Monday, 3 October 2016

Ryder Cup Reflection

What a weekend! Golf fans worldwide were treated an exhibition of exhilarating golf as Team USA, led by Davis Love III and his task force, regained the Ryder Cup after a run of 3 straight defeats in the biennial contest.
With Team USA going into the singles matches 3 points ahead, some of the golf witnessed on a birdie filled final day will live long in the memory. From Patrick Reed sending the Americans on their way by ousting Rory McIlroy in the top match, to Phil Mickelson and Sergio Garcia’s incredible half match featuring no less than 19 birdies; it was an enthralling exhibition of world class golf. 
The team at Executive Golf & Leisure were glued to the action over the weekend and now we are already looking forward to the next edition at Le Golf National near Paris in 2018.
Here’s the lowdown on the next Ryder Cup host venue, Le Golf National:
Location: Le Golf National is situated only 20 miles from the centre of Paris and close to the Palace of Versailles.
Length: 7,249 yards
Course Description: Built in 1990, Le Golf National is a purpose built ‘Stadium Course’ and the ‘Albatros’ Championship Course has played host to the French Open on the European Tour almost every year since 1991. Deliberately designed with spectators in mind, Le Golf National presents a tricky and undulating course that will create fantastic natural amphitheatres and allow fans to get close to the action with excellent vantage points. Water comes into play throughout and should ensure plenty of decisive drama with watery graves waiting on the 15th, 16th and 18th holes. The Le Golf National development includes two further courses and the French Golf Academy while it is also home to the French Golf Federation. 
Visit Paris and play this course before it hosts the pro's for the Ryder Cup in 2018, Contact us now for more information.
Three things we are already excited to see in 2018:
1. Rory and Reed: Part Deux!
Set to be two Ryder Cup stalwarts for many years to come, Rory McIlroy and Patrick Reed appear to bring the best out of each other’s games and, after Sundays enthralling contest, we are already hoping to see these two face off again in France. Spurred on by the home crowds, Reed managed to topple McIlroy in the top singles match with some stunning match play golf throughout. The result will have stung Europe’s talisman and we’re sure he’ll be fired up to make amends in 2 years’ time.
2. Rookie’s Return 
It was a strong week for Ryder Cup rookies overall, with fearlessness shining through as more experienced heads faltered. Team USA rookie Ryan Moore sealed victory for team USA with an eagle-birdie-par finish to see off Lee Westwood, while Brooks Koepka won his singles match against Danny Willett 5&4! On the European side, Rafael Cabrera Bello and Thomas Pieter’s in particular had Ryder Cup debuts to remember. Setting a new Ryder Cup rookie record, Pieter’s won 4 points from 5 matches and, at only 24 years of age, we expect the big hitting Belgian to produce the goods again in 2018 when backed by a home crowd.
3. French atmosphere, the Tricolore and Joie de Vivre
The USA’s Red, White and Blue will be swapped for the Blue, White and Red of the Tricolore in 2018 as France hosts its first Ryder Cup. It will be only the second time continental Europe has hosted the competition and the French will be keen to put on a unique show. Boasting excellent spectator facilities, Le Golf National promises to be a sea of noise, excitement and colour as the European team look to regain the cup. If Victor Dubuisson can find form and make the European team for a second time, the French will have even more to shout about and the galleries should be as boisterous as Hazeltine.
Do you want to be there for the Ryder Cup in 2018? Contact us now and we can make your Ryder Cup dream a reality.

Friday, 5 August 2016

5 Scottish and Irish Golf Courses on Every Golfer’s Bucket List

Whether you’re a seasoned professional golfer or a social player enthusiastic about the game, you’re likely to have a links golf bucket list – a collection of must-visit courses you simply have to play before you’re no longer able to swing a club. While this bucket list might vary from golfer to golfer, there are certain golfing destinations that are often common across the board - such as the Old Course at St Andrews, widely considered to be the holy grail of golf links and top of our recommended Scottish and Irish bucket list.

Golf has been played in Scotland and Ireland for centuries and is, particularly in Scotland and in line with the country’s egalitarian tradition, a pastime enjoyed right across the social spectrum. In Ireland, golf has a rich and colourful history and the country is currently one of the nations with the most golf courses per capita in the world. Both destinations offer some of the best links in the world with settings, scenery and hospitality second to none.

Even if you’ve got your bucket list set in stone, don’t discard any of these courses we feel should join your list of top golfing experiences to tick off.

The Old Course at St Andrews

The Old Course at St Andrews in Fife, Scotland is considered to be the "home of golf"; historic records show that golf has been played at St Andrews for more than 600 years. This prestigious golfing destination is steeped in history and boasts iconic landmarks such as The Royal and Ancient Clubhouse and Swilken Bridge.

Considered by many as the holy grail of tee-offs, St Andrews’ iconic Old Course is open to the public (with advance booking, of course) and offers golf enthusiasts the chance to truly follow in the footsteps of legends. St Andrews also offers guided tours of the facilities and links which allow you to soak up the rich history of the game and the fame of this esteemed location. Executive Golf & Leisure takes the prestige one step further, offering guaranteed tee times and  the opportunity to travel to St Andrews by helicopter.

Old Head Golf Links, Kinsale

Located in County Cork on the Southwest Coast of Ireland, Old Head Golf Links is a truly spectacular creation with the course jutting out into the Atlantic Ocean. Opened in 1997, members and guests of this exclusive club can enjoy unparalleled luxury in the 5 star accommodation and spa facilities.

The Old Head Golf Links is built on a 220-acre diamond of land framed by unspoilt cliffs, archetypical of Ireland’s rugged coastline, with splendid views of the Atlantic Ocean from all eighteen holes. Nine of the holes are played along the cliff tops and, with the ever-changing sea breezes, the Old Head course provides a stern challenge to even pro golfers who visit here.

The Royal County Down Golf Club

Located in Newcastle, County Down in Northern Ireland, The Royal County Down Golf Club is one of the oldest golfing destinations in Ireland, having opened its doors in 1889. It is located in one of the world’s most naturally beautiful settings in the Murlough Nature Reserve with the Mountains of Mourne as a stunning backdrop. Royal County Down has two 18-hole courses, the Annesley Links and the Championship Course which stretches along the shores of Dundrum Bay, offering a different vista from every hole.

The Championship Course is famous for its ‘bearded’ bunkers which feature overhanging lips of marram, red fescue and heather, as well as its ninth hole which is among the most photographed in the world because of the panoramic view from the large mound at which golfers tee off, some 60 feet above the tee.

The Annesley Links at Royal County Down shares the same magnificent setting as the Championship Links and, although it is shorter, it is still a very challenging course and offers magnificent views of the sea, sand dunes and surrounding mountains.


Muirfield is a privately owned links situated in the golfing village of Gullane, East Lothian, only 30 minutes from the centre of Edinburgh. Muirfield is home to ‘The Honourable Company of Edinburgh Golfers’, the oldest organised golf club in the world and responsible for the original 13 rules of golf.  Originally designed by Old Tom Morris in 1891, further land was secured over the years and the course was adjusted by Harry Colt and Tom Simpson in 1928. Unique in terms of layout for traditional links golf, Muirfield consists of two concentric rings of 9 holes, meaning you never play in the same direction for more than 2 consecutive holes. This is a design that has stood the test of time and it is widely opined that Muirfield provides the fairest examination of championship golf among all the great and historic courses of the British Isles.

Muirfield has hosted the Open Championship on sixteen occasions with Phil Mickelson, Ernie Els, Nick Faldo (twice), Gary Player and Jack Nicklaus leading the list of world class winners.

The Ailsa Course at Trump Turnberry

TrumpTurnberry is a golf resort located on the rugged South Ayrshire coastline in southwest Scotland. Acquired by Donald Trump in 2014, the resort boasts three links golf courses, a golf academy, and a five-star hotel, making it a popular destination for golfers from around the world.

The iconic Ailsa course at Trump Turnberry has hosted the Open Championship four times and has also played host to other important golf tournaments including the Ricoh  Women’s British Open and the Walker Cup. The course is named after the third Marquess of Ailsa, who owned the land on which it was built. Probably the most scenic of the Open Championship venues, nobody can forget the famous ‘duel in the sun’ played out by Tom Watson and Jack Nicklaus in 1977, the first time the course hosted the tournament.

Stimulated by the Trump investment, the Ailsa course was recently remodelled by renowned architect Martin Ebert of Mackenzie & Ebert, a multi-million pound project which improved the course and emphasised the spectacular coastal views and the beauty of the Arran and Ailsa Craig backdrop. The Ailsa links now features five of the world’s best par 3’s and is considered one of the finest golfing destinations in the world, worthy of feature on any bucket list.

Tuesday, 14 June 2016

The Open Championship Returns to Royal Troon

The Open Championship Returns to Royal Troon

The 145th Open takes place from 14th to 17th July at Royal Troon Golf Club in South Ayrshire, southwest of Glasgow. Royal Troon was founded in 1878, initially with only five holes and took its current form in 1888, designed in the traditional out-and-back manner of the Old Course at St Andrews, where last year’s Open Championship was held.

Royal Troon is home to both the longest and shortest holes in Open Championship golf. Regarded as one of the top holes in the world, the par-3 8th hole ("Postage Stamp") measures 123 yards (112m), but its wee green measures a mere 420 square feet (39 m2) and the par-5 6th hole ("Turnberry") measures a lengthy 601 yards (550m).

This is the 9th time Royal Troon will be hosting The Open, the first was in 1923 and the last in 2004. Past Open champions at these famous links include Todd Hamilton, Justin Leonard, Mark Calcavecchia, Tom Watson, Tom Weiskopf, Arnold Palmer, Bobby Locke, and Arthur Havers. The last seven  Opens at Troon have been won by Americans.

The Open is the oldest of the of the four major championships in professional golf and one of the most prestigious tournaments on the golf calendar. The field for the Open is 156, and golfers gain a place in a number of ways. Most of the field is made up of leading players who are given exemptions. Further places are given to players who are successful in The Open Qualifying Series and in Final Qualifying.

The Open Qualifying Series (OQS) consists of 10 events played outside the United Kingdom. from the six major tours. Places are available to the leading players (not otherwise exempt) who finish in a high enough position. A total of 32 places are available.

The Final Qualifying 36-hole tournaments will be played on 28th June 2016 at four courses across Scotland and England. Three qualifying places are available at each location.

Any remaining places are made available to the highest ranked players in the Official World Golf Ranking. 

A number of past champions are also expected in the field - the likes of Ernie Els, Rory McIlroy, Pádraig Harrington, Tiger Woods and Scotland’s own Sandy Lyle and Paul Lawrie, who won in 1985 and 1999 respectively.

The Open is a thing of beauty and every golf fan’s dream to spectate. Let Executive Golf & Leisure take you there with bespoke packages : Accommodations, VIP hospitality, Helicopter , Private Jet and Limousine transfers.

Enjoy the spectacle of The Open staying at the 5 Star Trump Turnberry Resort, playing golf on the Kintyre and Ailsa Course and indulge in VIP Hospitality at The Open each day for a most memorable golf tour.

Stay at Machrihanish on the Kintyre Peninsula, South West Scotland, play golf at Machrihanish Dunes and travel in style to and from The Open on your very own private helicopter taking in the spectacular West Coast scenery on route!

Upgrade your Open Golf experience with a day in the Hospitality village. Enjoy a place to relax and dine where you can watch all the action and network with your colleagues throughout the day.

View all packages here.

If this doesn’t tempt you, perhaps this little video will:

We look forward to seeing you at the 145th Open at Royal Troon next month!

Thursday, 19 May 2016

Get Golfing, Get Healthy

6 health benefits of playing golf

May is National Golf Month and golf clubs across the UK are promoting the game and offering unique golfing experiences in their communities, catering to people at all levels of play. It’s a fine time for beginners to get to grips with the sport. If that’s you, then what are you waiting for? If the grand outfits aren’t swinging it for you, perhaps these proven health benefits of hitting the links will encourage you to pick up a club this summer (it’s also a great reason to give your partner when you’re out golfing for the third time this week!).

1.      Golfing burns calories

According to a report published by the Rose Center for Health and Sports Sciences in 2010, playing an 18-hole round of golf while carrying your clubs or using a pushcart burns a whopping 1440 calories. Playing with a motor cart only burns about 822 calories, but regardless of your preferences here, you’re sure to lose weight and body fat if your golfing goes hand in hand with a balanced and nutritious diet.

2.      It keeps you fit and improves muscle tone

Golfing typically involves a lot of walking, which helps oxygenate and tone the muscles and gives your heart and lungs a good workout. In fact, if you’re walking the distance in a round of golf, you can easily clock over 5 miles. That’s over 10,000 steps and bang on target with the guideline for recommended daily exercise. But walking’s not the only exercise to be gained on the golf course. Swinging heavy clubs around all day in controlled motions is a great workout for your chest, back and forearms. This takes your potential burned calorie count to over 2,000!

3.      Golfing helps reduce stress

It’s no secret that stress is a killer, and it’s particularly harmful to those you are getting on in years. Golf has been proven to reduce stress levels through exercise which releases endorphins (the happiness chemicals) into your body, as well as through the simple act of being outdoors in natural, beautiful and peaceful surroundings. Golfing with good friends is also a well-known upper and will eradicate stress in no times.

4.      Golfing is good for your brain

As your heart rate increases, so does blood flow to the brain which stimulates connections between nerve cells and can delay mental illnesses such as dementia. In addition, the game of golf often requires some strategic thinking when planning a tricky shot, and the simple act of striking the ball fosters hand-eye coordination, keeping the neurons firing and the brain working.

5.      It helps you sleep better

As we already mentioned, a round of golf allows you to get quite a bit of exercise, and as we all know, exercise can tire you out. Your weary but happy body will welcome the well-deserved rest it gets at bedtime and you’ll fall asleep quicker and sleep more soundly thanks to the energy you expended on the golf course. A deep sleep is necessary for your body to regenerate cell and repair any muscles and tissues.

6.      Golfing strengthens friendships

We know what you’re thinking: “how is this a health benefit?”, but trust us, it is. Golf is a social sport and provides a great platform for catching up with friends and making new ones. It’s been documented that spending time with good friends makes us happy, and happiness is good for one’s overall health.

Golf helps us develop a sense of community connectedness, comradery and healthy competition.

Tuesday, 12 April 2016

Our Roundup of the 2016 Masters Championship

Rising star Danny Willett dons the green jacket

A rising star no more, Danny Willett has now officially risen to the top of the golfing food chain after winning the 2016 Masters with a superb five-under-par 67 and a three-shot victory over defending champion, Jordan Speith.

The Masters Tournament is the first major golf championship of the year and is held at the Augusta National Golf Club in Georgia, USA. The tournament has a number of traditions, including, most renowned, the presentation of the green jacket. Since 1949, the Masters champion has been awarded the green jacket which they are permitted to keep for a year, after which it must be returned to the Augusta clubhouse. It was on 10th of April 2016 that defending champion from Texas, Jordan Speith, helped Danny Willett, a vicar’s son from Sheffield, into his first green jacket.

Danny was a crowd favourite from the beginning and in fact, almost missed the masters altogether due to the imminent birth of his son, Zachariah, who by a simple twist of fate, was born 12 days early. He was made only more popular by his brother, PJ Willett’s humorous running commentary on Twitter during the final hours of the tournament.

Having climbed from outside the top 100 to a ranking of 9th in the world (thanks to his Masters win) in less than two years is somewhat remarkable and is a far cry from the youth who used to practice his golf in a sheep pasture near his home in England. While Danny has several victories to his name – the 2007 English Amateur Championship, the 2012 BMW International Open in Germany and two wins on the European Tour in 2015 – few would have predicted that his first major win would come from his second only appearance on the challenging Augusta course.

Danny’s win is a win for European golf. The previous European champion, Spain’s Jose Maria Olazabal took the green jacket 17 years ago in 1999 and the last British victor was 20 years ago in 1996 when Nick Faldo won his third Masters five strokes ahead of runner-up Greg Norman.

Be a part of golfing history and travel with us to Augusta in 2017 for the Masters Tournament to watch Englishman Danny Willett defend his title.

Tuesday, 29 March 2016

Executive Golf & Leisure Familiarisation Tour of Belfast and Dublin


The Executive Golf and Leisure arrived in Belfast after a short 25 minute flight from Glasgow Airport. A quick 30 minutes taxi drive from Belfast International airport to the city center, the team checked into the 4 Star trendy FitzWilliam Hotel, quick freshen up and over to the very famous Crown Liquor Saloon, a unique setting, rich in history, with a religious influence at the front entrance. All the team agreed it is a must visit when in Belfast City and don't be surprised if you are there until closing time.

Back to the Fitzwilliam Hotel, just a stones throw across the road, a quick change of clothes, the team met with the management team for a cocktail reception in the very beautiful Penthouse Suite. A small kitchenette, 6 table dining space and the views overlooking the city are truly breathtaking, where you can also enjoy the same experience.

The team then took a short drive over to the 5 Red Star Merchant Hotel for a show-round, a hotel of two styles the Merchant Hotel offers a collection of Victorian boutique rooms and a collection of quirky Art Deco rooms, and not to mention the luxury spa with outdoor Jacuzzi. While eating breakfast or dining in the main restaurant, you will be mesmerized by the ceiling. On the ground floor, you will find the atmospheric  Bert's Jazz bar and restaurant. The Merchant Hotel offers a wide variety of entertainment and relaxation, it really does tick all the boxes.

With the icing on the cake and the candles lit, we all enjoyed a meat feast in Hadskis Restaurant, with a wide variety of scrumptious dishes, Hadskis will cater for all cravings which can be enjoyed in the main restaurant or at the chefs table, however they really do specialise in beef, with a range of steaks and different cuts from sirloin, to succulent short rib, or a 1kg fillet steak sharing dish, it would be rude not to order beef.


The day started with a one hour transfer to Montalto, a 10 bedroom exclusive luxury, property on a country estate. Beautiful tranquil setting just 30 minutes' drive from Royal County Down Golf Club. With great adaptability, they will attend to your needs and requirements with onsite fishing and the opportunity to bring in clay pigeon shooting, horse riding, and falconry.

After a short visit to County Down, it was time to move on to Dublin, first stop the very famous Portmarnock Golf Club. A clubhouse rich in history, huge trophy collection and Walker Cup memorabilia. The team was host by the club manager for a stunning lunch using local produce. Following lunch the team were invited to play the golf course. With beautiful views, Portmarnock offers 27 holes on a unique peninsular setting, after golf we relaxed with a pint of the famous black stuff - smooth and luxurious, Guinness really is best enjoyed in Dublin.

A short 30 minute drive into the city, the group were welcomed by the management team at the 5 Star FitzWilliam Hotel Dublin City Center. Located on St Stephens Green, they really were in the thick of it. The staff and customer service really was top notch. After again a quick freshen up the team were invited for a 3 course dinner in the hotel restaurant, they enjoyed a delicious starter and main however the dessert really was the star of the show, if you can squeeze it in - DO IT!!!


After a beautiful breakfast in the Fitzwilliam Dublin, the team received a very warm welcome from Eoin the general manager at Royal Dublin Golf Club, a quick tour around the clubhouse just like Portmarnock rich in history ended in the dining room to enjoy the spectacular view of the golf course with warm oven baked scones. After taking in the view and navigating their game-plan, the team booted up for 18 holes on Royal Dublin, which they found very enjoyable. Very much like Portmarnock the course was flat, with cleverly positioned fairway bunkers and undulating green-side aprons protects this course from a sub-par round.
Back on the road again, the team traveled across country to the 2006 Ryder Cup Venue the 5 Star K Club Resort. With a quick show around the owner, Mr Smurfit's beautiful on-site home which is available for exclusive use, the star of the show really was the basement floor - a Mediterranean styled swimming pool and HUGE wine cellar/cave with dining area, again this manor house ticks all the boxes for entertainment and relaxation.
A short drive over to the 5 Star K Club Hotel, the team had time to relax and enjoy their enormous rooms. To finish the evening they were greeted by Michael the general manager in the hotel bar, followed by a three course 5 Star, fine dining experience, enjoyed listening to many of Michael's stories and experiences he has created over the years of managing one of the most prestigious properties Ireland has to offer. The K Club really does know how to do luxury - by far one of the most comfiest beds the team have experienced.


The team parted from the rest of the group, with an intense schedule starting at the unique, family owned European Club. A tough but well-designed golf course, with the famous sleeper lined bunkers. Back onto the Viano van the team traveled back into the city for a show-round the very beautiful, and incredibly luxurious 5 Star Merrion Hotel. When looking for the absolute finest rooms, dining and spa look no further than the Merrion Hotel, it offers a fine collection of art with a champagne accompanied tour of the masterpieces on-site.
After a beautiful lunch in the Cellar Bar at the Merrion, the team took a very short drive to discover the quirky trendy, but much relaxing 5 Star Dylan Hotel. The hotel offers a variety of rooms that cater for all needs whether it be a city break or your residency for a week-long tour.
After enjoying the Dylan the team ventured to their final visit of the day, The Island Golf Club, another peninsula golf course protected by high standing dunes, with beautiful views of the Irish Sea.

This has been a very educational and inspiring tour, and the team would like to extend their thanks to Tom Cotter for organising and hosting the tour, to all the Hotels, Restaurants and Golf Courses and their management teams for their warm welcome and wonderful hospitality.

The team at Executive Golf & Leisure are fully equipped with all the necessary information to look after all your needs and requirements for a tour of Belfast and / or Dublin.
If you are interested and would like some further information about these locations please contact the team on: 
Tel: +44 (0)1786 832244
Toll Free USA: 1877 295 2247
Toll Free Canada: 1866 392 5021

Monday, 28 March 2016

5 Classic things to do in Scotland

Ah Scotland, land of mystery and beauty. Land of fine Scotch whisky and the Loch Ness Monster. Land of highlands and lowlands. Land of castles and of Braveheart.  Scotland is well-known and well-loved for many reason and just in case you’re after a few more, we’re sharing some of the most adored activities the country has to offer.

1.  Whisky tours

It’s no secret that the Scots make the best whisky in the world and whisky lovers travel from all over to visit our distilleries for a bit of a taste and a gander. With over 50 whisky distilleries in the Speyside region alone, you are spoilt for choice.

Most distilleries offer fantastic tours and the public are invited to learn about how this world-famous elixir is made and sample a dram or two.

2.  Salmon fishing 

Salmon fishing is the Rolls Royce of fishing in Scotland and is considered a most sophisticated sport. Scotland is the spiritual home of the 'king of fish' and each year anglers from around the world visit our banks to fly-fish for salmon which run most rivers in the country.

If fishing isn’t quite your cup of tea, you could visit these beautiful locations just to watch the salmon leap – it’s quite a sight to behold. Early autumn is the best time to view this as salmon propel themselves upstream to their breeding grounds.

3.  Game bird shooting

Scotland is famous for sporting bird shooting with pheasant, grouse and duck aplenty. It is important to follow conservation practices when going out on a ‘hunt’ and so it’s best to join a well-managed tour where your guides know the rules, as well as the best spots!

If your shooting’s a little rusty and you don’t want to scare away all the birds for the rest of your party; you can always visit a clay pigeon ground beforehand to brush up on your aim.

4.  Improve your handicap at ‘The Home of Golf’

Scotland is home to the most prestigious golf course in the world, the Old Course, St Andrews. The game's origins at St Andrews date back to the 12th century. The Old Course at St Andrews is the holy grail of tee-offs for golf enthusiasts everywhere and as it’s open to the public, you have the incredible opportunity to follow in the footsteps of legends. St Andrews also offers guided tours of the facilities and its 7 courses which allow you to learn about the rich history of the game and the fame of this esteemed location.

To make an entrance, what better way to arrive for your game on the Old Course or to start your tour at St Andrews than by VIP helicopter. If it’s good enough for Sean Connery, then you’re in good company.

5.  Golf and Sail the Scottish Coastline

There are few better ways to experience Scotland’s magnificent landscapes and rugged coastlines than on board a luxury yacht sailing on open water. A golf and sailing holiday in Scotland allows you to discover its secrets and learn about the fascinating history of the coastal regions with many hidden gems of island golf courses and stunning seafood restaurants.

You could also choose to keep it inland and explore the country’s many lochs and canals under sail.

Let us set you off on the ultimate Scottish luxury adventure

Whether you wish to combine a whisky tour and leisurely tasting of the finest malts with a round of golf on the world’s oldest and most prestigious course, or try your hand at fly fishing for the ‘king of fish’ or even bring down that most challenging of game birds, Executive Golf & Leisure will see you through.

We arrange exclusive luxury tours for you hosted by professional qualified guides or simply suggest the finest places for you to explore at your leisure. We are delighted to tailor-make a luxury personalised itinerary to suit you and your great friends.

Tuesday, 15 March 2016

Etiquette at the Old Course, St Andrews

How to fit in at the Old Course, St Andrews

If you’re going to be following in the footsteps of legends and teeing off on one of the oldest and most prestigious golf courses in the world, you want to look and act the part.

The Old Course at St Andrews in Fife, Scotland is considered to be the "home of golf". Historic records show that golf has been played in St Andrews for more than 600 years although many believe the game's origins here date back to the 12th Century. Steeped in history and boasting iconic landmarks like The Royal and Ancient Clubhouse, the Old Course at St Andrews is open to public golfers six days a week, although you will need to be patient when securing a tee time – the course is fully booked months in advance.

Once your reservation is set, it is most sportsmanlike to acquaint yourself with the etiquette required when playing, not only on a course as iconic as the Old Course at St Andrews, but on any course for that matter. Etiquette is an integral part of the game of golf and following it ensures maximum enjoyment for all. It boils down to having respect for the course, respect for your fellow players and respect for the game of golf.

Here are a few rules of etiquette to follow when playing the Old Course at St Andrews, as well as a few other handy tips for your visit:

Before your tee time

Preparation is key when playing a new course for the first time, and fortunately, the St Andrews Links website is full of helpful information. They have also launched a free smartphone app which boasts a variety of marvellous features and allows you to preview the Old Course and visualise your upcoming game. The interactive planner also keeps you up to date with the latest news from the St Andrews Links and includes weather forecasts.

Detailed information about the Old Course is available on the St Andrews website, as well as a useful video series on how to play the course, presented by Steve North, the Director of Instruction at St Andrews Links.

Remember to bring along your current handicap certificate as the starter has the right to request it prior to play.

Arrive at the starters box 20 mins prior to your tee time and meet your representative from Executive Golf & Leisure who will assist you with your check in procedure. There is a putting green located alongside the 1st tee so take a few minutes to practice your putts before you tee off.

At over 6,700 yards long, The Old Course is a fair stretch so be sure to use the restrooms before you tee off, and take plenty of water with you. It’s also advisable to book a caddie in advance. Many of St Andrews caddies have worked on the course for years and their experience and knowledge is indispensable.

If you’re in need of a warm up before playing the course, why not visit the practice range at the state-of-the-art St Andrews Links Golf Academy?

Etiquette while playing

Care for the course

The overarching principle of respecting the course and fellow players extends to how you carry yourself on the course and take care of the green.

Ensure that you repair any pitch marks on the green, whether they are yours or not. Irish professional golfer, Pádraig Harrington says “If all golfers did this, problems with pitch marks would be a thing of the past”. Along with ball marks, take care to repair divots or ensure your caddie does this for you and always cover shoe marks before leaving the green.

Greenkeepers work hard to maintain the course in tip top shape; at the very least you can help keep it that way.

When leaving the bunker carefully smooth over footprints, using a rake if one is available.

Take care when handling the flagstick and removing the ball from the hole and never use your club-head to remove the ball. Do not lean on your club on the putting green and remember to replace the flagstick in the centre of the hole before leaving the putting green.

Keeping pace

Slow play can easily detract from the enjoyment of the game for the group behind, so be sure to play at a good place and keep up with the group in front of you.

It is considered good etiquette to invite the group behind you, irrespective of their number, to play through if your group has lost a clear hole. Where your group has not lost a clear hole, but it is apparent that the group behind you can play faster, you should also invite them to play through.

Pace can be maintained by being ready to play as soon as it’s your turn, and playing a provisional ball when your ball is lost out of bounds. If someone in your group is struggling to find a lost ball you should signal the players in the group behind you to play through.

Consideration for others

Always show consideration for others and do not distract players who are making a stroke.
You should also ensure that any electronic devices taken onto the course don't disturb other players.

Do not stand too close to the ball, directly behind it or behind the hole when a player is about to swing. The same applies when on the putting green; and be careful not to cast a shadow over another player’s line of putt.  Remain on or close to the putting green until all other players in the group have holed out.

Safety on the course

In order for any game to be enjoyed fully, certain safety precautions must be taken. With golf there are no exceptions. Be mindful of other people on the course and ensure no one is in a position to be hit by the club or ball. Alert any greenkeepers in range before making a stroke. If your ball is heading in a direction where it might endanger someone, shout a warning immediately. The traditional word of warning is “fore!”.

After your round

Before leaving the course ensure that you have all your belongings with you and you’ve repaired any pitch marks, divots and shoe marks on the final green.

St Andrews offers golfers plenty of opportunities to dine or reflect on their game over a whisky at any one of their clubhouses. There is also a shop to purchase some memorabilia of your noteworthy round of golf, and you can sign up for guided walking tours of the courses.

Play the Old Course at St Andrews this summer

Spring into your golfing season with our fantastic May offer.

Friday, 26 February 2016

Direct flights to Dundee, Scotland

Scotland is without doubt the dream of all avid golfers and now we are delighted to announce a new direct flight from Amsterdam to Dundee, Scotland. Bringing you closer to 'home of golf', only 35 minutes drive from St. Andrews and your tee times on the coveted Old Course, Kingsbarns and Carnoustie. Connect from the USA or Europe through Amsterdam and onto Dundee.  Its not too late to book your dream tour to 'the home of golf', call us now for a personal quotation on +44 (0)1786 832244 or email on