Aspire Magazine Issue 2 - Page 20

P U RV EYO RS O F PLAY HEAR YE! < LINKED With Scotland as your travel siren, a day-by-day itinerary bridges the country’s legacy links with modern playgrounds. BY CHRIS BERTRAM SCOTLAND IS THE CRADLE OF PAR AND PLAY, AS VISITORS TO THE BIRTHPLACE OF GOLF STRIVE FOR BUCKET-LIST BRAGGING RIGHTS. Hatching a weeklong golf getaway to this country’s storied links? Fitting in as many—or all—of its wish-list courses is a common puzzle. With this itinerary, a mix of old and new reveals local culture, endless views, and seaside swings. It eschews such famous names as St Andrews, Muirfield, and Carnoustie, yet for the well informed, new additions to Scotland’s lauded golf circuit have staked a claim. Located along Scotland’s rugged west coast, some of the courses have sat on precious linksland for more than 130 years. Others have just been finished. In the past, only the intrepid made it to these outposts. Today, the journey is half the fun. And while global golf course construction is currently negligible, this remote part of Scotland is a hive of activity and arguably the world’s most soulful golf break. 18 ISSUE TWO | ASPIRE DAYS 1-2: ARDROSSAN>ARRAN> KINTYRE The rewards are rich, but traveling to these outposts still takes dedication. Modes of transport include combinations of planes, boats, and automobiles. A rental car and ferries, however, is suggested. Begin in Ardrossan, on Scotland’s west coast, and catch the Caledonian Macbrayne car ferry bound for Brodick on Arran (note: when you depart the mainland, Turnberry is only 60 minutes’ drive away, and Troon just 30). After a few hours on Arran, you’ll be hard-pressed to leave, considering the enticing mix of Instagram-worthy landscapes, authentic local cuisine, and handcrafted brews. Here, choose from seven golf courses on 432 square kilometers. Corrie is majestic, but the prime target is Shiskine, a postcard-worthy, compelling 12-holer that dates back to 1896. Back-to-back short holes—played from the beach up to a green atop a hill and then back down again— are its highlights, as is Shiskine’s signature rock face. Elsewhere, expect seaside holes, blind holes, gorse, heather, bracken, and marram—a short course with big personality.