On our third Scotland Week episode, hosts Mitch Laurance and Darin Bunch are joined by longtime friend and former GolfGetaways team member, award-winning journalist Vic Williams, now editor of Golf Tips Magazine, for an in-depth and fun discussion of Vic’s first trip to Scotland after decades of covering golf travel.
But first, Vic begins his episode by sharing his thoughts and first impressions on our Scotland Week sponsor, Pacific Gales — the highly anticipated Pacific Northwest links golf project, which Vic had the chance to visit and survey the landscape on a recent trip to the Oregon coast.
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Then, once we dive into his wide-ranging Scotland discussion, Vic shares his emotions about visit the golfing homeland the first time — a trip that he’d looked forward to his entire life. He talks about the opportunity to play two of the most talked-about and news-worthy layouts in recent memory — Trump Turnberry and Trump International, Scotland (outside Aberdeen) — and offers examples of why he was particularly taken with the layout, the vistas, and the changes made to Turnberry.
Vic also talks about his rounds on Royal Aberdeen (classic links, a great time) and on The Carrick at Loch Lomond’s Cameron House Resort, the only course in Scotland with nine holes on the lowlands and nine holes on the Highlands — and a track which Vic calls a great “entry level” course to get ready for links golf on any trip.
Vic then describes his feelings for Castle Stuart — a course he says “literally blew me away” — and talks about why he lauds designer Gil Hanse, who he says “really gets it,” and how simply “reveled in” the entire experience from the get-go.
Next, Vic details his round at the Kittocks Course (originally designed by Bruce Devlin with help from iconic Gene Sarazen) at the Fairmont St. Andrews Bay Hotel which he thoroughly enjoyed. Though unable to play the Old Course on the day he was there, he talks about the emotions of walking out on the Old Course, visiting the Jigger Inn, seeing the women and children on the Himalayas putting course, and the “absolute blast” of taking in all that is embodied at St. Andrews.
As always, lodging is an important topic on “Talking GolfGetaways” and Vic details his favorites: The Marcliff Hotel & Spa in Aberdeen (full of golf memorabilia and history, and which caters to golfers specifically), the Rocpool Reserve Hotel in Inverness (a boutique small hotel, “a very cool place to stay”). He talks about the Trump Turnberry Resort, which is undergoing continuing changes, and another of his favorites, the aforementioned Cameron House, a “castle-like, old-school place,” very popular with people from Glasgow looking for a quick getaway from the city.
A fantastic first trip to Scotland, and a worthy teaser for one of the game’s most well-traveled golf journalists — and one who is already dreaming of his next getaway to experience even more of the amazing golf this country has to offer.
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“Talking GolfGetaways with Mitch Laurance & Darin Bunch” is sponsored by PacificGales.com and can be found on GolfNewsNet.com and across the Golf News Net platform. New episodes post daily, five days per week (for the most part), and “Talking GolfGetaways” is also available on audioBoom, iTunes and Stitcher.
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