Golf at 5 Amazing Courses in the World's top 100
Our voyage begins in Dublin. From here we sail north to play Ballyliffin in Ireland. We then sail up the west coast of Scotland, passing the picturesque islands of Islay, Mull and Skye and playing golf at the hidden gems of Macrihanish and Askernish. Further north we spend a day in the Orkney Islands before sailing south to Inverness, where we have access to two outstanding courses. At Aberdeen we find ourselves on the doorstep of both Cruden Bay and the Royal Aberdeen, our final courses before the journey ends in Edinburgh.
YOUR DAY-BY-DAY EXPEDITION ITINERARY
Unique golf experiences ,Zodiac excursions, Onshore hiking options, Wildlife observation, Photographer-in-Residence, Sea kayaking program, Cycling excursions on shore, Stand Up Paddle boarding, Educational presentations, Active Cruising & Wellness
DAY 1 / DUBLIN, IRELAND
(WEDNESDAY, 05 JUNE 2019)
Our epic journey begins this afternoon in Dublin. We gather at our central meeting point then transfer to the pier for embarkation. Once on board and settled in our rooms we enjoy a welcome cocktail and dinner before casting off and heading north, up the rugged Irish coast. Later we can relax on deck with an Irish whiskey and compare our ‘almost had a hole in one’ golfing stories with fellow travelers.
DAY 2 / BALLYLIFFIN GOLF CLUB (IRELAND)
During the night we will have sailed north to Ballyliffin in Ireland. Ballyliffin Golf Club is widely regarded as the finest links complex in Ireland and prides itself on having world class presentation standards all year round, renowned for its hospitality, spectacular setting and outstanding facilities. The new Glashedy Links is a Pat Ruddy and Tom Craddock masterpiece, fashioned around the incredible dunes, and is rated amongst the best links tracks in the world. Ruddy cherishes Glashedy as his own and has returned in recent years to fine tune the stunning bunkering of this magnificent links. This is also a superb destination for a large number of non-golfing activities, including kayaking, hiking, cycling, surfing and wildlife watching.
DAYS 3 / CAMPBELLTOWN (SCOTLAND) –
MACHRIHANISH AND MACHRIHANISH DUNES & SPA
Our first stop in Scotland will be to play either Machrihanish (#61) or adjacent Machrihanish Dunes. The Dunes were designed by David McLay Kidd, architect of the celebrated Brandon Dunes, in Oregon (USA) and ‘The Castle Course’ at St. Andrews. McLay Kidd grew up playing the nearby Machrihanish Golf Club which was created by Old Tom Morris in 1876. Inspired by Old Tom’s principals of preserving the natural beauty and working with the fragile landscape, McLay-Kidd established “the world’s most natural golf course”. These two courses are naturally maintained – so much so, that you may see the odd Hebridean black sheep wandering through the rough. The Dunes is also home to a spa for those who need a little pampering. Looking for a little activity? Any direction you head will take you to a beautiful shore line for a sandy stroll or a Cliffside hike. The peaceful village of nearby Campbeltown was once known as the “whisky capital of the world” as it was home to 34 distilleries. Only three remain today and are all worth a visit.
DAY 4 / THE HEBRIDEAN ISLANDS & THE ‘LOST COURSE’ OF ASKERNISH
Today we wake up anchored off the shores of South Uist, the second largest island of the Outer Hebrides. Awaiting the golfers is another course of great historical significance. Commissioned in 1891 by Lady Cathcart, the landowner, and also built by Old Tom Morris, this course thrived until the First World War. Then for almost 100 years it sat untouched and untended until in 2005 a group of locals, with the help of some of golf’s biggest names, brought it back to life. A true links course providing a challenging test, we play through beautiful rolling dunes alongside the bracing Atlantic Ocean.
Golf is not the only history on these ancient isle. Those up for a hike can explore the beautiful white sand beaches while searching for the mysterious Standing Stones scattered throughout the Outer Hebrides. Cyclists can stretch their legs and take in part of the 300km Hebridean Way – a route that uses the tiny coastal roads to explore 10 of the islands in the archipelago. A visit to the Kildonan Centre with its excellent Museum and cafe is another interesting activity.
ABOUT THE COURSE RANKINGS -
The esteemed Golf Digest magazine recently published its third biennial ranking of the World 100 Greatest Golf Courses. The numbers shown against each course on our itinerary, represents the course ranking in the Top 100. For the golfing purist, you can see we have selected some of the most challenging, historic and picturesque golf courses on the planet. Are you up for the challenge?
DAY 5 / KIRKWALL, ORKNEY ISLANDS
Today we anchor at the beautiful seaside town of Kirkwall, capital of the Orkney Islands. Wander through town exploring local crafts, art galleries, an unexpected collection of silversmith artists, or perhaps a tour and tasting at the Highland Park Distillery! A visit to St. Magnus Cathedral is an absolute ‘must’. Started in 1137, it was built when the Vikings still ruled the Orkneys. Later in the day we head to Skara Brae, an outstanding Neolithic village and UNESCO World Heritage Site established over 5000 years ago. Yet another option is to visit the ‘Italian Chapel’ built by World War II Italian POWs, conveniently located near the Scapa Distillery and Visitor Centre. While there is a golf course in Kirkwall, golfers may want to take the day off to conserve their energy for the next two days of golfing challenges.
DAY 6 / INVERNESS, ROYAL DORNOCH & CASTLE STUART
Having spent the last few days ‘off the beaten track’, exploring a less known side of Scotland, we now rejoin golfing nobility, experiencing some of the most famous courses in the world. From our anchorage in Inverness we transfer to play a choice of two courses. Castle Stuart (#53), a fairly new layout, opened in 2009 and quickly made the world’s top 100. With dramatic views over the Moray Firth out to the Black Isle, this championship course will test your mettle. The views are matched by the drama of these tees – holes 1 and 10 are cut into the cliffside and demand an adrenalin inducing drive to the fairways below. The Royal Dornoch (#2) officially opened in 1616, but the current club was established in 1886 by Old Tom Morris. Following the curve of the Dornoch Firth and its white sand beaches, this course rolls through hillocks, ridges, and classic dunes. If you have an interest in local history we’ll head to Culloden Moor, where the Jacobites fought their final battle in 1745. The Living History presentation will bring this epic battle to life, right before your eyes. The more curious in the group may want to take a day trip to Loch Ness for a chance viewing 'Nessie' - the Loch Ness Monster.
DAY 7 / ABERDEEN, CRUDEN BAY & ROYAL ABERDEEN GOLF CLUB
We anchor today at Aberdeen, where again we have the choice of playing two different courses – Cruden Bay (#56) or the historic Balgownie course at Royal Aberdeen (#71). Those playing Cruden Bay will again find themselves walking in the footsteps of course designer Old Tom Morris. While Cruden Bay is, above all, a classic links course, it is also known for having a number of unusually quirky holes. The Royal Aberdeen Golf Club was founded in 1780 and is the sixth oldest golf club in the world. The course hosted the Scottish Open in 2014, won by England's Justin Rose. The 8th hole at Royal Aberdeen is a testing par 3 at 147 yards. The green is surrounded by no less than 10 bunkers and wayward tee shots will be punished.
DAY 8 / EDINBURGH, SCOTLAND
(WEDNESDAY, 12 JUNE 2019)
This morning we arrive at Edinburgh, the Scottish capital and your disembarkation point. After breakfast it is time to bid farewell to your crew and fellow travelers as we disembark RCGS Resolute. A transfer to downtown Edinburgh, and Edinburgh Airport, is provided for all guests, however Edinburgh is well worth a day or two of exploration if your schedule allows.
BALLYLIFFIN GOLF CLUB (IRELAND)
Ballyliffin Golf Club is widely regarded as the finest links complex in Ireland and prides itself on having world class presentationstandards all year round, renowned for its hospitality,
spectacular setting and outstanding facilities. The new Glashedy Links is a Pat Ruddy and Tom Craddock masterpiece,
fashioned around the incredible dunes, and is rated amongst the best links tracks in the world.
Askernish - Outer Hebrides, (Sc)
The legendary ‘lost course’ at Askernish has a fascinating history. Often refered to as a living ‘museum of golf’- the original Old Tom Morris course was designed in 1891. It fell into disrepair in the 1950s and was lovingly brought back to life in 2006. This gem in the Outer Hebrides offers players the chance to experience golf as originally intended when the game was first played over coastal dune settings.
(Golf Digest Scotland course ranking = 98)
Castle Stuart - Inverness, (Sc)
The opening three holes of each nine run away from the clubhouse along the coastline offering spectacular views over the Moray of Firth. This is an expansive and wild looking location and the club has hosted the Scottish Open. Phil Mickelson won here in 2013 before going on to win The Open. Several tee locations are cut into the side of a cliff with an accurate drive onto the fairways below required.
(Golf Digest global course ranking = 50)
Royal Aberdeen- Aberdeen, (Sc)
The eighth oldest golf club in the world, founded in 1780, this is a traditional out-andback links course running along the North Sea, and regarded by many as having the finest first nine holes in golf. Don’t lose your ball in the rough here - the 5-minute rule was made here at Royal Aberdeen back in 1783!
(Golf Digest global course ranking = 57)
Cruden Bay - Aberneenshire, (Sc)
There are few experiences in golf better than walking from the club house to see the entire course and valley present itself. Cruden Bay is wonderful and varied, quirky and challenging all at once. This is truly a superb layout from the Golden Age of golf course architecture providing one of the greatest rounds you will ever play.
(Golf Digest global course ranking = 71)
Spectacular Non-Golfer Itinerary
Every passenger has the choice for non-golf related adventure. Every day there is the option for off ship excursions in the ship's fleet of zodiacs. You can venture to see the historic Scottish Isles or take a hike along the shore. There is no need to worry about logistical issues because every excursion will have expert guides. Enjoy sea kayaking, zodiac rides, biking and hiking. You will visit magnificent castles, whiskey distilleries, or small coastal communities.
With an unsurpassed ice classification, a proven track record for stability and safety, large indoor and outdoor viewing platforms, and exceptional maneuverability, RCGS Resolute is ideally equipped to guide guests through the world’s most pristine regions, further expanding our expertise in exploration and discovery. RCGS Resolute will carry a maximum of 146 passengers in unparalleled comfort, with an array of luxury amenities, educational opportunities and activities tailored to guests’ particular interests, and individual, personalized service.