Thoughts from a strong period of golf travel around the globe

By Gordon Dalgleish

PerryGolf President and Co-Founder 

As we approach the end of summer and plans start to take hold for 2019 I thought it may be an interesting exercise to share some observations on the current state of the golf travel industry.
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The 147th Open at Carnoustie: Looking back and looking ahead

Once again, The Open delivered a compelling final round befitting golf’s oldest championship.

The 42-year-old Tiger Woods seized the lead – and the golf world’s attention – early in the back nine, adding fuel to an improbable comeback. Jordan Spieth fought valiantly to defend his title. Justin Rose and Rory McIlroy thrilled the locals with spirited charges on the closing holes. In all, at least a half-dozen golfers battled atop the leaderboard as the holes dwindled and the sun began to dip over historic Carnoustie, which bared its teeth via strong breezes and hole locations tucked in corners.

As the dust from another divot drifted across the hard baked links, Francesco Molinari earned the Claret Jug with a brilliant 69, capping a incredible weekend during which he never made  a score worse than par. Molinari missed 12 greens in regulation in the final 36 holes and saved par every time. Known for consistent ballstriking it was this amazing scrambling that allowed him to become the first Italian golfer to claim a major championship. His victory extended a torrid run. Since missing the cut at The Players in May, he’s won three of six starts and finished runner-up twice to soar to No. 6 in the world and cement a spot on the European Ryder Cup team in September in France.

Molto bene, Francesco. Molto bene.

PerryGolf guests walked the fairways and followed the drama of The 147th Open on Sunday, enjoying a 12-day cruise that included golf at The Ailsa Course at Trump Turnberry, Prestwick and site of The 148th Open next July, Royal Portrush.

PerryGolf guests tee off with the iconic Stevenson Lighthouse in the background at the Trump Turnberry Ailsa course, a member of The Open rota.

 

Equally spectacular is next year’s cruise through the British Isles and onward to The 148th Open on board the mid-sized luxury vessel, Azamara Journey.

The journey features golf at Royal County Down, consistently ranked top five in the world; Prestwick, site of The 1st Open and subsequent 11 championships; Royal Birkdale, where Palmer, Watson and Spieth each became Champion Golfer of the Year; K Club Ryder Cup Course, host of the 2006 matches.

https://www.perrygolf.com/golfcruising/the-open-at-royal-portrush-2019-golf-cruise-package.php#fndtn-panel3

Of course, PerryGolf offers multiple options for golfers interested in traveling to The Open as it returns to Northern Ireland for the first time since 1951. Choose from an array of tours and cruises catered to suit the specific needs of each guest, play golf on the most famous links in the world and experience hidden gems such as Carne and Ballyliffin, Glashedy Links – often referred to as the ‘Dornoch of Ireland.’

https://www.perrygolf.com/britishopen/british-open-golf-packages.php

Play four courses in The Open rota, including the Old Course at St. Andrews and Carnoustie, on this 6-night, 6-round Tour, available April – October 2019.

Or, look ahead and make plans to attend The 149th Open at Royal St. George’s, site of triumphs by Darren Clarke, Greg Norman and twice apiece by Walter Hagen and Harry Vardon.

It’s uncanny how The Open manages to deliver a thrilling, often unpredictable final round each year. The combination of phenomenal links, the Royal & Ancient’s excellent setup and a touch of Mother Nature provides the ultimate challenge for the best golfers in the world and thrilling action for spectators in the gallery and viewers at home. Let PerryGolf put you in the former category next year in Northern Ireland for what will certainly be a historic championship.

PerryGolf guests enjoy a welcome dinner onboard Azamara Journey as they cruise the British Isles and attend The Open at Carnoustie.

Memorable Moments From a Great 2017 Season in Professional Golf

After sinking a 50-foot eagle putt on No. 15 at Royal Birkdale during the 2017 Open Championship, Jordan Spieth pointed to the hole and told caddie Michael Greller to “Go Get It.” Roughly an hour later, Spieth had completed a dramatic late charge and captured the Claret Jug.

The book is closed on another year of international professional golf. Once again, the world’s best golfers thrilled, inspired and amazed those of us who play the game for recreation and pleasure. Under immense pressure, they remained poised and produced incredible shots that dazzled galleries and television viewers, probably sending more than a few of us racing to the nearest driving range to try and replicate the feats we had just witnessed.

As 2017 winds to a close, it’s appropriate to reflect on some of our favorite golf shots and moments from the past 12 months. What makes our list unique is this: With assistance from PerryGolf and its experienced staff, you can walk many of these same fairways and greens next year on one of many Cruises, Escorted Tours or Custom Tours. Relish the opportunity to test your swing on holes which are forever etched in the history books due to phenomenal performances by the current crop of golf stars. Their talent transcends the game and makes them international ambassadors for the many virtues inherent to his wonderful game we love.

Happy Holidays.

 

Jordan Spieth at Royal Birkdale

It wasn’t just that Spieth, 24, became the youngest American professional to win the Open Championship. Or that he played the final five holes in 5-under-par on Sunday after falling out of the lead for the first time all week. Or, after quite a lengthy delay and debate, he made an unbelievable bogey from the driving range on the 13th hole. It was all of those things and more – the near ace on 14, the 50-footer for Eagle on 15, the way Matt Kuchar answered Spieth’s birdies until the end – which made the 2017 Open Championship at Royal Birkdale an epic for the ages. Spieth claimed his third leg of the Grand Slam and 11th PGA Tour victory, making him the youngest player in history to accomplish such, showing indefatigable spirit and determination in his pursuit of the Claret Jug.

(Take a PerryGolf Custom Tour and play Royal Birkdale and Northwest England’s other legendary links in the Open rota, such as Royal Liverpool and Royal Lytham & St. Anne’s).  

You can also be there to witness history in 2018, on PerryGolf’s Open Championship cruise, which includes playing historic links across Ireland and Scotland, and attending the final round of the Open at Carnoustie.

 

 

Sergio Garcia’s magical year

Best Player to Never Win a Major is an ambiguous description for a veteran professional golfer. On one side, it means a golfer has enjoyed a terrific career, winning regular events on major professional tours and routinely contending for golf’s four major trophies. On the flip side, a person considered ‘BPTNWAM’ can be perceived as afflicted with the inability to close the deal on Sunday afternoons. If you recall, a little more than a decade ago the American lefty Phil Mickelson wore this moniker like a scarlet letter. Five majors later, he’s considered one of the game’s all-time greats. Others, such as seven-time European Tour Order of Merit leader Colin Montgomerie, were never so fortunate and ended their career with a hole in their otherwise impeccable playing record.

Sergio Garcia started challenging for major championships in 1999 at the tender age of 19. And in many years since, he’d been thick in the hunt on Sunday but fallen short, typically slipping down the leaderboard when his putter went awry.

When he arrived at Augusta National in the first week of April 2017, Garcia had 12 top-5 finishes in majors and nearly 30 professional wins worldwide. When he departed on Sunday evening he had donned a Green Jacket, shed other labels and set a magical year in motion.

(Let PerryGolf take you to the final round of the 2019 Masters).

How’s this for a year? Not only did Garcia nip his pal and Ryder Cup teammate Justin Rose in sudden death to win the Masters on what would’ve been his hero Seve Ballesteros’ 60th birthday, he also got married, announced the impending birth of a child in March and won twice more around the world, including the Valderrama Masters in his native Spain in a European Tour tournament hosted by his own Foundation.

(Cruise from Lisbon to Barcelona with PerryGolf and tackle Valderrama, one of the best courses in Continental Europe).

 

Harman makes his mark in Wilmington

With the PGA Championship taking place at Quail Hollow Club in Charlotte, roughly four hours west the Southeastern North Carolina coast received a rare treat, serving as one-time host for the PGA Tour’s Wells Fargo Championship.

The tournament was played at Eagle Point Golf Club, a Tom Fazio layout in Wilmington, just down the road from PerryGolf headquarters. The course received glowing reviews from the pros throughout the week and delivered one of the more exciting finishes of the 2016-17 season.

Brian Harman, the diminutive lefthander from Georgia, thrilled a capacity crowd surrounding the 18th green by draining an improbable 28-foot birdie putt late Sunday afternoon to steal a one-shot victory over World No. 1 Dustin Johnson and streaking Pat Perez as rising star Jon Rahm watched from the fairway.

Harman’s second PGA Tour victory was worth $1.35 million and vaulted him to his best season as a professional. He finished runner-up to Brooks Koepka later in the summer at the U.S. Open and ended the season with seven top-10s, ranking 25th in the FedEx Cup standings.

 

Records shattered at St. Andrews

Tyrrell Hatton became the first player to successfully defend his title in the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship, a marquee event on the European Tour, contested over the Old Course at St. Andrews, Kingsbarns and Carnoustie – which are three of the more popular courses offered on PerryGolf Custom and Escorted Tours.

https://www.perrygolf.com/escorted-tour/scotland-homeofgolf-escorted-2018.php

Hatton blistered the storied links with a 24-under par total for 72 holes in a week during which records were made to be broken. For most of us mere mortals, the only way to shoot 61 at the Old Course is to end our round after 13 holes. Not for Ross Fisher, who toured all 18 in his 11-under round to set the new course record. Tommy Fleetwood also joined in the record-shattering fun, taking advantage of benign conditions to fire a brilliant course record 63 at the ultra-difficult Carnoustie.

 

Fleetwood claims the Race to Dubai

Speaking of Tommy Fleetwood, he captured the prestigious European Tour Race to Dubai, riding a pair of victories and top-five finishes at the WGC-Mexico event and U.S. Open to the lucrative prize.

Fleetwood claimed trophies at the French Open, played at Le Golf de National and the Abu Dhabi Championship en route to his best season as a professional.

The 26-year-old Englishman vaulted inside the top 20 of the Official World Golf Ranking and served notice that he’s likely to be a mainstay on major championship leaderboards and European Ryder Cup teams in the near future.

https://youtu.be/LsCSIQ-ua50

 

The Old Course, St Andrews, Scotland

The Old Course, St Andrews, Scotland
Truly it’s remarkable that the game of golf continues to revolve around the course that gave it birth over 600 years ago. One of the oldest golf courses in the world, the Old Course at St Andrews is referred to by many as the “Home of Golf.” Read more “The Old Course, St Andrews, Scotland”

Google Maps Street View: The Old Course at St Andrews

Wondering what to expect when you arrive in the Home of Golf for your Tee Time at the Old Course at St Andrews? Enjoy below, the Google Maps Street View of the Old Course at St Andrews.

 

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