105 in 57

old-courseIt started as a travelogue through the British Open rota (that is, courses that are, or once were, in the rotation to host an Open Championship).  That would have been a whopping fourteen tracks in total.  Goodness, how my little golf trip has grown.

It sprouted side-trips.  It swelled with possibility.  It grew arms and legs and portions and pieces.  It multiplied itself, like a gremlin swim team.  It went sideways and upways and outways; it hopped over seas and lochs and landed on far flung islands.

It went to Wales.

It grew out of curiosity, and obsession, and easy courage.  It was the prodigal golf trip, run away from me and gone wild, barely recognizable as the trip I had envisioned.  Bigger, bolder, than anything I had imagined–as the plan stretched from fourteen to fifty to near a hundred courses, I set my aim on the century mark, and then blew clear past it.  And for getting away from me, my lost and wanton golf trip–I love it so.

It was a golf journey.  It was a June trip to Scotland.  What was going to be a summer of high teas and lazy golf and staring at Loch Ness has become what might be the most ambitious golf itinerary ever attempted.  At least that’s what I’ll be calling it in A Course Called the Kingdom.

I didn’t design this trip. My own efforts and arrangements and machinations would have come up short.  I sort of just collected what the UK golf gods were throwing down.  And they threw and threw and threw.

This impossible plan was guided by the wisdom and friendship of my most wonderful reader, Gramma Billy, whose love of golf and of life inspired me to give the links of the UK a shot.  The courses she and her husband Gene have enjoyed became my playing priorities, and broadened this trip’s perspective.  The itinerary took further inspiration from Malcolm Campbell and George Peper’s True Links, and from Gary Sutherland’s Golf on the Rocks.  Its bloat was hastened by the ease of Google Maps, my cursor rambling fearlessly around the coast of the UK, clicking my way across the golfing globe with hope and abandon, always adding, rarely subtracting, and purposely forgetting that somebody was going to have to strap on their spikes and chase down each click.

Visit Scotland made it possible.  Golf Tourism England, too, along with Visit Wales, partners who each added suggestions to this itinerary, allowing this to truly become a A Course Called the (United) Kingdom.

This list has been in flux for over a year, and with less than two months to teeing off, that flux may continue.  The wrinkles and snafus and road blocks will come, but as of March 1st, I have a final list of courses for the biggest golf dream I never dreamed.

In case anyone is looking for me during the 57 days between April 26th and June 22nd, this is where I’ll be:

  1. ROYAL CINQUE PORTS GOLF CLUB
  2. PRINCES GOLF CLUB
  3. ROYAL ST. GEORGE’S GOLF CLUB
  4. MULLION GOLF CLUB
  5. PERRANPORTH GOLF CLUB
  6. TREVOSE GOLF CLUB
  7. ENODOC GOLF CLUB
  8. HOLYHEAD GOLF CLUB
  9. BULL BAY GOLF CLUB
  10. CONWY GOLF CLUB
  11. WALLASEY GOLF CLUB
  12. ROYAL LIVERPOOL
  13. ROYAL LYTHAM & ST ANNES
  14. ROYAL BIRKDALE
  15. ANNES OLD LINKS
  16. EYEMOUTH GOLF CLUB
  17. DUNBAR GOLF CLUB
  18. GLEN GOLF COURSE
  19. NORTH BERWICK GOLF CLUB
  20. ARCHERFIELD LINKS
  21. MUIRFIELD GOLF CLUB
  22. GULLANE GOLF CLUB
  23. KILSPINDIE GOLF CLUB
  24. LUFFNESS NEW GOLF CLUB
  25. CRAIGIELAW GOLF COURSE
  26. EDEN COURSE, ST. ANDREWS LINKS
  27. THE OLD COURSE, ST. ANDREWS
  28. BURNTISLAND GOLF CLUB
  29. KINGHORN GOLF CLUB
  30. LUNDIN GOLF CLUB
  31. LEVEN LINKS
  32. THE GOLF HOUSE CLUB, ELIE
  33. THE JUBILEE COURSE, ST. ANDREWS
  34. ANSTRUTHER GOLF CLUB
  35. CRAIL GOLFING SOCIETY BALCOMIE
  36. CRAIL GOLFING SOCIETY CRAIGHEAD
  37. THE NEW COURSE, ST. ANDREWS
  38. KINGSBARNS GOLF LINKS
  39. THE CASTLE COURSE, ST. ANDREWS
  40. PANMURE GOLF CLUB
  41. SCOTSCRAIG GOLF CLUB
  42. MONIFIETH GOLF CLUB
  43. THE CARNOUSTIE GOLF CLUB
  44. MONTROSE GOLF LINKS
  45. STONEHAVEN GOLF COURSE
  46. ROYAL ABERDEEN GOLF CLUB
  47. MURCAR LINKS GOLF CLUB
  48. NEWBURGH ON YTHAN GOLF CLUB
  49. TRUMP ABERDEEN GOLF COURSE
  50. CRUDEN BAY GOLF CLUB
  51. PETERHEAD GOLF CLUB
  52. CRAIGEWAN LINKS
  53. INVERALLOCHY GOLF COURSE
  54. FRESERBURGH GOLF CLUB
  55. ROSEHEARTY GOLF CLUB
  56. ROYAL TARLAIR GOLF CLUB
  57. CULLEN GOLF CLUB
  58. STRATHLENE GOLF CLUB
  59. BUCKPOOL GOLF CLUB
  60. SPEY BAY GOLF CLUB
  61. MORAY GOLF CLUB
  62. COVESEA GOLF LINKS
  63. HOPEMAN GOLF CLUB
  64. COVESEA GOLF CLUB
  65. NAIRN DUNBAR GOLF CLUB
  66. NAIRN GOLF CLUB
  67. ASTA GOLF CLUB
  68. SHETLAND GOLF CLUB
  69. WHALSAY GOLF CLUB
  70. STROMNESS GOLF CLUB
  71. CASTLE STUART
  72. FORTROSE & ROSEMARKIE GOLF CLUB
  73. TARBAT GOLF CLUB
  74. TAIN GOLF COURSE
  75. SKIBO CASTLE
  76. GOLSPIE
  77. ROYAL DORNOCH LINKS
  78. ROYAL DORNOCH STRUIE
  79. BRORA GOLF CLUB
  80. WICK GOLF CLUB
  81. REAY GOLF COURSE
  82. DURNESS GOLF CLUB
  83. ULLAPOOL GOLF CLUB
  84. GAIRLOCH GOLF CLUB
  85. ISLE OF SKYE GOLF CLUB
  86. TRAIGH GOLF COURSE
  87. COLONSAY GOLF CLUB
  88. THE MACHRIE GOLF LINKS
  89. MACHRIHANISH GOLF CLUB
  90. MACHRIHANISH DUNES
  91. DUNAVERTY GOLF CLUB
  92. SHISKINE GOLF AND TENNIS CLUB
  93. TURNBERRY AILSA GOLF COURSE
  94. PRESTWICK ST. NICHOLAS GOLF CLUB
  95. PRESTWICK GOLF CLUB
  96. ROYAL TROON GOLF CLUB OLD
  97. BARASSIE GOLF CLUB
  98. GAILES LINKS GOLF COURSE
  99. WESTERN GAILES GOLF CLUB
  100. IRVINE GOLF CLUB
  101. BARRA GOLF CLUB
  102. ASKERNISH GOLF CLUB
  103. HARRIS GOLF CLUB
  104. MUSSELBURGH LINKS
  105. BRITISH OPEN QUALIFIER – BRUNTSFIELD LINKS

God bless us, every one.

2 thoughts on “105 in 57

  1. What a historic challenge! Thoughts of Sir Ernest’s Shackeleton’s Antarctic adventure come to mind! A voyage across the wild greens of the UK…..WOW! Endurance the ship…hmmmmm I will eagerly wait for your words describing your adventure. Your endurance. You are a captain of this!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Just finished reading ‘A Course Called Ireland’. I’m more excited than ever for an upcoming golf trip to Ireland this summer with three colleagues. We will play 14 rounds on 11 of the courses Tom played during his great adventure. And now 105 in 57! Can’t wait for the book. I’m already working on an ask to my better half for her blessing for a UK golf outing in the not to distant future. Tom, I hope your UK trip is as enjoyable
    as your summer in Ireland was. @kanatamike

    Liked by 1 person

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About Tom Coyne