Now that the UK Government has imposed a national lock down and all Scottish golf courses are closed indefinitely, I'm pretty much housebound and like millions of others I'm trying to keep myself occupied as best I can. I've been lucky over the years to have been able to play every Scottish course registered with Scottish Golf, our national governing body for the amateur game, as well as many more courses that are private or otherwise obscure. I'm the first to admit that playing every Scottish course requires a certain eccentricity, a heck of a lot of time and money on green fees, overnight accommodation, petrol, ferry and air fares, golf balls and shoes! I had the odd day when rain, wind and midges etc were a real challenge but there were so many more days when the sun shone, the golf was good(ish) and I had some great golfing experiences that come back to mind so very readily, now that golfing is not possible.
I still have a few courses to play such as GWest near Gleneagles if it ever opens, the new Dumbarnie Links course in Fife, a private one which to date doesn't allow any public access and a handful of small and remote unregistered pitch and putt courses. I'd been planning to play Dumbarnie Links in June 2020 but that'll maybe have to wait until the coronavirus crisis is over. Meantime, I'm stuck on 672 courses played and my fellow golfers are unable to access their own courses. So, to amuse myself and hopefully keep readers of this golfing blog from going stir crazy, I have set the following picture quiz. Quite simply, name the course. No prizes, just time that you'll never get back but that I hope will entertain and in some cases trigger personal memories of when you played a particular Scottish course that you recognise. All of the courses are covered somewhere in this blog, but I've tried wherever possible to use different photos from those published in blog entries. Some of the courses will be well known, but there are others that I suspect most readers will never have heard of before. Double click on a photo to enlarge it if necessary.
First, some clubhouses -
1 - this one is in Perthshire and has 2 courses.
8 - spectacular sea views, with a great Par 3 and a 656 yard Par 5!
9 - North East fishing village and a really testing links course.
10 - venue when my friend Tom Coyne tried to qualify for the Open Championship. One of my favourite caddying experiences.
12- ladies only members' club.
13 - guests-only hotel course.
15 - a parkland course in Ayrshire, with a 19th hole just in case your match would otherwise finish tied.
17 - Try not to miss it on the way to Mallaig.
18 - Take a ferry from Aberdeen or Scrabster to get here .....
19 - Strathclyde University course, south of Loch Lomond
20 - East Lothian course, chimneys in the background are now gone!
21 - iconic former Open Championship venue.
That'll do for now, folks. It's 24 March 2020 today. Answers in around 2 weeks' time, so keep coming back to check. Anyone who gets well into double figures has really done some travelling round Scottish courses or has been peeking at earlier blog entries. I'll maybe do another quiz of Scottish golf views in a couple of weeks, depending on reactions to this one and assuming I've not gone completely bonkers looking out the house windows or sitting out in the garden.
Anyone who gets close to 20/21 and who played here before this very remote island clubhouse needed radical surgery has really got the all-courses bug!
And finally, there are some really odd signs on courses out there. This is my all-time favourite, from Spey Bay GC.
STAY SAFE AND HEALTHY