Dunbar Golf Club – May 2017 Today I drove from Lochwinnoch to Dunbar to tee it up with Peter Nevans (who had invited me via twitter) and Paul Armour, the Course Manager.
I had met Paul last year at the BIGGA Central Section event when he was working with Gordon Moir at St Andrews. He has been at Dunbar Golf Course for not even a year and members from other clubs have asked me to pass on how good a job he is doing at Dunbar.
I was in the carpark having a stretch and got chatting to a threesome who were getting their clubs out of the car and one asked me where I was from in Australia and as I said I am from Sydney but live in Canada. He said I am a little bit away from his friend who was from Melbourne. The Melbournite took off his sunglasses and says, “I have golfed with you before in Spain”. Craig, who lives in Barcelona, and I met there last year playing a round together at the butifarra event with ex pats at Golf La Roca.
They had just flown in from Spain and were playing at North Berwick (where I played last week) and at Dunbar today.
What a small world and crazy that we just bumped into each other in the carpark!
A quick photo and I went off to meet Peter.
Peter was in the clubhouse and I was introduced to a few of his fellow members who golf on Tuesdays in the Men’s Senior Competition. They all pop a pound in a box and put a key ring with their name on it in another box and the playing partners are drawn from the key rings. I think this a great way to get to play with different people and get to know your fellow members.
Paul joined us not long after and we had a golf chat about Fairways and the juniors in various parts of the world and how we come to sponsor the children.
We chatted with another Aussie, Barry, (who is a member) and talked a little about golf in Spain as the Spanish contingent were here to play with him.
Then we headed on out into the spectacular sunny Scottish weather. There was a little wind but nothing like I have played in before.
We had a fourth player in Rory (not McIlroy) but Pete’s gorgeous dog – who liked my banana slice too. I share it with all my playing partners. I had my usual banana, oatmeal and cranberry slice and fruit, nuts and dark chocolate mix, although I had to admonish Pete for just picking out the chocolate.
I must say I love this course. I love having the ocean and the sound of the rolling waves as a feature. Dunbar Golf Club is hundreds of years old and is one of the oldest courses in the world. Golf has been played in these parts for nearly 400 years.
The first three holes are in front of and adjacent to the clubhouse then you cross through the stone fence and the course opens up while you look over the expanse of the ocean.
I was playing some good golf and the Vokey wedges I had been gifted by Dave Simpson got a good outing. I was using them for a lot of shots and I must say they were good in the bunkers, better than the bounce I get of the sand wedge that sat in the boot of my car along with my pitching wedge.
I was driving well although I did card 3 snowmen on the front nine which was nearly half of my 56 on the way out.
I just love a links course and Dunbar is in great condition. There are burns, hills, bunkers and of course the ocean as visual hazards to test your golf and shot selection and I must say I did play some smart golf i.e. laying up when I knew I couldn’t carry the burn.
I was happy with a bogey on the hardest hole on the course which gave me a nett birdie.
These boys can golf. Pete (the pirate – he let out a few arrrrrrhs) and Paul were throwing some darts as they pin hunted, while I worked my way with a couple extra shots, although not always, on the holes.
Paul was putting in a card to get an official handicap as his had lapsed and boy can he drive the ball.
We had a great golf chat as we meandered and talked police, green keeping, theatre and of course golf and Fairways.
It was a perfect day of golf and Dunbar will be on my annual list to visit as not only is it a fantastic course but I have great golf friends there.
That is what golf is all about. Connecting and sharing a passion and laughs with like minded people.
I got a couple of pars in a row (quite good for my golf) and only missed hitting my driver the once – I may have been talking in my back swing.
We were out in front of Pete’s usual Tuesday group so we were chatting and waving and I had a good laugh when one gentleman told me he didn’t go that far on holiday after congratulating my drive on the 17th.
Paul was considering the course and looking at various aspects of his work, chatting with members and his staff, checking the water in the tank and I can see how much he loves his job.
Post round while we were in the club house having a great meal, a member pulled Paul aside to tell him how impressed he and his friends are and thanked him for the wonderful work he and his staff are doing.
I hugged the boys farewell with promises of teeing it up again and I am already looking forward to visiting Dunbar again next year.
As I headed to my car one of the Tuesday Men (my words not theirs) asked me how I found the course. I raved about the fun I had just had, told him I was returning next year and told him some people I golfed with last week asked me to tell Paul what great condition the course is in.
He looked a little annoyed and then said “we don’t want anyone to try and poach him” then waved me off and told me he would see me next year.
I look forward to visiting next year and how good will it be when we can play 27!