Walking in Scotland

 soonernick ·  
soonernicksoonernick  58WRX Points: 55Handicap: 2.6Members Posts: 58 Bunkers
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For those of you that have done a golf vacation in Scotland, or similar locales, I'm curious how big of a deal it is to walk several days in a row? For instance, we have scheduled 8 rounds in 7 days in July, with the thought that we may add in another round or two in an open evening.
All four of us are in relatively good shape and play anywhere from 50-100 rounds a year, most of which are in 90-100* Oklahoma heat/humidity. The highest handicap in the group is a 5, so everyone should be able to get around the courses pretty smoothly. I have started walking and carrying my bag every round to prepare, but despite ~180 miles a month on the Peloton and walking at least once a week, I still don't feel like I'm anywhere close to being able to walk 7 days in a row. I was dragging at the end of my round yesterday.
To be fair, my club is a tougher than normal walk, relatively hilly and some American style gaps between greens and tees... more than 95% of the rounds on the course are played in carts. One of the guys going with us has done a Scotland golf trip before and says the course I am walking is almost like walking the Old Course twice. He acts like everyone will be fine, but he was also 25 when he went before and I just turned 41. I don't want to get over there and end up having to skip a day on an awesome course because I need a day to rest.
tl/dr Are there some additional things, other than middle-aged dude cardio stuff, that we need to be doing to prepare to walk/carry 7 days in a row?
All thoughts are appreciated!

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  • Hawkeye77Hawkeye77 Iowa 20487WRX Points: 4,391ClubWRX Posts: 20,487 ClubWRX
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    1 word - caddies!
    Seriously, when I was 41, lol, I wouldn't have given a second thought to whether I could walk 18 holes every day. On our trip last summer, and I'm a bit older than 41 now, the only real issue I had was jet lag. Sure, got a little tired (and we did use caddies a few times), but used trolleys and it wasn't a big deal for us. I haven't carried a full, regular bag for years, don't know why anyone ever would. On a morning return trip to a course we played the afternoon before, my daughter and I did get the motorized trolleys - those were kind of fun. At your age, grab a trolley, don't carry, and you'll be fine.

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  • soonernicksoonernick  58WRX Points: 55Handicap: 2.6Members Posts: 58 Bunkers
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    Thank you for your confidence, Hawkeye77!
    And we will definitely utilize caddies on a few of the rounds, I expect that will help. I’m also planning on scheduling at least one massage sometime mid trip.
    Your post makes me feel better though, I’m probably just excited about the trip and anxious about doing everything perfect. It’ll be fun no matter how we do it.

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  • Hawkeye77Hawkeye77 Iowa 20487WRX Points: 4,391ClubWRX Posts: 20,487 ClubWRX
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    I think you'll be pleasantly surprised at the difference between the weather in Scotland vs. Oklahoma in July! It will be invigorating. With a push cart, and tee boxes pretty close on some courses, you aren't walking all that far in 18 holes under any great stress. Just keep doing what you are doing, in terms of golf shape you'll be better than most. ;-)

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  • scott_Donaldscott_Donald Aberdeen, Scotland & Houston 2629WRX Points: 281Members Posts: 2,629 Titanium Tees
    Joined:  edited Mar 26, 2019 #5

    lol.
    sorry I can't believe I am reading this from a guy who seems fit(peloton) asking whether walking will be ok. I am Scottish but in Houston right now and until the temperature got to 25*C I walked, much more fun, some exercise and was not restricted to paths etc.
    My dad is 68 and he walks, mostly carrying 5 days a week in the height of summer in Scotland.
    I have never not walked in Scotland, finding it very hard to find a time I actually have used a buggy. I do have a push cart I use if the forecast is for rain and I have to play but carry my clubs 99.5% of the time.
    Funny trying to think of 2 times I hated walking - once at Cruden Bay where the hill to the 9th tee is killer and then once playing at Castle Stewart but they give you a drink half way up the hill.
    I am heading back home for a month at the end of April and my plan is to golf 25 of the 30 days I will be home; be it chipping and putting to full rounds.

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  • MignuzMignuz  129WRX Points: 60Handicap: 3Members Posts: 129 Fairways
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    I wouldn't be worried.
    I walked 8 courses in 7 days at 42 yo with back and hip problems and almost didn't feel it.
    Depends on the courses you are playing, but links in general are really easy to walk.
    On some courses you could use a buggy...or if you find it, try a golf board!

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  • tideridertiderider  2832WRX Points: 1,869Handicap: 5ishMembers Posts: 2,832 Titanium Tees
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    i think walking 7 straight days is very tough on the body, and i am extremely skeptical of people that say it didn't affect them at all ... that said, cardio isn't what you need, imo ... you need to start stretching a little bit every day ... and after you play ... there are some podcasts that talk about golf fitness stuff, and they offer some good advice/info on stretching philosophies ... guys tend to scoff at the need to stretch, but 7 straight days of walking 5-7 miles, with golf swings thrown in, isn't easy ...

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  • jameshayjameshay  20WRX Points: 23Handicap: 16Members Posts: 20 Bunkers
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    I live and play in scotland and from what you say think you should be fine. If you want to get prepared though the easiest thing to do would be start walking more. If it is feasible walk to/from work etc.

    Now the weather here is starting to get nicer here i will walk to the golf course, about three and a half miles, then play my medal. I dont do it 7 days in a row unfortunately but would do it Saturday and Sunday, weather permitting.

    Main thing to watch for would be blisters, i would make sure any shoes you are wearing aren't brand new and have been worn in. Stick a packet of plasters in your golf bag, if you do have any parts of your feet that start to get sore bang a plaster on it and you are good to go.

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  • duffer987duffer987 Meh... eh Canadian in California 9688WRX Points: 967Handicap: ~8Members Posts: 9,688 Titanium Tees
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    On -, @tiderider said:

    i think walking 7 straight days is very tough on the body, and i am extremely skeptical of people that say it didn't affect them at all ... that said, cardio isn't what you need, imo ... you need to start stretching a little bit every day ... and after you play ... there are some podcasts that talk about golf fitness stuff, and they offer some good advice/info on stretching philosophies ... guys tend to scoff at the need to stretch, but 7 straight days of walking 5-7 miles, with golf swings thrown in, isn't easy ...

    Your skepticism is noted - but like people who are skeptical of 300 drives - doesn't mean what people say isn't true.
    If you don't exceed what you can do in a day (whether that's just 18 or 36 or 54) without feeling fresh the next morning, then you'll likely hit your mental limit/interest in teeing it up, before your physical. We do an 8 rounds/5 days Bandon trip every year and weather permitting Sunday morning is just as easy as Weds. Heck we did 14 rounds/9 days in Scotland a few years back (with 10/5 in the middle). Yes the older chaps 55+ in our group only doubled up twice IIRC, but they were fine. Of course if someone is a typical US cart golfer, their mileage may vary.
    Get a good night's sleep, have a decent meal, and don't have too many pints, hope for good weather - which really helps - and you'll be grand OP.

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  • cardoustiecardoustie haha, we don't play for 5's Tasmania to Canada 13332WRX Points: 2,206Handicap: 1.6Members Posts: 13,332 Titanium Tees
    Joined:  edited Mar 26, 2019 #10

    We went in 2012 when I was 45. Easy peasy. 9 rounds in 9 days, half hungover (The Ryder Cup was on)
    Caddies a few rounds. The Old, The New, Jubilee, Muirfield, Kingsbarns, Carnoustie .. no real elevation changes, simple walks
    We generally walk at home until it hits 90 and add in humidity. Though a couple of gents were riders for every round at home, in their late 50's and early 60's and they managed fine
    Electric push cart on the Castle Course, that sucker PULLED us up some hills
    Bring two pairs of golf shoes and some really solid pairs of socks or sockettes
    If it makes you feel better, we had an 83 year old Scots gent in front of us carrying at KB

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  • Pete O'TubePete O'Tube  385WRX Points: 121Handicap: 6Members Posts: 385 Greens
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    On -, @scott_Donald said:

    once at Cruden Bay where the hill to the 9th tee is killer

    It's not call Thrombosis Hill for nothing!

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  • scott_Donaldscott_Donald Aberdeen, Scotland & Houston 2629WRX Points: 281Members Posts: 2,629 Titanium Tees
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    On -, @Pete O'Tube said:

    On -, @scott_Donald said:

    once at Cruden Bay where the hill to the 9th tee is killer

    It's not call Thrombosis Hill for nothing!

    funny I was close to carrying my dads bag up last time we played! he is a member and I think he only played 4 full rounds there last year!

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  • ChancemanChanceman  823WRX Points: 214Handicap: 14Members Posts: 823 Golden Tee
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    I played 20 courses in 20 days in ireland last year, walking all apart from Ballyliffin, Enniscrone and one other which I forget. I was knackered but much fitter by the end. And I am nearly 70 with a heart problem.

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  • James the Hogan FanJames the Hogan Fan  1026WRX Points: 682Handicap: 12Members Posts: 1,026 Platinum Tees
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    I’m 23 years old and walked 18-27-18 holes in 3 days over my golf vacation to Sandwich a week ago. I also walked with the clubs a couple miles to and from each course (not old enough to rent a car yet) The walk from Prince’s to downtown Sandwich was particularly brutal.

    I definately felt it after each day, but on day 2 morning I was fresh. By day 3 I was starting to stiffen up in the legs and back. I think most of the strain came from lugging the clubs and other luggage to and from the courses, plus this being my first golf of the season. Moreover, I have always had issues with muscle soreness even after just a day of walking around town. Be sure to stretch pre- and post-round, it does wonders!

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  • Schley Schley Love ya don't tell ya enough! Kingdom of Saudi Arabia 1423WRX Points: 257Handicap: 12.3Members Posts: 1,423 Platinum Tees
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    I have played there a couple times and just returned from 12 rounds in 11 days in Australia last month. My only concern is your feet. I get blisters fairly easily and bring tape, band aids which do the job. I rotate shoes each day, especially if i'm playing twice in a day. The courses are flat over there, the castle is a bit hilly and Kingsbarns has some hikes, but I think you will be fine athletically, it is just blisters on the feet.

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  • AuldPLO Swiss GolftrotterAuldPLO Swiss Golftrotter  141WRX Points: 56Handicap: 12Members Posts: 141 Fairways
    Joined:  edited Mar 27, 2019 #16

    While not being a warrior, I played 36-36-36 and 18+36+36 during my last two stays in Scotland in 2018. But I had a caddy each and every rounds ! Did I get tired at the end of the day ? Of course I was, but after a few pints, a tasty dinner and a good night, I was always fine the day after ! ;-)
    New socks and shoes for each round is the secret during a 36 holes day !

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  • davep043davep043  4762WRX Points: 1,999Handicap: 6.3Members Posts: 4,762 Titanium Tees
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    You'll be fine. Last summer I played 189 holes of golf in 8 days, all walking, and I'm 63 now. One thing I strongly suggest, don't insist on carrying your bag all the way every day. Trolleys are available nearly everywhere for just a few pounds, and will take a lot of the effort out of walking. Not to mention, based on everything I saw trolleys are used by a majority of Scots, its just the way the game is played. Sure, take a caddie where appropriate, certainly at the Old Course if that's on your list, but you can get around just fine with nothing more than a course guide and your own instincts. Have a great time!

    Posted:

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

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  • scott_Donaldscott_Donald Aberdeen, Scotland & Houston 2629WRX Points: 281Members Posts: 2,629 Titanium Tees
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    On -, @soonernick where are you playing?
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  • soonernicksoonernick  58WRX Points: 55Handicap: 2.6Members Posts: 58 Bunkers
    Joined:  edited Mar 28, 2019 #19

    We’re actually starting in Liverpool, so we’ll play the three rota courses there:
    1. R. Birkdale
    2. R. Lytham & St. Annes x2
    3. R. Liverpool
    Then we travel up to St. Andrews for:
    4. Elie
    5. Castle
    6. Craighead
    7. Balcomie
    8. Kingsbarns
    We will be going lottery for St Andrews, so we’ll likely lose one of Castle, Craighead or Balcomie.
    Two of the guys are leaving on Sunday, but one buddy and I are meeting my wife and kid in Edinburgh that day and staying there with in-laws until Tuesday, so we’re also hoping to squeeze in North Berwick, but that’s probably less than 50/50.

    Any tips to pivot from that schedule are certainly welcome!

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  • MalvernMalvern  544WRX Points: 145Handicap: 7Members Posts: 544 Golden Tee
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    I've (50 + and carrying a few kgs extra) done a few of the "longish" tours, I find after 2-3 days it feels the worst, you just push on and it seems to get easier.
    Felt like by day 14-15 I could have kept going forever but we walk every round out here.

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  • soonernicksoonernick  58WRX Points: 55Handicap: 2.6Members Posts: 58 Bunkers
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    Thank you so much for all of your responses! I feel much better about being physically prepared, and you guys all answered the concerns I had.

    I’ve been mostly a lurker on these boards these last few years, but you all really do have an awesome golf/internet community. All of our research for the trip, rain gear, bags, etc., came from information I lurked off of these messages boards. Y’all really are a huge help!

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  • duffer987duffer987 Meh... eh Canadian in California 9688WRX Points: 967Handicap: ~8Members Posts: 9,688 Titanium Tees
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    Good stuff OP :smiley:
    Two suggestions from me would be Formby GC next door to Birkdale - I actually prefer the former and had a great 36 day out there last year. The other would be Silloth, normally it's in a bit of a golfing wasteland, but if you are driving up to Edi and Fife from Liverpool that is an awesome opportunity to play it on the way up. IMHO both of these courses are every bit the match for the others on your itinerary.

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  • jonnymc44jonnymc44 Manchester UK 201WRX Points: 127Handicap: 5.6Members Posts: 201 Fairways
    Joined:  edited Apr 8, 2019 #23

    On -, @soonernick said:

    We’re actually starting in Liverpool, so we’ll play the three rota courses there:
    1. R. Birkdale
    2. R. Lytham & St. Annes x2
    3. R. Liverpool
    Then we travel up to St. Andrews for:
    4. Elie
    5. Castle
    6. Craighead
    7. Balcomie
    8. Kingsbarns
    We will be going lottery for St Andrews, so we’ll likely lose one of Castle, Craighead or Balcomie.
    Two of the guys are leaving on Sunday, but one buddy and I are meeting my wife and kid in Edinburgh that day and staying there with in-laws until Tuesday, so we’re also hoping to squeeze in North Berwick, but that’s probably less than 50/50.

    Any tips to pivot from that schedule are certainly welcome!

    My dad has played Royal Liverpool a few times as his friend used to be a member until he moved out of the area. My dad doesn't rate it too highly. A few other courses you might want to consider instead that are/have been Open qualifying courses

    • Formby (one of my favourites and rated higher than Royal Liverpool)
    • Hillside (back 9 is special)
    • Fairhaven
    • Hesketh
    • West Lancs
    • Southport and Ainsdale

    Just a thought, but if you're set on the Open venues then stick to Royal Liverpool.

    Posted:
  • jonnymc44jonnymc44 Manchester UK 201WRX Points: 127Handicap: 5.6Members Posts: 201 Fairways
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    On -, @duffer987 said:

    Good stuff OP :smiley:
    Two suggestions from me would be Formby GC next door to Birkdale - I actually prefer the former and had a great 36 day out there last year. The other would be Silloth, normally it's in a bit of a golfing wasteland, but if you are driving up to Edi and Fife from Liverpool that is an awesome opportunity to play it on the way up. IMHO both of these courses are every bit the match for the others on your itinerary.

    100% agree on Silloth. Can't beat the quality of course for the price.

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  • imakaveliimakaveli Moli Moli Moli Moli Tommy Tommy Tommy Tommy...  13140WRX Points: 1,002Handicap: 3.8Members Posts: 13,140 Titanium Tees
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    Take a trolley and you will be fine.

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