7th Apr, 2021 by The Caddie
Eight-time European Tour No.1 and Ryder Cup winning captain Colin Montgomerie has played golf around the world but likes nothing better than playing the game in his homeland. Here, in his new role partnering with bunkered Golf Breaks, he talks to us about some of his favourite courses and the memories he has of playing the game in the home of golf
Colin, firstly, thank you for joining the bunkered Golf Breaks platform. We’re delighted to have a Scottish golf legend like yourself on board.
It’s a great honour to be asked to come and be part of this superb new venture, supporting golf tourism in Scotland. Thank you for having me. I’m excited about working together and seeing what can do for golfers in Scotland and beyond.
Q. You’re obviously spending a lot of time in the States these days playing on the Champions Tour. How’s that going?
It’s a new environment for me and, also, it’s the first time I’ve spent any considerable time in the United States playing regularly. But I’m very much enjoying the experience and the competition. It’s been very successful so far and I’m very much looking forward to getting going again this season. But I still like coming home to the UK, and Scotland in particular, and seeing my family and friends.
Q. Home is where the heart is, of course. Let’s talk about the courses you grew up playing?
I obviously spent many of my early days playing links courses on the amateur circuit, including Royal Troon, where I was a member and my father was the club secretary for a spell. I have many happy memories of playing the Old Course at Troon, and more than a few of the other venues along the Ayrshire coast. Troon is very much ‘home’ for me and it’s a great honour to be an ambassador for Royal Troon.
Q. When it comes to golf courses in Scotland, we’re not exactly short on quality, are we?
In my view, Scotland is home to the world’s best golf courses, with the Old Course, Muirfield, Royal Troon, Carnoustie and Turnberry, all likely to feature at the top of any list. The magnificent setting of Gleneagles, host to the 2014 Ryder Cup, and Prestwick, where the Open first was played, also come to mind. I think the Ryder Cup and Solheim Cup, both staged at Gleneagles in recent years, beautifully showcased Scotland to the world and reinforced that we not only excel in links courses, but our inland venues are amongst the finest in the world too.
Q. What other courses have you enjoyed playing Scotland?
Kingsbarns is just wonderful, and I’ve heard wonderful things about Dumbarnie Links, which is just down the road. What I like about Scotland is that there are courses that may not be so worldly famous but are still a joy to play, and nowhere on earth will you find a finer selection of links courses than in the home of golf. Western Gailes, Dornoch, Nairn, Royal Aberdeen and Cruden Bay are superb examples of layouts on which the game was originally played.
Q. Scotland is so diverse, isn’t it?
It certainly is. From a golf perspective, you can literally have the time of your life anywhere on the map. I’m told that there is always a quality golf course 20 minutes from where you’re standing in Scotland, and I can well believe that. If only I just had the time to play them all! There are hidden gems everywhere.
Q. With bunkered Golf Breaks, there is great variety on offer, which is what we’re very proud of.
I will be the first to admit that I haven’t experienced all of Scotland’s courses, but that’s the joy of golf in Scotland – no matter where you are, there is always a new, wonderful experience waiting just round the corner. It is clear that the average club golfer wants variety these days. They want to experience something different every now and then and I believe that’s what bunkered Golf Breaks can deliver for golfer’s everywhere. It’s not necessarily about the big name venues that get all the headlines. Some of my best experiences have come on golf courses that fly under the radar a bit. I played many of these venues during my time as a young boy on the amateur circuit in Scotland and, looking back, I loved every minute. I’m hoping golfers can get the same experience as I did, go and play some new venues and experience something new. The beauty is it’s all on their own doorstep. Colin Montgomerie is supporting bunkered Golf Breaks promotion of golf holidays in Scotland in 2021. To find out more and to search Monty’s own recommendations for Scottish golf holidays, Click here