The first day, the travelling day. A day of great mixture. Usually when traveling just a pain. Packing, getting to airport, carrying luggage, waiting for luggage, getting to the place your staying, unpacking and then the relief when you can put your feet up. When golf travelling, much of the same, but there is usually one extra positive, you are about to tee off.
For me, I have a disease. I am never able to pack in advance. But I am fast when putting my stuff together. I have to admit, I did wash my clubs, find my golf shoes and get some balls ready the day before. But I got a busy morning. And hour+ of work before Marshal pulled up the driveway with his burgundy monster of Alfa Romeo. We were all set.
With little traffic, we had plenty of time. Plane was leaving 1125, which would give us 1.5 hours for checkin, security and tax free. We would even time for the traditional, way too expensive, pint. Well, there was traffic … jam, cutting us 25 min late. One hour before take off, should still do for most of the stuff. We had to skip tax-free and pint. At the gate we were told to get our facemasks on and since we did not have any, we had to buy them. 129 NOK for something u pay 29 for at the store at home. Rip of from the kiosk, they must love that Norwegian are forcing facemasks and not handing out one if you forgot or missed out on the rule.
Anyway , we were on our way. No pint still, but we would have plenty of time for pint and lunch at the golf course. Only thing we forgot about, we were flying Norwegian. At Edinburgh Airport we watched bag after bag passing without getting ours. Finally we took the courage to ask for it. We were told they had left our bags, with the golf clubs, shoes, balls, golf clothing and then some. They were going to be sent over the next day. Marshal was pissed as a marshal would be after not getting his clubs, nor the pint at the airport. Graham at the car rental, got to notice that. The prepaid booking for two drivers were just for one driver. I am not talking Golf clubs, we did not have of those, so would not have been a problem. The more upset Marshal got the more smile Shortswing put on. No worries, I told Graham, I can drive to hold trip. I do not like pints anyway, yeah right. He got our car ready, a nice and white MB Suv, more than we had asked for, and as special treat, he put in the extra driver for free. What a guy. Excellent service at Avis/Budget.
That is a long intro without having any golf ….. on a golf blog. Well we headed out towards Craigielaw golf club, where we had tee off in an hour. The driving on the wrong side of the road was little or no issue. Marshal phoned up the course to ask for rentals, but they had none. He suggested Gullane Proshop. We ended up on the latter, got rentals and was able to get some shoes, balls and a tee time at Gullane 3. Laura at the Proshop did an excellent job serving us and the guy at the clubhouse gave us some tees, as the starter had called it a day already. What we did not have time for was lunch and that freaking pint we had been carving for.
As expected … sort of … after no wam up, rental clubs and a rush to get out, Marshal got off to a terrible start. Double, double, but then he up’ed his game. Shortwing started ok, with bogie, bogie, but followed up with a couple of lost balls and two triples. After rounding the top of the hill, conquering the third green, speaking of which, the greens where perfect for being this time of year, heading away from the clubhouse, we both stabilised. Marshal played some good golf with the rentals, but was no friend of the putter. None of us liked the gap and sand included in the set. Those where far from what we had in the bags stuck in Oslo.
We finished of with an ok first round for this year. Shortswing one up in matches, Marshal one ahead on strokes. Both of us a bit below hcp. The weather was more than welcoming and the course fun, challenging and in great shape for this time of year.
After the round there was no time for pint. Straight in the car and off to Tesco in North Berwick to stack up. A well stocked store made it possible to get Brewdog’s red wine, whisky, eggs, bacon and what not. Even toothbrushes and toothpaste + band aids for the growing blisters on Marshal’s foot.
We found our flat easily, but before even thinking of unpacking, we were both more than ready to get a pint. Luckily Marshal was so good at picking a spacious flat, that it had a bar downstairs. The Auld Hoose became our second home away from home. Gavin at the pub was a good man. Four pints and two whisky later we were unpacking.
Quickly, we needed food also. The Grange was the chosen one. And what a nice place for a burger (or steak or drinks or any other food). We ordered one each and they tasted more than good. I would possibly go so far to say spectacular, specially if u also consider the size of these mothers. Two patties on top of each other, Marshal’s one was even topped with baby back ribs. Joanne and Nicole treated us very nice, so we left the place full and happy.
We ended a long and very nice first day by shooting some pool with some locals (Anakin + Travis) and a couple of english guys (Andrew + James) on the same errand as us, golf. Great guys all of them, made our night even better.