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September 2020

Spectacular September!

Although September was yet another month which didn’t quite turn out as planned, we’ve been continuing the theme of getting out and meeting our friends and partners from across Scotland.

As I alluded to in the last blog post, September started for me in St Andrews. Waking up in the wonderful Rufflets Hotel (a favourite of Jack Nicklaus’ when he was in St Andrews) to one of their epic breakfast frittatas.

Perhaps even better, I also awoke with the prospect of an early tee time on The Old Course – courtesy of the Old Course ballot – with one of my best golfing friends; you know the type – someone who can stifle a laugh when you fat one into a bunker or knows to avoid eye contact when you’ve sh*nked one into heavy rough!

There really is nothing quite like a round of golf on The Old Course and, I think, this was the earliest tee time I’ve ever had here (0730!).  Playing that early, in flat calm and beautiful conditions, was almost like a dream.  The stillness on the first tee and the rising sun on your back as you walked down the first fairway were just magical.

It just reinforced to me that no matter how many times you play this wonderful golf course it has the ability to surprise and delight you time and time again.

I didn’t have to wait long to enjoy another Open venue though as another tour operator, Gary Wilkinson, and I stepped onto the first tee the next day at Musselburgh Old Links. 6 time host to The Open Championship in the 19th century, this golf course (a nine holer set within the confines of a racecourse!) is another experience like no other!

When the starter points out that the racecourse is in play but that you get a free drop from a hoof print (!) you know you’re about to experience something pretty special.

To Gary’s ‘surprise’ I had one of the best rounds of golf I’ve played in years. It’s not every day you have a net 58! I may have lost Gary as a playing partner but it was great to have gained a bit more confidence in my game.

My next rounds of golf came after a short skip over to Northern Ireland where we played Ballycastle Golf Club and Royal Portrush.

Ballycastle sits on the North Antrim coast with views (on a clear day) back over to Scotland and the Mull of Kintyre.  It was great fun – only increased by having an Ireland vs Scotland match; we lost at the last, I’m afraid to say…

The next day it was on to Portrush to play The Dunluce Course; host to The 148th Open Championship in 2019.  The club were running a series of ‘148 Open’ events on Tuesdays and we played in pairs in a betterball format; finishing 8th out of 102 teams.

The course and the view of, and from, the course are breathtaking. My pictures (and my golf game!) did not do it justice.  Royal Portrush is a warm and friendly club where everything from the lorne sausage roll to the quality of the driving range are first class.

Next up on the golf front was a trip to Kingsbarns Golf Links.  Simply put, Kingsbarns is one of the very best golfing experiences in the world.  Everything they do is with the golfer right at the front of their mind.

When you’re then blessed with epic weather and the company of 2 great friends the magic is complete.  As my game went a little sideways at Portrush it was great to get back on the horse and play so well at such a wonderful golf course.

I took some videos of my playing partners tee shots on the terrific short 15th hole but have been explicitly banned from sharing them!

My thanks to the whole team at Kingsbarns for another amazing day.

Moving into the last full week in September now and the weather continued to do us a terrific turn.  I travelled to Machrihanish with my father-in-law to tick off courses which have been on his bucket list for a long time; Machrihanish DunesDunaverty and Machrihanish.

Arriving late in the evening (in an electric car running low on juice!) to a wonderful welcome in the pub at The Ugadale Hotel was just what I needed too.  A few pints, a bite to eat and an amazing rooms with a extremely comfortable bed was the perfect way to set up for the 36 holes to come the following day.

The respect shown for the natural landscape at Machrihanish Dunes is terrific to see. The maintenance of the sand dunes and creating a golf course in such a natural setting is a great credit to David McLay Kidd and his team.

In the afternoon it was the turn of Dunaverty.  I had heard so much about the place (not least from Eric Anders Lang’s recent video) and it did not disappoint!

This is a natural, spellbinding, spectacular golf course in an amazing setting with quirky, tricky holes.  My father-in-law and I were both captivated by it.  I had travelled to Machrihanish before and played both the Dunes and Machrihanish itself but had skipped Dunaverty.  That was a mistake.  If you’re out here you need to play Dunaverty.

The next day – after a few more of the aforementioned pints at The Ugadale Hotel! – it was the short walk across the road to the first tee at Machrihanish Golf Club. And what a first tee!  Proclaimed as ‘the best opening hole in the world’ it’s hard to argue with a carry over the Irish Sea from the tee.

To say that my father-in-law was excited to play the course (which had been on his bucket list for over 50 years!) would be a massive understatement.  Even more wonderful was that the course did not disappoint in the slightest.

He played sparkling golf (which always helps!) and the course was in exceptional condition. I’m not sure how many pictures across to Jura and Islay he took but there can’t have been much storage capacity left on his phone when we stepped off the 18th green!

Heading back to Edinburgh from Machrihanish on the 23rd it was a quick turnaround as I was booked onto a flight from Glasgow to Benbecula at 0715 on the morning of the 24th.

Why? I hear you ask… well, to make the short drive south from Benbecula to play Askernish.

Although I may look old enough for it to be true Askernish hasn’t been on my bucket list for as long as 50 years but it has been for a good while.

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Yesterday @askernishgolfclub was simply incredible. The story of the Old Tom Morris course lost to the sands of time, reborn in the 1950s and then lovingly and painstakingly brought back to it’s former glory in the 2000s makes it compelling enough before you visit but the whole experience – the journey to South Uist (whether that’s by ferry or air), the drive to the course, the welcome in the clubhouse and, of course, the course itself makes it truly spellbinding. Many courses can be described as being ‘unlike any other’ but that is most certainly true at #Askernish. I’ve been lucky enough to play a number of Old Tom’s golf courses this summer but this really is the jewel in the crown. The Hebrides are a wonderful place to dwell for a few days but it’s also easy to add Askernish as a day trip from Scotland’s larger airports. You won’t regret adding it to your golf itinerary. 👌⛳️🏌️‍♂️ . . . #golf #golfers #golfing #scotland #travel #mortongolf @visitscotland @scotlandhomeofgolf @flyloganair

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Everything I had heard and read about the ‘lost Old Tom Morris’ course could not have prepared me for the experience itself.

This is raw, beautiful Scottish links golf at its very best.  If you’re looking for something manicured and sculpted then Askernish is not for you but if you want to play a golf course which uses the contours of the land, the natural beauty of a setting and (in winter!) the local sheep and cattle to keep the grass short then this is ‘it’.

Bring a few spare balls and be prepared for a few ‘bad’ bounces but come and play Askernish.  Please.  You won’t regret it.

The journey (either by air or sea) is all part of the experience so drink it all it.  Words and pictures do not do it justice.  It needs to be experienced.

The last week of the month saw me squeeze in 2 more rounds of golf; at Harburn Golf Club and Dumbarnie Links.

Despite being very close to home, this was my first time playing Harburn and it was a delight.  There are some great holes on the back nine, chief among them the 15th; simply entitled ‘?’.  It’s just over 100 yards and played over a ravine and encroaching trees to a small, undulating green.  I was delighted to hit the green, have my two putts and get out with a fine par!

The next day it was back to Dumbarnie.  This was now my 4th round at the course which officially opened at the end of May 2020 and I have to say it just gets better with every visit.

David Scott and his team have put so much work into the course, the welcome and their social media presence to make the very most out of their first season.

As soon as things open up, this will definitely be a ‘must play’ for international golfers visiting Fife. And what I noticed this time, more than on previous visits, is the way many of the holes / green complexes have been designed with a gallery in mind.  The noises about Dumbarnie hosting a professional event are, rightly, growing and the space they have would certainly lend itself to a large spectator event (remember those?!).

It was a great way to bring my September to a close.

I started October by ticking the last box in my Scottish venues to have hosted The Open Championship list but that’s for next time.

Dave Kerr, Morton Golf


August 2020

A glorious August

Much like our July at Morton Golf, August has been severely impacted by COVID-19. It’s a source of great sadness that we have been unable to welcome many of our international clients to Scotland and Ireland. Needless to say, we are very much looking forward to seeing them in 2021. Scotland will be ready and waiting for you!

In the meantime, we have been making the most of our ‘free time’ and, like July, have spent August meeting with many of our key partners and suppliers; often on a golf course!

In the first week of August (the former owner of Morton Golf) Peter Craigon and I spent some time in St Andrews and played the wonderful Jubilee Course. The back nine on the Jubilee is particularly tricky and puts a real premium on being in control of your golf ball… at times I confess that I wasn’t! It really is a fantastic golf course and a great addition to any trip to St Andrews.

The second week in August saw the Kerr family take their annual pilgrimage to the truly epic Gleneagles Hotel. It’s always a great place to visit but, for the four of us, spending the last full week of the summer holidays together is a great way for us to re-charge.

Whilst there I try to get my hands on early tee times at each of the courses so I can get home before I’ve been missed but this year was a little different as my 2 daughter’s joined me on my round on The PGA Centenary Course – the allure of taking turns driving the golf cart was too good for them to resist!

A few days later it was time to play The Kings Course. This James Braid classic is firmly in my top 10 Scottish golf courses; it doesn’t hurt that I’ve had my only hole in one here and if you haven’t heard about it then clearly we haven’t played golf together. Let’s remedy that!

Last – but not least – I played The Queens Course on a slightly foggy morning and had Mrs Kerr for company. As an aside to Bushnell… I love your products but my range finder did not love the Perthshire fog. All yardages for the first few holes were 7 yards!

As the fog lifted we really were treated to some amazing views over the lush, rolling Perthshire countryside and pleasingly I finished the week playing pretty well.

After returning home from Gleneagles on the Saturday, I headed north on Sunday to play Panmure Golf Club.

In the past I’ve played both wonderfully and poorly at Panmure and, I’m afraid, it was the latter this time. That said, the golf course was terrific. There are a number of holes which force you to really think about your next shot and it’s definitely a course that needs to be plotted around to score well.

Having Rach McQueen playing in front of us – with the UK women’s long drive champion! – forced us all to sharpen our pencils!

The following week saw me take on 2 new (to me) courses in Gailes Links and Comrie. The former with my good friend Martin Dempsey and the latter in the always wonderful company of Allan Minto.

Gailes was a real treat. The weather was excellent, the golf course presented in excellent condition and the members were warm and friendly.

And Comrie was a real delight. A truly excellent 9-hole course with amazing views over (again!) the Perthshire countryside. Often you find that 9-hole courses are easy to play but this one has a bit of bite. Definitely some places where you could come a cropper unless you are concentrating.

I ended the month with another trip north – although I covered some miles in August it was not the 2422 miles in the car of July! – to play Tain Golf Club and Royal Dornoch and stay at the always wonderful Links House.

I played Tain in the late afternoon and rarely have I played a golf course which was so firm underfoot. It made for some (for me!) great drives and encouraged the bump-and-run shot into greens.

After my round at Tain I headed to Dornoch and arrived in ‘golden hour’ just in time to capture this picture of the clubhouse at Royal Dornoch with the sun setting behind it.

Links House always receives amazing feedback from our clients. It’s location, the staff, the food, the rooms, everything is just done well. The breakfast hamper was an absolute delight.

Neil Hampton has just celebrated his 10th anniversary at the club and under his leadership the whole set up has gone from strength to strength. The course was immaculate and the hospitality second to none.

The new 7th hole fits in perfectly and offers amazing views over the Dornoch Firth. Truly spectacular.

The last night of the month was spent in St Andrews ahead of an early tee time on 1st September but I’ll leave that for another article…

Dave Kerr, Morton Golf


July 2020

Quite a month, just not the one we expected…

July is usually a mad month in the life of a Scottish golf tour operator – multiple groups of clients arriving, playing and departing; racking up the miles in the car and hours on the phone making sure all of our clients have the amazing experience they have come to expect (and we love to deliver!) from Morton Golf; sorting out every wrinkle as it comes up and adding those special touches that turn a wonderful vacation into lifelong memories.

Perhaps needless to say, July 2020 hasn’t been a normal July.  The miles have still been racked up criss-crossing the country but it’s been meeting our wonderful hotel, golf, transportation and other partners to check in on how they are, how they are adapting to ‘the new normal’ (for the record, all are putting in a tremendous effort to ensure that clients are welcomed to safe and reassuring environment where they can relax and enjoy themselves in as normal a way as possible) and (occasionally!) finding time to play a round of golf or two.

During July, I set myself the challenge of ticking off a number of golf courses I either hadn’t played or hadn’t played in a long time.  Each one exceeded my expectations, some massively.  The quality of the hospitality and of the presentation of the golf course at each was exceptional.

I ended June with a round of golf at Arbroath Golf Club (where I hadn’t played before) and, accompanied by my daughters, we had terrific fun; a theme that would run through all of my golf in July.

Later that week I played at the wonderful Scotscraig Golf Club with one of our R&A contacts.  Although we both faded in and out of playing quality golf there was plenty good play on display and it’s just as well as it’s a course that needs you to bring your A game.  It was sad to see local final qualifying disappear as a route into  The Open as Scotscraig, and many other courses, provided an excellent test for pros looking to tee it up in golf’s oldest championship.

Into week commencing 6th July and I took a day trip north from Edinburgh to Golspie Golf Club.  It was a long day but worth every minute for the welcome from Jeanette to the glorious weather and golf course.  Another tricky course with lots of changes of direction to contend with.  Golspie is another course I hadn’t played before but it’s definitely one I’ll return to.

Later that week I played at Western Gailes and, well, wow!  Just wow!  Western Gailes is just a stunning golf course in an amazing setting with spectacular views across to Arran.  I was lucky enough to play the coastal stretch with the wind at my back (not the prevalent direction!) which made for good scoring in that stretch but made 14 to 18 very difficult coming back into the wind.  Again, it was another glorious day for golf which always helps.

The following week I was back north again with a round at Fraserburgh Golf Club with the wonderful Gerry (past captain) and Seamus (committee member).  ‘The Broch’ was a course I had heard a lot about and it did not disappoint.  There are some truly exceptional holes here and the dunes and humps and hollows make it a proper test of golf.  There’s so much good golf here and I’m delighted to see Fraserburgh appear on a few of our clients itineraries for next year.

A friend was visiting near St Andrews later that week so we did the only decent thing and had a round of golf at Dumbarnie Golf Links.  I’ve waxed lyrical about Dumbarnie before so I won’t bore you again but, simply put, it gets better each time I visit.  The whole experience is exceptional and David Scott and his team will only be satisfied if things continue that was every day.  It’s almost certainly on the ‘must play’ list when visiting St Andrews now.

Into the third full week in July now and I was lucky enough to be invited to play with a member at Gullane No. 1.  All three of the Gullane courses are comfortably inside my top 50 golf courses but No.1 is just special.  There are few better views on a golf course than the one afforded from the back of the 10th tee, across Gullane beach and over to Muirfield.  Just magical.  My golf was less than sparkling (putting it mildly!) but that never detracts from the enjoyment of a round here.

At the end of the week we took a family trip north to Nairn and I took a day trip to Durness Golf Club; the most northerly golf course in Scotland.  Although Nairn is pretty far north, it’s another 118 miles north to Durness.  And, for context, these are not motorway / freeway miles!  There’s a stretch of 40 to 50 miles in the middle there where the road is a single track with regular passing places.  Estimating journey times up here are tricky and I arrived over an hour early for my round of golf; rest assured that the time was subsequently ‘lost’ on the journey back south!  What can you say about Durness though?  There are simply breathtaking views from a number of the holes but the 9th/18th and the tee shot played over the Atlantic to a small, sloping green is the signature.  That said, I’ve also carefully tucked away the memory of a 185yd 5 wood straight into the wind to 10ft (and the subsequently holed birdie putt) as another fantastic memento of this day.

In a very poor bit of scheduling, we travelled south as a family on the 26th July only for me and the girls to return north again on the 28th for another 2 nights in the north and for rounds of golf at Brora and Fortrose & Rosemarkie.

Both golf courses are exceptional in their own way but have similarities.  The wildlife is something people remark upon about both; the sheep and cows roaming the course at Brora (green are protected by electrified fences) and the dolphins which can be spotted from the course at F&R.  Both are visually stunning, albeit in different ways.  Brora has changes of elevation and view of the beach which are hard to beat anywhere and at F&R – by it’s very nature of being on a spit of land protruding into the North Sea – the golfer is rewarded with amazing views at every turn.

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The ‘Northern Swing’ took us to @linksgolf1793 yesterday. I’m pleased to say that the strong winds that can make golf on this peninsula extremely challenging took the day off but there was enough of it to have you thinking about club selection and ball flight. Fortrose & Rosemarkie is just a great golf course; always fun and with amazing views from every hole. We didn’t see the dolphins 🐬 this time but I’m told they were about. (And for those following along, little miss pink cap won the putting comp again!) A huge thank you to Mike and his team for really looking after us. ⛳️🏌️‍♂️ . . . #golf #golfers #golfing #scotland #travel #mortongolf @visitscotland @scotlandhomeofgolf #GTOgapyear

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Returning south to Edinburgh on the 30th July there was just time for one last round to be squeezed in and what a day we had at Ladybank Golf Club on Friday 31st.  The warmest day of the year and a golf course presented in terrific condition.  Another great test of golf – where my recent swing changes provided an additional challenge! – a round at Ladybank was a wonderful way to end the month.  Martin Ball (GM) and Sandy Smith (Pro) lead a wonderful team who, with recent changes to the course have only enhanced the Old Tom Morris design.

I can’t wait until next July to welcome both those clients who have had to re-arrange their 2020 plans and those who have booked new trips with us for 2021.  It will be very different to July 2020!

Dave Kerr, Morton Golf


June 2020

Contrasts

The Scottish weather has really treated us this week with the warmest spell of the year so far.

I was lucky enough to take advantage by taking in two extremely contrasting Scottish golf courses.

On Tuesday I played the new Dumbarnie Golf Links in Fife. Although the course only opened late last month it’s already creating quite a buzz with golfers.

In their 2010 book entitled ‘True Links’ George Peper and Malcolm Campbell listed only 246 golf courses which they considered real links golf courses. That claim prompted a great deal of debate – and more than a little heat! – from golfers across the world.

Well, there’s at least 247 now with the addition of Dumbarnie Links to the wonderful offering of golf courses in Fife.

Dumbarnie

Peper himself said of Dumbarnie, “I have no doubt that Dumbarnie will soon come to stand along with Kingsbarns as the two courses (after the Old) that every serious St. Andrews pilgrim will want to play”.

High praise indeed.

It’s always hard to separate your opinion on a golf course from how you have played there and a net 66 leaves me with an obvious challenge when it comes to Dumbarnie. That said it’s clear that this is an exceptional course, in a fabulous setting with a team (led by the wonderful David Scott) behind it who are guaranteed to get the hospitality absolutely spot on.

Dumbarnie will quickly become a firm favourite of golfers visiting the area and we look forward to helping our clients tick it off their bucket list.

The second course I played, in the sweltering heat of Thursday, stands in stark contrast to Dumbarnie Links in many ways except one; it’s a proper links course.

Cullen Links sits on Scotland’s Moray coast and has done since Old Tom Morris laid our 9 holes back in 1870.

Cullen Links

Cullen represents everything that attracts golfers to Scotland’s old links courses; the turf is firm and sandy, the greens are hard (but fair!) and – although course designers like Morris lend a hand – Mother Nature is really the course architect.

It’s safe to say that Cullen is quirky and eccentric, and doesn’t have the same vast acreage of Dumbarnie, but they do have the same soul.

Going back to George Peper’s words from 2010s ‘True Links’ for a moment:

“Links golf is a game distilled to its core virtues. To walk beside the sea with a brisk breeze on your cheek and firm, sandy turf beneath your feet is to experience golf not only as it was hundreds of years ago but arguably as it should be today – a simple, beguiling game in need of no embellishment.”

And that sums up Cullen Links perfectly. Nothing has been added; it’s you, your ball, the course and the elements. Simple (or not, depending on that last ingredient!).

Fortunately, as I mentioned before, the weather could not have been better for my rounds at both Dumbarnie and Cullen this week; flat calm at the former and just enough of a breeze at the latter to make the course even more interesting.

I said before that these twos courses differ in many ways other than that they are true links. That’s not true though.

Both also put a smile on your face and is that not why we play this game?

Dave Kerr, Morton Golf   


May 2020

Scotland’s great golf courses depicted in these 4 wonderful books

Ever since I was introduced to golf by my Dad in the 1960s I have had a passion for golf books.  I have added to the collection over the years and now I feel very lucky I can go back to read many of them for a 2nd and even a 3rd time.

We are fortunate indeed to have had some of the very best writers in sport such as the great Bernard Darwin, Henry Longhurst, Herb Warren Wind to mention but a few.  And many books have been written and produced about golf in the Home of Golf here in Scotland.

In the current situation we all find ourselves in with the “lockdown” I thought it may be fun to share with you 4 of my favourite golf books which I believe capture the very essence of golf in Scotland.

The image above shows each of these books which are all quite different and yet help tell the story of golf here in Scotland.

20 years ago Ian Nalder produced the excellent “Scotland’s Golf in Days of Steam”.  It tells the wonderful story of how the coming of the railways in the late 1800s and early 1900s helped grow the game in Scotland.  The book features some wonderful old black and white photos depicting scenes from some of our best golf courses (and indeed Silloth in Cumbria is also included).  Many of these images make you feel as if you were right there in the 1920s playing on some of our best courses.  And the proximity of the rail network as it was in the day also explains why so many of our great courses have a “railway hole”!

Donald Ford has been a great friend of mine for nearly 20 years and is without question one of the best golf photographers in the land.  If anyone wishes to see some fantastic images of Scotland’s top golf courses and hidden gems then look no further than Donald’s “A Photographic Celebration of Seaside Golf in Scotland”.  After looking at the amazing images Donald has produced from over 80 courses in Scotland I’d say anyone would be bursting to come to Scotland for a golf trip!

In addition on this list I recommend another title by Donald Ford, “The Carnoustie Story” which details how in the early 1900s around 200 young golf pros headed from this small town in the east of Scotland to the US and other parts of the world to help grow the game.

Lastly I highly recommend “Golf at the Water’s Edge” by Brenda and John McGuire which features 20 of our great courses.  They tell the story not only in text but they manage to capture the beauty of these wonderful courses in atmospheric watercolours and pen and ink drawings. Read any of these beautiful books and I am certain you will understand why golf in Scotland is so much more than just another sport but a way of life.

Peter Craigon, Morton Golf Holidays   


April 2020

The Castle Course, St Andrews – a spectacular golf course

The Castle Course in St Andrews is a truly wonderful golf course which just gets better each year since opening in 2008.  There are some brilliant golf holes which provide variety throughout and it has excellent routing, challenging greens and wonderful scenery.

The course is located about a mile to the south of the town of St Andrews and it has been a wonderful addition to what was already the number one golf destination in the world. In fact a measure of any golf course’s quality is the number of rounds played there each year – and the fact over 30k rounds were played over the Castle Course in 2019 speaks for itself.  Indeed this level of play makes the Castle Course one of the most popular golf course in Scotland especially keeping in mind most of those rounds are from visitors.

Any golf course can enhance the overall experience by providing a top class service – and GM Kevin Mackay and his team provide this in abundance.

The Castle Course features a classic clubhouse with views all the way to the Angus coastline and on a good day you can see Carnoustie which is over 11 miles as the crow flies.  They serve great food and drinks with a very friendly service, there is an excellent shop and top class changing rooms and facilities.  At the Castle Course they have a team of very knowledgeable caddies and when warming up for your round the range is literally right beside the clubhouse.

Please note along with other golf courses in the UK no play is possible on the Castle Course due to the current lockdown for coronavirus.  However golf will follow when the government lifts restrictions and when it does I highly recommend a visit to play the Castle Course as it provides a memorable experience and many of our clients over the years ask us to add it to their itinerary.

Peter Craigon, Morton Golf Holidays   


Kingsbarns Golf Links – an appreciation of a truly world class golf course

In the 16 years I owned and ran Morton Golf Holidays I must have been asked by clients a thousand times “what is your favourite course”!! That is a hard question to answer when you consider I started golfing well over 50 years ago and have played 360 courses. However, I can say with no hesitation Kingsbarns is right up there and in my top 5. You have to remember the competition is stiff as also in there would be the Old Course, Muirfield, Carnoustie and Gleneagles – and I’d have to also give mention to Auchterarder Golf Club where I learned to play – ok so my Top 5 just became my Top 6. So what makes Kingsbarns so special – let’s see – here is a list for starters – it is one of the best links courses anywhere in the world, you can see the sea from every hole so the scenery is wonderful, it is always in fantastic condition, it has a great variety of holes with the 15th being truly iconic, the customer service is world class, the clubhouse is perfect and the staff are friendly and super-efficient! Actually, now I look at it – that’s not a bad list. Over the years I’ve been fortunate to literally have received thousands of pieces of feedback from delighted clients and an amazingly high percentage have told me Kingsbarns was there favourite course on their visit to Scotland – and for all of the reasons I just stated. So in these tough times for us all I am hoping when you read these words and look at the brilliant images it may “whet your appetite” to make you want to ask us to add Kingsbarns to your itinerary next time you come to Scotland.

Here are some facts you may or may not know about Kingsbarns – although the present world class links opened for play in 2000 golf was first played on the site pre 1800 (1793 golf was first mentioned)! The golf course has hosted the Alfred Dunhill Championship along with the Old Course and Carnoustie since 2001. The course record is held by US player Peter Uihlein (2013) who actually had a putt on the last for a 59! Michael Phelps the US swimmer playing in the Dunhill holed a putt of 153 feet at the 6th hole – believed to be the longest putt ever to be caught by television cameras. And finally, to give an idea of just how beautiful the golf course is both Michelle Wie and Graeme McDowell have compared Kingsbarns to Pebble Beach which is a nice accolade indeed.

Peter Craigon, Morton Golf Holidays   


World Class Gleneagles

Hi Everyone – I was lucky enough to be brought up in the small town of Auchterarder which is only a mile or so from the world-famous Gleneagles Hotel. The resort has been top class from the days it was established in the 1920s and was always full of world-famous stars such as Bing Crosby, Bob Hope, Sean Connery and so on.  The Kings and Queens Courses were added to in the 1980s when Jack Nicklaus designed the Monarch’s Course which became the PGA Centenary Course a few years later.  Gleneagles has always hosted some iconic pro and celebrity tournaments and I along with my golfing buddies were lucky to not only spectate but also when we were old enough to carry scoreboards and then to caddie.  A look back over the decades and to see who actually turned up to play in tournaments will give some idea of just what the top golfers in the world thought of Gleneagles.  In 1966 The Big Three came to play the Kings Course – Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer and Gary Player were the top players in the world and as kids we were able to literally walk alongside them on the fairways.  Move into the 1970s and more top-class golf came to Gleneagles in the form on the Double Diamond Internationals and the Skol Individual.  Teams from the 4 Home nations, Europe, USA, Australasia and Rest of the World battled in out over the Kings Course – Tony Jacklin and Nick Faldo were in England’s team, Brian Barnes, Bernard Gallacher and Sam Torrance were there for Scotland and can you believe Lee Trevino, Billy Casper and Jerry Pate were in the USA team. And a very young Seve Ballesteros starred for Europe and Greg Norman for the Aussies – all in all they had around 30 majors between them.  Moving into the 80s saw the Bells Scottish Open played over the Kings Course – Ian Woosnam won it twice and Payne Stewart and Monty both finished runners up.  The event ran until 1994 but the distance the ball was now travelling was a factor and the Kings Course was stretched about as far as it could go.  By 1999 the Gleneagles PGA Centenary Course hosted a main European Tour event in the form of the Diageo Championship and was won by Paul Casey on a couple of occasions as well as Adam Scott.  The championship was re-branded in 2005 to become the Johnnie Walker Championship and was won by Tommy Fleetwood, Paul Lawrie and Thomas Bjorn amongst others.  And although Gleneagles being inland is never going to host The Open it did put on a spectacular Ryder Cup in 2014 and who can forget last year’s Solheim Cup with Suzanne Peterson holing the winning put on the last green.  Add to all of these top-class pro events which Gleneagles has hosted the televised Pro-Celebrity through the 1970s which had pros such as the aforementioned Lee Trevino and Jerry Pate.  There are very few golf resorts in Britain far less anywhere else in the world which can boast such an array of talented golfers who have graced its fairways.  How lucky were we as young golfers to be a part of such amazing golf experiences?  You only have to take a look at the images above to see how spectacular the golf courses are – and to understand why over the years Gleneagles has always been highly recommended by me to all of our clients.

Peter Craigon, Morton Golf Holidays   


March 2020

Crail Golfing Society

As the situation we find ourselves in currently is such a challenge for people everywhere I thought it may be nice for golfers to think to the future a little when we are all back golfing once more.  We have been extremely lucky over the years to welcome golfers from all over the world to play golf in Scotland and I’d like to share a few of my own experiences of playing on some of the finest courses in the world.  I am of course a little biased (and also quite old) – having played golf in Scotland for well over 50 years.  If you have time please do send me a reply to share some of your experiences of playing on our great golf courses.  Below I have detailed some thoughts and images of the Crail Golfing Society.
On a recent small golf trip with my longstanding golfing friends we played the wonderful Crail Craighead and Balcomie Links courses.  This truly is links golf at it’s very best!  Crail Golfing Society is in fact one of the oldest clubs in the world being formed in 1786.  The experience for all golfers provided by the club is superb and I’d highly recommend anyone to visit to play on one or both of these excellent links golf courses.  Located only 11 miles from St Andrews both courses have holes which are very close to the sea and the view from the clubhouse in absolutely stunning – you can see from one of the images above a beautiful rainbow hovering around the last 4 holes of the Balcomie Links and each of these holes is in full view from the lounge window.
If any of you would like to read an excellent golfstory I recommend the book “In Search of Burningbush” by Michael Konik. I make mention of this here as the story takes places on a fabled old Scottish golf links called Burningbush – no doubt in my mind the author based parts of the golf course around the 13th and 14th holes on the Balcomie Links and also features the cave which is located between the 14th green and 15th tee.
You will have a ball if and when you play at the Crail Golfing Society.
Interesting facts about Crail Golfing Society click here:
In Search of Burningbush:
Peter Craigon, Morton Golf Holidays   

The Scene Never Gets Old

I was with an old contact yesterday and had arranged to catch up in St Andrews – when he asked where we should meet I had no hesitation in telling him we’d grab a coffee in the Road Hole Bar in the Old Course Hotel.  This is absolutely one of the best places in the world for anyone or particularly a golfer to spend a little time.

Look at these pictures which I took whilst waiting on my friend – I say every time “ This scene never gets Old” (excuse the pun). Looking from the window of the Road Hole Bar one can see the most famous scene in golf right before your very eyes – it is a treat to be able to just look upon 2 of the most famous holes in golf not to mention the Road Hole Bunker, Swilken Bridge, the 18th on the Old where so many great champions have received the Claret Jug over the years and of course the R&A Clubhouse in the background.  What a cool picture indeed.  And just to show the close proximity of everything in and around St Andrews I turned a little to my left a snapped the famous Links Clubhouse (right across the 2nd fairway on the Old Course). It is a wonderful place to have a beer, coffee or a meal before or after your round either on the Old, New or Jubilee.  And by the way – note the fantastic sunshine – who says we do not have nice weather in the winter in Scotland – albeit it was a wee bit chilly.

Peter Craigon, Morton Golf Holidays  
 

February 2020

Old Course, St Andrews

Well it’s that time of year again when we eagerly anticipate the start of the new golf season in Scotland and a visit to St Andrews merely heightens the expectation.  I made the short journey from Kinross to the Home of Golf recently and I must say despite the rather dodgy weather we have had in Scotland in the last couple of weeks the Old Course was looking fantastic.  I am delighted to report this year is no exception and many of our clients will be playing on the ‘Old’ from April onwards.  It has been wonderful to have been with so many of our clients over the years and to watch them hit that tee shot on the 1st.  For most of them no doubt the most nerve racking but also exhilarating golfing experience they will ever have. To those of you who have played THAT unique tee shot before you will know what I mean – for those of you who will play the Old Course for the first time in 2020 the very best of luck and I know you will create your own memories which will last a lifetime!

If you are reading this and you have any stories you wish to share about any round you have played on the Old Course please do let me know.  I for example played on the Old Course for the first time in 1971 with my Dad – I was having one of my best rounds ever until I drove it into the Principal’s Nose on the 16th hole – after a number of swipes I eventually got the thing out and ended up with a 9!  So, I learned at a very young age when on the Old Course you sometimes have to “take your medicine” and play out of the bunkers sideways!  Did that unfortunate experience dampen my enthusiasm – not a bit of it.  The Old Course is still very much my favourite golf course – and if you play it I hope it becomes your too.

Peter Craigon, Morton Golf Holidays   

A world of possibilities

It’s nearly 100 days since Peter and I shook hands on the deal for Morton Golf.

I have massively enjoyed the opportunity I’ve had over that time to meet our clients who have travelled to Scotland since that handshake and to spend time with the many wonderful partners we work with to create memories that last a lifetime for our clients.

Continuity is everything

I am delighted with how well things have gone and with the on-going support Peter and Fiona have provided. Our key objective was continuity of experience to our clients and, as easy as that sounds, it’s hard work to deliver and takes a real team effort.

Due to that focus I have not taken the time to properly introduce myself so I’ve decided to steal a leaf out of Peter’s book and write this short blog post to allow me to do precisely that.

An introduction…

First the basics; like Peter, I was born and brought up in beautiful Perthshire, Scotland.

My wife, Pamela, and I settled in Scotland’s capital city Edinburgh following university, where we still live with our two young daughters and an exuberant vizsla!

Lolly the vizsla

St Andrews

My love affair with golf in St Andrews goes back many years to family holidays spent in and around the ‘Auld Grey Toun’ when I was growing up.

Although my first round on the Old Course was entirely forgettable from a standard of play perspective, those memories live with you forever.

The history of the place, and memories of watching your idols play on the hallowed fairways, stays with you all the way around the golf course and for many days, weeks, months and even years afterwards.

Every time I play – or even visit – St Andrews I get goosebumps. Every time.

My career and values

Most of my career to date has been within financial services, latterly banking, but the roles I have taken on have changed over the years as I sought opportunities to gain greater influence on how we interacted with our clients.

What now separates the good from the great in financial services is very much like what separates the good from the great in any industry these days; they understand what a client wants and create the environment where those wants are met first time, every time and without any friction.

Should things go wrong – which the inevitably do from time to time – they respond positively and decisively to not only put things right but to use it as an opportunity to raise the bar yet further.

They do this by living and breathing a set of values aligned to their clients and by displaying a set of behaviours which are, in turn, entirely aligned with those values.

An invitation…

I have always said that I am a, “don’t tell me you’re funny, make me laugh”, kind of person so I hope we at Morton Golf get the opportunity to demonstrate those values and behaviours to you very soon as we help you plan for your next trip to these wonderful islands.

Play well!

Dave KerrMD Morton Golf


Dumbarnie Links, Fife, Scotland: https://dumbarnielinks.com/

Hi Everyone

I had the privilege yesterday to play what will undoubtedly be one of the Top 100 links courses in the world in record time!  Dumbarnie Links was in absolutely fantastic condition and it’s not even due to open to the public until May 2020.  And when the course does open I am certain the accolades will be numerous and well deserved. The course was designed by former Ryder and Walker Cupper Clive Clark and with the help of renowned shaper Paul Kimber and his team they have produced a top class links course to rival all of the classics.  The course is located between Lundin Links and Elie on the south coast of Fife looking over to East Lothian and in fact the 1st hole at Dumbarnie points directly to Muirfield and Gullane!  As with many golf courses it can be said the short holes are what makes a course memorable and this is no exception at Dumbarnie as they have 4 real beauties!  Much earth and sand was moved to create this golf course but the result looks like the holes have been cut through dunes which have been there for ever.  Each hole has 5 sets of tees so the test can be enjoyed by all levels of golfer – and off the tips it is around 7600 yards so no doubt in years to come some kind of tour event may find its way the this newest and classic addition to Scotland’s already wonderful golfing landscape.  We will certainly be recommending Dumbarnie as a ‘must play’ to the hundreds of clients we bring to Scotland each year.

As for yesterday I had a great game with new Morton Golf owner Dave Kerr and Stephen Owen who is the GM at the beautiful Rufflets Hotel, St Andrews – see photo above.

Peter Craigon, Morton Golf Holidays   

Kilspindie Golf Club

Hi Everyone

I had the absolute pleasure today of playing the wonderful Kilspindie Golf Club in Aberlady which is about 20 miles east of Edinburgh.  Who says we have dodgy weather in Scotland in the autumn – you can see from the photos above we played in glorious sunshine and the scenery from every hole at Kilspindie is quite spectacular.  Looking across the Firth of Forth to Fife many of the holes run parallel to the beach.  This really is links golf at it’s very best and there are so many interesting holes this course is a joy to play. Kilspindie is proof indeed that a golf course does not need to be long to provide a variety of wonderful holes. The club was established in 1867 making it the 35th oldest in the world.  Adding to the golfing experience was the very warm welcome in both the clubhouse and pro shop.  I’d recommend a game at Kilspindie to anyone interested in a true links golf experience.  Why not ask us to put together an itinerary based entirely in East Lothian – immediately beside Kilspindie is the more modern links at Cragielaw GC, and within a few miles are Longniddry, Luffness New, 3 courses at Gullane, Muirfield, 2 courses in North Berwick and down the coast to Dunbar – what a tour that would be!!

Peter Craigon, Morton Golf Holidays   

The Home of Golf

A few weeks ago I had a very interesting 24 hours spent at The Home of Golf steeping myself in the atmosphere surrounding St Andrews. The images support the fact there is nowhere else like the Old Course in the world of golf – the place is quite simply unique! The picture showing a number of spectators, golfers and indeed referees, caddies etc approaching the 18th green was the finale of this years Links Trophy: https://www.standrews.com/Play/The-Home-of-Golf/News/Links-Trophy-2019 – check out the scoring – the young players today are pretty awesome and the scoring sensational – quite possibly a future Open Champion amongst their ranks – well done the to Links Trust for running a splendid event. And the picture was taken from the famous Road Hole Bar in the Old Course Hotel – a very cool spot from which to watch the best amateur golfers in the world! We stayed overnight in one of St Andrews other famous hotels – and the night time view of the 18th green of the Old Course and the R&A Clubhouse was taken from our Suite in Rusacks Hotel – again a world class view from this iconic hotel. And after a wonderful dinner in The Adamson we had a relatively early night. Which meant I was up with the lark not to mention the St Andrews greenkeepers – kind of early in the morning – it was just before 5.45am when the picture was taken from our Suite window – see time clock on the R&A Clubhouse – so that’s how they keep the Old Course is such pristine condition! No wonder our clients tell us when they come to St Andrews and indeed play The Old Course it is one of the greatest experiences they have ever had!

Peter Craigon, Morton Golf Holidays   

Book Review – Mashies and Mash Tuns by Andrew Brown

I have just finished reading “Mashies and Mash Tuns” by a relatively new author Andrew Brown. And an extremely informative and entertaining read it is. This is Brown’s 2nd book and his theme is one very close to my heart – and to the heart of many of our clients. You see the subject matter is all about golf and whisky – 2 loves of my life – and no doubt of thousands of golfers around the world. Having worked in the whisky industry before we bought Morton Golf Holidays I am of course a little biased. However I know from talking to thousands of clients over the years they come to Scotland not only to play our world class golf courses but also to enjoy a whisky experience along the way. Mashies and Mash Tuns is Brown’s 2nd book – his first being Of Peats and Putts – both of these offerings I can highly recommend as they take the reader on a wonderful journey playing hidden gem golf courses and visiting nearby whisky distilleries. The general theme in both books is to play golf in an area which is located close to a whisky distillery – for example play at Brora in the morning and visit the Clynelish Distillery in the afternoon – and this plan can be repeated throughout the country – play Machrihanish then visit Springbank Distillery and so on. In fact Brown’s book could be describing a Morton Golf tour! Of Peats and Putts covers 9 golf courses in different locations all over Scotland the courses being selected as they are close to a neighbouring distillery. Warming to his theme Mashies and Mash Tuns uses the identical plan but this time the golf courses and whisky distilleries are in England (yes they now are producing whisky – although they can’t call it Scotch!). He also journeys to Wales and then onto Ireland – where incidentally whisky adds an “e” so the Irish version is whiskey! And more than just describing his clearly enjoyable encounters with all of these great courses and distilleries Brown draws comparison with both golf and whisky to life itself – and who can disagree with him.
Peter Craigon, MD, Morton Golf Holidays – 25th June 2019

Castle Course, St Andrews

Dear Everyone
Castle Course, St Andrews – 2nd April 2019.
Well what an advert for playing golf in Scotland in the “shoulder months”!!

The photos were taken last week at the Castle Course on a very sunny day with only a 5mph wind. One of the images was taken on the 5th tee and shows my great golfing pals – David Murchie the head pro at Crieff GC, Donald McLeod who is our Associate Director and past finalist in Britain’s Best Putter, Alan Wilson. The other picture was taken looking towards to 6th green – it’s a simply stunning holes with some of the best views on any golf course in the country. The Castle Course was in fantastic shape – the golf course just gets better and better each year. Great golf holes with wonderful views out to the North Sea and across towards Carnoustie I’d recommend the Castle Course to anyone looking for a superb golfing day out. Not just a brilliant golf course the rest of the facilities at the Castle Course are 2nd to none – a unique clubhouse with a very well stocked shop, friendly and efficient service from the whole team, the driving range is only 10 yards from the clubhouse and a revamped putting green and short game area – what more could you ask for.
Peter Craigon, MD, Morton Golf Holidays

The Seafood Ristorante, St Andrews

Hi Everyone
Fantastic lunch in St Andrews: http://www.theseafoodrestaurant.com/

Today we had one of the very best lunches we have had in many a long day. The Champagne Sunday Lunch in the Seafood Ristorante in St Andrews was simply a delight. The welcome we received from GM Andy Proctor and his team definitely indicated we were in for a tip top experience and I have to say they delivered big time. The service was 10/10, the food was 10/10 and the location I’d have to give them an 11/10 – once you have been there you will know what I mean. Every member of the team looked after us in a very friendly and skillful fashion – the overall experience we enjoyed today I’d say makes this restaurant not only one of the best in Fife but probably in the whole of Scotland. We will certainly be recommending the Seafood Ristorante to all of our clients who will be staying in St Andrews this year.

Peter Craigon, MD, Morton Golf Holidays – 17th March 2019

Congratulations to David Law from all at Morton Golf Holidays for winning his first European Tour event.

Hopefully this achievement from the young Aberdeen golfer will act as a catalyst to the other Scots who gained their tour card along with him for this year.  So all the best to Liam Johnston, Bob MacIntyre and Grant Forrest – another Scottish victory just around the corner perhaps?

Peter Craigon, MD, Morton Golf Holidays

David Law made huge progress in the European Tour’s Race to Dubai after a sensational finish to overtake leader Wade Ormsby and score his maiden title in his rookie season at the ISPS Handa Vic Open. The 2018 Challenge Tour graduate was 3 shots back as he stood on the 16th at 13th Beach Golf Club but the he went within two with a birdie before producing a stunning second to within ten feet on the last to set up an eagle opportunity. The 27-year-old held his nerve to sink the putt and take a share of the lead with Ormsby, but the home favourite ran into trouble with a double-bogey on the 17th, which left him needing an eagle of his own on the 18th to force a play-off. The Australian gave himself a chance with a putt from the fringe but could only make birdie to give Law a one-stroke triumph. Law collects 335 Race to Dubai points and jumps from 142nd to 17th in the Rankings with a season total of 365.4 points.
“It’s a massive win,” said Law. “It’s not something I expected. For me just being out here playing on the European Tour was enough.  I’ve been loving the four events I’ve played so far and to just be a European Tour player was what I was happy with. To have won today, it sort of changes things a little bit. I’ll go home, reflect a little bit on things and reassess.  We said we were going to try to finish three-two-four in the hope that we could get a top-three finish. Then birdie 16, par 17, and going down the last we said we need an eagle. We make eagle, we post at 18 under, you never know what can happen.”.

Dumbarnie Links, Fife, Scotland

Hi Everyone

Scotland’s newest golf links is due to open in 2020 and I had a wonderful preview and walk around the Dumbarnie Links recently in the company of project manager Paul Kimber. The course is going to be a fantastic addition to Scotland’s wonderful array of world class links and it is only around 10 miles from St Andrews so it is sure to find its way onto the itineraries of golfers coming to play in the Home of Golf. The course has been designed by Clive Clark the former Walker and Ryder Cup player and what a brilliant job he has done. With wonderful views over the Firth of Forth towards Muirfield and North Berwick the golf course has a variety of holes from short par 3s and big par 5s with everything in between.

We in Scotland have been incredibly lucky over the last few years as a number of brilliant new links courses have been built to compliment our historical old links – we know we are already the envy of every golf destination in the world and now we have another classic in the making to add to the list. Consider this list to whet the appetite of any golfer looking for the experience of a lifetime – our old established courses include: Open venues past and present such as The Old Course, Prestwick, Musselburgh, Carnoustie, Royal Troon, Muirfield and Turnberry Ailsa. Now look at links which have been created in the last 20 years: Kingsbarns, Castle Stuart, Machrihanish Dunes, Trump Links, The Renaissance Club, Archerfield, Craigielaw and renovations at the aforementioned Turnberry Ailsa, The Machrie and the King Robert the Bruce Course at Trump Turnberry. A golfer could spend 3 weeks in Scotland playing on these fantastic links golf courses – if that’s perhaps a little tricky for people well they can always come for a week each of the next 3 or 4 years!! I for one can’t wait to play the Dumbarnie Links – well done to all who have been involved in creating this masterpiece to add to Scotland’s already rich golfing hertitage.
Peter Craigon, MD, Morton Golf Holidays

prefect those “ bump and runs”

Hi Everyone

The St Andrews Links have just sent out this update.  The revamped Short Game Area does indeed look stunning and will no doubt provide golfers the opportunity to practice all of the shots they will experience on the Old Course and a the other courses run by the St Andrews Links.  Our clients always warm up at the “range” (Golf Academy) before the tackle the Old Course – now we will encourage them to go a little earlier to give themselves more time to work on their short game shots as well as the booming drives they dream of hitting off the 1st tee!  No excuse now for not being able to perfect those “ bump and runs” which many of our clients from around the world have never previously experienced – in fact a highlight for many is when the caddie encourages his golfer to take the putter from 30 or 40 yards short of the green!  As many golfers who experience links golf for the first time come to realise – it is the truest form of the game – no wonder so many come back to the Home of Golf again and again!   Can’t wait until the Spring to have a wee shot on the new Short Game Area myself.  READ MORE>>

Peter Craigon, MD, Morton Golf Holidays

Hi Everyone

The images here show Tain Golf Club which is located in the North of Scotland not too far from Royal Dornoch.  I had the pleasure to play there with my lifelong golfing friends a couple of weeks ago – and what a treat it was. It is a classic links course which is well over 100 years old.  It was designed by Old Tom Morris and the image shows the lovely wood carving of Old Tom which stands beside the clubhouse – he’s the one 2nd from the right!  The course has some fantastic holes and probably the most well know is the 11th which is simply known as “Alps” – after driving to a reasonably generous if bumpy fairway you play your 2nd shot over a couple of massive dunes to a blind green – in fact this hole would be right at home on the famous Prestwick course – surprise, surprise – also designed by Old Tom.  Anyone planning a golf trip to the North of Scotland should definitely add Tain to their itinerary – or ask us to do it for you!

Peter Craigon, MD, Morton Golf Holidays   

BRORA GOLF CLUB
Dear Everyone
It was an absolute privilege and pleasure to play Brora last week. I was one of the courses on our annual winter tour and my golf buddies and I were blessed with wonderful weather – it was sunny and almost no wind – which for November in Scotland was shall we say “unexpected”. Brora is a wonderful traditional Scottish links golf course – the front nine straight out and the back 9 straight back – although the 6th and 13th short holes both play ‘across’. And what a wonderful links course this is – set out in 1891 as a 9 holer, extended to 18 in 1900 it was re-designed by Scotland’s iconic course designer James Braid in 1924. This simply is what links golf is all about and it’s a must play for any golfer who wants to play a great golf course and at the same time feel a little bit of Scottish golf history. And you are unlikely to have played any course where the greenkeepers are cows (and sheep)!! Or at least these amazing beasts are there to help to greens staff by feeding on the grasses – it’s a wonderful site – and makes you concentrate on where you walk!! So each green is surrounded by an electric fence – not unique in Scottish but most unusual – it all just adds to the experience. I highly recommend Brora Golf Club to any golfer wishing to play one of the very best links courses anywhere in the world.

2018 Winter Golf at it’s very best ( Peter did not mention he holed a 4 foot putt on the last to win the match !!- Donald)

Peter Craigon, MD, Morton Golf Holidays – Nov 2018

Hi Everyone

How is this for a world class view – I had a meeting with well-known golf writer Roger McStravick last week and the venue was the Café above the British Golf Museum.  On a number of different levels this was a memorable meeting. A) Roger is a great guy with a passion for golf – especially in St Andrews – which is I’d say is pretty closely matched to my own!  B) Just look at the view – who says the sun doesn’t shine in Scotland in November! C) Roger kindly gave me a copy of his new book “ A Comfort Blanket for the Hapless Golfer” which I highly recommend as a most entertaining and informative read (even if he does plug some of our competitors in the opening few pages!)  https://www.amazon.co.uk/St-Andrews-Comfort-Blanket-Hapless/dp/0993595057.  Roger is an award winning author – in 2015 he won the Herbert Warren Wind Award for his work “In The Footsteps of Old Tom Morris” – http://www.usga.org/articles/2016/02/2015-herbert-warren-wind-book-award-winner-announced.html.  See also Roger’s “ A History of Golf” : https://www.rogermcstravick.com/books/a-history-of-golf.  Any golf enthusiast wishing to learn about the history of the game or about the father of golf itself could do worse than buying these great books by Roger.  And if you’d like a flavour of what your trip to St Andrews will be like or to look for reasons as to why you must come to The Home of Golf then buy his latest book – or you could always just ask me!!

Peter Craigon, MD, Morton Golf Holidays

Hi Everyone
We had a great visit to Aberdeen at the weekend. We had lunch on Friday on the way in the new and excellent Rookery Restaurant which is in the revamped clubhouse at Carnoustie overlooking the first tee and the 18th. The views are wonderful as is the food and service – a great addition to the overall experience for all golfers visiting Carnoustie. See one of the story boards of past Carnoustie Open Champs which make a visit to the new clubhouse a little but like being in a golf hall of fame! Then it was onto MacLeod House just to the north of Aberdeen this wonderful country house hotel is part of the Trump International Links operation – very much a 5 star experience – top class service and a high quality menu – the cherry souffle is not to be missed. We played the Trump Links which I must say has developed so well since it opened a few years ago and now has the feel it has been there for years – the greens and firm and fast – and the golf course is simply spectacular. This was a short visit but it would be easy to stay in the north east of Scotland for 4 or 5 days and add Royal Aberdeen, Murcar, Cruden Bay and Fraserburgh to make a superb golfing itinerary. When not playing golf in Aberdeen a visit to the Silver Darling restaurant is to be recommended – see the view from the restaurant above which shows impressive white horses looking to the north! Or there are a number of places of historical interest in and around Aberdeen – for example see the distinctive St Machar Cathedral.

We are so lucky in Scotland to have many great golfing locations all surrounded by the rich and varied history and culture for which Scotland is so rightly well known.

Peter Craigon, MD, Morton Golf Holidays 

Hi Everyone
I had a wonderful visit last week to The Machrie Links on the island of Islay (pronounced Eye-la) which is located at the southern end of the inner Hebrides – in fact looking west from the iconic links golf course it’s “next stop North America”.

I have known about The Machrie for well over 40 years but for some reason I just never had the chance to go there. And now I have been I can say it has gone straight into my personal Top 10. The course is a true pleasure to play and it really has everything – great views, holes along the beach, big dunes, changes of direction, big greens, many wide fairways – and some not so wide. The revamped complex has wonderful facilities – a top class 4 star hotel with over 40 bedrooms, brilliant cuisine, a superb range if Islay malts and other great whiskies, a cinema, gym, driving range, golf coaching studio, short game area, a brilliant putting green which is a wee bit like the Himalayas in St Andrews and a wee course – 6 holes of varying lengths from 80 to 150 yards – a real links test – just lots of slopes and run offs and no rough to speak of – you can play all the way round with just a putter should you wish – it indeed gives you every links shot in the book!! Although the Machrie has all of the top class golf facilities a modern resort would wish for the golf course originated in the 1890s and it is easy to imagine some of the greats play round this iconic links – which indeed they did back in the day. All in all the Machrie is a must play for anyone who wants to sample what true Scottish links golf is all about.
Peter Craigon, MD, Morton Golf Holidays

Hi Everyone
The location of this picture many of you may recognise – it was taken on the iconic 15th tee at Kingsbarns. Kingsbarns Golf Links is located just a few miles from St Andrews on the Fife coast and is currently in the Top 30 of the Golf Digest’s list of the world’s best golf courses. I believe it should be much higher! On Monday of this week I played in the Kingsbarns Trade day and what a wonderful day it was – the weather was perfect, the condition of the course was 10 out of 10, the organisation of the day 2nd to none – Alan & Audrey Hogg who run Kingsbarns have a fantastic team in place to deliver top class customer service. Over the years we have had a huge number of clients play Kingsbarns and they regularly tell us it was their favourite golf course on their trip. And when you have such a fantastic and spectacular layout with the sea in view on every hole what is not to like. You will be able to see some of the world’s top players tackle Kingsbarns on television starting on 4th October as it yet again plays host to the Dunhill alongside Carnoustie and the Old Course. This year’s Dunhill has a brilliant field and recently announced Brooks Koepka will play as well as Tony Finau. Also among the entries are Major Champions Martin Kaymer, Ernie Els, Padraig Harrington, Louis Oosthuizen and Graeme McDowell, plus Spain’s Miguel Ángel Jiménez, winner of the Senior British Open in July.
Peter Craigon, MD, Morton Golf Holidays – 20/9/2018

Hi Everyone,

The St Andrews Links Official Photobook

A couple of days ago I was with some clients seeing them off the 1st tee for their dream round on the most famous golf course in the world – the Old Course in St Andrews.  I have been very lucky over the last 15 years to help literally thousands of golfers secure the best experience in golf – there really is nothing quite like teeing it up on the Old Course.  As you can imagine to capture the moment there any many a photo taken especially in these days of the camera phone!  As I had wished our group all the best for their round of a lifetime I bumped into Kevin Kirk who owns a professional photography business and this year has started working with the St Andrews Links Trust to offer a truly amazing service.  For all golfers who have purchased one of our Morton Golf Holidays Packages including a guaranteed tee time on the Old Course then Kevin and his team are there not only on the first tee but also capture shots of golfers as they play the 1st, 2nd, 17th and of course the 18th. The difference between the camera shot taken by your golf buddies, tour operator or caddie and what Kevin and his team produce is like night and day – I guess that’s why they make their living taking these wonderful photos. Each golfer is given a code on the 1st tee and they can then go online and order from a variety of photos to capture their dream of playing on the Old Course.  And if you really want bragging rites over your golf buddies back home then you should order the St Andrews Links Official Photobook – see some of the images above – imagine showing everyone professionally taken images of you and your friends on the most hallowed ground in all of golf – all produced in a coffee table book which makes it look like you have been playing in a Major.  No matter your swing is not quite the same as Tiger or Rory, Kevin and his team will produce photos of you and your friends playing the most memorable round of your life – with some of the iconic background in the game.  We will certainly be looking to give all of our clients memories to cherish by including the option to add the St Andrews Links Official Photobook when they come to Scotland with Morton Golf Holidays.

Peter Craigon, Managing Director, Morton Golf Holidays

Hi Everyone

Barrie Douglas Golf Foundation – Craigie Hill Golf Day / Friday 08 June 2018

Barrie Douglas was a great friend and was without doubt one of best known figures in golf in Scotland since way back in the 1960s when he played for the Scottish Boys Team. I believe he played in the team with the likes of Bernard Gallacher and a number of other well-known golfers who became Tour players.  He was definitely a tremendous match player and I was lucky enough to play with him as my partner on a number of occasions in the Queen Elizabeth FPs tournament held annually at Royal Burgess GS.  In fact one year we gave a former Scottish Champion and his partner a “dog licence” – which as you can imagine we dined out on for a number of years thereafter!  Barrie really found his forte in managing for a number of years the Scotland Boys team and was a junior selector with the R&A for GB&I teams.  His wonderful knowledge and positive attitude enabled him to get the best out of all teams he managed.  And of course he was legendary when it came to golfing stories – and they grew better and more frequent the later we all stayed in the bar.  Sadly as I am sure many of you will know he passed away last year having taken ill whilst on duty at the European Boys team championships in Spain.  To carry on his legacy the Barrie Douglas Golf Foundation has been set up by wife Tish, daughters Susan and Jennifer and a wonderful Board has come together which collectively have a golfing pedigree second to none – well done to Charlie Gallagher, Stevie Carruthers and George Stubbs.  The guys ran a very successful Golf Day at Craigie Hill on Friday – 22 teams of 4 golfers took part and such was Barrie’s popularity the event was sold out in record time.  The Foundation in Barrie’s name will hold various events and the funds raised will go to help the development of junior golf in both Perth & Kinross and Scotland.  Golf and junior golf development meant so much to Barrie – I know he would have been so proud of the wonderful effort and organisation of the Foundation set up in his name – good luck for the future to all involved.  If anyone reading this blog be they clients or indeed just golfers interested in helping development of junior golf in Perth & Kinross and Scotland and you would like to support in some way – be it financial or otherwise please let me know as I would be delighted to put you in touch with the Barrie Douglas Golf Foundation Board.

Peter Craigon, M.D. Morton Golf Holidays     

Hi Everyone

The Iron Man of Arran Golf Challenge

I am delighted to report that the fund raising lead by Sandy Fyfe and 3 of his closest golfing friends is going extremely well with the total standing at around £4000.  Anyone wishing to donate can do so by visiting the website for the event – just click on the link below:

https://mydonate.bt.com/fundraisers/thearranfore

The photo shows Sandy, Tino, Bill and Graham about to tee off on the Jubilee Course earlier this week.  A huge thanks to one of our best clients Bruce Epstein from Boston and his group for donating this tee time to the fund raiser.  I would also like to say thank you to a number of our supplying golf courses for kindly donating tee times to help Sandy and the guys boost their fund raising – so thanks indeed to Castle Stuart, Crail, Prestwick, Royal Dornoch and to Phyllis Wilkie who donated an overnight stay in the Old Course Hotel.

In fact anyone who is reading this still has a chance to bid for the tee times at both Prestwick and Crail – simply email Sandy with your bid SandyFyfe@morrisandyoung.co.uk.

Sandy’s own daughter, Tallie, was hospitalised in Yorkhill, Glasgow for a protracted period of time when she was just 10 months old. Following two heart operations, Tallie has never looked back and is now a fit teenager who loves to play hockey every moment that she can. It’s time to give something back. Dave Kerr is Chair of Home Link Family Support based in Edinburgh. Home Link Family Support gives children and families a positive start in life by providing support in their homes in Edinburgh and Midlothian. Dave and Sandy are very grateful to both Bill and Graeme for agreeing to support these two charities equally from any funds raised.

Good luck to the guys – playing 93 holes in one day is no mean feat!!

Peter Craigon, MD, Morton Golf Holidays

1st tee of the Old Course

Hi Everyone

Each year we are delighted to be able to include a guarantee to play on the Old Course for a significant number of our clients. April this year saw our season off to a wonderful start with clients here from South Africa, USA and Canada. One of the great things about my job is being able to be with clients on the first tee of the Old Course and indeed many have told me over the years it has been the most memorable round of their lives. Not to put too fine a point for many golfers to play on the Old Course is literally a dream come true. A wonderful example of one of our groups about to fulfil that dream can be seen in the photo below and we were delighted Chris DuPont from Canada gave me permission to include his testimonial in this blog – in fact not only did we arrange for his group to play at the Old Course along with a number of other top Scottish courses – including Muirfield – we also added Royal Birkdale, Royal Lytham and a day at the Grand National – now there’s a trip to create everlasting memories! Thanks Chris and we hope to see you and the guys back in Scotland very soon.

Hi Peter, On our recent golf trip, we liked the opportunity to golf world class courses and going to the Grand National. Kingsbarns was the consensus favourite due to the fantastic views and the great golf holes.  The accommodation was great and a special note for the bed and breakfast in Southport. Fantastic.  The transport drivers were fantastic. Very accommodating and friendly. The Trip information summary was great and we were very happy with the service from Morton Golf Holidays and I have already given your name to my optometrist. We definitely want to come back to Scotland! –Chris Dupont, Canada

Peter Craigon, MD, Morton Golf Holidays 

Kingsbarns Golf Links

Hi Everyone

Had a great meeting yesterday with Alan and Audrey Hogg who do such a great job of running Kingsbarns Golf Links and have done now for some 7 years.  The image right was taken looking over the 18th green and beyond from the balcony of the wonderful clubhouse – who says we do not have great weather here in Scotland in April!!  You can always rely on Alan and Audrey to be innovative – take a look at the Kingsbarns Wind Tee – when it gets really windy on a links course it can sometimes be a bit of an issue getting the ball to stay on the tee(peg) – so Alan and his team have now come up with this really cool tee which goes into the ground at a little bit of an angle and has a wider than normal part to hold the ball – it also has a ridge in the stem so you can be sure to have the ball at the correct height every time.  Very apt for the modern driver.  So each time you play at Kingsbarns the starter will give you a little pack of the Kingsbarns Wind Tees – very novel – and being Scottish these tees at first glance appear to be indestructible.  The golf course and clubhouse were both looking fantastic yesterday – very fitting for a golf course that should never ever be out of any top 20 list in world golf.

Peter Craigon, MD, Morton Golf Holidays  

The Open Shop, St Andrews

Hi Everyone
Was in St Andrews this week with some clients from both South Africa and Canada – delighted our season has started in earnest now and looking forward to watching our clients tee off on The Old Course – it has to be the most nerve racking and exciting tee shot in golf – it’s amazing what a little focus can do – I have been watching our clients tee off from the 1st tee of the Old Course for over 14 years now and it is incredible how many great shots people actually play – and to see the delight on their faces as their drive heads right up the middle of the rather large fairway never gets old. I was delighted to look into the newly revamped shop just over the street from the 18th green of the Old Course – simply named “ The Open “ the shop is on the site of the Old Tom Morris shop which is where the great man made and sold clubs and gutta percha golf balls 150 years ago! The new shop is full of really cool gear and as the name suggests focuses on The Open brand – well worth a visit for anyone looking for clothes or momentoes depicting the world’s most important and famous golf championship.
Peter Craigon, MD, Morton Golf Holidays

Great place for Lunch in St Andrews
Hello Everyone
St Andrews is clearly world famous for golf and quite rightly so being the Home of the greatest game in the world. The grand old town is steeped in the history of golf and anyone either here to play or even just to visit cannot failed to be fascinated by the atmosphere around the place. In addition the town boasts some excellent restaurants and one of the newest kids on the block is Kazoku which means family in Japanese. We had the pleasure of having lunch there last week and can’t recommend it highly enough – great menu, friendly service and actually very reasonably priced.

They also have a couple of rather larger figures of a pelican – not too sure of the significance but they do add to the interest of the place! We will definitely add this great restaurant to our list of places to eat for our clients.
Peter Craigon, MD, Morton Golf Holidays

Oldest Golf Courses – How many have you played?

Dear Everyone

Playing lots of different golf courses has always been of great interest to me – ever since I was 10 years old and the Auchterarder Golf Club junior section has their annual outing to Dunning Golf Club (5 miles away!) I have always loved the thrill of playing a golf course for the first time. To date and some 50 years later I have played over 250 golf courses of Scotland’s 586 total and over 100 in other countries of the world.  There is no doubt this passion for playing lots of different golf courses lead to us buying Morton Golf Holidays – and certainly having played on all of the famous golf courses in Scotland not to mention numerous hidden gems has helped me offer advice to our clients. Last year I came across a wonderful website which allows you to record the number of courses you have played in various categories such as Oldest, True Links, Royals, US and Open Championship venues and so on. See the link below to the Most Unique Courses website and see how your list compares to many other enthusiasts around the world. I was delighted to see I am right up there with the number of the world’s oldest courses I have played – how many have you played!!

https://www.mostuniquecourses.com/en/?page=user&id_user=105&id_category=9

Oldest golf courses/clubs in the world.

1672 Musselburgh Old Links
1744 Honourable Company of Edinburgh Golfers
1754 St Andrews Old Course – although golf played on the links since at least the 1500s
1774 Royal Musselburgh

1777 Fraserburgh Golf Club

1780 Aberdeen Golf Club
1786 Crail Golfing Society
1787 Elie and Earlsferry
1793 Fortrose
1793 Kingsbarns
1812 Kinghorn
1817 Scotscraig
1818 Montrose
1824 Royal Perth Golfing Society
1832 North Berwick
1835 Carnoustie

Peter Craigon, MD, Morton Golf Holidays

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The Iron Man of Arran Golf Challenge

Dear All

Since we bought Morton Golf Holidays way back in 2004 our accountant and business advisor has been Sandy Fyfe one of the senior partners at Morris & Young in Perth. These days Sandy is not only our key guy in all matters financial but is also is a very good friend. Around the time we purchased Morton Golf his 10 month old daughter was very ill and required a number of months and a couple of heart operations in the Yorkhill Hospital in Glasgow. (Royal Hospital for Sick Children). I am delighted to say daughter Tallie is now a very healthy 14 year old who is actually a great hockey player! Sandy and 3 of his friends this June are going to the Isle of Arran to take part in a fund raising golf event – this is to play all 93 golf holes on the island in one day!

We wish Sandy along with Graeme, Bill and Dave all the very best when they take part in this wonderful challenge – and of course all the luck in the world in raising funds for such worthy causes – see the link below for details. There are some wonderful and indeed quirky and fun golf courses on Arran – and one of the UKs top courses is in pride of place – Shiskine and a wonderful links course – and for those who don’t know – is most unusual in that it is a 12 hole course.

Good luck guys and for anyone who would like to add a little support for this wonderful cause click on the link below to see how you could donate.

https://mydonate.bt.com/fundraisers/thearranfore

The team :Graeme (5) – Airdrie/Crail, Bill (8) – Dun Ochil, Sandy (14) – Dun Ochil, Dave (19) – Baberton

Peter Craigon, MD, Morton Golf Holidays

Kingsbarns Distillery on their 3rd birthday

Congratulations to our friends at the Kingsbarns Distillery on their 3rd birthday.

Peter Craigon, MD, Morton Golf Holidays – 26th March 2018

Craig Millar @ 16 West End, St Monans

Hi Everyone

Visited a wonderful award winning restaurant yesterday for a Mother’s Day treat.  Craig Millar @ 16 West End is a real “ foodie “ place located in the lovely Fife fishing village of St Monans which is a pleasant 25 minute drive from St Andrews.

Wonderful seafood, beautiful location and the team who looked after us yesterday provided top class service.

The location is wonderful – the images show a view of the harbour – on a clear day you can see all the way across the Firth of Forth to Muirfield and North Berwick – and of the fishing village itself – both of these pictures were taken from inside the restaurant – it truly is a terrific location.  All in all a super restaurant which we will certainly be recommending to our clients and friends alike.

Peter Craigon, MD, Morton Golf Holidays

Kingsbarns Distillery – St Andrews

I have been very lucky throughout my career as I have been in a position to sell to my clients two of the major passions in life – namely whisky and golf.  Indeed I may be the only golf tour operator in the world who is also a Keeper of the Quaich. It is no accident therefore when we bring clients to Scotland to play golf we are delighted so many allow us to include a VIP Whisky Tour as part of their itinerary.  In Scotland we are not only the Home of Golf but we also gifted the world scotch whisky so it is little wonder people love a good tour of a distillery to learn about how it is made and of course to have a wee taste!  In Scotland we have many distilleries and golf courses with a rich and varied history but we also have many fantastic new facilities – and indeed 2 of the very best are literally right next door to each other in the Kingdom of Fife.  Kingsbarns Golf Links was opened for play in the year 2000 and is most definitely deserving of it’s status among the very best in all of the “ Top “ lists of golf courses in the world.  And how wonderful an addition to the Scottish distillery scene has been the Kingsbarns Distillery.  We send many of our client there for VIP Tours and they are extremely well looked after by Manager Scott Robertson and his team.  And from this year they have added the Darnley’s Gin House – so when you visit for a tour you can now see not only how scotch whisky is made but also learn all about the history and traditional of this wonderful Scottish gin.  Good luck to the whole team at the Kingsbarns Distillery and we will certainly be encouraging all of our clients to add a VIP tour to their itineraries to enhance the overall Scottish Experience.

Peter Craigon, MD, Morton Golf Holidays  – 23rd Feb 2018

Slow Play – Speed up the game we all love

Dear Golfer
I read with interest today the article and comments regarding slow play in the Morning Read – http://www.morningread.com/

I have played golf for well over 50 years having started to play at Auchterarder Golf Club (across the fence from the Gleneagles PGA Centenary Course) and in the 1960’s the average round was 3 hours (or less). We were not even playing “ready golf” – but when it was your turn to play you got on with it – no pre-shot routines or looking through any distance measuring devices in those days. I now play off 6 and my son Sam is a soon to be qualified PGA Pro (he worked at Balbirnie Park GC in Fife for the last 3 years and starts a new post at Panmure GC near to Carnoustie this week working for Head Pro Andrew Crerar). Sam is 24 years old and has played golf for over 20 years – he and I have played regularly in that time – we sometimes play at St Andrews – often on the New Course or Jubilee Course. We live 30 miles from St Andrews but when we play we try to book the first tee time of the day – often around 7:00 am – with no-one in front of us our average time to play 18 holes is never over 2.5 hours. Last Friday we played at Panmure which is a great links course (Hogan practiced there for 2 weeks before he won the British Open in 1953). Playing at which for us was a leisurely pace our time for play was 2 hours and 15 minutes. OK so we are both decent golfers – well he is a little better than decent – but why can we get round in a 2 ball in around 2.5 hours or less holing everything out and yet our game is plagued with slow play?

See the attached image

showing Sam preparing to play his approach shot to the 18th green at Panmure – you can see clearly in the winter sun the clock on the famous old clubhouse shows 4:30 pm – we tee off just after 2:15 pm!!

Some good points were made in the article and comments – maybe the game needs to be a little more “self-regulatory” when it comes to slow play – why a casual round should take more than 3.5 hours is quite beyond me. For a more important round such as a medal or club event then maybe a little longer is acceptable. We have run a successful golf tour business here in Scotland for 15 years and in that time have arranged for thousands of clients to play the Old Course. The St Andrews Links Trust certainly do well at getting golfers round the Old Course in a very reasonable 4 hours and 15 minutes average – that works in my view. For 20,000 golfers each year (the number of rounds played by visiting golfers) the round on the Old Course is probably one of the most important and memorable they will ever play – so of course they do not wish to be rushed in anyway. So 2.5 hours for a couple of good players to play 18 holes, 3.5 hours for a 3 ball and 4 hours for a 4 ball in a club event and 4 to 4.25 hrs for a round on the most famous golf course in the world. Surely these are reasonable times for all golfers to aim for ?

Slow play is not helping as the game struggles to keep and attract golfers new and old – between clubs, governing bodies in the pro and amateur game – it’s time to take action and find ways to speed up the game we all love.

Peter Craigon, MD, Morton Golf Holidays. – 13/2/18

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Carnoustie prepares for The 2018 Open Championship and beyond.

Yesterday I donned a hard hat and high viz jacket and was given a tour of the new Golf Centre at Carnoustie by Colin McLeod who is the Golf Services Manager and our key contact.

(See images of the new facility). The new centre will enable the team at Carnoustie to provide a truly world class welcome to golfers from all over the planet who come to play at the iconic links. A top class food and beverage service will be on offer in addition to spacious locker and changing rooms, extensive pro shop, caddie managers office, reservations offices, board room and there will even 7 simulators to help golfers warm up – so you will be able to play the first hole before you play the 1st hole – if you see what I mean !! In July this year Carnoustie welcomes the best golfers in the world to play in the 2018 Open – so the new golf centre which is located right beside the 1st tee will launch with a bang ! ( actually it is planned to be ready for April/ May time) – a classy new facility to compliment the one of the very best championship links on the Open rota.

Peter Craigon, MD, Morton Golf Holidays

Lindores Abbey Distillery

Had a great visit today to the place where scotch whisky (aqua vitae) may well have been distilled for the very first time – Lindores Abbey Distillery is in Fife near the banks of the River Tay and less than 20 miles from St Andrews. See the Earliest Written Reference :

“Distilling was taking place on this site at least as early as 1494, although it was most probably happening long before that. We know this because of the earliest written reference to Scotch Whisky (or Aqua Vitae, as it was then known), which appears in the Exchequer Roll of the same year, naming Friar John Cor, a Lindores monk, who was commissioned by King James IV to turn 8 bolls of malt into Aqua Vitae. 8 Bolls of malt amounts to around 500kg in modern terms and would have been enough to make about 400 bottles of today’s whisky.”

This is Scotland’s newest scotch whisky distillery having only opened a few months ago – however it has been skilfully put together and anyone taking one of their tours will learn not only about the whisky making process developed over hundreds of years but you will also hear of the history of Scotland’s national drink. Little wonder that after 500 or 600 years we in Scotland are rather good at making whisky. So not only is Scotland the Home of Golf but also the home of the best drink in the world! We will certainly be adding tours to the wonderful Lindores Abbey Distillery for our clients to make their Scottish experience even more authentic.

Peter Craigon, MD, Morton Golf Holidays -31/1/18

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St Andrews in the Winter Sun!

Who said we have no nice weather in Scotland during the winter months! These wonderful images taken today prove otherwise. One picture shows the famous West Sands – eat your heart out “ Chariots of Fire.” Just yards from the Old Course on a day like today hundreds of people head out for a walk along these famous sands. 

The other pictures depict where golfers from all over the world prepare for their dream round – yes it’s the range at the St Andrews Golf Academy.

In fact today I was aiming directly at the Old Course Hotel – looks close but in fact it’s about 350 yards away – so pretty safe unless Rory was playing!

Looking forward to seeing all of our clients warm up before they play the Old Course this year. Start dreaming of that opening tee shot everyone!!

Peter Craigon, MD, Morton Golf Holidays  

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Milnathort relishing chance to host new R and A  nine-hole Championship Final

I was delighted to learn Milnathort GC will host the prestigious Scottish Golf R&A 9 Hole Championship in June 2018 with the winners teeing it up at Carnoustie just before The Open.  Congratulations to Milnathort – in my opinion it is the BEST 9 holer in Scotland – I am a little biased as I was a member there for a number of years and our son Sam played in their junior team which won the Perth & Kinross team championship in 2010.

Peter Craigon, MD, Morton Golf Holidays – 31st Jan 2018

NEWS RELEASE

Perth and Kinross  venue Milnathort Golf Club is looking forward to shining on the national stage when it hosts the final of the inaugural Scottish Golf R and A 9-Hole Championship this summer.

An exciting new free-to-enter event on the domestic calendar, it offers club members a dream opportunity to play at Carnoustie on the eve of July’s Open Championship.

As Scottish Golf continues to encourage shorter formats of the game, each affiliated club is invited to host a 9-hole qualifying event during the early part of the season, with the winning pair from each club earning their place at Milnathort on Friday 15 June.

The event forms part of the qualifying process to find Scotland’s finalists for The R and A’s 9-Hole Championship, where winning pairs from the four Home Nations will savour the chance of a lifetime to tee up at Carnoustie just days before The Open commences.

Kenny Duncan, the Captain at Milnathort, is excited for all connected with the easily accessible, beautiful 9-hole venue near Kinross as they prepare to welcome golfers from all over the country. Indeed, in excess of 50 clubs have already registered to host a qualifier over the first few weeks since the event was announced.

He said: “It’s a great honour for the club and we are really looking forward to the event in June. It’s a terrific feather in the cap for Milnathort and we’re all over the moon.

“We have seen our membership push for more and more 9-hole competitions, as 18 holes can be too time-consuming for a lot of people nowadays, or too tiring for older players. Nine-hole medals are proving very popular for us.”

Duncan says golfers are in for a treat at Milnathort and he continued: “People have a misconception sometimes about 9-hole courses, that they are maybe inferior due to a lack of variety. But Milnathort has a variety of different tees and greens, so it doesn’t just feel like you are playing a 9-hole course.

“Overall, our course offers the perfect mix of challenge and forgiveness for golfers of all ages and abilities. It may be a little shorter than other courses, but it’s tighter, so you have to be careful with club selection.”

Part of the national member benefits package, the Championship is open to golfers of all ages and abilities who are members of clubs possessing a designated 9-hole Standard Scratch Score (SSS). Each affiliated club meeting the criteria – of which there are almost 300 nationwide – is invited to host a 9-hole stableford qualifying event before the end of May.

Eleanor Cannon, Executive Chair of Scottish Golf, welcomed the new event and said: “Scotland has 158 nine-hole courses, while many others have a 9-hole Standard Scratch Score. The new Championship gives us a fantastic platform to showcase what the country has to offer.

“We are keen to encourage the shorter format of the game to give those with time constraints more opportunities to play competitive golf. It’s great to see more and more clubs embrace this and we look forward to welcoming golfers of all ages and abilities to our newest national championship. There is no better incentive than the chance to play in front of the stands at The Open.”

Scotland’s top four pairings from the Milnathort final will join qualifiers from England, Ireland and Wales in front of the iconic stands at Carnoustie on Saturday 14 July.

Entries are now officially open with Scottish clubs encouraged to register their event

The Bard o’ Crieff !!

Today sees the annual celebratory tribute to the life, works and spirit of the great Scottish poet, Robert Burns (1759-1796). Celebrated on, or about, the Bard’s birthday, January 25th, Burns Suppers are literally held all over the world.  Here in Scotland we are quite rightly proud of our national bard who was undoubtedly one of the great poets with his works admired in all walks of life.  Many people “ have a go” at writing in the style of the great man but not too many combine this unique type of poetry with the game of golf which Scotland gave to the world.  Step forward my life long friend David Murchie who happens to be the Head Golf Pro at Crieff Golf Club in the heart of Perthshire and only a few miles north of Gleneagles. Each year David produces a wee Burns poem for his members and I felt we should give his fun but poignant words a world wide airing hence them appearing in this blog.  I’d also urge anyone coming to Scotland to play golf to add Crieff to your itinerary – it is one of the best examples of golf played inland in the country, has a great history and with David and his team you are assured of an extremely warm welcome.

Peter Craigon, MD, Morton Golf Holidays – 25th Jan 2018

World Class : The Old Course Hotel, St Andrews

We have always had an excellent relationship with the Old Course Hotel – both on a professional and personal basis.  Yesterday I was delighted to be shown the hotel’s newly upgraded wonderful Spa facility which now boasts 2 x 20m pools, a world class gym and the most amazing treatment rooms not to mention it’s very own Café – with lots of healthy options – but also top range wines and champagnes – well you are there on holiday after all!!  Along with the show round I was also attending a meeting with our colleagues from Visit Scotland to discuss ways we can work together to further develop initiatives to bring even more golfers to Scotland.  Our get together was in one of the excellent meeting rooms which are on the ground floor in what I would describe as the conference wing.  On the way to these rooms one walks along a lengthy and wide corridor which has been most thoughtfully turned into what feels like being in a gallery of golfing history – with old and larger than life images of Old Tom, Harry Vardon and many more of the icons of the game.  They have also added winners boards from various championships such as the Amateur Championship, The Scottish Amateur (can’t believe it’s 40 years since I used to played in this event!) and the Dunhill.  For any golf enthusiast it is well worth spending time in this walk through history.  For our clients staying in the Old Course Hotel make sure to take time to check out this “ walk through history” and for those not staying in the hotel why not stop by for a spot of lunch, dinner or to have a drink in the Road Hole Bar and try one (or more) of the 300 malt whiskies they have to offer. I know yet again this year we will be receiving wonderful feedback from all of our clients who will be enjoying the world class experience of being in the Old Course Hotel.

Peter Craigon, MD, Morton Golf Holidays – 16th Jan 2018

British Golf Museum in St Andrews

Dear Reader

I have just spent a most enjoyable couple of hours this afternoon in St Andrews in the British Golf Museum.  It had been 3 or 4 years since I had visited and I must say the place just gets better and better as time goes on.  A huge congratulations to the team at the museum – they have absolutely captured the history of our wonderful sport from the 1400s right up to the modern day.  They currently have around 50,000 visitors each year and for anyone with even a passing interest in golf the British Golf Museum is a must see when you come to St Andrews.  It is literally across the road from the R&A Clubhouse and not even a ½ wedge from the 1st tee of the Old Course.  We always recommend to all of our clients who are in St Andrews to visit the museum as it is a fun and informative way to learn about how our sport began and grew and developed to be played all over the world. 

There are wonderful story boards, paintings as well as many cabinets full of old trophies and medals including the Claret Jug and some winners medals from The Open Championship.  I must say two things which captured my imagination today were actual films about first of all The Great Triumvirate and then amazingly footage of one of the most famous speeches ever made in golf.  The Triumvirate – Harry Vardon, J.H. Taylor and James Braid won The Open 16 times between them in the late 1800s and early 1900s – there is an interactive screen in the museum showing real film of each of these legendary golfers hitting shots – hard to believe this film was shot around 110 to 120 years ago.

And if those images did not “get the goose bumps going” then certainly watching and listening to the one and only Bobby Jones give his acceptance speech in 1958 when he was given the Freedom of St Andrews is nothing short if awesome.  I have read many accounts of the speech by a number of well known golf writers but to watch the 5 minute short film of the great man deliver his famous oratory is for any golfer with even a semblance of interest in the history of golf an almost surreal experience.

And to finish off your visit I’d highly recommend going to the Museum’s café which is on the floor above – the view is simply world class – looking onto the first and 18th holes of the Old Course – you also see the green of the Road Hole ( 17th) and on wards to the iconic Old Course Hotel.  You almost have the feeling you are sitting in some kind of famous painting or in the midst of an image featured in a golf magazine!

Well done indeed to the R&A and the team who run the British Golf Museum – a must see for all golfers who come to the Home of Golf hoping to create lifelong experiences.

Peter Craigon, MD, Morton Golf Holidays – Frid 12/1/18

The Royal Burgess Golfing Society 

The Royal Burgess Golfing Society is the oldest golf club in the world! Yesterday I was privileged to meet with Society Professional Steven Brian and General Manager Graham Callander. I actually have a lengthy personal history with this most revered of golfing institutions. In 1973 I played in the Scottish Boys stroke play over this lovely parkland golf course (won by Steve Martin with a course record 64 in the last round). Then for a number of years I played for Perth Academy FPs in the “ Queen Elizabeth” which is an FPs school tournament hosted by Royal Burgess each September. The event is played in teams of 6 ( 3 x foursomes) and schools from all over the UK take part – this was a “ major “ in anyone’s language as many former Walker Cup players and internationals took part each year! Then in the early 1990’s I was a member of the club and loved nothing better than to play in some of the club’s annual meetings – the club has some of the oldest medals in the game – many of which are on show in the clubhouse! So to back yesterday to see the amazing refurbishment in the clubhouse was indeed a very special treat. As you can imagine the oldest club in the world has a rich history and being in the clubhouse is a little like moving around the most interesting of golf museums – but also like being in a stylish and traditional country house. One of the club historians Tony Flaherty gave me a private conducted tour – this lasted about an hour but there is so much history I could have talked with Tony all day ! When you learn that Old Tom Morris first laid out the golf course then it was developed further by first Willie Park and then James Braid you realise how the “ Burgess “ has become one of the finest inland – parkland courses in the country! After this look into the history of the club and indeed the game we then had lunch – the club has one of the best dining rooms of any golf club in the UK. And after being looked after so well I was delighted to hear that the club would be happy if we were to send small groups of our clients to enjoy a Royal Burgess Golfing Society experience. This would not simply be a game of golf – this would be a once in a lifetime experience – a private conducted tour of the club to learn about the history of the oldest golf club in the world – your guide may just be wearing a red tailed coat ( 250 years ago this was golfing uniform! ) – after the tour our clients will enjoy a wonderful lunch in the club’s dining room – then onto the golf course to play one of the finest inland courses in the land. What a wonderful way to add to your overall Scottish Golf experience. Thanks to Steve, Graham and Tony for yesterday and we look forward to a select few of our clients coming to the Royal Burgess Golfing Society to experience not just a great golf course but to be shown and feel a little of the rich history of the world’s oldest golf club.

Peter Craigon, MD, Morton Golf Holidays  – posted 14th Dec 2017

Old Course, St Andrews – Father & Son

I first played the Old Course with my Dad when I was 14 years old in 1971. My great pal Blyth Bell waited a little longer to play there with his Dad – and I was privileged to play with them today along with Blyth’s wife Jeanne. You see Danny Bell is 86 years old and although over the years this member of Forfar Golf Club has played The Old on a number of occasions – but never with his son. Blyth and Jeanne are both past club champions (and past Captains) of Royal Liverpool Golf Club and they are in St Andrews for a few days. Fiona and I joined them for a wonderful dinner in the Road Hole Restaurant at the Old Course Hotel last night and I happened to ask Blyth when he last played The Old with his Dad – “never have done” was the answer. Golf really is the best sport in the world for father & son to play together – and it was a real pleasure to watch to 2 Bells – father and son – walking up the hallowed fairways together today. We had a halved match – Jeanne my partner was spectacular on the back nine – her birdies on the 15th and 16th showed what a class player she is (and has been all of her golfing life)! Over the years since Fiona and I took over Morton Golf Holidays we have been lucky to arrange for a number of Fathers and Sons to play together on the Old Course – and a few Mothers and Daughters too! Today it was wonderful to watch Danny and Blyth teaming up together – the joy between the two was palpable and fantastic to be a part of. Here’s to many more years of Morton Golf Holidays arranging for fathers and sons and mother and daughters being able to enjoy the type of life long memories produced by playing the Old Course together – just like the Bells did today.

Peter Craigon, MD, Morton Golf Holidays – 29th Nov 2017

Fife Golf

Playing golf in Fife is to experience where the game began 600 years ago. The Old Course in St Andrews is simply the world’s most famous place to play golf and it is easy to imagine walking in the footsteps of Old Tom Morris, Alan Robertson, James Braid and so on. But Fife has an array of fantastic golf courses – wonderful old links courses such as the New Course, Jubilee Course, Crail, Lundin Links, Leven Links and Elie and one of the very best new links courses in the world at Kingsbarns.  Fife also has some great heathland and parkland courses such as Ladybank, The Dukes Course, Aberdour, Balbirnie Park and Dunfermline Golf Club (Pitfirrane) and many more. Indeed one of the other courses in Dunfermline (Pitreavie Golf Club) was designed by none other than Dr Alistair McKenzie or Augusta and Royal Melbourne fame.  Fife Golf recently shot an amazing trick shot video to help show off the variety of golf courses in the county – some amazing shots are shown in the short clip – who can tell me all of the golf courses to feature in the film?  First to send me the correct list of courses will receive a History of Scotland golf book. peter@mortongolf.com 

Peter Craigon, MD, Morton Golf Holidays

Craigie Hill Golf Club

For the last 49 years I have loved playing golf at “ The Hill “ – which Craigie Hill Golf Club is affectionately known as throughout Perthshire : http://www.craigiehill.co.uk/course-overview.php

On Saturday past I was delighted to take part in the club’s Prizegiving Texas Scramble. The invitation was from 2 of my greatest golfing buddies – Giddy (Iain) Simpson and Alan BBP Wilson ( Britain’s Best Putter – he was in the final a few years back) – and it was an extra special day for me as my son Sam (who is a PGA assistant golf pro – soon to be qualified) was also invited to make up our team. The photo shows all 4 of the team on the 8th tee at The Hill ( I’m the shadow) on a beautiful sunny day – a little chilly of course – but this was Scotland in November. The Club Captain Athole McDonald and his Board at Craigie Hill are to be congratulated on running a wonderful day as there were 21 teams taking part and it was great to see a full clubhouse after the shotgun round and you could tell everyone was having a great time and clearly spending at the bar – after all what are Saturdays for !! Golf in Scotland as in many other countries has been going through well documented challenges especially with club memberships – but with the energy and skill of the guys currently running things at Craigie Hill I’d like to think the game can turn a corner and see things start to thrive once more in the Home of Golf – maybe the folks at Scottish Golf Ltd should pay a visit to Craigie Hill to see how a golf club should be run! For visitors looking for a game on a golf course with some of the best views in Scotland look no further than Craigie Hill – the scenes from some parts of the golf course are truly amazing. And don’t worry about the hills – they do have buggies for hire at The Hill. And lastly to our team on the day – a resounding thanks for one of the best rounds I can remember in a long time – especially on the greens – 16 single putts is some kind of record for us – sorry to our fellow competitors if they heard too much “ whooping and hollering” but it was hard to contain ourselves as the putts kept dropping.

Peter Craigon, MD, Morton Golf Holidays – Published on  November 20, 2017

Principal Edinburgh Charlotte Square Hotel

On Friday last week I attended a trade association meeting in Edinburgh. The venue for the meeting was perhaps a little more poignant for me than for others – you see we were in the former Roxburghe Hotel in the centre of Edinburgh which is where Fiona and I had our wedding reception in 1989 – honestly it seems like yesterday! The hotel was one of Edinburgh’s iconic places to stay or attend a function and I was delighted to see it has now undergone a transformation and complete re-development and is now called the Principal Edinburgh Charlotte Square Hotel. From the front of the building which looks onto Charlotte Square it appears to be just like many of the other wonderful Georgian town houses for which Edinburgh’s new town is so famous. However amazingly this is now a very cosmopolitan up market 200 bedroom hotel which quite frankly rivals any of the other top quality hotels in the city. GM Marcello Ventisei showed us round and it was clear how passionate he is about this wonderful hotel – stylish bedrooms, creative and innovative public areas and a spa and pool to be opened in the Spring of 2018. https://www.kimptoncharlottesquare.com/photos/accomodation

We will certainly be using the Principal Charlotte Square for our clients who wish to enjoy all that is great about staying in Edinburgh when they come one of our wonder golfing packages. Coming to Scotland with Morton Golf Holidays is all about creating lasting memories and experiences and by staying in The Principal Edinburgh Charlotte Square this will certainly get you off to a wonderful start.

Peter Craigon, MD, Morton Golf Holidays – Published on November 13, 2017

North Berwick

Last week our Associate Director Donald McLeod and our great golf buddy Alan Wilson re-lived their youth when the played at North Berwick in an event put on by the club and jointly hosted by the Marine Hotel. A big thank from the lads to Chris Spencer of the host club and to Helen Butler and Jeff Mills from Macdonald Hotels. You see both Donald and Alan played North Berwick in the 1970s when the Scottish Boys Championship was played on that course every year. It really is one of Scotland’s most iconic links courses and as kids we were fortunate indeed to travel to East Lothian to play in the championship. Although none of us won the event playing round such a brilliant course at a young age was a fantastic introduction to us all to links golf – some may say proper golf. North Berwick has a long history of producing great players such as Ben Sayers and hosting amazing events. In addition to the aforementioned Scottish Boys it has seen Final Qualifying for The Open take place over these links on a number of occasions (Trevor Immelman had the lowest score in 2002) and indeed in 2010 it co-hosted The Amateur Championship with Muirfield. Another claim to fame for North Berwick is that their head pro David Huish lead The Open at Carnoustie in 1975 after 2 rounds – imagine a club pro leading the greatest Major in the world today even at any stage in the event. But such was David’s skills on the links there he was ahead of the leading players in the world at the half way stage ( including Nicklaus, Watson, Miller etc). It is also great to see that David’s son Martyn has carried on the family tradition and took over as head pro from Dad a number of years ago. Over the years we have been delighted to send many hundreds of golfers to North Berwick and the reasons are simple – firstly I believe this truly is amongst the very best links courses anywhere in the world and secondly on a regular basis our clients place North Berwick as their favourite course when they have come to Scotland on one of our packages. What is your opinion of North Berwick – I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Peter Craigon, MD, Morton Golf Holidays – Published on November 7, 2017

Greywalls Hotel

This week Fiona and I were invited to the most wonderful dinner at Greywalls Hotel which overlooks one of the world’s top golf courses! The dinner was a magnificent affair as it was hosted by the famous wine supplier Justerini & Brooks and we were privileged indeed to have a wine tasting conducted throughout the evening by Emeline Borie whose family owns Chateau Grand-Puy-Lacoste which is one of the oldest properties in the Medoc. In a previous life I worked in the drinks industry for many years so have attended numerous tastings but I have seldom come across anyone as passionate and knowledgeable about their product as Emiline – of course it did help in a significant way that we were tasting some of the best wines anywhere in the world!! But she gave a wonderful insight to each of the wines so a big thank you to Emeline – she travels the world to spread the word and conduct tastings with her families wonderful wines – as I write this she is now in Mexico for a few days before heading to Bolivia ! A huge thanks also to Greywalls – we have been sending our clients there since we took over Morton Golf Holidays and the way we were looked after by everyone was absolutely top notch – a truly 5 star experience in what has to be one of the very best country house hotels in Britain. Greywalls is unique and was designed by the celebrated Edwardian architect Sir Edwin Lutyens as a ‘dignified holiday home’. It was built in 1901 and still retains the charm and character for which it is renowned.

Location does of course help – I took the above photo from our bedroom window – who can tell me which hole this is and on which world famous golf course?

Peter Craigon, MD, Morton Golf Holidays – Published on October 31, 2017

Scottish Golf Tourism Week at Turnberry

This week I attended the Scottish Golf Tourism Week at Turnberry and you can see from the photo how magnificent the place was looking. This photo was taken from the hotel looking down onto the 18th green of the Ailsa Course and you can see Ailsa Craig in the background on the horizon. The SGTW is a pretty neat way for a buyer such as me to get round a number of potential new trade partners to further enhance the golf packages we offer to our clients. 2018 will see the 30th year of trading for Morton Golf Holidays and it will be the 15th year since Fiona and I took over the business and even at this stage it looks like it is going to be a record year. We were delighted to be made an “ Authorised Provider” of Old Course packages by the St Andrews Links Trust back in March this year which is wonderful news as this gives us an even greater opportunity to guarantee our clients will play the Old Course. By being able to add iconic courses such as Turnberry Ailsa, Royal Troon, Carnoustie, Kingsbarns, Gleneagles, Royal Dornoch and Castle Stuart and many more to our itineraries it is little wonder that Morton Golf Holidays business is going from strength to strength each year. We look forward to hearing from you very soon and we can guarantee you and your group will have a memorable golf trip to Scotland.

Peter Craigon, MD, Morton Golf Holidays – Published on October 27, 2017

Carnoustie Golf Club – I was privileged yesterday to be give a conducted tour of the new Heritage Wall and exhibition by Captain Bill Thompson. As well as Bill’s expert tour we were also joined by Donald Ford who has just written a fantastic book about the history of this unique golf club..read more

“Why learning as a youngster is so important to the future of golf”
How many of the readers have played at Auchterarder Golf Club? I would bet most of you have played at Gleneagles – but perhaps not it’s older cousin. In fact Auchterarder GC pre-dates the 2 original courses at Gleneagles by nearly 30 years. I was proud to have been a member at Auchterarder for around 3 decades having learned to play golf there when it was still a wee 9 hole course back in the 1960s. In those days the junior subscription for a year was 10 shillings (50p in today’s money) and the Gents annual fee was £4 2s 6d – which is around the price of a pint these days. We were incredibly lucky as junior golfers ..read more..

Portugal – March 2017 – by Peter Craigon, Morton Golf Holidays 

Fiona and I have just returned from the type of high end and top class service holiday which we have been supplying for our clients for the last 13 years.  The difference with this trip was that it was in Portugal rather than the wondrous experiences our clients have when they come to Scotland or Ireland ( or England or Wales )!

As we have such an extensive and yet loyal client base which has been built up over years of providing top class service we are often asked which other destinations we do. So it was not too onerous a task to arrange the type of high end trip for ourselves we normally deliver to our clients. And I must say..read more

Scotscraig Golf Club – 200 years old this year!

One of the truly great Scottish golf courses Scotscraig is steeped in history and this year it is celebrating its 200th anniversary.

Today I was delighted to play at Scotscraig with in their annual..read more..

Gullane No 1 Course is one of the best links courses in the world

and yesterday I was delighted to play it as a guest of long time member and champion Lindsay Gordon.  Lindsay was partnered by another member of over 10 years standing, Alastair Taylor whilst my partner was my life-long golfing buddy and friend Iain (Giddy) Simpson who is ..read more..

The Renaissance Club, East Lothian, Scotland

I was lucky enough yesterday to spend a day at the Renaissance Club which is a wonderful Tom Doak designed links course just over the fence from Muirfield..read more..

Prestwick – Should be on everyone’s MUST play list

Everything about the place just oozes “class“ – from the history of the golf course and the clubhouse to the wonderful welcome you will receive when you play there it really is one of the best places in the world to play golf..read more..

Castle Stuart Golf Links – It is a MUST play when you visit Scotland

Last week I had the absolute pleasure of spending a couple of days at Castle Stuart on an early season mini-tour with 3 of my great golfing buddies..read more..

Peter Craigon from Caddie to Golf Tour Operator

Peter Craigon the owner of the long established golf tour operator Morton Golf Holidays attended the SIGTOA meeting at Gleneagles today.  Every time he visits Gleneagles whether to see clients, have meetings with the management team or occasionally to play he is reminded of when he was a caddie there in the 1970s.  “ That was a great time in my life read more..

Remember, light and shadow never stand still

I’d be lying if I said I turned up to work this morning with quaffed hair, a groomed beard, a pair of high tops and skinny jeans, but we’re aware in business that we have to move with the times. In the fashion stakes, I might not be 2016, but I firmly believe that the key to business is not standing still. read more..

The Best Customer Service

It’s quite a statement, but should we all vie for it or should it simply be expected?

Perhaps it’s because we are at the PGA Show in Orlando this week, but the USA (North America) does a lot of customer service right! Some might argue it’s forced, others might say it’s for tips,whilst we would say it doesn’t matter it makes for a great customer experience. read more..

My 10 best golf books for Christmas

This is a short pre-Christmas blog to help you choose a last-minute gift for Christmas. I am proud to admit that I am a golf book expert, having read over 600 read more..

The Solheim Cup comes to Scotland

So, there were 10 possible venues in the first instance. Then, it became a straight fight between Bro Hof Slott in Sweden and our own beloved Gleneagles in Perthshire. And, as you will probably know, the Solheim Cup will come to Scotland in 2019. read more..

Golf numbers into Scotland are taking off!

Here at Morton Golf we promote the best golf in the world, whether it is Scotland, Ireland, England or Wales. We are in the fortunate position that golfers want to visit the UK and Ireland. read more..

Morton Golf Holidays has been in business since 1989. The business has grown year on year by recommendations, repeat business and building on the reputation of providing memorable golfing holidays for clients. At all times clients are dealt with on a personal and professional basis ensuring they achieve their dream golfing holiday.