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Scotland Golf Vacations

Trump International Golf Links near Aberdeen, Scotland, plays some of the most dramatic dunes we have seen. It would make a spectacular Open site.

Trump International Golf Links near Aberdeen, Scotland, plays some of the most dramatic dunes we have seen. It would make a spectacular Open site. (Brian Morgan)

I loved watching the Open Championship from Royal Liverpool this weekend. Rory McIlroy’s performance was tremendous. I’m already counting down until next year, when the Open returns to The Old Course at St. Andrews.

I do have one minor concern, though.

The “Open rota.”

As it stands, there are currently ten sites in the Open rota (counting Royal Portrush in Northern Ireland, host its first Open in 68 years in 2019).

The Old Course seems destined to host the event on every year ending in a 0 or a 5 going forward, which is fine. The game’s oldest championship should return to its most iconic championship venue that often. But as for the rest of the rota?

Let’s share the wealth a bit more.

For example:

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This course is NOT in the Open Championship rota. Nevertheless, it's an absolute must-play. (Larry Lambrecht)

This course is NOT in the Open Championship rota. Nevertheless, it’s an absolute must-play. (Larry Lambrecht)

You’re probably familiar with all of the courses of the Open Championship rota by now.

You know the ones: The Old Course, Carnoustie, Royal St. George’s, yadda yadda yadda, not to mention jolly old Hoylake, which hosts this year’s Open.

But what about the “best of the rest?”

In this case, many of “the rest” are better than the Open venues themselves.

These links courses in the Isles will never host an Open, but they are “must-play” courses for your next UK golf trip.

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carts-in-uk-irelandMany of you heading to the UK and Ireland are confused about the rules regarding carts or “buggies” as they’re called.

I don’t blame you — we’ve all heard how carts are taboo over there, yet there are pockets of acceptance.

To clear this up, I created what I’m calling “The Ultimate Cart Chart.”

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Here are two ways to score tee times at world-famous Muirfield.

Here are two ways to score tee times at world-famous Muirfield.

This week’s Open Championship site, Muirfield, is considered one of the ten best golf courses in the world.

And you can play it.

That said, most people find it challenging to score a tee time, and all the attention this week is only going to make it tougher, but here are two easy ways to get on:

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Legal Battle Brewing in St. Andrews

by Craig Better

Mar52013

st-andrews-international-golf-linksA few months ago, I told you about a handful of new golf course projects underway in Scotland (Trump’s second course in Aberdeen; The Angus near Carnoustie; and an exclusive layout on the island of Jura).

Now there’s another to add to the list, but its proposed name is hitting a bit too close to home for “the Home of Golf.”

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You probably heard about the changes underway at the Old Course at St. Andrews.

What you may not have heard is just how big a flap this has created.

Outraged at the idea of tinkering (or is it tampering?) with one of golf’s most important shrines, Old Course advocates have mobilized.

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Good news if you have a Scotland golf vacation planned in the next few years: you’ll likely have a handful of new, high-profile courses to play.

Not sure I’d call it a building boom, but there are a number of projects in the works.

Most recently (as in, a couple days ago) Donald Trump announced he’s proceeding with his second golf course and his resort in Aberdeen because the proposed windfarm project off the coast — to which he objected to — is now “as good as dead.”

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