Scottish golfers urged to start ticking off their ‘bucket list’ of courses
Scottish golfers have been urged to start ticking off their ‘bucket list’ of courses around the country once travel guidelines have been eased as part of the Covid-19 restrictions.
The call has been made by Colin Ramsay, author of ‘A Golfer’s Bucket List of Scottish Golf Courses’, as venues in the country seem set to welcome more home-based players in the coming few months than ever before.
Castle Stuart in Inverness, a four-time Scottish Open venue, reopened with a £50 offer for local golfers at a time when the travel guideline for recreation is “broadly five miles” in phase one of lockdown restrictions being eased.
Other offers will be made available for golfers from further afield when travel is opened up and it seems other courses around the country could be doing likewise.
“I am hoping, once the travel restrictions are lifted, my book will encourage people to see that Scottish golf is not just about the trophy courses,” said Ramsay, a full member at Kilspindie and country member at both Leven Links and Alnmouth (Foxton Hall).
“There are many hidden gems throughout the country that equally deserve their attention but, because their price tag is £100 and less, they are often overlooked.”
Ramsay, who worked for 40 years in HM Revenue & Customs until retiring in 2014, spent eight months compiling his book, which details every course in the home of golf.
He provides the key information about each course, encouraging people to record when they played it, who with, what they scored and picking out memorable moments.
“Climbers have ‘Munro Bagging’ and now golfers can tick off their bucket list of Scottish golf courses region by region,” said the 64-year-old.
“I was often asked the question, ‘how many golf courses in Scotland have you played?’ My usual reply was, ‘I really have no idea’, but the question triggered the idea in my head that I should write a reference book.
“With golf club membership dwindling for various reasons, I hope that my book will encourage golfers of all ages to take up golf and achieve their own personal bucket list.”
Ramsay is a well-kent face in the Lothians, both on and off the course. He’s a three-time club champion at Lochend, which is based at Craigentinny in Edinburgh.
He currently works for Richard Brian in the pro shop at Bruntsfield Links and also does the occasional shift as a locker room attendant at Archerfield Links.
“I have played 202 courses in Scotland,” he said. “The main ones I have still to play are Trump Turnberry, Loch Lomond, Royal Aberdeen, Western Gailes, Glasgow Gailes and the newly-opened Dumbarnie Links.
“My top two favourite courses are The Carnegie Club up at Skibo Castle and Kingsbarns. I cannot split the pair as they are both exceptional courses with superb customer service.
“Closely behind are Castle Stuart and Royal Dornoch. For sheer beauty and views, they are right up there with the best Scotland has to offer.
“I believe Dumbarnie Links is exceptional, and I am hoping to play there in the next few weeks.”
Edinburgh-based PGA pro Alan Tait wrote the foreword for Ramsay’s book and described it as a “lovely idea” to encourage people to enjoy a “golfing journey” in Scotland.