What to expect when playing golf at a UK or Irish golf club
We have listed some of the main differences between playing golf in the British Isles v the USA!
2. Request caddies in advance; some course do provide caddies, but you will need to request them in advance. If you are prepared to pay, they are well worth it as they will significantly improve your scorecard and playing experience as well as filling your day with amusing and intriguing stories. A caddy will usually cost around $75 a round. See How to Hire a Caddy at Scottish Golf Courses for more details.
3. Self-serve driving ranges, and some clubs not even having driving ranges – instead this could be just a practice matt and a net. Yes, space is at a premium in the UK or I guess in the old days the golfing aristocracy of the time did not deem it necessary to have a warm up – instead they knocked a few balls out over the fen before their game and then just asked their staff to pick them up. Therefore, in modern times, I suggest that you check in advance whether a course has a driving range or not, and if not arrive slightly earlier and make sure you loosen up in advance with some good old stretches… instead of jumping straight from the car to the first tee (and trashing your first three holes…).
4. In-Out course layout; many courses in the British Isles are the classic 9 holes out and 9 holes in (with the 9th being the furthers point from the Clubhouse), so beware, don’t pop out for a quick nine until you have studies the course layout, as you could end up having a long (buggy-less) walk home.
5. Half way houses are a luxury; some of the more commercial courses have them, other courses have them but they are rarely open, and many courses don’t have them at all! Therefore, be prepared to play the full 18 without a break, and this brings me on to my next point….
6. Bring your own refreshments; be it a hip flask, energy drink or a sandwich, as it is likely that there will not be a cart girl/boy whizzing around the fairways at your beck and call serving you treats.
7. No restrooms on the course; either go beforehand… or it is a trip to the bushes for you! Make sure that this is a key part of your pre round preparations to avoid any embarrassing or uncomfortable situations! Enough said…
8. A jacket and tie may be required in the Clubhouse at some clubs; if it is, then embrace it and enjoy the traditional atmosphere and mixing with the locals. You’ll no doubt receive a wonderful welcome and hear some fantastic stories… you just need to be wearing a jacket.
9. The weather! Come prepared as you can experience four seasons in a day (especially on the West Coast of Ireland)…. Even in the height of summer. This means packing some good waterproofs and maybe even a spare pair of shoes. Don’t bother with a brolly however, as modern science still has not managed to develop the links golf umbrella that can survive a 25 knot side wind. Plus, by not bringing it, you will save weight in your luggage (which you can invest in a spare, dry set of clothing!).
Client Services Co-ordindator
Client Services Coordinator, helping customers on all elements of their golf trip