, Fri & Sat, which is normally enough. We can’t allow the quality to diminish though whilst we fill. North Berwick is a near neighbour of Muirfield and world top-50 ranked. Kingsbarns is only 7 miles from St Andrews and can also live in this exalted company

There's One Missing!

Royal Dornoch is consistently ranked amongst the world’s top-10 courses. So why don’t we usually see it in such itineraries then? Well its too far north in the Scottish highlands to make it easy. So it can’t be done then? Ah … we never said that.

If we’re saying its difficult, but you’re saying “I don’t mind difficult” then we could do it. We need to get to Gleneagles and then launch a big day-trip which will be close to 7 hrs road time there and back, plus 5 hours to play all things adjusted for. Yep, it’s top-10, and yes it completes the set. It’s a demanding day, but if you want the best golf vacation possible then its a legitimate inclusion

Royal Dornoch 5th

Image by Kevin Murray CLICK 

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Review from Connecticut

Alun's 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”

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Review from California

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.

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Review from South Carolina

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. Alun not only stuck with me, he negotiated every request and concern professionally and enthusiastically

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Review from California

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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