By Cameron Reid Vice President, Sales & Operations
The Machrie on the Island of Islay, off the west coast of Scotland, had always been a favorite of mine having visited it many times since the 1990’s. Islay is famous as the source of world class malt whisky due to its heavily peat soil which creates a very distinctive flavor of whisky. The golf course was as traditional a Scottish links as you could find with as many as 8 blind tee shots and 8 blind approaches, a throwback to a different era. You had to play it on several occasions to learn the correct lines and how to play in the different conditions that face you. It wasn’t a long course but it didn’t need to be, however you had to find the fairway and that is where the difficulty lay. It was a special place to play golf, the feeling of isolation, just you versus the course and the elements. It was however not for everyone, you could say the course was too hard even for the average player, the blind shots combined with rough so thick you rarely found a ball that missed the fairway.
While the 2018 portion of the current U.S. PGA Tour season concluded last week on frosty Sea Island, Ga., there’s still professional action on the schedule in the final weeks of the year.
The ISPS Handa Melbourne World Cup of Golf begins Wednesday Night in South Victoria, Australia. Golf Channel is televising the entire 72-hole stroke play event which features 28 two-man teams representing countries from around the world. The first round coverage is from 8 p.m. to 1 a.m., Eastern Daylight Time. Rainy weather is in the forecast for the first two rounds, which feature a round each of fourball and foursomes.
My first visit to New Zealand was 1989. At that stage the country had a few good courses but none with significant international profile. I am just returning from a two-week trip escorting a group of PerryGolf clients through the North and South Islands of New Zealand and can unequivocally say that New Zealand is one of the great golf and lifestyle destinations. The intervening 30 years has seen a remarkable evolution in the golf and hospitality industry.
Lydia Ko won her 15th tournament on the LPGA Tour earlier this year, pushing her career earnings near $10 million. Just 21 years old, she’s already traveled around the globe competing in amateur and professional golf championships. She remains captivated by the phenomenal cast of courses in her homeland.
“New Zealand is simply an amazing golf destination,” Ko said. “It has some of the best golf courses I have ever played. It should be a must-visit place for golfers from all over the world. You won’t be disappointed.”
Despite a distinguished amateur record, the San Diego resident played a limited tournament schedule in recent years. Becoming eligible for the Super Senior division, however, motivated him to practice. He delivered, withstanding the final round pressure of leading the tournament and holding off two-time defending champion Kemp Richardson.