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Classic Golf In Scotland

Dec 6, 2007
For people who take golf holidays, golf breaks in Scotland represent the quintessential golfing retreat. There are three main reasons for this. Firstly, Scotland has all the best courses - including the world-class Turnberry, St Andrews and Gleneagles, all offering the most fantastic golf holidays available.

Secondly, the scenery is unparalleled and provides the perfect backdrop to a round of golf. Scotland's rugged mountains, lush green valleys, thundering waterfalls and ethereal mists all help to create an experience you can really savour. Thirdly, Scotland always is easy to get to, either by road, train or air travel.

Anyone who plans a golf break in Scotland is also probably influenced by knowledge of the country's long-standing affiliation with the game. It is widely accepted that golf originated in Scotland in the 1100s, with the first recorded game played at Bruntsfield Links in Edinburgh, Scotland, in 1456.

Even the word 'golf' comes from Scotland - it is thought to have come from the Scots word 'goulf', meaning 'to strike or cuff'. When the game was in its early days and, in fact, right up until the mid-20th century, it was usually played with clubs made from hickory wood, which is why golf played with old-fashioned wooden clubs is now called 'hickory golf'.

Traditional hickory golf is catching on in a big way. You see, there's a big secret haunting the manufacturers of modern golf clubs - despite all the 'improvements' in golf club technology, you can hit nearly as far with clubs made the original way - with hickory - as you can with the latest club being promoted on the US PGA Tour. What's more, with hickory golf clubs you can play the game the way it was designed to be played - playing around the bunkers, through the gaps and really thinking about the challenge of the hole.

There are tournaments all over the world for modern-day hickory golf players, and for the last three years one particular tournament has been held in Scotland - golf's birthplace. The 2007 World Hickory Open took place last month at Craigielaw golf course in East Lothian. As a golf course, Craigielaw is scenically located on the shores of the Firth of Forth with the hills of Fife framing its magnificent backdrop.

Craigielaw golf course presents a challenge for both short and long handicap players. As a result, the course is a popular for golf breaks in Scotland for players at every level. The layout at Craigielaw is such that the wind is nearly always part of the course's natural defence. The consensus among both pro and amateur golf players is that the organisers picked a course almost perfectly suited to hickory golf.

There is a special physical sensation that hickory golf clubs give you. You know if you've hit a good one just by the lovely feeling coming through your hands and you also know if you've hit a bad one (especially in a cold Scottish wind) as it feels like a cricket ball has landed on your knuckles!

I managed to come third in the Amateur section, no disgrace but I'm coming back for more. And at last I know what I want from Father Christmas - All the best hickory golf clubs: Persimmon woods with True Temper shafts, a set of matching hickory irons pre-1935, a Cleveland wedge and sand wedge and a Scotty Cameron putter.
About the Author
Morgan Clarke is the Chairman of Your Golf Holidays, a company which has been providing golf breaks in Scotland for over 25 years.
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