Men's golf poses before teeing off at the Kintyre course
Our first full day in Ayrshire dawned sunny and comfortable. Breakfast at Turnberry is a hearty affair, if 5 choices of yogurt alone is any indication. Students made the most of the lavish cold buffet and hot dishes to order to fuel up for the day. It was then off to the first tee of the Kintyre course.
Tom Alexander, the tee master, sent off foursomes, allowing ample time for golfers to be clear of tee shots. Most seemed pleased with their first shots. And a few, naming no names, found fescue, raspberry thickets and sand straightaway. Most groups return seated with the coaches from an aerie in the Tappie Toorie Grill above the pro shop. Dr. Vincent Nguyen's (Victoria's father) approach to the 18th green may - or may not - have kissed the window of the pro shop. He's a great sport, and his next shot rolled very near the pin. We didn't probe for scores, but there were enough in the 70s to make for a great day.
The majority of the group went for dinner in Ayr, passing through rolling hills teeming with sheep. On a turn we were treated to a magnificent view of Cluzean Castle. Ayr gives its name to the region of Ayrshire, where we're residing these three days. Ayrshire gave Scotland William Wallace, Robert the Bruce, and Robbie Burns. It's possible Robert the Bruce was born at Turnberry Castle whose ruins on which the resort was built. It's glorious countryside and seaside. Monuments to the three native sons of renown dot Ayr.
We were on our own for dinner, with most opting for West Kirk, a restaurant in a former Free Church built in 1845 - young by Scotland's standards but impressive from ours. A walk after dinner took us to a 15th century bridge over Ayr River and along a sleepy High Street. (The Marks & Spencer closes at!) It was then back our winding, dark roads to the hotel to rest for the championship Ailsa course.
On a 15th century bridge over the Ayr River
View of Ayr from the 15th century Auld Bridge
Women's golf gets set to tee off at the Kintyre course