Winds 20-35 miles per hour, incredible vistas of the North Sea kissing the banks of a bully named Kingbarns. Brandon Grace once shot 60 here in the Dunhill Links. He obviously did not play under the same conditions that greeted us on Saturday.
This round of golf started well enough but as the winds began to howl off the North Sea, this would become a survival test.
Kingsbarns is down the road from St. Andrews but it is nothing like The Old Course.
First, it’s a hike and then some. We had some wonderful high-tech devices that showed it was a 10-mile trudge. Unlike the flatness that is the Old Course, this course has some leg-numbing elevations and some sadistic distances up and down steep hills between tee boxes.
Add pot bunkers, acres of dreaded gorse and you’ve got yourself a challenge, a tough challenge to start our Scottish golf journey.
It became evident early that pars would be few and far between, birdies virtually non-existent and double-bogeys lurking on virtually every hole.
Down wind was a tough blessing, into the wind — pure torture.
But then there were the spectacular views, incredible seaside vistas unlike most of us had ever seen.
We saw the North Sea tide out early, then it came roaring in later in the day.
Made all the pain worth it.
First walking round for me this year. This was a tough way to treat my iffy knees. Could virtually hear them screaming at me late in the round. Goal one was to survive and we did. Goal two was to break 100. Everyone did. When seaside Scottish courses bully you with strong winds, it’s a job well done.
Everyone of us had a gorse experience at some point in the round. Gorse is more than unforgiving, it is unfit for habitation by any living creatures. It devours golf balls.
Despite the hardships, at the end of the day, this journey was pure visual art.
Sunshine in Scotland, locals walking their dogs along the coastline, sea birds everywhere.
This place is an artist’s dream.
Put this one on your list should you decide to visit Scotland.
I think I’d love to walk my dog here.
A lot less stressful!