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Moving to Scotland

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I’ve finally got a dream job. If I were a catholic priest, I’d want to end up in the Vatican. I’m in the golf industry, and I’m going to end up at St.Andrews, the home of golf, the beginning, golf’s Mecca, 600 years of golfing history! Sometime soon we are moving, I’m going to be Director of Golf at Fairmont St Andrews. We’ve put up with too many years of sun and beaches, time to suffer! It also didn’t take long to convince my wife Carolyn that this was the right move. “Almost as good as Alberta”. Our two sons live in Alberta, and so do our two grandchildren!

I’ve been there a couple of times, stayed at the resort with a group of Canadian professionals including Sandra Post, in April of 2005. I’ve played the two courses which, in the last five years, have become very accepted and acclaimed, originally the locals didn’t like the two new “links-like” Torrance and Devlin tracts. The courses share a spectacular location, playing along cliff tops overlooking St.Andrews Bay and the auld grey tune of St. Andrews itself. At night you can even see the lights of Carnoustie twinkling across the sea.

The Torrance Course was designed by Sam Torrance, a fine player and winning Ryder Cup Captain. I played with Sam in the Bergamo Open in Italy in 1972, his first professional win. The Devlin Course is a product of Bruce Devlin and Gene Sarazen, and is one of the very few championship courses in the UK with “golf buggies” (electric carts). This fact will be brought to the attention of the many north american golfers who can afford Scotland but can’t walk around their courses.

The five-star resort is just a couple of miles from the Old Course and the R&A, just a few minutes short of Kingsbarns Links, another newcomer that since 2000 has become (IMHO), the best course in Scotland not to have hosted the Open. It does host the Dunhill Links Championship each fall. Just short of the Fairmont is the new Castle Course, opening in 2008 and part of the St.Andrews Links operation, the group running the Old Course and the other locals.

From our Resort there are at least 40 great golfing experiences within a short drive, including many hidden gems, castles, palaces, cathedrals, ruins, etc..
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Robert Thompson

A bestselling author and award-winning columnist, Robert Thompson has been writing about business and sports, and particularly golf, for almost two decades. His reporting and commentary on golf has appeared in Golf Magazine, the Globe and Mail, T&L Golf and many other media outlets. Currently Robert is a columnist with Global Golf Post, golf analyst for Global News and Shaw Communications, and Senior Writer to ScoreGolf. The Going for the Green blog was launched in 2004.

5 CommentsLeave a comment

  • Congratulations Gary!!! This does sound like a wonderful opportunity for you and your wife. I hope she golfs!
    I liked the comment about putting in “too many years of sun and beaches, time to suffer!” Hopefully this will only be for a while so you don’t miss seeing those grandkids growing up.

    Good Luck!

  • Moose, my wife is the designated golfer – in one year in Jamaica she played over 400 rounds! slowed down a bit now but will get back to it in Scotland! she’s around 12 handicap.

  • Don’t worry about seeing the grandkids. We are coming in September!!! for 20 weeks. Sorry, 2 weeks.
    Mark and I are very proud of you Dad!!It could not have happened to a better Old Pro.

  • Woof (translation, Hi Guys!)

    I’m doing fine I think. Four-legged company is not what I am missing. There are four at the house and I see lots of them on my daily walks – Amazing! At the house, there’s one that looks a bit like me but is pretty cranky so I stay clear of her most of the time.

    The other two look like fun. The big furry one will oblige me sometimes and let me chase him but he’s getting smarter and stays upstairs most of the time. The small black and white one just keeps rubbing his head against mind, this is getting boring.

    The people are okay, they walk with me and feed me regularly but it’s not the same. I hear the weather is a little cooler in Scotland than it is the Islands, guess I’ll have time to get use to the change in temperature while I’m waiting here in Toronto.

    See you in just over 4 months. You can get some updates and pictures at http://www.stgeorgeexit.blogspot.com

    See you soon, I miss you.

    Love and woofs,
    Marley the Pooch

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