Donnie Swanson and his grandson, Baxter Macintosh (11), both members at Aigas Golf Club, recently undertook Golf Highland’s High 9s Tour, visiting nine 9-hole golf courses in the Highlands. Here is how they got on:
We signed up to the tour around the middle of June at Aigas Golf Club.
Myself, my son-in-law, Michael Macintosh, and my grandson, Baxter, had finished a round and were talking to Jessie, Mine Host, in the clubhouse. She mentioned this new event aimed at encouraging golfers of all abilities to visit other 9-hole courses around the Highlands.
Baxter, having only taken up golf last year, showed more than a degree of interest, not only in the golf – he’s a competitor – but the geography as well. With the school holidays imminent, I, being retired, decided we should give it a go. Michael works away a lot, so could not commit, but Baxter and I signed up. And so, the journey began.
Two very contrasting courses, Bonar with its woodland fairways and the Port being wide open and dry. Both courses had good greens considering the scorching weather.
10thJuly. We made the long trek to Sconser, Isle of Skye Golf Club. Beautiful setting, nestled between mountain and sea. Peaceful, even the Raasay ferry runs in stealth mode.
Scoring did not match our previous outing. The course was too close to the sea for my hooks and slices. But we still had a wonderful time and I’m sure we will return.
Lybster is a short course with heather separating the fairways (I don’t enjoy playing out of heather), and ditches traversing them. All this led to a mediocre score for both of us. The clubhouse is unmanned but you are welcome to have a cup of tea or coffee and biscuit, paying via an honesty box. Having travelled far, we were looking for a little more sustenance and found a lovely café down by the harbour. Worth a visit.
We left Lybster and headed for Thurso and west to Durness. We overnighted there. Some lovely German tourists decided to reverse into the motorhome while I was booking in. No real damage done that I can tell. In the morning we played Durness. Again, unmanned with refreshments available using the honesty box system. Scoring not great but we did like the course. The rough looked demanding but was quite forgiving. The views on some holes were gorgeous with a backdrop of white sandy beaches. We returned home and by the time we got there we’d almost completed the NC500.
23rdJuly.Ullapool and Gairloch. Played Ullapool in the morning. Not our best, but, for once, I played better than Baxter. He got his revenge at Gairloch in the afternoon. Of course he arrives relaxed while I am stressed having to do all the driving. Cannot fault the scenery on both courses. As for the golf, that’s another story.
27thJuly. Abernethy, our final destination. Beautiful day, beautiful setting and almost beautiful golf, at least until the 7thwhen the wheels came off my game and I had to concede to Baxter once again, both on the day and on the Tour.
Overall, we would highly recommend the Tour. Contrasting courses in magical settings and meeting friendly people. We had a great time and look forward to trying again next year, when hopefully we will remember where we are going.
We would love to see a grandparent/grandchild competition. I mentioned it to Baxter who told me I would have to buck up as I am the weakest link!