Autumn/Winter Newsletter – 2015
Swing into Spring
We have put together a terrific short package so you can Swing into Spring and get your game ready for the 2016 golf season with a quick 5 day trip to Scotland in April 2016 to include Kingsbarns, Carnoustie, the Old Course St. Andrew’s, North Berwick & Muirfield. Five night’s deluxe accommodations, five rounds of amazing golf and your dedicated mini coach and driver for the duration of the trip. Quite a start to the 2016 golf season!
|Sunday 17th April 2016||Arrive am and play Kingsbarns|
|Monday 18th April 2016||Carnoustie|
|Tuesday 19th April 2016||Old Course St. Andrew’s|
|Wednesday 20th April 2016||North Berwick|
|Thursday 21st April 2016||Muirfield|
|Friday 22nd April 2016||Depart or extend trip to the weekend|
Iain Marr who worked for TTF for many years has recently opened up the Q BBQ’ Restaurant in St. Andrew’s. As part of this package we are including dinner and drinks complements of TTF at his restaurants to kick of the 2016 season.
(Based on a group of 4 travelling – please email email@example.com to ask for details)
Coul Links, Dornoch
There has been some exciting news coming from the Highlands of Scotland recently and to be more specific just a few miles along the coast from Royal Dornoch Golf Club. Some of you will be familiar with the splendid Links House, which is located on Golf Road immediately behind the clubhouse at the famous old Dornoch links. Its owner Chicago based Todd Warnock has partnered Mike Keiser of Bandon Dunes fame and is looking to create a "masterpiece" at Coul Beach. Having spoken to Todd recently he informed us at TTF:
"Mike and I had very constructive discussions with Highland Council and the key environmental agency, Scottish Natural Heritage, about an exact process of review. In response we have initiated several ecological and hydrological studies which will likely take 9 -12 months. Overall we are cautiously optimistic".
It really is a wonderful piece of links land but the hard work now begins in firstly getting past the envoi mental issues and then also satisfying Scottish National Heritage & the Highland Council officials. With the recent addition of Castle Stuart to the golfing schedule in the Highlands if this project gets the go ahead you can really expect to see the Highlands of Scotland becoming a major golfing destination. Further evidence of the popularity of the area has been the recent announcement that British Airways has now added a daily service from London Heathrow to Inverness. Good news all round and possibly a 36 hole day at Royal Dornoch & Coul Links could be on the horizon! We will keep you posted.
Q&A with Wilma Erskine secretary of Royal Portrush Golf Club
With the official announcement by the Royal & Ancient Golf Club that Royal Portrush Golf Club will hold the Open Championship in 2019 we caught up with the club secretary Wilma Erskine for an exclusive chat and asked her a few questions;
Ron – You must be delighted with the decision to bring the Open Championship back to Royal Portrush Golf Club after what will be a period of 68 years?
Wilma - The only Open Championship held in Ireland was in 1951; it has taken quite a lot of time and effort over the past number of years to encourage and eventually convince The R. & A. and the N.I. Government that Royal Portrush Golf Club is suitable to host the greatest golfing event in the world.
Ron – There were rumours the Open may return to Royal Portrush for quite some time but how long did the process take to convince the R&A they were making the right decision and was there anything that stood out during this time that made it happen?
Wilma – Rumours started after Darren Clarke won The Open Champion in 2011 but discussions had been ongoing for a number of years prior to this. Following the Irish Open in 2012 which had record-breaking numbers for a European Tour event, the “decision makers” were confident that the infrastructure was, indeed, suitable for the hosting of a major tournament. Several issues remained regarding the layout of the Links to accommodate spectator numbers/stands/tented village; these have now been resolved with the construction of two new holes.
Ron – There were also various media reports mentioning several of the Irish Tour players were lobbying for the Open to return to Portrush. Was this the case and do you think they helped sway the decision?
Wilma – Obviously the Irish Tour Players were most supportive of The Open returning to Northern Ireland, and with the number of major winners over the past few years and their status in world golf, their endorsement was extremely well received. Darren Clarke, in particular, took on an ambassadorial role at The Irish Open and attended The Open Press Conference.
Ron – Can you bring us up to date with the progress made so far by Mackenzie & Ebert who the R&A appointed to make the changes to the course?
Wilma – To date; three new Holes on the Valley Links have been completed and at “grow in” stage. New Tee at 10th and 14th on Championship Dunluce Links and new Greens at the 2nd, 3rd and 8th on Dunluce Links are being constructed. Work has also commenced on the two new holes on the old 5th and 6th on the Valley Links. Apart from that there is not much going on!
Ron – When will the course be fully opened with the two new holes in play for visitors to enjoy at Royal Portrush?
Wilma - The two new Holes will be completed late 2015/early 2016 and will come into play in the latter part of 2017 for visitors. The R. & A. will test the new Course by holding the first major Championship, the Boys’ Amateur Championship in August 2018 prior to The Open Championship in 2019. During 2016, it is anticipated that there may be minor works over the Dunluce and Valley Links and every effort will be made to minimise any inconvenience to our Visitors.
Ron – Final question Wilma and putting you on the spot here; when the tournament has just finished and you sit back with a glass of wine in your hand breathing a sigh of relief it’s all over, who would you like to see named ‘champion golfer of the year in 2019?’
Wilma – It would be wonderful to see an Irish golfer win – there are quite a number of young ambitious Amateurs who will be setting their sights on a major title; and it would be great to see a local golfer winning the greatest golfing event in the world!
The Royal & Ancient Golf Club has hired the golf architects Mackenzie & Ebert who have advised 27 of the Golf World’s Top 50 courses and also 8 of the 10 Open Championship venues and their latest project at Royal Portrush Golf Club for the 2019 Open Championship can be viewed here.
Travelling the Fairways will be offering Tours to include golf in Ireland & the West Coast of Scotland ahead of the British Open at Royal Portrush in 2019. Our next newsletter will include more information on what will be available and we plan to allow clients to register their early interest to travel for what will be a very unique 2019 Open Championship.
Golf in Paris
We had started to lay out this newsletter prior to the terrorist attacks in Paris recently. However we decided by not including this article we would have only played into the terrorists hands who would like nothing more than for us to change our plans to live and enjoy life. Therefore we are delighted to send this to you and hope it will be of interest. Our thoughts and prayers are very much with the Parisians affected by this recent outrageous attack and we look forward to supporting them by sending as many groups as possible to enjoy their wonderful city and terrific hospitality.
In 2018 the Ryder Cup will come to Paris, France for the first time. The tournament is to be staged at Le Golf National which is located near Versailles and approximately 30 km from central Paris. Built many centuries ago along the River Seine and probably the most visited city in the world Paris is simply the most romantic and beautiful city in Europe, so this may be the perfect chance to set up a couples trip and enjoy not only some fine golf but to also enjoy the Eiffel Tower, the Champs-Elysees, Notre-Dame, etc. to name just a few sightseeing options.
Travelling the Fairways has teamed up with an agency in Paris which will allow us access to play some of the city’s private golf courses that traditionally are very difficult to play. We have listed a sample itinerary below to give you an idea of what is possible, but each trip would be built around your group’s requirements and will include so much more; plus with our agents based locally in Paris we will be able to provide a ‘hands on’ service where you can also enjoy some of the best restaurants in the world as well. We are planning to offer these exclusive trips starting summer 2016, however due to the exclusivity of some of these golf clubs groups are limited to 8 in number.
Day One – Sunday
Arrive into Paris –Golf optional depending on arrival time
Day Two – Monday
Golf - Chantilly (Vineuil)
There are two courses at Chantilly the Vineuil & Les Longères however it’s the championship Vineuil set amidst the Ile de France forest which really is a world class championship layout and respected by many top European players. Another layout of the flamboyant Tom Simpson this course has been enjoyed by many of the finest golfers in the game including the legendry Bobby Jones.
Day Three – Tuesday
Golf - Morfontaine (Private)
Dating back to 1913 Morfontaine remains the premier golf course in Europe in our opinion and in fact was voted 1st by Golf World’ European Rankings in 2015. In 1927 the club hired the services of Tom Simpson (of Ballybunion & Royal Lytham & St. Anne’s fame) to create a new 18 holes and he produced a very natural heathland masterpiece. It’s been tweaked a little since those days by Kyle Phillips, but the strategy required from the tee to fairway and then to the large undulating greens is just wonderful.
Hotel - Novotel Hotel at Golf-National
Day Four – Wednesday
Golf - Golf National - Albatross course (Ryder Cup Course 2018)
Lying 30 km west of central Paris with the nearby Versailles Chateau once home to Louis X1V the Albatross Course at Golf National is currently being re-constructed to host the Ryder Cup in 2018 however will be available for play from summer 2016. It has been the regular home to the Open de France Championships a European PGA Tour Event since the early 1990’s.
Hotel - Novotel Hotel at Golf-National
Day Five – Thursday
Golf - Saint-Nom-La Bretèche (Private)
Saint-Nom-La Bretèche is one of the most exclusive private golf clubs in France and one glance at the stylish but typically French clubhouse tells you all you need to know. This may be the best 19th hole in Europe! There are two 18 hole courses the Rouge & Bleu both laid out in the late 1950’s by Fred Hawtree, who may be more famously known for rebuilding the links at Royal Birkdale and Hillside. For many years the club hosted one of the richest golf tournaments notably the Trophée Lancôme. Past winners included Retief Goosen, Sergio Garcia, Mark O’Meara, Colin Montgomerie, Ian Woosnan and the late great Seve Ballesteros who won on three occasions back in the 1980’s.
Hotel - Saint James, Paris
Day Six – Friday
Golf - Saint-Cloud
Golf Club Saint-Cloud is one of the older clubs in France dating back to 1911. It’s located just 10 km from central Paris. Harry Colt designed the first of two courses at the club The Vert and it remains to this day a timeless classic. Colt was involved in the designs of so many classic courses around the world such as Pine Valley, New South Wales, Royal Co Down, Royal Liverpool & Ganton so we have included this course in the golfing line up for those would be golf architects among you.
Hotel - Saint James, Paris
Day Seven – Saturday
Depart Paris or stay for the weekend for sightseeing around the city
New Routes announced with Aer Lingus.
Aer Lingus recently announced their extension plans which include three new routes into Ireland from; LA, Newark & Hartford in 2016. These routes will further compliment current North American flights from; Washington, Toronto, Boston, New York, Chicago, Orlando & San Francisco. There really has never been a better time to play some golf in Ireland especially with the current Dollar/Euro rate. Check out the sample itineraries for Ireland from our website.
Moments captured from the 2015 summer season
- Andy Jackson group from Dallas Country Club at Prestwick Golf Club.
- Charlie Schmidt group about to tee it up at Royal Dornoch.
- New Zealand’s finest; the Peter Merton group on the famous Swilcan Bridge at St. Andrew’s. Congratulations on winning the Rugby World Cup boys.
- Scott Sheldon group playing the Old Course just before it closed in preparation for the Open Championship.
- Skip Carpenter and the boys about to depart Troon Harbour on the Kintyre Express bound for 36 holes at Machrihanish Golf Club.
- Time for lunch at Muirfield. The John Steffen group from Twin Hills CC, CT