Tuesday, April 20, 2010

The Duke's Course - St Andrews

For those of you who enjoy a good round of golf I can thoroughly recommend the Duke's course at St Andrews. It is a relatively new course but it is of championship standard, as you would expect from the home of the Royal & Ancient home of golf.

If, like myself, you enjoy an early tee-off time, I can thoroughly recommend a hearty breakfast from the clubhouse before you start. A pot of excellent coffee and a two-handed bannock filled with good Scottish bacon will set you up for a great first drive up the fairway.

Stirling; The Heartland of Scotland
The great joy of being based in and around Stirling is that you are within striking distance of all of Scotland's uniquely, wonderful activities, with only a few exceptions.

This year we enjoyed a number of sporting activities that we do not normally include in our itinerary. Our normal active agenda includes walking, hiking and a welcome piece of horse riding in the mountains but this year we included the golf, archery and clay pigeon shooting. All of which were made even more enjoyable by the care and attention shown to us by our hosts.

In mainland Europe and sometimes in the US, some of these leisure activities are not as relaxing as they could be because of the crowds or the pressure of competition or just the stressful atmosphere in which they are conducted but here in Scotland the emphasis is still on the relaxing, leisure side of sporting activities.

The weather can be variable but the sheer pleasure of the surroundings and the welcoming greetings from other players is delightful and not to be underestimated as a major component to a relaxing vacation in Scotland.

Archery and Clay Pigeon Shooting

My hard-working brother had invited me to accompany him on the archery and the clay pigeon shooting and as a first-timer it was a real thrill and joy to be spending time together again and on a lesser scale, competing against him.

I enjoyed the target archery and was relatively succesful at it. This makes me think that I may continue to pursue this activity back in Europe.

Unfortunately, as for clay pigeon shooting and, despite the valiant efforts of the instructor, the only trophy to be won that day was a large bruise on my shoulder from a badly placed gun stock. You live and learn but it's a great adventure to be enjoyed.

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