SCOREGolf Spring 2014 UberFlip

scoregolf spring magazine devoted to the best of golf travel, instruction, stories and the 50 best things about golf. Plus a feature on Mike Weir 10th anniversary Masters win.

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Page 115 of 115

Partingshot Commentary from our writer-at-large 114 | | Spring 2014 Then there's Oakville, Ont.'s Glen Abbey, where it will cost you $235.50 to play in high season, defined as May 17th-Oct. 13th. At Pebble you can try the chip shot that Tom Watson holed from just off the 17th green in the last round, which led to his U.S. Open win. At the Abbey you can try to hit the green on the par-5 18th from the bun- ker on the right side of the fairway. Ti- ger Woods did that with a six-iron from 216 yards on the last hole of the 2000 Canadian Open. Yes, the shot came off beautifully. Yes, he won. But you knew that. And the shot sunk into your golf- ing memory bank. Then you had a chance to play the Abbey, and you took it. Bucket list stuff. Speaking of bucket lists, a pal of mine wanted to play the Old Course in St. Andrews. He knew that it's not easy to get a time there. He didn't let that stop him. He wasn't going to go the route of applying for a time or showing up pre-dawn one day to get on the ballot. He was going to ensure that he and his bride played the famed links. And so he signed up for something called The Old Course Experience. This was a sure way to get on. What an experience it was. Never mind that the going, going, gone rate then was $1,500, as I recall. He and his wife were favoured with a piper. They had top-notch caddies, which is part of the Old Course Experience and usually part of the Old Course experience, if you get what I mean. If not, check out Oliver Horovitz's evoca- tive book An American Caddie in St. Andrews, published last year. Don't be sensitive. Horovitz wrote on page 30 of his memoir that, "Just north of the U.S. border live the people considered the worst tippers in the world — Canadians." Never mind. Add the cost of a reasonable tip to the cost of your bucket list experience at the Old Course. Besides, Horovitz told me after I tweeted his ref- erence to how thrifty Canadians are, "To be fair Lorne, there have been many exceptions." We've established that some golfers will pay big bucks to play bucket list courses. I never understand why golfers who ask my advice about making their first trip to Scotland rarely take it. I always tell them to sprinkle in lesser-known courses among the Old Course and other famous links that host Open Championships. I tell them that members will welcome them and that they'll make new friends. The members will be pleased they sought out their club. Let's see. It will cost a golfer $322 (at the exchange rate for a Canadian loonie as I write) to play Royal Liverpool from July-October this year; the course, also known as Hoylake, will host the Open in July. It will cost you $368 to tee it up at the Muirfield GC, which has hosted umpteen Opens, or $478.40 to play two rounds in one day — a four-ball in the morning and foursomes, or alternate-shot golf, in the afternoon. Four-balls are allowed only in the mornings, and then only on Tuesdays and Thursdays when Muirfield is open to visitors. So many other courses should be on a golfer's bucket list, and what do you know, most are affordable. Again, it depends on one's definition of affordable. Dunbar GC, east of Muirfield, is a magical links. I took a train from Edinburgh when I was a kid and played 36 holes in a driving rain and loved it. The Dunbar experience will cost you $128 for one round, or $165.60 for the day. And if you are looking for truly affordable golf, come down to the West Palm Beach, Fla., area for your next winter holiday. I played the West Palm Beach GC, a delightful and challenging muni, for $33, in high season this winter. I used golfnow. com to check out the daily bargains. The green fee was only $45 even if I couldn't get the bargain rate. I just checked the club's website. I could get on for $37 today (St. Patrick's Day) or $22 after 3 p.m. — and we're into Daylight Savings Time. Affordable golf is available, once you've figured out what affordable means to you. And that, my fellow golfers, is the bottom line. Lorne Rubenstein BaRgain Hunting When it comes to affordability in golf, it's each player to himself or herself. The golfer with a bucket list might not mind paying $450 to play the redone, revamped and water-filled Trump National Doral course in Miami during winter high season. The $495 ticket to play Pebble Beach might be OK to help fill the bucket. "

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