Meet the PerryGolf Concierge Drivers: Angus McIntosh

PerryGolf’s Concierge Drivers play an essential part in any Customized or Escorted Tour. They fill many roles during your trip abroad – from recommending restaurants to sharing nuggets of local history and culture while also making certain every part of the Tour from the airport to the hotel to the first tee runs smoothly on schedule. This post is the second in an ongoing series, during which we’ll profile the devoted, diligent Concierge Drivers who help PerryGolf guests: Play the Game. See the World.

(Learn more about PerryGolf Concierge Driver Neil Cruickshank)

Angus McIntosh didn’t anticipate embarking on a second career as a PerryGolf Concierge Driver and Cruise host. Now, a decade into these roles, he finds it difficult to imagine life without the guests met and tours led.

A native of Islay, Scotland, McIntosh spent 30 years as a Police Inspector in Glasgow and the town of Oban, on the country’s west coast. Upon retirement at age 48, he filled his days in the usual manner, spending time with his family and playing rounds of golf at The Bishopbriggs Golf Club – which he joined at age 10, and where today he resides 400 yards away from the clubhouse. One day after a round, he became aware of PerryGolf during a conversation. He made contact with the company and shortly thereafter began helping on cruises and meeting guests at the airport.

“I really wasn’t looking for a job,” McIntosh said in a recent phone interview from Scotland, where he’s enjoyed the warm, dry summer. “I like the freedom to deliver each tour as what I see as my way of doing it. There’s a template in place and a generic way of doing it but the company realizes that each person is an individual and has their own way of doing it. I like to give the people a bit of general information about the places that we’re going to.”

McIntosh honed his skills dealing with people during his long, successful career on the police force. Obviously the tenor of a PerryGolf trip is much different than what’s required on the beat, but his experience making decisions and organizing large groups of people can come in handy as he shepherds guests on their journey in a safe, timely manner. 

“The whole thing is about a worry-free holiday for the guests,” he said. “We’re there to push them in the right direction. As drivers, we provide a pretty unique experience, a concierge service on the road, similar to a concierge in the hotel.”

At the trip’s outset, McIntosh tries to understand the desires of a group. Perhaps it consists of four couples and they are interested in fine dining and sightseeing. Or maybe, it’s a group of eight men focused solely on the golf and unconcerned with historical landmarks or upscale restaurants. Some guests simply want to become immersed in the local community and culture during their holiday. Regardless, possessing intimate knowledge of his native land enables McIntosh to ensure their needs are met. 

On a recent assignment, McIntosh led PerryGolf’s Best of Scotland Escorted Tour. He speaks fondly of the concentration of championship courses available in golf’s homeland and requiring minimal travel or transfer of accommodations. Where else, McIntosh asks, can a golfer have a game at epic links such as St. Andrews, Troon, Turnberry, Carnoustie and Prestwick in a five-day span and spend only four or five hours in transit, traveling comfortably, of course, in a PerryGolf VIP Coach.

Rightfully proud of his homeland, McIntosh loves St. Andrews, however, his favorite area is the Scottish Highlands, an area ripe with beauty and rich with mystical bucket list destinations around Inverness, such as Nairn, Cruden Bay and Royal Dornoch – which tops the list of none other than Tom Watson, five times champion of The Open.

“From a driver’s point of view it’s very picturesque and there are a couple of beautiful detours you can take if the golfers are interested,” he said. “Getting about up there is also pretty easy.”

McIntosh and PerryGolf co-founder Colin Dalgleish depart Aug. 8th on the Baltic Sea Golf Cruise. McIntosh helped host guests on PerryGolf’s first voyage to this beautiful corner of the world two years ago and looks forward to returning because of the hospitality received at Gorki GC in St. Petersburg, Russia and throughout the region. He’s proud to play a role in helping these cruises run smoothly, from shuttling clubs to the course where they await the golfers on their arrival from the ship to ensuring each golfer returns to Azamara Journey within a comfortable time frame after the round, so each can embrace the area’s sights and scenes alongside their partner or other guests.

Land or sea, tour or cruise, Scotland or Scandinavia, building relationships with PerryGolf guests remains the common thread. Like many Concierge Drivers, he remains in regular contact with guests who have become friends through regular correspondence or return trips to the U.K.

“You get to know them quite well on a personal basis and you get to be quite friendly with them,” he said. “You want them to go back and tell everybody so they send people back to our country to experience what they have as well.”

Listening to McIntosh, 58, it’s obvious he’s found the ideal occupation for this stage in life.

“If I left PerryGolf I’d probably retire properly,” he said with a laugh. “I get along well with the staff. Once you’re out on the road you’re left to your own. It’s not like they’re calling every two or three minutes to check on you. For me it’s been a great experience. It’s nothing I thought I would ever do. I’m in no great hurry to throw in the towel just now.”

5 Fantastic Courses in Portugal, the ideal golf destination

The Oceanico Faldo course is just one of many excellent layouts in Portugal, which is a popular and growing golf destination for travelers from around the globe.

 

Portugal might not be the first destination that comes to mind when planning your next trip. Yet in many ways, the beautiful country that borders Spain along the Atlantic Ocean presents everything required to make it the ideal place to enjoy great golf.

Warm breezes and gorgeous scenery are par for the course in Portugal. The food and wine selections are legendary. The region has developed a reputation for its laid back vibe and welcoming nature. In 2016, more than 11 million visitors visited Portugal and PerryGolf offers a variety of options for travelers interested in adding another stamp to their passports. In a given year, more than 400,000 golfers travel to Portugal to tee it up on one of the country’s 90 courses.

Our six-night, three-round Custom Tour includes two full days for sightseeing in Lisbon and Sintra. Or you can cruise on one of our partner Azamara Club Cruises’ majestic 690-seat ships and tour the Iberian Peninsula in May or September of 2019. Explore these options using Quick Quotes to find the package that suits you best.

https://www.perrygolf.com/standard-quote.php/93929/Portugals-Golf-and-Culture.html

https://www.perrygolf.com/standard-quote.php/79296/Portugals-Golf-Culture-and-Wine.html

Whatever your pleasure, incredible golf awaits. Here’s more information on the entertaining variety of courses you’ll enjoy on a PerryGolf journey to Portugal.

Oitavos Dunes

Ranked No. 55 in Golf Magazine’s 2017 Top 100 Courses in the World this is the best of prolific architect Arthur Hills’ many excellent designs. While not a true links, the course offers views of the crystal blue Atlantic as it winds through thick strands of pine trees, shaggy sand dunes and wide open coastal areas.

The layout is filled with memorable holes and spectacular views and a pair of par-3s, No. 9 and No. 14, are certainly atop the list. Not extremely long by modern standards – the course measures a shade under 7,000 yards from the back tees, a quite reasonable 6,537 from the members tees and 4,950 for the ladies – expect to feel the warm salt air breezes freshening through the day on a course that plays firm and fast and delivers pristine putting surfaces.

As a bonus, the Oitavos Hotel provides some of the finest accommodations in Portugal, including a world-class spa, multiple fine dining options and a delightful pool, complete with a bar where myriad food and drinks are available.

Oceanico Faldo

We’ll let Sir Nick himself tell us about this terrific layout.

“The land at Amendoeira is dramatic and the project has the potential to be a real talking point in the Algarve. With so many courses in the region, that’s no mean feat,” architect Sir Nick Faldo said during his visit in 2007.

The six-time major champion designed a gem in the Algarve. Cacti, wild herbs and olive trees dot the landscape. As expected, the master strategist Faldo crafted holes which give the players options off the tee and reward the accurate player on a championship layout that measures nearly 7,200 yards from the back tees. The course is consistently ranked among the top 10 in Portugal.

“This was a very exciting project, which gave me a great opportunity to exploit my passion for design the same way I exploited my passion for playing,” Faldo said. “You have incredible views, beautiful undulating land and any time you have natural terrain like this, it is great fun to work with.”

Vale do Lobo

The 16th hole at the Royal Course at Vale do Lobo has been described as the most photographed hole in Portugal. The tee box on this par-3 is perched atop a cliff and features a demanding forced carry over a ravine to the green. The ninth, a virtual island green par-3, is another of the lasting memories for anyone fortunate enough to walk the fairways of this Rocky Roquemore’s design.

The noted American architect designed the course in 1997 based on the original drawings of the legendary Sir Henry Cotton, who won The Open in 1934, 1937 and 1948 and was one of the founding fathers of golf in Portugal. Cotton, the leading British player of his generation, designed the Royal course at Vale do Lobo.

“The Royal and the Ocean are two great courses,” said 11-time Portugese national champion Antonio Sobrinho. “On the Royal, you have to hit the ball straight – you’re going to be in trouble if you don’t. The Ocean is different, it forces you to shape more shots and I really enjoy that.”

Praia d’el Rey 

Cabell B. Robinson is an American architect who built a career creating outstanding courses across Europe. A protege of Robert Trent Jones Sr., the mustachioed Robinson owns degrees from Princeton University and Cal – Berkeley. He spent nearly two decades running the European office for RTJ and opened his own shop in 1987. Over the last 30 years, he’s designed golf courses in France, Spain, Cyprus, North Africa and of course, Portugal where Praia d’el Rey winds through dense pine forests and provides spectacular vistas of the Atlantic Ocean and Berlengas Islands.

The course opened in 1997 and quickly became a favorite for anyone visiting the region.

Penha Longa

Robert Trent Jones II is another of the esteemed architects to capitalize on the terrain and coastline to create, Penha Longa, yet another staple for golfers visiting Portugal.

There are 27 holes at Penha Longa and each offers a distinct challenge. The course is a past host of the Portugese Open, with its demanding tee shots and undulating greens testing the skills of the top professionals and amateurs. It’s typically rated among the top 100 courses in Continental Europe, where RTJ Jr. has enjoyed a long, extensive career.

Located a couple hours drive north of the Algarve region, there are many lakes and rivers feeding the lush vegetation in these foothills. Be sure to take advantage of your time on the driving range before the round, because the starting holes are demanding and force a golfer to be sharp from the outset.

 

Enjoy these 5 must-see attractions in Rome

Opened in 80 AD, the Colosseum had a capacity of 80,000 spectators, making it the largest amphitheatre ever built. The ruins still stand and are a certain stop on any tour of Rome.

 

Rome is a city beyond compare, combining a blend of romance, culture, history and beauty to create an ideal destination for any traveler possessing a keen sense of adventure and intellectual curiosity about previous eras.

Millions of guests from around the globe visit Italy’s capital each year, mingling with the city’s 2.8 million residents amid relics and structures that date back two thousand years. While many visitors indulge in exquisite dining and fine wines in the evening, they perhaps walk the avenues the next day to observe the architecture, parks, gardens, monuments and museums, burning calories while enjoying the scenery.

PerryGolf offers a 14 night Escorted Tour to Italy in late August / early September which wraps up in Rome where guests are pampered at the 5-star Hotel Bernini Bristol, a historical palace built in the late 1800s that offers an abundance of modern amenities and an ideal location in the heart of the city in the shadow of Piazza Barberini.

The golf is fantastic and diverse in Italy as guests on a PerryGolf Escorted Tour enjoy six rounds, including one at Marco Simone, located 10 miles from the center of Rome and sharing the grounds of an 11th century castle. Marco Simone is the site of the 2022 Ryder Cup and from several holes offers a view of St. Peter’s Dome, which was designed by Michelangelo. The brilliant Italian fashion designer Laura Biagiotti (“The Queen of Cashmere”) and future husband Gianni Cigna bought the property in the late 1970s and commissioned American architect Jim Fazio in 1989 to carve out the outstanding 27-hole golf course.

PerryGolf also offers an array of Custom Tours to fit your schedule and desires as well, for groups large and small. Whatever your preferred route, plan or party size, be sure to visit these five places on your visit to Rome.

The Colosseum

If your travels to Rome allowed you only one sight to see, this would surely be it. Then again, you’ll hardly face that problem on a PerryGolf Escorted Tour as there is ample time allotted for each sight to be enjoyed at a leisurely pace. And this architectural wonder deserves to be savored and explored.

Also known as the Flavian Amphitheater, The Colosseum was commissioned by Emperor Vespasian in 72 AD and his son, Titus, opened it with a bang eight years later, presenting 100 consecutive days of games – which included gladiators battling and wild animals fighting. After four centuries, the arena fell into neglect and only one-third of the original structure remains today. Nearly four million visitors tour the grounds each year.

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Pantheon

Perhaps Michelangelo himself best described this former temple the first time he gazed upon it, saying it looked more like the work of angels than the work of humans. The best preserved Roman Monument, it was built in 120 AD by Emperor Hadrian, who collaborated with Apollodorus of Damascus on its design. The building became a church in the 7th century and features the world’s largest unsupported dome, measuring 142 feet in diameter – nearly 50 feet larger than than the dome on the U.S. Capitol. Supporting the building are 16 massive Corinthian columns weighing 60 tons apiece. During construction each column traveled down the Nile River during spring flooding and onward across the Mediterranean Sea before arriving in the heart of Rome.

Vatican City

Located inside the city of Rome is the world’s smallest fully independent city-state which serves as headquarters to the Roman Catholic Church. Vatican City gained its current status on the 11th of February, 1929,  signed into existence by the Italian leader Benito Mussolini. St. Peter’s Basilica, built between 1477 and 1480, is a featured building while inside the Vatican Palace the Sistine Chapel features the renaissance art of Michelangelo, including his remarkable paintings on the ceiling, which have been fully restored in recent years and are vibrant and clear today. A central point to the ceiling art is nine scenes from the Book of Genesis, including The Creation of Adam, a work without compare in the High Renaissance world. The majority of Vatican City’s 600 residents live abroad, although it remains, of course, the residence of Pope Francis.

Roman Forum

The center of ancient Rome, the Forum ruins give a glimpse of the temples, basilicas and vibrant public spaces that beginning in the 7th century served as host to religious and secular events. Rectangular in shape, it was once the home to battles between gladiators, general elections, public speeches, criminal trials and also functioned as the centerpiece of Roman commerce. It developed and transformed over many centuries under different rulers and was eventually replaced by nearby buildings constructed under the rule of Julius Caesar among others. Augustus Caesar gave the Forum its final configuration.

Trevi Fountain

As legend has it, toss a coin into the Trevi Fountain and ensure your return to Rome. Millions of liras and euros have no doubt plummeted to the fountain floor in this pursuit. Dating to the earliest Roman times, the fountain served as a display of an ancient Roman aqueduct. Built mostly of travertine stone, the Trevi Fountain is 85 feet high and spills 2.8 million cubic feet of water daily. The theme of the fountain is the ‘taming of the power of water.’ The muscular, majestic form of Neptune (16 feet in height) is the primary figure among the intricate carvings, which include his two steeds and their tritons as well as Abundance, holding the horn of plenty and Health, drinking from a serpent filled cup. Pope Nicholas V ordered a restoration in 1453 and the fountain has enhanced its reputation as Italy’s most beautiful in the centuries since.