2022: Some Summer!

The high point of the summer of 2022 was a trip to Scotland to watch the practice rounds of the British Open at St Andrews. We travelled by car ferry from Belfast to Scotland. Joe and Ava greatly enjoyed exploring the ship and hanging out in the lounges. Charging the electric Volkswagen along the way was a bit of a challenge–all part of the adventure, right?

To celebrate the 150th anniversary of the golf tournament, past champions were invited to play a mini-match on Monday. Tiger Woods played in a foursome with the Texas “SuperMex” legend, Lee Trevino. What a treat to see those two walking down the first fairway.

My brother Gordon scored the tickets. He visited with his wife Sandy and daughter Caroline. We met up in Scotland for the practice rounds. Son Joe joined us at St. Andrews while Caroline visited Edinburgh with Kelly and Ava.

We rented a big old house in the Perthshire countryside near Crieff. The old house had lovely lawns and a hot tub which the kids enjoyed. It was my first experience cooking on a AGA range.

The town was charming, there were several decent restaurants and a nice pub. We had some of that legendary Scottish-Indian takeaway from the Gurkhas restaurant on our first night there.

Kelly went crazy shopping in an upscale grocery store called The Creiff Food Co. Every food item was locally sourced, lovingly handcrafted and horrendously overpriced. She said it reminded her of Whole Foods. So ate artisan Scottish porridge and wild Perthshire honey for breakfast.

Gordon and Sandy and I visited an old Scotch whiskey distillery right down the road from the house we rented called Glenturret. This whiskey was once included in a popular blend called The Famous Grouse, along with Macallan and a few others.

The interior of the distillery was gorgeous, it included a five-star tasting menu restaurant and a bar with a zillion bottles of Scotch. The guided tour was sold out, so we did our own whiskey tasting in the bar. And I bought a souvenir bottle to take home.

After our Scotland jaunt, Gordon and company came and stayed with us at our home in Ireland. May and June had been so wet and cold, I was afraid our family get together would be washed out. But instead, we had a long stretch of beautiful sunny weather–July, August and September were splendid.

I joined the Spanish Point Golf Club in the spring, and I am getting my money’s worth. I’ve played nearly every week since April. Gordon came out and played the course a few times as well.

My game is pretty rusty and I can’t hit the ball as far as I used to, but I keep hacking away at it. If I break 100, I’m doing good.

There are no golf carts (or “buggies” as they call them here) so you have to walk. So, even if my golf is lousy, I’m getting some exercise.

Spanish Point Golf Club is a 125 year-old links course laid out near Spanish Point beach. There are great views of the sea on some of the holes. It’s a 9-hole course, to play 18 you go around twice.

Spanish Point gets its name from the hapless Spanish sailors who washed up there from the wrecked ships of the Spanish Armada of 1588.  The aptly named Armada Hotel is close by the golf course.

I discovered that Johnny Burke’s Bar, which is part of the Armada Hotel complex, makes an awesome cheeseburger that’s dressed with stout-caramelized onions, among other things, and served with a boatload of French fries.

Just the thing for a summer supper after a round of golf.