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Scotland Golf Trip 101 (The Compass Guide)

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  • Argonne69Argonne69 Members  23652WRX Points: 7,518Posts: 23,652 Titanium Tees
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    A big thanks to everyone who helped plan my trip. It was very easy to get around on the buses and trains. The train from Dundee to Glasgow was a wee bit crowded lugging golf clubs, but I did manage to get a seat. The bus service is frequent, and they take cash or credit cards on the bus.

    Can't quite understand why data service was so bad. I generally had 4 or 5 bars of signal strength, but it often took 3 to 5 attempts to render a web page. 'Kept stopping. Verizon' s local roaming partner?

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  • mci711mci711 ChicagoMembers  1710WRX Points: 689Posts: 1,710 Platinum Tees
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    Does anyone know what the first tee time is at St. Andrews OC in the summer?

    Posted:
  • scott_Donaldscott_Donald Aberdeen, Scotland & HoustonMembers  2835WRX Points: 384Posts: 2,835 Titanium Tees
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    On -, @mci711 said:

    Does anyone know what the first tee time is at St. Andrews OC in the summer?

    Well my Friend who is a member is teeing off at 6.30am this Saturday in a medal.

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  • davep043davep043 Members  5152WRX Points: 2,356Handicap: 6.3Posts: 5,152 Titanium Tees
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    On -, @mci711 said:

    Does anyone know what the first tee time is at St. Andrews OC in the summer?

    A few years ago I got 8 players on through the Advanced Reservation System, and we had 7:00 and 7:30 on a Tuesday. We were far from the first group out. In June, you can play until after 10, and its plenty light at 5.

    Posted:

    Home is Reston, Virgina, with regular visits to Southern Pines, NC

  • mci711mci711 ChicagoMembers  1710WRX Points: 689Posts: 1,710 Platinum Tees
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    On -, @davep043 said:

    On -, @mci711 said:

    Does anyone know what the first tee time is at St. Andrews OC in the summer?

    A few years ago I got 8 players on through the Advanced Reservation System, and we had 7:00 and 7:30 on a Tuesday. We were far from the first group out. In June, you can play until after 10, and its plenty light at 5.

    Thanks, I only ask because we have a 7am. I knew it wouldn't be the first out, but was wondering how much earlier people got out.

    Posted:
  • Schley Schley Love ya don't tell ya enough! Kingdom of Saudi ArabiaMembers  1486WRX Points: 295Handicap: 12.3Posts: 1,486 Platinum Tees
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    I think it is 630 as the starter and pavilion open at 6.

    Posted:
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  • flushemflushem Members  2122WRX Points: 436Handicap: 11.5Posts: 2,122 Platinum Tees
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    On -, @davep043 said:

    On -, @mci711 said:

    Does anyone know what the first tee time is at St. Andrews OC in the summer?

    A few years ago I got 8 players on through the Advanced Reservation System, and we had 7:00 and 7:30 on a Tuesday. We were far from the first group out. In June, you can play until after 10, and its plenty light at 5.

    I may have to put you in my group as guide.

    Posted:
  • spud3spud3 Portland, ORMembers  1879WRX Points: 437Posts: 1,879 Platinum Tees
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    Great thread!

    Posted:
    "take that, you miserable little white swine!"
  • mci711mci711 ChicagoMembers  1710WRX Points: 689Posts: 1,710 Platinum Tees
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    Couple months out from my honeymoon. Decided to make a switch, found a good deal and we are staying at The Old Course Hotel now. Figured it is half of our honeymoon, no reason not to pay a little bit more for a bigger room/amenities.
    We will obviously just walk to the Old Course and New. Is there a shuttle to the Castle Course?

    Has anyone used shipsticks out of the hotel? How is parking there?

    Should we eat at the hotel or venture into the town? We plan on taking in St Andrews and walking around anyway, but if any of there dining stands out we can stay in for food as well. I don't eat seafood and I know that is what is most prominent, unfortunately.

    Posted:
  • Hawkeye77Hawkeye77 IowaClubWRX  21657WRX Points: 5,658Posts: 21,657 ClubWRX
    Joined:  edited Jun 20, 2019 #341

    There is good seafood, and readily available, but I wouldn't necessarily say you get the sense it dominates to a fault - varied and wide source of eating opportunities. We stayed down the coast in a house, so didn't eat in St. Andrews as much, and I'd guess the hotel has great food. Two biggies for us were the waffle place and an extremely good Italian restaurant I can't remember the name of (but a quick look at TripAdvisor and it will be near the top of St. Andrews restaurants for a good reason - get a reservation). Had a breakfast at the clubhouse before playing The Old Course that was forgettable, but enjoyed sitting there and the views over the New and other courses while eating and walking around the balcony. What I think was some kind of steak "pie" I had out on the course out of the food truck was amazing.

    Edit: Little Italy is the place. Here's a link. https://www.tripadvisor.com/Restaurants-g186533-St_Andrews_Fife_Scotland.html

    But I'm sure you'll get more reliable first hand accounts from folks here.

    Posted:
  • Argonne69Argonne69 Members  23652WRX Points: 7,518Posts: 23,652 Titanium Tees
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    I ate at Little Italy. 'Very good. Good idea to have a reservation, or get there early, as it fills up quickly. Playfair's Steakhouse was also decent, but I heard there was a better steak joint near the entrance to the town. 'Might be The Steak Barn.

    I took a cab to the Castle course. It's 3.5 miles from ToC Hotel, so it won't be overly expensive. I shared a taxi with my playing partners on the way back.

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  • mci711mci711 ChicagoMembers  1710WRX Points: 689Posts: 1,710 Platinum Tees
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    I've heard good things about Little Italy. We will probably check that one out. We will have a car, but I was hoping to do as little driving as possible. Figured we'd drive to Kingsbarns though.

    Posted:
  • Argonne69Argonne69 Members  23652WRX Points: 7,518Posts: 23,652 Titanium Tees
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    Definitely worth driving to Kingsbarns if you have a rental car. The taxi wasn't cheap.

    Posted:
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    • TaylorMade AeroBurner Mini Driver 16 - Matrix Speed RUL-Z 60 Stiff
    • Ping G400 7wd 20.5 - Alta CB 65 Stiff 43"
    • Ping G400 9wd 23.5 - Alta CB 65 Stiff
    • Ping G400 26 and 30 hybrids - Alta CB 70 Stiff
    • Ping i200 7-P (2 Deg Weak) Orange Dot (2 Deg Flat) - True Temper X95 S300
    • Ping Glide 2.0 52 SS, 56 WS, and 60 WS AWT 2.0 Wedge
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  • duffer987duffer987 Meh... eh Canadian in CaliforniaMembers  9930WRX Points: 1,161Handicap: ~8Posts: 9,930 Titanium Tees
    Joined:  edited Jun 20, 2019 #345

    On -, @mci711 - take a look at
    https://www.shipinn.scot/ over in Elie.
    We popped in for a pint and sandwich after our round and I liked how they've used the space with the bar/restaurant being 'modern' in this classic old pub/inn building. It's right on Elie harbour so the setting is really cool, as you can go for a leisurely stroll after dinner, maybe watch a bit of beach cricket, definitely be a spot I'd take the GF/wife.
    Posted:
  • TheInfidelTheInfidel Gotta let the Big Dog eat.... Members  1645WRX Points: 274Posts: 1,645 Platinum Tees
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    On -, @duffer987 said:

    On -, @mci711 - take a look at
    https://www.shipinn.scot/ over in Elie.
    We popped in for a pint and sandwich after our round and I liked how they've used the space with the bar/restaurant being 'modern' in this classic old pub/inn building. It's right on Elie harbour so the setting is really cool, as you can go for a leisurely stroll after dinner, maybe watch a bit of beach cricket, definitely be a spot I'd take the GF/wife.

    It's something quite special to grab a pint of Guinness and watch the Ship Inn cricket team play a full match on the foreshore as the tide is out. Batting on sand is an artform.

    Posted:

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  • TheInfidelTheInfidel Gotta let the Big Dog eat.... Members  1645WRX Points: 274Posts: 1,645 Platinum Tees
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    On -, @Argonne69 said:

    I ate at Little Italy. 'Very good. Good idea to have a reservation, or get there early, as it fills up quickly. Playfair's Steakhouse was also decent, but I heard there was a better steak joint near the entrance to the town. 'Might be The Steak Barn.

    I took a cab to the Castle course. It's 3.5 miles from ToC Hotel, so it won't be overly expensive. I shared a taxi with my playing partners on the way back.

    I should really have posted this before now, but I'd forgotten to write it up.
    For some quality local produce the Balgove Larder Farm Shop is a relatively new addition. It's also home to the Steak Barn.
    Link to their site is here - https://www.balgove.com/
    Over the summer months it's a fantastic spot to grab some food any time of the day. They also do a night market the first tuesday of the month April to September, there's live music and drinks. It's located just outside St Andrews towards the golf range, and would be an excellent meeting point for large groups who enjoy their Beef.

    Posted:

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  • tideridertiderider Members  3101WRX Points: 2,135Handicap: 5ishPosts: 3,101 Titanium Tees
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    On -, @wareagle902 said:

    I got a note from North Berwick saying you can’t play the back tees at 6500. Something like they are reserved for member tournaments. I mean I guess it’s true if that’s what they say but wonder if they make exceptions. Only 6100 otherwise. I’m sure it would still be fun and challenging but seems kind of ridiculous.

    On -, @davep043 said:

    mci711 wrote:


    duffer987 wrote:


    mci711 wrote:

    Anyone know anything about cars? Looking for a rental, what is a Skoda and are they any nice?

    They are fine. I've had them a few times over the years. They're under the VW umbrella, typically a generation behind platform speaking of the current VW/Seat offering. Assuming you're seeing an "Octavia or similar" listing? Which would be like a Jetta. Or maybe the Fabia? Which would be like a smaller Golf, think Ford Fiesta.

    Ah gotcha thanks. Looking at either the Skoda Superb Estate wagon or Mercedez C Wagon. Need a lot of space for clubs and suitcases.

    My wife and I hired a Nissan Qashqai a few years ago, it had plenty of room for our clubs and bags. Its a small SUV (called Multi Purpose Vehicle (MPV) there). We worked through Celtic Legend, who are booking agents for Arnold Clark car hire, one of the largest in Scotland. All of their rentals include most of the insurance you'll need, an important thing to look at when you're comparing prices. If you can safely drive a standard transmission car, you can save a few pounds.

    Played NB yesterday from 6500 ... woman in charge simply stated I needed a handicap of 12 or lower ...

    And I highly recommend Celtic Legend/Arnold Clark ... their initial reply was detailed and lengthy, advising me on what specific insurance I needed regardless of company, and they cover multiple drivers at no additional costs, something most other companies don't do ...

    Posted:
  • mci711mci711 ChicagoMembers  1710WRX Points: 689Posts: 1,710 Platinum Tees
    Joined:  edited Jul 13, 2019 #349

    About a month out from my trip. Getting greedy and may try to add a round for the day we leave. Is there anything between St Andrews and Edinburgh Airport? I have a 3:45pm international flight to Greece in the afternoon, so I am not sure how possible it is.

    EDIT: Forgot that I was leaving my clubs at The Old Course Hotel and this plan doesn't work unless I play somewhere at St Andrews. Can't delete comments on here anymore, sorry.

    Posted:
  • scott_Donaldscott_Donald Aberdeen, Scotland & HoustonMembers  2835WRX Points: 384Posts: 2,835 Titanium Tees
    Joined:  edited Jul 13, 2019 #350

    On -, @mci711 said:

    About a month out from my trip. Getting greedy and may try to add a round for the day we leave. Is there anything between St Andrews and Edinburgh Airport? I have a 3:45pm international flight to Greece in the afternoon, so I am not sure how possible it is.

    EDIT: Forgot that I was leaving my clubs at The Old Course Hotel and this plan doesn't work unless I play somewhere at St Andrews. Can't delete comments on here anymore, sorry.

    Just play local in St Andrews early then.

    Posted:
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  • mci711mci711 ChicagoMembers  1710WRX Points: 689Posts: 1,710 Platinum Tees
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    On -, @scott_Donald said:

    On -, @mci711 said:

    About a month out from my trip. Getting greedy and may try to add a round for the day we leave. Is there anything between St Andrews and Edinburgh Airport? I have a 3:45pm international flight to Greece in the afternoon, so I am not sure how possible it is.

    EDIT: Forgot that I was leaving my clubs at The Old Course Hotel and this plan doesn't work unless I play somewhere at St Andrews. Can't delete comments on here anymore, sorry.

    Just play local in St Andrews early then.

    Yea, that will be the plan if I can get a tee time.

    Posted:
  • scott_Donaldscott_Donald Aberdeen, Scotland & HoustonMembers  2835WRX Points: 384Posts: 2,835 Titanium Tees
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    On -, @mci711 said:

    On -, @scott_Donald said:

    On -, @mci711 said:

    About a month out from my trip. Getting greedy and may try to add a round for the day we leave. Is there anything between St Andrews and Edinburgh Airport? I have a 3:45pm international flight to Greece in the afternoon, so I am not sure how possible it is.

    EDIT: Forgot that I was leaving my clubs at The Old Course Hotel and this plan doesn't work unless I play somewhere at St Andrews. Can't delete comments on here anymore, sorry.

    Just play local in St Andrews early then.

    Yea, that will be the plan if I can get a tee time.

    Where you playing on your trip?

    Posted:
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    • Artisan 46*, 50* C taper X
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  • mci711mci711 ChicagoMembers  1710WRX Points: 689Posts: 1,710 Platinum Tees
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    On -, @scott_Donald said:

    On -, @mci711 said:

    On -, @scott_Donald said:

    On -, @mci711 said:

    About a month out from my trip. Getting greedy and may try to add a round for the day we leave. Is there anything between St Andrews and Edinburgh Airport? I have a 3:45pm international flight to Greece in the afternoon, so I am not sure how possible it is.

    EDIT: Forgot that I was leaving my clubs at The Old Course Hotel and this plan doesn't work unless I play somewhere at St Andrews. Can't delete comments on here anymore, sorry.

    Just play local in St Andrews early then.

    Yea, that will be the plan if I can get a tee time.

    Where you playing on your trip?

    Muirfield* North Berwick, old course, castle course, kingsbarns.

    Muirfield is 50/50. We were emailed yesterday saying we had a tee time if we wanted it, but it's the day we get in. We'd be going from Chicago to the tee box at Muirfield. May be a tough first day.

    Posted:
  • scott_Donaldscott_Donald Aberdeen, Scotland & HoustonMembers  2835WRX Points: 384Posts: 2,835 Titanium Tees
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    On -, @mci711 said:

    On -, @scott_Donald said:

    On -, @mci711 said:

    On -, @scott_Donald said:

    On -, @mci711 said:

    About a month out from my trip. Getting greedy and may try to add a round for the day we leave. Is there anything between St Andrews and Edinburgh Airport? I have a 3:45pm international flight to Greece in the afternoon, so I am not sure how possible it is.

    EDIT: Forgot that I was leaving my clubs at The Old Course Hotel and this plan doesn't work unless I play somewhere at St Andrews. Can't delete comments on here anymore, sorry.

    Just play local in St Andrews early then.

    Yea, that will be the plan if I can get a tee time.

    Where you playing on your trip?

    Muirfield* North Berwick, old course, castle course, kingsbarns.

    Muirfield is 50/50. We were emailed yesterday saying we had a tee time if we wanted it, but it's the day we get in. We'd be going from Chicago to the tee box at Muirfield. May be a tough first day.

    Nice trip, maybe the New Course for your last day then.

    Posted:
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    • Taylormade M5 15* Tensei White 80TX
    • Taylormade P790 UDI C taper X
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    • Artisan 46*, 50* C taper X
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  • Argonne69Argonne69 Members  23652WRX Points: 7,518Posts: 23,652 Titanium Tees
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    I'd say Jubilee or Eden.

    Posted:
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    • TaylorMade AeroBurner Mini Driver 16 - Matrix Speed RUL-Z 60 Stiff
    • Ping G400 7wd 20.5 - Alta CB 65 Stiff 43"
    • Ping G400 9wd 23.5 - Alta CB 65 Stiff
    • Ping G400 26 and 30 hybrids - Alta CB 70 Stiff
    • Ping i200 7-P (2 Deg Weak) Orange Dot (2 Deg Flat) - True Temper X95 S300
    • Ping Glide 2.0 52 SS, 56 WS, and 60 WS AWT 2.0 Wedge
    • Odyssey O-Works #7 Tank 38"
  • mci711mci711 ChicagoMembers  1710WRX Points: 689Posts: 1,710 Platinum Tees
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    On -, @Argonne69 said:

    I'd say Jubilee or Eden.

    You liked them more than New?

    Posted:
  • Argonne69Argonne69 Members  23652WRX Points: 7,518Posts: 23,652 Titanium Tees
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    On -, @mci711 said:

    On -, @Argonne69 said:

    I'd say Jubilee or Eden.

    You liked them more than New?

    I played Jubilee and New, and preferred Jubilee. 'Not by much, however. I didn't play Eden, but the pics looks interesting. Seems a bit more strategic than the other two.

    Posted:
    • Ping G400 Max 10.5 - Fujikura Vista Pro 65 Flex-X 44.5"
    • TaylorMade AeroBurner Mini Driver 16 - Matrix Speed RUL-Z 60 Stiff
    • Ping G400 7wd 20.5 - Alta CB 65 Stiff 43"
    • Ping G400 9wd 23.5 - Alta CB 65 Stiff
    • Ping G400 26 and 30 hybrids - Alta CB 70 Stiff
    • Ping i200 7-P (2 Deg Weak) Orange Dot (2 Deg Flat) - True Temper X95 S300
    • Ping Glide 2.0 52 SS, 56 WS, and 60 WS AWT 2.0 Wedge
    • Odyssey O-Works #7 Tank 38"
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  • vallygolfvallygolf Members  580WRX Points: 155Posts: 580 Golden Tee
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    Just returned from my non-golf trip to Scotland. Ended up getting in two rounds. One at Royal Dornoch and the other at a new course in Inverness called Kings Golf Course. Interestingly, through connections at my hotel I was able to get out on its grand opening day. It is replacing a course called Torvean which had to be torn out for a new road, but the city gave new land to replace it. It was fantastic. Played as firm as Dornoch, but we'll see what happens as it settles in. Worth a round if you are looking for a tune up in Inverness. Dornoch was simply amazing. I would play that course 100 times in a row and probably never get bored. Loved it so much Im already working on my return trip in 2020. Just over one week in the south, and 4 days in the Highlands. Im sad I didnt get to play more golf. It was the best weather the locals had seen in awhile. mid 60's with sun and no wind. Played Kings Golf Course with 3 locals (their first round there as well), all remarked that they thought only Dornoch, Castle Stewart, and Narin were better in the Highlands. I cant comment as I can only compare it to Dornoch, but it was a wonderful course.

    Posted:
  • TheInfidelTheInfidel Gotta let the Big Dog eat.... Members  1645WRX Points: 274Posts: 1,645 Platinum Tees
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    Sit Rep:

    • I was up in St Andrews for the weekend and walked two of the courses on Sunday, they're in excellent shape and the unseasonal rain in August has left TOC looking very green and lush. They've just added some top dressing but it was a very light dusting and was brushed in by Sunday lunch time.
    • Took my second trip out to the Balgove Larder Steak Barn on Saturday night and it was excellent again. £5 taxi ride if you want to have drinks and well worth a visit.
    • I took the opportunity to try out the TrackMan range they've installed for the course complex and it's really a nice addition. There is a shuttle service you can take from the visitors club house to make it more accessible, probably a good 10/15 min walk if you were tyring to do it prior to a tee time. It'd be more like a 20/25 min walk from my club by the 18th green on TOC. But if you have an afternoon tee time it's worth a visit. Always good to get a feel for carry distance into a headwind or cross wind prior to a round, especially since your first approach on TOC is over a burn.
    Posted:

    • Ping G400 9* Fujikura Speeder 661 X (+16g head weight)
    • Tour Edge Exotics CB3 Tour 18*, True Temper Bi Matrix RXi X 
    • Adams Idea A7 22* UST V2 Hybrid X +0.5'
    • Mizuno MP20 MMC 4-7 Nippon Modus 3 130X +0.5' 2 deg up
    • Mizuno MP20 MB 8-PW Nippon Modus 3 130X +0.5' 2 deg up
    • Mizuno S18 50* Nippon NS PRO 1150GH Tour X +0.5'
    • Nike Engage Raw 54* S400 +0.5'
    • Cleveland RTX 588 Rotex 2.0 60* S400 +0.5'
    • Odyssey Dual Force 990 


  • eacsgolferdadeacsgolferdad Members  112WRX Points: 85Posts: 112 Fairways
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    I’m going to be in Edinburgh on business the week of October 7. I’ll be done with my work commitments on Thursday and I’m debating staying the weekend. I have a few questions I’m hoping some can provide answers.

    1. It seems the bus or train would be an option from Edinburgh to St. Andrews. Any opinions on which is easier and will having my golf travel bag be an issue?
    2. Any guesses on my chancees of getting out on TOC on Friday or Saturday as a single?
    3. Other than TOC Hotel any recommendations for a good place to stay as a single.

    Thanks for any insight.

    Posted:
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  • Argonne69Argonne69 Members  23652WRX Points: 7,518Posts: 23,652 Titanium Tees
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    On -, @eacsgolferdad said:

    I’m going to be in Edinburgh on business the week of October 7. I’ll be done with my work commitments on Thursday and I’m debating staying the weekend. I have a few questions I’m hoping some can provide answers.
    1. It seems the bus or train would be an option from Edinburgh to St. Andrews. Any opinions on which is easier and will having my golf travel bag be an issue?
    2. Any guesses on my chancees of getting out on TOC on Friday or Saturday as a single?
    3. Other than TOC Hotel any recommendations for a good place to stay as a single.

    Thanks for any insight.

    I found the bus from Edinburgh Airport to be inexpensive and little hassle. I'd expect it to be the same from the city center. There is a transfer to another bus at Halbeath though. The train will be more expensive, and you'll have to hop on a bus at Dundee for a short ride into St Andrews. Depending on the time you travel, you might have a small issue with your bag if the train is crowded.

    I stayed at The Golf Inn, right around the corner from ToC. The rooms are small, and just about right for a single. The Dunevegan would be another option.

    Posted:
    • Ping G400 Max 10.5 - Fujikura Vista Pro 65 Flex-X 44.5"
    • TaylorMade AeroBurner Mini Driver 16 - Matrix Speed RUL-Z 60 Stiff
    • Ping G400 7wd 20.5 - Alta CB 65 Stiff 43"
    • Ping G400 9wd 23.5 - Alta CB 65 Stiff
    • Ping G400 26 and 30 hybrids - Alta CB 70 Stiff
    • Ping i200 7-P (2 Deg Weak) Orange Dot (2 Deg Flat) - True Temper X95 S300
    • Ping Glide 2.0 52 SS, 56 WS, and 60 WS AWT 2.0 Wedge
    • Odyssey O-Works #7 Tank 38"
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