The Perfect Weekend Away! Quiet Portpatrick

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August 20th 2017
Published: August 20th 2017
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After a great little cruise around Stranraer and a great night out with the boys from Norn, the Fernhill Hotel proved to be the anchor for a great weekend - away destination. Usually this applies to those living in Glasgow or somewhere to the north. We, as golfers wrapping up a tour to Scotland, found it to be a friendly, small, St Francis-like village, with friendly folks who included a member of the Auchterlonie family - Laurie" Auchterlonie was a Scottish professional golfer, a native of St Andrews. In 1902, representing the Glen View Club, he won the eighth U.S. Open at Garden City Golf Club in Garden City, New York. Wikipedia

His granddaughter was our host for dinner and breakfast and she was a spendid breath of fresh air. In 1985 at The Old Course Hotel, I dined next to her famous Grandfather.

Our course today was Portpatrick, another par-70 with two very strong par-5's, four great 3's and a mix of long and short par-4's, none more impressive than the downhill 13th, with the ocean on the left. Mike and I have been playing matchplay from scratch from the start and I secured a handshake on the 17th after 10 previous dog-fights. Our putters have not been hot and it was not a reflection of the greens as all have been great surfaces; yet, everyday it was a different challenge.

The Stableford Championship is very much alive as only 4 points separate us a after more than 200 holes played.

After the game today, we moved a couple of yards away and added another nine holes on the challenging Par-3 course located adjacent to the main 18. What a treat as we played from 85 yards to 189 yards in an hour.

Trump Turnberry was on the way and we were happy to make a stop at the home of "The Duel in the Sun", when Tom Watson defeated Jack Nicklaus with weekend scores of 65-65 to Jack's 65-66'in 1977. I bought the commemorative cap, about the 10th cap of the "cashectomy" financial memorablia portion of the tour. Trump Turnberry does sell a lot of merchandise with ONLY Turnberry as the logo (minus Trump)- I wonder why....

From there we were entertained with the history of whisky at a special stop; something close to my heart as I feel I have helped their export business Over the years. A great lunch was welcomed in Robert Burns country with an early night appreciated.

We are back at Beaches and the rooms are outstanding, central for walking to restaurants and a block from the ocean.

Tomorrow we face another "major" challenge as I will be looking for a Stenson/Mickelson shoot-out as we show our best at Royal Troon. Fatigue should be a factor but, to be honest, my low came with blisters and backaches on day 4... that passed and the driver is returning to the closely mown. Mike is fighting fit and has taken on the title, "Auto" for Automatic off the tee. With a little faith in his putter, we will split the pot...tomorrow, I'm off 6 and he's off 11, as my 77 and his 85 (35 and 33 points) led to handicap cuts.

Time flies when you're having fun...we're not here for a long time, but here for a good time and we can rest when we're dead.

What can I say, golf has been very, very good for me...a career in anticipationg others needs and wants because they've earned it. For the last 14 days, we have too! I hope you've enjoyed the ride.


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