This summer, join PerryGolf and partner Azamara® and travel from Dublin to Southampton on the elegant 690-guest Azamara Pursuit, visiting nine ports, playing six courses and attending the final two days of The 149th Open at Royal St. George’s.
This voyage, co-hosted by PerryGolf co-founder Colin Dalgleish, is truly a traveler’s dream, covering a diverse collection of ports and cities that comprise the finest in the United Kingdom. Visit the cathedrals and crypts of Dublin, embrace the cultural emergence of Glasgow, tour Belfast and watch whales in Kirkwall. The final port of Southampton is convenient to London and its cosmopolitan delights.
Along the way, cross off an array of Open rota courses and the best of the Royals, choosing between the Sandy Lyle Flight and the Greg Norman Flight for six rounds on the 14-night voyage.
Where to begin? How about last summer’s host of The Open, the Dunluce Course at Royal Portrush, where native son Shane Lowry won the championship in dramatic fashion. It’s the only course outside of Scotland or England to play host to golf’s oldest championship, also enjoying the honor in 1951. You’ll quickly see why the competitors raved about the challenge and condition of the links.
In the shadows of the Mourne Mountains is Royal County Down, consistently ranked top 10 in the world and host to the 2007 Walker Cup – PerryGolf co-founder Colin Dalgleish captained the Great Britain & Ireland side for those matches. Spanning the shores of Dundrum Bay, weaving through the Murlough Nature Reserve, the scenes and vistas change with every shot, incredible from any perspective. The “bearded” bunkers can be brutal. The domed, fast greens are often ferocious. Any day spent at Royal County Down is memorable on every level for all who are interested in enjoying a true Irish links.
Royal Dornoch Golf Club is an Old Tom Morris creation that inspired a young Donald Ross, who later made home in the United States and designed more than 400 courses, earning his places as a legendary architect from golf’s Golden Age. While St. Andrews is forever the Home of Golf, the links at Royal Dornoch holds a special place for many golfers who travel north to make this pilgrimage on a regular, if not annual basis. One trip around it and the allure will be apparent.
Each course offered on this cruise is spectacular: The Ailsa Course at Trump Turnberry, which opened to rave reviews in 2016 after an extensive renovation; Carnoustie, where Francesco Molinari fended off Tiger Woods and others to claim The Open in 2018; The Ryder Cup Course at the K Club, site of the Europeans thorough victory over the U.S. in 2006; Prestwick, the birthplace of The Open in 1860; Portmarnock Golf Links, set atop the Irish Sea; The Kings and PGA Centenary courses at Gleneagles, one of Scotland’s finest resorts; Castle Stuart Golf Links, a modern offering east of Inverness in northern Scotland, that’s quickly earned its place among the region’s elite.
In 1894, Royal St. George’s became the first course outside of Scotland to play host to The Open. J.H. Taylor, an elite player in the era, claimed one of his five Claret Jugs from 1894 to 1913, and later in life became a renowned golf course architect, designing courses throughout England and inclined to always include dogleg par-4s on his layouts. He died in 1963 at the age of 91.
Other champions at St. George’s include Harry Vardon (1899, 1911), Walter Hagen (1922, 1928), Bobby Locke (1949), Sandy Lyle (1985) and Greg Norman (1993). Bill Rogers won in 1985 en route to an outstanding season and Ben Curtis was a surprise winner in 2003.
But the most compelling story to unfold in recent history at The Open, occurred in the championship’s most recent visit to Royal St. George’s in 2011 when Darren Clarke held off Dustin Johnson and a host of talented challengers and at the age of 42 realized his childhood dream of becoming The Champion Golfer of The World.
In an era of the golfer athlete, Clarke is the cigar‑smoking, Guinness‑drinking proof there is more than one way to make history in this crazy game of ball and club.The Guardian
Clarke dedicated the victory to his children and honored the memory of his first wife, Heather, who passed in 2006 after a long battle with breast cancer.
“In terms of what’s going through my heart, there’s obviously somebody who is watching down from up above there, and I know she’d be very proud of me. She’d probably be saying, I told you so,” he said of the late Heather Clarke. “But I think she’d be more proud of my two boys and them at home watching more than anything else. It’s been a long journey to get here. It’s incredible – it really is. It’s for the kids.”
Be there this summer to watch the next chapter unfold in golf’s oldest championship.
PerryGolf offers an array of Cruises, Escorted Tours and Customized Tours to the British Isles, annually from April to October.