Golf Adventure Guides BLOG

Links Golf Cup Ayrshire Scotland 2018

The hardest part of planning a golf trip to Scotland is often just getting started. Which region in Scotland? Which courses should we play? How long of a trip? Where to stay? So many decisions. Help!

Western Gailes Golf Club in Ayrshire, Scotland

Want a quick and easy way to kick start the trip-planning process? And save money to boot? Read on.

To get over the trip-planning hump, simply sign up for the 2018 Links Golf Cup in Ayrshire. Beginning at Western Gailes on Monday September 3rd, this Individual Stableford event for amateur golfers then moves on to Gailes Links and Kilmarnock (Barassie), before culminating with the final round at Dundonald Links  (venue for the 2017 Scottish Open and Ladies Scottish Open) on Friday September 7th. Four fantastic links courses (see map below) over five days.

While barely lifting a finger, you’ll have your first four rounds locked and loaded, get help finding a great place to stay (if you want to avail yourself of discounted B&B rates), and culminate the week with a presentation dinner (3 courses with wine).

The cost is only 345 GBP (about $460 USD), which includes the four rounds of golf, presentation dinner on Friday, and a welcome drinks gathering on Monday evening. If you booked the tee times yourself, the green fees alone would be 410 GBP. Add in another 40 GBP value for the dinner (my estimate) and you’re looking at a total value of 450 GBP (about $600). That’s a great deal!

If you want to extend your trip — before or after the event — use the Scotland Golf Adventure Guide (from yours truly) to plan the ultimate Scotland golf trip. Or not. The main thing I want to encourage you to do is get out of your comfort zone and make that golf trip to Scotland happen. I think the Links Golf Cup Ayrshire could be just the ticket.

How to Enter the Links Golf Cup

To find out more about the 2018 Links Golf Cup Ayrshire and to enter go to or email

More About the Event

There is room for 108 golfers and they have sold out all previous events. Players come from all over Scotland, the UK and beyond — Germany, France, Holland, Spain, Italy, and America. What a great way to meet fellow golf enthusiasts, make new friends, and enjoy some friendly competition.

We Film Golf will be at the event all week and they film the golfers best and worst bits and show them at the dinner with commentary.

Alongside the individual Stableford competition, there is also a Team Competition (players on their own are put in teams) and a Par 3 Challenge at 8 selected par 3s over the week.

The amazing Dundonald Links in Ayrshire, Scotland

On the rest day (Wednesday) golfers have the option to play more golf at one of the local courses (even Turnberry, old Prestwick, etc), to go sightseeing, to book a whiskey tour, etc.


The Links Golf Cup organizers work with some local accommodation providers to give competitors discounts if they want it. Current options include:

Further accommodation options can be found in the Scotland Golf Adventure Guide.

What are you waiting for?

For detailed information and to sign up for the 2018 Links Golf Cup Ayrshire go to or email

North Coast 500

Graylyn Loomis drives the North Coast 500 for LINKS Magazine. Read the article online:


The North Coast 500 is Scotland’s answer to Route 66, the new scenic route showcasing the fairy-tale castles, beaches and ruins. Of course, Graylyn’s angle is to cover the golf opportunities that await along the way. Enjoy the ride!

Enniscrone Golf

Spectacular links land and dunes. Check. Flattering, low sunlight. Check. Talented drone pilot and video editor. Check.

Enniscrone Golf Club has always been one of my favorite courses in Ireland. After watching this video, I think you’ll see why! Add in Carne Golf Links and Co. Sligo Golf Club and you have the beginnings of a great Ireland Golf Adventure itinerary. Enjoy.

2016 Scottish Golf Tourism Awards

The folks at VisitScotland recently announced their 2016 Scottish Golf Tourism Awards winners during the inaugural Scottish Golf Tourism Week in St Andrews.

The voting was done by “Scottish golfers throughout the country” from May thru August of 2016. Sounds like one of Donald Trump’s unscientific polls, so I would just keep that in mind. Still, the category winners look reasonable. Award winners for 2016 include:

Scotland’s Best Golf Experience — Kingsbarns Golf Links

The Best Value For Money (£50 – £100)— Dundonald Links

The Best Value For Money (Over £100)— Royal Dornoch Golf Club

The Best Golf Course (Under £50)— Boat of Garten Golf Course

The Best Golf Course (£50-£100)— Blairgowrie, Rosemount Course

The Best Golf Course (Over £100)— Carnoustie, Championship Course

The Best Small Hotel (20 Rooms Or Less)— Red House Hotel, Coupar Angus

The Best Hotel (21 to 50 Rooms)— The Ugadale Hotel, Machrihanish

The Best Large Hotel (50 Rooms Or More)— Old Course Hotel, St Andrews


Printed Guides Now Available

The print version of the combined Ireland & Scotland Golf Adventure Guides (2017 edition) is now available.

Ireland & Scotland Golf Adventure Guide
Ireland & Scotland Golf Adventure Guide

A combined 76 pages, the printed version contains both the Ireland Golf Adventure Guide and Scotland Golf Adventure Guide in one compact, spiral-bound package.

Ireland & Scotland Golf Adventure Guides
Flip it over for the Ireland Golf Adventure Guide.

The digital versions of the guides (included when you purchase the printed version, by the way) are full color inside — the printed guide is black & white inside.


You get the best of both worlds when you spring for the printed guides.

A lovely printed document containing both Ireland and Scotland guides for easy, quick reference in addition to full access to the digital PDF versions for quick online access to golf course and accommodation websites (and more) via the hyperlinks throughout.

Special Offer for Current Customers

If you’ve already purchased a digital PDF version of either the Ireland or Scotland Golf Adventure Guide, log into the Customer Download Center to purchase the print version (includes both guides!) for only $20.

Craft beer in Ireland

It’s not all about the Guinness anymore. The craft beer scene in Ireland is exploding … and might be getting out of control!

2017 Ireland & Scotland Guide Updates

The 2017 editions of the  Ireland Golf Adventure Guide and Scotland Golf Adventure Guide are now available.

The details for every golf course and accommodation — along with everything else in the guides — are carefully scrutinized and updated. Here’s an example of updates to the Scotland Golf Adventure Guide:


All new purchases will receive the updated 2017 editions.

Customers who purchased a previous PDF version of the guide can download a free update to this latest edition. This is just one of the many advantages of purchasing one of my guides.

What has been updated?

Updated information includes, but is not limited to:

  • Green fees and accommodation rates/tariffs
  • Golf course contact info (email, websites, etc.)
  • Accommodation contact info (email, websites, etc.)
  • Flight schedules and airlines
  • New accommodation options


If you buy a travel guide book that was printed sometime last year, or you already own one, I can guarantee that a good portion of the information in it is out of date and/or incorrect.

By publishing my guides digitally, I can easily deliver you the latest — and most correct — information. And, even after you’ve made a purchase, because you get free updates you’ll always have access to accurate information when you plan your next trip.

How to Pack for Your Golf Trip

[Updated: 17 January 2016]

After many years of golf trips around the world, I’ve come up with a golf trip checklist that makes it easy for me to get ready for each trip and also to minimize the gear I’ve got to lug around, while still making sure I’ve got everything I need.

Check out our new Gear for Golf Trips guide!

You can download the checklist below to customize it for yourself.

Download the Golf Trip Checklist

Here’s the basic checklist (details given below):

  • 4 golf shirts
  • 2 non-cotton undershirts
  • 1 longsleeve undershirt
  • 4 pair golf socks
  • 2 underwear (washable)
  • 1 underwear (cotton)
  • 2 long pants for golf
  • 1 or 2 shorts for golf
  • 1 Goretex rain suit + golf gear
  • 1 Wind vest
  • 1 non-cotton longsleeve undershirt
  • 1 golf shoes
  • 1 black long pants
  • 1 black belt
  • 1 black longsleeve polo shirt
  • 2 dark/patterned button-down shirts
  • 2 black t-shirts
  • 1 white t-shirt
  • 1 black “dress” shoes
  • 2 pair black socks
  • 1 running/tennis shoes
  • 1 running shorts
  • 1 compression shorts
  • 1 exercise t-shirt
  • 1 pullover/sweater
  • 1 toiletries
  • 1 Cottonelle (1.5 per day in ziploc bag)
  • 4 contact lenses & solution
  • 1 prescription glasses (backup)
  • 1 folder w/ tickets/itinerary/passport/etc.
  • 1 camera, gear, recharger, batteries

You may see a few odd things on the checklist — like packing only two pair of underwear! — so I’d like to explain those below and give you some of my specific product recommendations.

Checklist Details

One fundamental is that you don’t need to pack “ten of everything” for a ten day trip! Most itineraries will/should have a 2-day stay in the same place at some point, preferrably near the middle of the trip. Use that opportunity to get some of your clothes (shirts, pants, socks, etc.) laundered at the hotel while you’re out playing golf. The other thing is that you can easily wear the same golf shirt a couple of times, especially if you’ve been wearing an undershirt. It just doesn’t get that hot (usually) in Ireland and Scotland and you’re not going to be sweating up a storm.

Golf Shirts — Four golf shirts is enough for any length trip. You can easily wear the same shirt more than once and you can always get them laundered mid trip. Plus, chances are you’ll want to purchase a shirt or two along the way as a momento.

Non-cotton Undershirts — I like to layer for warmth. Wearing an undershirt also extends the “wearabilty” of your golf shirt. The key here is it shouldn’t be cotton. Any of the polyester/spandex blends from REI, Nike, UnderArmour, etc. will work great.

Washable Underwear — Yes, you only need two pair of underwear for the entire trip regardless of how long it is. Not only does this save space, but you won’t have to lug a bunch of dirty underwear around in your suitcase. I would highly recommend the Ex Officio Give-N-Go Briefs. They come in a boxer brief style as well.

Here’s how the “2-Pair of Underwear” system works. After golf, you come back to your hotel and pop into the shower wearing your underwear. While showering (leave your underwear on) soap up and wash yourself and your underwear. Near the end, take ’em off and rinse well. After drying yourself off, place your just-washed underwear on a dry towel, roll it up, and then stand on the towel to extract as much moisture out of the underwear as you can. Remove from towel and hang over a chair to dry. Get dressed and put on the clean underwear that you washed the night before. Wear that underwear for the evening (while your just-washed pair is drying) and for the next day. Using this system you will always have a clean pair of underwear on hand.

Related article: Two Pair of Underwear? Two Week Golf Trip? No Problem!

After Golf Clothes — Bring a pair of dark trousers and a couple of nice button-down dress shirts. Don’t wear your golf clothes when you go out for dinner. And leave the jeans at home; they are heavy and bulky. Try your best not to look (and act) like a tourist. 🙂

Travel Luggage

I use The Last Bag from Club Glove which is perfect for holding the golf clubs, shoes, rain gear, balls, and extra clothing. It’s also compact once you take everything out and so fits well in the rental car. Do NOT use one of the hardshell cases; they are just too bulky and take up too much space once in country.

My suitcase is from Travelpro, their 22″ Expandable Rollaboard Suiter (suit holder stuff removed). It’s not too big — so I’m not tempted to bring too much — but not too small either.

Northern Ireland Ultimate Round

On the eve of the 2015 Irish Open held at Royal County Down Golf Club in Northern Ireland, the good folks at Northern Ireland Tourist Board have released a series of videos they are calling Northern Ireland Ultimate Round.

You can tell they spared no expense in filming and editing these videos. Seriously high production value that showcase these beautiful golf courses in remarkable fashion. Without further ado, here they are:

Holes 1-3: Castlerock, Portstewart

Holes 4-6: Royal Portrush, Kirkistown Castle

Holes 7-9: Ardglass, Royal County Down

Holes 10-12: Lough Erne, Dungannon, Galgorm Castle

Holes 13-15: Ballycastle, Cairndhu, Malone

Holes 16-18: Belvoir Park, Holywood, Royal Belfast

More is Still Less

2015BordFailteGolfGuideFáilte Ireland, the national tourism development authority, have released the Fáilte Ireland Golf Guide—2015 Edition. While I applaud the effort and recommend you view it — if only to learn more about golf in Ireland and hopefully get inspired to take a trip — I find it to be a poor resource for actually planning a trip. Here is why:

Information overload: 130 pages, 54 ads, 392 golf courses, 100s of hotels.

Seven regions are detailed in the guide:

  • 01 Dublin (53 courses)
  • 02 Dublin’s Doorstep and Lakelands (108 courses)
  • 03 Southeast (35 courses)
  • 04 Cork and Kerry (52 courses)
  • 05 Midwest (24 courses)
  • 06 West and Northwest  (50 courses)
  • 07 The North (70 courses)

How are you supposed to decide where to play and where to stay? Naturally, the tourism authority can’t play favorites and wants to promote all of the golf courses in Ireland, and provide a venue for hotels, tour operators, golf courses, resorts, etc. to advertise their offerings. The result is a very beautiful 130-page magazine, but it doesn’t help you with the decision-making process of planning a golf trip.

When I created my Ireland Golf Adventure Guide my goal was to provide only the information you really need to plan a great golf trip and in the most concise manner possible. If my best friend asked me where I should play and where I should stay, would I give them a list of all of the courses and hotels in Ireland? Of course not. I would provide a short, curated lists of the best golf courses to be considered in each region and for each course a few recommendations on where to stay (in various price ranges).

And that’s what I did. The Ireland Golf Adventure Guide is 36 pages, 57 courses, accommodations (a few in various price ranges) in each town close to the golf courses, and a time-proven process for planning a great itinerary.  Less is still more.

The Fáilte Ireland Golf Guide has two excellent articles I recommend:

  • Royal County Down and the Irish Open” (pp. 12-15)
  • Links to the world’s finest” by Brian Keogh (pp. 16–18)
  • Ireland’s Hidden Treasures” (pp. 126–128)