Last week I went to the Scottish Golf Awards for 2007. I used to feel “different” when I went to events like this in Jamaica or Bahamas and it’s the same here. For a different reason of course, here I was one of the few not wearing a skirt, sorry, a kilt. My skinny legs would not look good in a kilt, maybe next year. It was a fine night, talked with John Philip who had been a Pro in the Bahamas in the 60s, ending with the Red Hot Chilli Pipers. I thought I was in Cape Breton! The only annoying part of the night was when they announced the Course of the Year for 2007. The usual nominees Muirfield, Troon, Turnberry, Carnoustie, Prestwick, Kingsbarns, Royal Aberdeen etc. Murcar Links won.

To me it’s Prestwick, best food, most friendly members, best course, best history, did I mention best priced food, second best Pro and definitely the best Secretary. But they lost to Murcar Links! Murcar? (its near Aberdeen, the Calgary of Scotland)

where is this hole?

Murcar won’t even be a hundred years old until 2009! The only time I had heard of it was last week when a tour bus driver told me how some of his asian golfers had started out on Royal Aberdeen and he had to pick them up at the Murcar clubhouse, somehow they had played part of each course. Happens all the time at Doral, they call it the ****ec golf package, start on the Red Course and finish on the Blue 6 hours later, saves a lot of coin!

Getting back to Murcar, it really is one of the hidden gems and recently they made some improvements, the first since James Braid tinkered a bit in the 1930s. It’s neighbour Royal Aberdeen is on my short list, I’ve heard it is “brilliant”, now maybe we’ll play them both! When we get some longer days of course. Royal Aberdeen is ranked 33 in GB & I, while Murcar Links is 89th. Prestwick is ranked 28th, to me a great oversight! Our two courses are Torrance 91st and Devlin 144th, but I hear next year both will be in the top 100. But really what’s list? There are no bad courses over here! Anything in the top 500 is worth playing.
James Braid
I’ve been invited (nominated) to join a club here in town, nervously waiting for the phone call. Man, can’t wait to get a handicap!

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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

  • Gary: Murcar is quite terrific. Played it four years ago on my first tour of Scotland. Some amazing golf holes on the front nine…

  • Slatts just because you are about to become a “member’ at an established Golf Club and get a handicap, doesn’t mean I will be ever giving you any shots aside…you will always be the “wily and cunning vetran pro”

    the left handed sling shot from Calgary


  • Aberdeen – “the Calgary of Scotland??” I’m sorry but you don’t know what you are talking about Mr Slatter!

    If you ever visit my home town, look me up and I will prove you wrong.

  • Hello Jim, Calgary (oil boom) Aberdeen (oil boom); Aberdeen has a few more centuries of history (and the second oldest Lodge) but both rely on the oil patch for their present boom. Aberdeen might also have Trump in the future, but Calgary has a PM.

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