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One of the most famous tee shots you will ever play in golf!

One of the most famous tee shots you will ever play in golf!

One of the most famous tee shots you will ever play in golf!

Golf Chats is a website to encourage discussions on various subjects relating to the game of golf. I am Mel Sole, Director of Instruction of the Mel Sole Golf School and SAPGA Master Professional.  I invite you to enter into a discussion on this or any article on the golfchats.com website.  The input is for the entire subscriber base to learn something new each time!  Please post your comments below.  Keep it clean and tasteful.  We are here to learn from one another!

The thrill of playing the Old Course at St. Andrews cannot be described in words!  

It is a spiritual experience that reaches down into the depths of your soul and finds that place of contentment you’ve always wanted!  I have played St. Andrews Old Course several times, but none so special as playing with my eldest son in 2014!

One of the most famous tee shots you will ever play in golf!

My son and I in front of the R&A Building on the first tee at the Old Course, St Andrews!

To stand on the first tee in front of the Clubhouse and headquarters to the R&A is amazing. One of the most famous tee shots in golf is not the opening tee shot, which is fairly benign, but the tee shot, on 17 over the former railroad sheds (rebuilt to replicate the original in the mid-’80s) is intimidating and exciting all at the same moment!

One of the most famous tee shots you will ever play in golf!

Certainly an intimidating tee shot! Hitting over the corner of the Old Course Hotel.

Fortunately for me, I hit my best drive of the day here and went on to make my par!

If you would like to experience hitting this tee shot over the corner of the railway sheds and the Old Course Hotel, come and join me on a trip of a lifetime in 2017 to Scotland.  Go here for more details!

Source: Mel Sole Golf School

Pictures: Mel Sole.

Thanks for reading – One of the most famous tee shots you will ever play in golf!

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10 Very Best 19th Holes in all of Golf - Is yours here?

10 Very Best 19th Holes in all of Golf – Is yours here?

10 Very Best 19th Holes in all of Golf – Is yours here?

Golf Chats is a website to encourage discussions on various subjects relating to the game of golf. I am Mel Sole, Director of Instruction of the Mel Sole Golf School and SAPGA Master Professional.  I invite you to enter into a discussion on this or any article on the golfchats.com website.  The input is for the entire subscriber base to learn something new each time!  Please post your comments below.  Keep it clean and tasteful.  We are here to learn from one another!

After 18 holes on the course, no matter how we’ve played, most of us look forward to refreshment at the clubhouse with friends.

For many of us, it’s a cold beer or a ‘Guinness’ if we’re in the U.K.; for others, it may be scotch or even an iced tea. The atmosphere in some “19th holes,” as the bar or pub is referred to, is unique and fosters more camaraderie than others. Everyone has their favorites that they frequent as often as they can.

10 Best 19th Holes in Golf - Is yours here?

The Jigger Inn is attached to the Old Course Hotel.

My 10 favorite 19th holes are…

1. The Jigger Inn at St. Andrews Old Course Hotel in Scotland, where my son and I would have a wee tasty before retiring while on a golf trip in 2014.

2. The ’19th‘ at the Humewood Golf Club in Port Elizabeth, South Africa, overlooks the 18th green, and whereas the resident golf professional, I spent many a pleasant evening.

3. The Tap Room in Pebble Beach and the Inn at Spanish Bay, where my partners and I go after our round during the Mizuno Pro-Am in February each year.

4. The Dunvegan Hotel is also in St Andrews, our first evening tradition each time I visit St Andrews.

5. The Pinehurst Resort, which is dripping with tradition.

6. The bar at Shooting Star in Jackson Hole, Wy, overlooking the 10th hole (see below)

10 Best 19th Holes in Golf - Is yours here?

Sitting on the veranda overlooking the Par 3 10th hole Of Shooting Star in Jackson, WY.

7. The Atlantic Room Bar at the Ocean Course at Kiawah, just looking over such a historic place, is a thrill.

8. The pub at Durban Country Club, which overlooks the 18th green.

9/10. And finally, the pubs at Lahinch and Ballybunion because any pub in Ireland will be fun!

What are your top 10?  See this video for Travelin’ Joe’s 10 picks and find out why he chooses them.

Thanks to GOLF Magazine and “Travelin’ Joe” Passov for this fun story.

To see all 10 of Joe Passov’s top 19th holes, click here.

Source: GOLF Magazine   Joe Passov

Pictures: Shooting Star    WorldGolf

Thanks for reading – 10 Very Best 19th Holes in all of Golf – Is yours here?

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God is definitely a Mexican - so says Lee Trevino!

God is definitely a Mexican – so says Lee Trevino!

God is definitely a Mexican – so says Lee Trevino!

Golf Chats is a website to encourage discussions on various subjects relating to the game of golf. I am Mel Sole, Director of Instruction of the Mel Sole Golf School and SAPGA Master Professional.  I invite you to enter into a discussion on this or any article on the golfchats.com website.  The input is for the entire subscriber base to learn something new each time!  Please post your comments below.  Keep it clean and tasteful.  We are here to learn from one another!

I have played over in Scotland and England several times and had the privilege of playing St Andrews on several occasions.

Watching this video, mainly about Lee Trevino’s experiences in Scotland and England, brought back many memories.  Not only of the golf courses but the towns, pubs, wind and best of all the people!  

This is a long video (43 mins), so take your time and watch and learn because if you are a keen golfer, you must make the pilgrimage to St. Andrews at least once in your life, and this video might just inspire you to do that.   It is an experience that will never leave you!

Lee Buck Trevino (born December 1, 1939) is an American professional golfer who won six major championships over the course of his career. He is one of only four players to twice win the U.S. Open, The Open Championship and the PGA Championship. The only major that eluded him was the Masters. He is an icon for Mexican Americans, and is often referred to as “The Merry Mex” and “Supermex”.

 

Source: hynodesignsclassics

If y0u are considering taking a trip to Scotland, click here to join Mel Sole and his group in 2017.

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Scotland vs Ireland – Which would you choose to play?

Scotland vs. Ireland – Which would you choose to play?

Golf Chats is a website to encourage discussions on various subjects relating to the game of golf. I am Mel Sole, Director of Instruction of the Mel Sole Golf School and SAPGA Master Professional.  I invite you to enter into a discussion on this or any article on the golfchats.com website.  The input is for the entire subscriber base to learn something new each time!  Please post your comments below.  Keep it clean and tasteful.  We are here to learn from one another!

I have played golf in Scotland and Ireland several times, and to be honest, I could not tell you which one I enjoy the most. 

Each country has its own charms, with Scotland having a great golf history and tradition, but Ireland having beautiful courses and friendly people.  I don’t think you can beat a round of golf at the Old Course in St. Andrews, but golfing at Ballybunion or Lahinch in Ireland is spectacular.  Let Blain Newnham from cybergolf.com tell you his account of Scotland vs. Ireland.  It is not cut and dried!

Although we play year-round in the Pacific Northwest there are some days when it is better to stay inside and dream about golf, rather than try to play it. As much as I long for sun and warmth, my fantasy is always about returning to the British Isles, to play links golf where the game and its pursuit are random, unpredictable and adventuresome.

 

 

 

But where? Invariably – although a disservice to England and Wales – the discussion comes down to Scotland or Ireland. We’re more sophisticated about it all now with the advent of post-modern links golf in America at places like Bandon Dunes and Chambers Bay, and even inland with courses like Sand Hills, Erin Hills and Gamble Sands, spectacular if in out-of-the-way locales.

But no matter how wonderful our new courses might be, they don’t have Old Tom Morris looking over your shoulder, with a glass of single malt in hand.

My first trip to the British Isles to play golf was in 1991, although I had reported on the 1986 Open Championship at Turnberry, Scotland, and absolutely loved the possibility of returning.

Scotland vs Ireland – Which would you choose to play?

Scotland vs Ireland - Which would you choose to play?

Aerial View of Royal Dornoch

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

One member of my group – we were four guys who had golfed together since our college days at Berkeley and were now turning 50 – had played extensively in Scotland. I pushed for Ireland, and when we were finished he concluded that if you could live without playing the Old Course at St. Andrews, Ireland was better than Scotland.

In 1991, it wasn’t that difficult to get a tee time at Ballybunion. And green fees at a place like Royal Portrush were $35.

We landed in Dublin, squeezed into a rental car and took off for Portrush in Northern Ireland. From there it was an adventure around the entire island – Portrush, Royal County Down, Portmarnock, then across to Lahinch, Ballybunion, Waterville, Dooks and Killarney.

Spectacular. On a trip eight years later, we did the Atlantic Coast – Sligo, Donegal, Narin & Portnoo, the old course at Rosapenna, Portsalon, both courses at Ballyliffin, Enniscrone, Carne, Connemara and to cap it, a return trip to Lahinch.

 

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A few years ago, I made one more trip to Ireland, this time concentrating on the Dublin area. We played Portmarnock again along with places like the Island Club near Portmarnock and Pat Ruddy’s European Club, and then north to Royal County Down and Royal Portrush, but also County Louth and Ardglass, both wonderful courses.

So, I’m an Ireland guy, right? Not so fast.

To read the rest of Blain Newnham’s interesting article, click here.

Source: Cybergolf.com

Pictures: Aidan Bradley   cybergolf.com

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Getting Tee times at the Old Course at St. Andrews - Hard - but doable!

Getting Tee times at the Old Course at St. Andrews – Hard – but doable!

Getting Tee times at the Old Course at St. Andrews – Hard – but doable!

Golf Chats is a website to encourage discussions on various subjects relating to the game of golf. I am Mel Sole, Director of Instruction of the Mel Sole Golf School and SAPGA Master Professional.  I invite you to enter into a discussion on this or any article on the golfchats.com website.  The input is for the entire subscriber base to learn something new each time!  Please post your comments below.  Keep it clean and tasteful.  We are here to learn from one another!

When you travel to Scotland to enjoy your “Trip of a Lifetime” with a group of friends or just by yourself, you had better know what you’re doing and how to go about getting the tee times you want. 

Craig Better of golfvacationinsider.com is an expert on these matters, and here he tells us exactly what to do and even offers his assistance (if you need it)

Getting Tee times at the Old Course at St. Andrews - Hard - but doable!

Indeed an intimidating tee shot! Hitting over the corner of the Old Course Hotel.

 

Regular readers of Golf Vacation Insider know I often send reminders of critical dates and deadlines.

Well, one of these critical dates is mid September every year if you plan on playing the Old Course at St. Andrews the following year.

Miss this opportunity, and you’ll likely have to pay about $1,000 for an advanced, Old Course tee time you could have obtained for about $245.

What’s so important about mid September?

That’s when the St. Andrews Links Trust (the organization that manages the Old Course and its six sibling courses) stops taking Advanced Reservations for the following year… and as you can imagine, they go fast.

Without an Advanced (i.e. “Guaranteed”) Reservation for the Old Course through SALT, you have to:

1. Take your chances on the Daily Ballot, which is drawn 48 hours in advance of the intended date of play…

2. Try to “walk on” as a single the day you want to play…

3. Use a travel outfit that has contract tee times with the Old Course.

Using this last method, you’ll likely have to pay what works out to be about $1,000 for a guaranteed tee time you could have purchased for about $245 (at the current exchange rate).

So, if you already know you’re taking a Scotland golf vacation next year, and the Old Course is on your list of courses to play, do yourself a favor and put in for an Advanced Reservation.

The application forms are posted on the St. Andrews Links Trust website (standrews.org.uk).

Read them very carefully, fill them out, and email them to reservations@standrews.org.uk between mid-August and mid-September of the year previous to when you plan on playing at the Old Course (exact dates for when to send your application can be found at the Links Trust website).

Note: Applications used to be accepted on a first-come, first served basis, which meant you had to be poised by your computer ready to hit “send” precisely at 14:00 BST on a certain day. But not anymore — the Links Trust has now set a 20-day window for submitting applications, which are then selected randomly.

When selecting the date you want to play, keep in mind that…

– the Old Course is closed on Sundays

– August is an extremely busy month (your chances aren’t great)

– Sometimes, advanced reservations won’t be accepted for September (play is available via a limited daily ballot only)

– The course is unavailable for public play on several other “busy dates”, which you should review before submitting your application because you will not be contacted if you choose bad dates.

However, it is perfectly acceptable to submit a range of dates that you can play. In fact, this may increase your chances of success.

A "Buddy Trip" to St Andrews is a "Trip of a Lifetime"

A “Buddy Trip” to St Andrews is a “Trip of a Lifetime”

There are dozens more Old Course application rules (player minimums, two-round minimums, group requirements, handicap requirements, changes, refunds) and insider tips for scoring a coveted, guaranteed tee time.

And, equally important, there’s a lot more to know about taking a St. Andrews golf vacation than getting an Old Course tee time.

To these ends, if you’d like the best advice on, “how to do St. Andrews right”, simply email me at: editor@golfvacationinsider.com with your specific dates and questions.

I’ll then share your inquiry with my colleagues at Golf Odyssey, who can offer expert advice and even recommend a travel provider — if you’re looking for one — that will likely fit best with your plans, travel style, and budget.

Nope, there’s no cost involved. This is just free advice from those in the know.

Source: Craig Better   golfvacationinsider.com

Pictures: Mel Sole.

Thanks for reading – Getting Tee times at the Old Course at St. Andrews – Hard – but doable!

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