Day 1 - Sunday, August 25th
By: Mary Fletcher, Siena Women's Golf
We have arrived at the home of golf and Day 1 was certainly a day of excitement and new adventures. Certainly, the long day of travel was bound to catch up with all of us at some point. All of us expected to sleep on the red eye, but whether it was the abnormally uncomfortable seats, the constant snacks and meals provided, or the anticipation, I'm not sure, but needless to say, none of us got a wink of sleep.
We arrived in Scotland at 7:30 am, or 2:30 am Albany time. We got through customs with no problem and gathered our bags, and some of us made our way to the currency exchange to collect our British pounds that we would need for the week. We were met outside by our bus driver, and once we loaded up, began our trek to Turnberry, which is on the west coast of Scotland. It was about an hour drive from the airport to the resort, through the rolling hills of Scotland. We were all thrown off a bit by driving on the left side of the road, and going the opposite way around traffic circles. Also, who knew that Scotland has sheep and cows everywhere? Once we got closer to our destination, we stopped at a store called Asda, which is actually owned by Walmart. A few of us got snacks, and some decided to get some pb and j for lunches during the week. Many of us had trouble paying, as we weren't sure of the different money, and alot of us also had a hard time understanding the people. We are still working on getting used to the thick accents the Scots have. Though it is English, it requires alot of concentration to be able to understand what they are saying.
We then arrived at Turnberry, where we were astounded by the beauty. The players are staying in a lodge, which is basically a collection of rooms and a sitting area upstairs. The coaches and parents have a similar lodge of their own. Once settled, most of the boys opted for a nap right away, while the girls wanted to get right to the golf. We headed to the 12-hole par three which is right outside our lodge. 6 of us played, and despite the shortness, the longest hole is 70 yards, it was quite the challenge. Pot bunkers surrounded the course, and it proved to be a good Scottish welcome for all of us. Everyone had a bit of a different day. I played the par 3, went to the driving range, had afternoon tea in the lobby, then took a quick nap and shower before dinner. I know the boys enjoyed the par 3 once they got a little energy from their naps. We went to dinner at a place close to the hotel, and all enjoyed a hefty 3 course meal. Needless to say, we were all exhausted when we got back, as we hadn't had a good night's sleep in two days, but we managed to stay up for a couple more hours and call it a night.
We are all excited to play Turnberry tomorrow and continue to be immersed in the Scottish culture!