It has been three years since I last played golf in Scotland. Life and a global pandemic have intruded on my planned annual excursions to the Crail Golfing Society and its 36 holes of seaside golf just a couple of miles from the most charming seacoast town in the world (IMHO). But now with overseas travel looking good for next year, I am planning a May 2022 trip for a friend and me to Edinburgh and Crail. I haven’t been this excited about golf since Tony Lema won 1964 Open Championship.
My co-author Brad Chambers and I devote a chapter to golf travel for seniors in our new book, Playing Through Your Golden Years: A Senior’s Golfing Guide. Although we don’t show a preference for do-it-yourself planning or hiring professionals to help plan an overseas golf vacation – the latter costs more, the former is arguably more fun – we do emphasize the benefits of improvising. Here is my own experience in Scotland from a few years ago, excerpted from the book:
From personal experience, I can testify that you will benefit if you “customize” your golf trip to suit your and your partners’ tastes. Look for a unique approach to your trip, or at least part of it. I did that on my last trip to Scotland three years ago when I spent my first four days in Edinburgh. I checked into a hotel about a five-minute walk from the city’s main train station, Waverley. I had planned to play my first round at the famed North Berwick, about a 25-minute train ride from Edinburgh, and I did not want to rent a car and drive on the “wrong” side of city streets. On the morning of my round, I slung my clubs on my shoulder just outside the hotel and walked to the train station. (No one even glanced at me as I walked the city streets with a golf bag; after all, it’s Scotland.)
When the train arrived at North Berwick station, I walked 10 minutes to the golf course, mostly downhill, and had a magical round — even with the wind blowing at about 40 mph. The next day I repeated the process, although this time I took the train to Dunbar, about a 20-minute ride from Edinburgh, and arranged for a taxi to take me to Dunbar Golf Club just five minutes away. I can’t begin to tell you how “indigenous” I felt taking a train to play golf in Scotland. It was definitely a highlight of my 60 years of golf.
Playing Through Your Golden Years: A Senior’s Golfing Guide is available in ePub format at Amazon.com for just $3.99. Brad Chambers, who maintains the blog site ShootingYourAge.com, is the author of Think Better, Play Smarter and Manage Your Way to Better Golf Scores. My own first book is Glorious Back Nine: How to Find Your Dream Golf Home. These books are also available at Amazon in both paperback and electronic versions.
Click the "Read More" button for some photos of Crail's two courses.