I had thought publishing Golf in the Wild was the end of a long journey but it turns out it was just the beginning. The slow, arduous distribution and PR process has already introduced me to some very supportive people from out-of-the-way places. Last weekend the good men of Traigh (see chapter 7) visited Allendale and were as enthusiastic about our course as I am enthusiastic about theirs. David Shaw Stewart produced an impromptu watercolour of Allendale’s signature hole, the 17th – Grand Canyon, in celebration of a grand, if windy and cold day out. I am proud to be mentioned and wish I had the talent to reciprocate.
An interesting fact – taking into consideration all of the detours, the overall route is in the region of 727 miles and forms one part of a figure eight. A return trip via Thurso, Strathendrick and Dumfries & Galloway would form a pattern worthy of Torvill and Dean.
As a taster I will use this blog to publish occasional golf course pictures which will not appear in the book – this is Allendale’s second/eleventh approached from two different tees. Named Penny Black on the front 9 and Penny Red on the back 9, it pays homage to Troon’s Postage Stamp.
The picture of gentlemen golfers putting out is from the course at Broadwood Hall, probably taken not long after the club was formed at the turn of the last century. The farm buildings in the background, which still exist today, are at 955 feet, a slightly lower altitude than the current clubhouse. Thornley Gate was just down the road from Broadwood Hall and even Portgate Links near the town centre was well above 800 feet. Golf at these altitudes is always testing. Consequently, Allendale golfers have always been obliged to play the elements as well as the course and it is evident as soon as you arrive at High Studdon that the present day course is no exception.