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Day 8

I'm not going to Paris. Check out the Reality section on day 7 for more info.

8:30 tee time at Royal Prestwick, then a dash for the airport in Glasgow. Turn in rental car, ship golf clubs back home and catch a 17:00 flight to Paris.

This is one of my tightest days, timing wise. Miles to go before I rest.

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Scottish Weather

Paris Weather

In case you haven't looked at Day 7 yet, I'm not on my way to Paris tonight. I missed my opportunity to play Troon yesterday because of traffic. The next day that they allow visitors to play is Monday. That, combined with the fact that due to changes in the plans of friends I was meeting in Paris, convinced me that I'd enjoy 4 more days of golf (surprise) more that I'd enjoy 4 days in Paris alone. Now I'm going to be able to play Turnberry as well (a wonderful addition).

More driving. I got lost on my way to Prestwick. It's only about 3 miles from where I slept, but I got caught in a roundabout trick that I had never seen before. I needed to turn right (across traffic) on a dual carrageway. There was a "turnaround roundabout" especially made to make a U-turn. I was in "rush hour" traffic and missed the exit for it. This meant I to go to the next exit to turn around, which was about 10 miles. So my 10 minute drive turned into a half hour, and I barely made my tee time.

Royal Prestwick

Well, my luck finally caught up with me. First, there was the weather. Just as I hopped to the first tee still tying my shoes, it began to pour. I pulled on my rainsuit and took the 4-iron that the caddy handed me. Now I don't know about you, but hitting a four-iron off the first tee in the pouring rain without a single warm-up swing and the next foursome of members waiting (not all that patiently) is not my idea of a perfect start. Thankfully, I didn't chunk it, but I did hit it about 30 degrees left of the line I was given.

Now, Prestwick is famous for it's hidden pins and blind tee shots. The first hole is an absolutely blind tee shot which requires any shot except the one I hit. I ended up deep in the gorse, which is a prickely, evergreen bush that will peel the skin off any appendage that is stuck into it. That was the first ball I've lost in Scotland.

After a double-bogey on the first, the rain picked up a bit an we moved on to a simple par 3. Simple, that is, if you have any idea what to do - which I didn't. My caddy, Chris, gave me a line and I hit a ball almost perfectly on it - with the emphasis on almost. Chris said "Eye theenk, thart may be shuort Danne." It was. In fact it was in a 10-foot deep pot bunker in front of the green. I had to chip out backwards - twice - and proved the saying that "par's so nice, I shot it twice."

On top of all this, I was playing alone, and still holding up the foursome behind me. The rain and my triple-bogeys continued on the next hole, but after that, I calmed down, put a little distance between myself and the group behind me, and actually salvaged a decent front nine which included a birdie and a par.

As we turned for the inward nine, the rain stopped but my game only marginally improved. All in all though, I had an acceptable round and a great time talking to my caddy, who showed me the layout of the original 12-hole course which was first laid out over 400 years ago and took a photo of me in front of the plaque designating the spot of the first tee for the first ever British Open.

This marker shows the spot where they started the first British Open. It's off to the side of the course, near the parking lot. Only one of the original holes is still in play like it was then - the 17th. The traditional green for the old first hole is now the 17th tee.
This is the view from the 17th tee. The marker above is on the far right, just to the right of the white two-story building.
This is the approach shot I had on the 18th. It finally shopped raining on the 15th.
A "sister in-law?"


Score Card

After golf, because I didn't have to rush to catch a plane, stopped in at the local pub "Prestwick House" and had a pint. Then I took a stroll down on the seafront in Prestwick. This is the view back towards Troon from the coast. If you look closely, you can see the Marine Hotel at Royal Troon on the horizon.

Tonight and tomorrow night, I'm staying with Mrs Tweedy at "The Cherries", another B&B in Troon. Continuing in the Mel Gibson therme, she even sort of sounds like her namesake in "Chicken Run" but there's no coup, so I'm pretty sure it's not her. This was arranged by Geoff Russon from Advie House because he was booked up for these nights, but I'll be back with him Sunday night. The place really is a garden, you could putt anywhere on her lawn, but what impressed me was the view out of my window which looks out on the back nine of Royal Troon. I don't know if you can see it in this photo, but the specks in the center of the shot are golfers.

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