How Quickly Things Can Change…

In my last post just five short weeks ago, I sadly wrote the following passage:

Most years, I’m lucky enough to get away one or two times (or more) on golf trips yet it isn’t looking like I’ll be heading anywhere in 2017, barring a late-season surprise. I’d have to look through the archives to see the last time I didn’t go away on a golf trip but I’m guessing it’s been at least a decade, if not longer.

Woe is me.

Well, as the blog title indicates, it’s amazing how quickly things can change in one’s favour…

Just last week, I was given word that a spot opened up for the ultimate “Golf Trip of a Lifetime” – plans had been in place for over a year for a group of eight guys from the States and one of them was forced to bow out only three short weeks before the trip.

I’ve met and played with two of the guys on multiple occasions in the past and exchanged emails and other correspondence with one of the other guys so there was some comfort and familiarity there – this is a good group of guys, without question.

I got some of the details via email and the guys actually seemed excited about my interest, another good omen – they would be happy to welcome a rogue Canadian to their group.

First thing I checked on was work and it immediately looked like a no-go, as one of my fellow staffers had already blocked that week off for vacation. I casually asked about her plans for the week and she immediately said “well, I don’t really have anything going on so I was actually considering moving my vacation up a week instead”.

“Yeah, I’m sure that’s fine”, I replied.

I walked back to my desk shaking my head in disbelief – getting the time off work wouldn’t be an issue.

Of course, now I’m thinking about my family and most specifically, my better half. There was no way she was going to be okay with this on such short notice, I was sure.

My wife and son were actually up north at a family cottage when this opportunity presented itself so I started chatting with her via text, just casually dropping a reference to the opportunity presented to me.

Me: House was very quiet last night LOL

Wifey: LOL! How R U?

Me: I’m fine. Had a dentist appointment this afternoon then got a ridiculous golf trip offer today so that’s kept me busy daydreaming.

Wifey: What trip babe?

Me: XXXXXXXX (trip destination) – some friends are going in three weeks and had a cancellation. Everything is booked and paid for so they are looking for someone to take the spot on short notice…sent the itinerary to me. Makes me cry it’s so good LOL.

Wifey: I bet *kiss emoji* You can’t go?


Oh my goodness…she seems OPEN to this!

We continued the conversation via text and I was even more surprised that she asked what was on the itinerary. But I should have known better – at the cottage were some family members who had been to this place before and they wanted to know the courses I’d be playing. Of course, they all were unanimous that this was an amazing itinerary and it was clear that my wife would be okay with me going as long as I was comfortable with the expense.

So I started looking at flight costs.

Trying to find flights for a trip less than three weeks away is not ideal – first of all, using points was not an option on the flight out of Toronto but I would be able to use points on the return trip. However, any return trip using points would see a very convoluted flight route OR would contain a exceptionally long layover somewhere.

Things were also slightly complicated by the fact that my destination airport was going to be different from the departure airport.

It took me close to 48 hours to make my final decision. Work was going to be okay and in fact, it was the PERFECT week for me to be away, as there would be no one else at the company taking vacation that week. My wife knows how hard I’ve been working for the past six months and the fact that I haven’t been able to get away for ANY golf excursions all year perhaps made her sympathetic to my plight.

Even with a number of factors in my favour (trip already completely planned, booked and for the most part, paid for in advance), it was still going to be a pricey trip but there is no question in my mind that it will never be as INEXPENSIVE as it would be right now, especially with the British pound being weak against our dollar at the moment.

So I bit the bullet, booked my flights and sent the email to the others, saying I was “IN”.

I’m still numb by how quickly this has come together and in the next couple of days, I’ll go over my itinerary in detail here. This trip will unquestionably renew my love for great architecture and golf history and as such, I am already re-energized about this blog and want to write about this incredible trip that I’ll soon experience.

So, where am I going, you ask? Here’s a hint:

The “Road Hole” at The Old Course in St. Andrews


If I’m dreaming, don’t wake me up!


  • When were you there? We were a group of 8 (6 from Ottawa, 1 from Toronto and 1 from NYC) who arrived on August 25th and played: North Berwick West Links, Kingsbarns, Carnoustie, Old Course, New Course, Lundin, Crail Balcomie, Muirfield X2, North Berwick East Links and Dunbar.


  • Wow – awesome itinerary and very similar to ours! We were there just before you (from the 11th to the 20th) and played Western Gailes, Prestwick X2, Turnberry Ailsa, Muirfield X2, North Berwick West X2, Carnoustie, The Old Course, Elie and Kingsbarns.


  • How did you enjoy the round at Elie? That was one course that I wanted to play but we just couldn't fit it in. The other regret was passing on the chance to play Gullane #1 the afternoon after we played NB East Links. Will you be posting a summary of your trip on the blog?


  • Hi Paul – Elie was amazing. It was one of my favourite places on our entire trip…part of the reason is that it was almost an afterthought booking (same day that we played the Old Course) and it was easily the least expensive round of the trip. We also carried our own bags for that round AND played matches with only 7 clubs in our bag. Incredible fun and I can tell you this: when I return to Scotland, it will be a must to book another day at Elie! We drove by Gullane and also stopped in the pro shop there (mostly to buy Muirfield gear) but didn't play the course. Hopefully another time!And YES, I'll definitely be posting a thorough summary of all the courses we visited. Hope to start writing again soon!Thanks for stopping by!Matt


  • Cool – looking forward to reading about it.Was in your neck of the woods in October. Family trip to Great Wolf Lodge with a buddy's family. We played Whirlpool this time after playing Lookout Point last year. Some nice tracks in that region.


  • Well, you certainly played a couple of the better ones in Lookout and Whirlpool. Funny enough, I was just at the GWL this past weekend (my son had an all-day birthday party there). Great place for kids, that's for sure.


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