John Paul Newport at the Wall Street Journal writes about, “A Golf Lover's Bucket List” and he immediately captured my attention when his first photograph was a view from behind the first green at Royal Dornoch.
Alas it appears to be the only been-there-done-that I can skite about in John’s bucket list.
Oops! In my excitement of remembering Royal Dornoch I forgot that that I’ve also played Cape Kidnappers. How could I forget that? Probably because like most traumatic events in one’s life one attempts to blank-out the bad bits like really bad-golf-days albeit on a beautiful golf course
John commences with his experience of playing Augusta National followed by his thoughts about Cape Kidnappers.
As to playing Augusta John writes, “I can't recall every shot from my round—how could I, since I was scarcely aware of hitting them at the time?—but I do have some wonderfully vivid memories. One is standing on the tee box of the par-three 12th, waiting for the green to clear, and swapping famous stories about the hole. How Tom Weiskopf hit five balls into Rae's Creek there in the 1980 Masters and scored a 13. How Jack Nicklaus always aimed over the middle bunker on Sundays when the pin was cut to the right, as it was the day I played.”
As to Cape Kidnappers’ elevation John writes, “ (Hang time to the ocean, should your ball overshoot the green: nearly 10 seconds.)” Now that’s scarey high and well worth remembering should you be tempted to test the slopes in search of a ball behind the greens.
There it is again, the same photograph when covering his thoughts on Royal Dornoch. Headed, “Mystical”
John reminds us, ”It's the birthplace of designer Donald Ross, Scotland's gift to America 100 years ago. And in midsummer, the best time to visit these parts, daylight lasts 20 hours.”
Ah! The joys of long daylight hours in the far north. And while looking at the clubhouse featured in the far distance it reminds me of the story of how that even as the clock at the clubhouse nears midnight. On a long summer’s night it is possible to read the time on the clubhouse clock while walking up the 18th fairway.
Of course most us will never know if it’s true or not since most sensible people would be into enjoying their third or maybe fourth wee dram.
Winding up his golf lover’s bucket list, John yet again stirs my Scottish blood.
“Only slightly less off the beaten track are Machrie, on the Isle of Islay in Scotland's Inner Hebrides, and Askernish, on South Uist in the Outer Hebrides. Both look exactly as they might have in the 19th century.”
OK that now makes it three, Royal Dornoch, Cape Kidnappers and The Machrie and I must write that much as I enjoyed Royal Dornoch, and Cape Kidnappers, The Machrie is my must-return-to because apart from anything else I’m more of an Islay, not Speyside malts kind of a guy.
Here’s the link to John Paul Newport
Quote of the Day
“No mere golfer deserves it, this extraordinary combination of beauty, solitude and freedom.”
- Quoting James Finnegan’s thoughts about The Machrie in his book, “Blasted Heaths and Blessed Greens; A Golfer’s Pilgrimage to the Courses of Scotland”