A Gaelic Golf Quest
My (Philip Beck) favourite Expedition company: One Ocean Expeditions will sail The RCGS Resolute from Dublin to The Outer Hebrides, up to the Orkney Islands before heading to Inverness, Aberdeen and Edinburgh.
In July of 2019 will be replacing whale watching & penguin counts, Sir John Franklin & the North West Passage, Sir Ernest Shackleton & the Drake Passage programs with an exciting one time tour to golf six of the world’s top golf courses plus the Irish Sea, windswept North Sea Islands, whiskey, castles, kilts and leprechauns.
Welcome to One Ocean’s Scotland and Ireland Golf Expedition, taking place from June 5 to 12, 2019. This will prove to be a unique coastal journey. Play six of the world’s top courses (as ranked as per Golf Digest) in the birthplace of golf:
- The Royal County Down #1
- Machrihanish #61 or Machrijhanish Dunes
- Cruden Bay # 56 or Balgiwnie at Royal Aberdeen # 71
- Castle Stuart # 53
- The Royal Dornoch #2
The voyage will begin in Dublin. The first port is Newcastle, Northern Ireland to play The Royal County Down. Sailing north along the west coast of Scotland, the journey will pass by the picturesque islands of Islay, Mull, and Skye playing Macrihanish and Askernish along the way. At Aberdeen you will be at the footsteps of both Cruden Bay and The Royal Aberdeen. The expedition ends in Edinburgh. Some of the transfers to and from the golf courses will be by zodiac.
Golf is not the only reason you'll want to make these stops. One can explore the white sandy beaches, visit mysterious standing stones, Viking Settlements, castles, museums, cycle or walk in the countryside. Sample whiskey from the barrel, take a tour and experience the raw beauty of isolated islands.
The RCGS Resolute will be anchored off the shores of South Ulst, the second largest of the Outer Hebrides. Golf on that day takes place at The Askernish Golf Course. The Club was commissioned in 1891 by Lady Cathcart to impress her high society guests. In WWI it was abandoned and in 2005 a group of locals brought it back to life.
The course begins with a 6 hole loop which includes 2 par 5s. These holes give you a gentle start where undulating greens and large elevation changes provide the challenges to prepare you for the coming 12 holes. When you reach the 7th tee you are greeted by the Atlantic Ocean, views of Barra and then you will be presented with golf holes that run through some of the most brilliant dune systems in golf.
Besides this course one can search for Standing Stones, cyclists can cycle part of The 300 KM Hebridean cycle path, a visit to The Kildonan Centre and café is another interesting activity. The day will be bright with at least 17 hours of daylight.
Designed for comfort, RCGS Resolute is modern, well appointed, safe and ice-strengthened. From small group sessions to briefings for all passengers, there are public spaces onboard the ship ideally suited for for everyone's needs. Two separate bar and lounge areas featuring 180-degree views and a wonderfully stocked library provide ideal places to relax or catch up on some reading.
The sumptuous meals prepared for you by the culinary team are enjoyed in either of two dining rooms, one of which features the popular bistro menu offering quick and easy meals for those prioritizing time out on deck. Both dining rooms have ample and open seating paired with modern furnishings and large picture windows with 180-degree views. Other facilities include a theatre style presentation room, gift-shop, gymnasium, wellness centre, Jacuzzi, sauna and steam room, and salt water pool.
Many locations on this voyage are well off the tourist trail. Your visit will give an economic boost through the included port and visitor fees and when you participate in the local economy. There will be many Scots employed on board who will share local knowledge, history, and cultural traditions.