Golf Article

Turnberry's Tough Love

Turnberry:  The Wild & the Cultured

 by Peter Hellman, Classic GOLF Tours


There were but eight of us starting out that morning.  It was blowing hard off the North Sea and the rain stung as it smacked into the only uncovered parts of our bodies, our hands and faces.  It was our first trip to Turnberry and we were on Alisa one of the jewels of the British Open rota courses. 


I must admit that it was April and not the driest of months for golf in Scotland though a few days before we enjoyed a beautiful sunny day at St. Andrews Old. 


After a shaking first hole, I thought it time to connect with my rather taciturn caddie named James.  Conversation was strained.  Was it my game that bothered him or was it the weather that sent his thoughts to the hearth of some cozy Pub?  I'm not sure, but when I asked James about himself, he opened up a bit.  It turned out that James was actually a fisherman.  When I asked him why he wasn't fishing, he turned to me and said, "the weather is too bad for fishing, but it's never too bad to find a few crazy Americans willing to play golf. 


You had to love this guy!  He recognized our passion and though he didn't understand it, he was at least tolerant.  As we played hole-by-hole we couldn't help but think about the triumphs of Watson and Nicklaus and the heart aches of Parnivick over these very same holes and similar conditions. 


One of the things that makes Turnberry so appealing is certainly the rough beauty of the golf course.  But it is also the juxtaposition of this wild course and its temperamental weather and the comfort and sophistication of the Turnberry Hotel. 


Playing that round under the conditions we had gave us that satisfaction one feels after one has successfully accomplished something difficult or strenuous.  And, there could not have been a better reward than returning to the hotel.