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What exactly are golfers looking for in a golf course? Golfers typically seek for a golf course that will take him or her to the limit. There is absolutely no better achievement in defeating yourself and getting through the challenge golf offers you. A golf course that will offer not only a fair degree of difficulty, but also offers a breathtaking scenery is a feast for the golfers. Public golf courses that are used for competitions can also provide a good experience for average golfers as they can also undergo what the pros dealt with. After a long pursuit, here are a number of the topnotch courses that a golfer can go to. There are a lot of golf courses out there, but the following courses can offer the very best of the best.

The Old Course, St. Andrews Links: For being around for nearly 6 centuries, who would not totally agree that this golf course is “The Home of Golf”? Golf has been played around this course from 1400 A.D. and is actually the biggest golfing complex in Europe. The fairways carefully managed, the beautiful scenery, and the taunting challenge starting from the first hole could make your round of golf a very unforgettable experience. It could be deceiving when you see images and videos of this golf course on TV or online. The ground might appear flat when viewed on TV or online, but it is actually humped and the bunkers are deep when you are on the course, so it can offer you with the best challenge when you play. You may book beforehand by ballot to this golf course which is situated in Scotland. If you wish to feel what golf really is about, this might be best for you.

Murfield: This is the golf course of The Honorable Company of Edinburgh Golfers – the eldest organization in golf. The design of this course is simple categorized as a masterpiece since 1891. If that history is not enough, this club was regarded as linked to writing the original rules of golf in 1744. This golf course was designed in a way that the holes are situated in a circle that will make certain that the players will need to always adjust with the wind directions. There are times when a player will need to stop and appreciate the amazing view of this course which includes trees, the sea view, and the trees near it. The eye-catching scenery is just a glimpse of what this course actually offer to the players. The bunkers are all around and the greens are small, which challenges the golfer in terms of accuracy.

Oakmond Country Club: If you get the opportunity to play golf in the course, you need to expect an experience worth reminiscing. 210 deep bunkers and greens that slope away await the golfer, and it will be tough as every shot needs to be carefully done. One wasted shot and you might end up on its deep bunkers. The fairways are tight, so accuracy will be the key. This course also cradles a lengthy history, which expands as far as 1903. This course can be viewed as the most hardest to play on as bunkers can be found left and right.

Royal Birkdale (The Birkdale): This is England’s top golf course that has a magnificent scenery and awesome golf holes. The fairways of this course is styled in such a way that the ball will rarely go off course. A club house, kind staff, and a fully stocked golf shop are just a number of what this course can provide. However, you have to ready your pocket as the experience can be very expensive. Yet, the course’s challenge will make your money’s worth more. The wind Birkdale has is really an malefic pressure to cope with, nevertheless the struggle will thrust the golf player to the limits. A fantastic bang for the money.

Shinnecock Hills: Constructed in 1891 and remodelled in the 30s, this course has sponsored four US opens and is a very challenging course to play on. The holes look very easy to make shots with, but steadily gets you scratching your head as it is in fact deceiving. The holes would require a golfer to adapt and be very skillful. The 300-acre course has a clubhouse that’s located at their highest point, hence giving an excellent view to the place. The course boasts of winds from the Atlantic, the sandy terrain, and the grasses that border the fairways. After-game cocktails can be availed by the club members besides the game experience they receive.

Turnberry (Ailsa Course), Scotland: The Turnberry Golf Club was established in 1902, then the Turnberry Hotel in 1906 that connects to the nearest railway station. It was even almost destroyed as it was used in the 2 World Wars but it was reopened in 1951 after extensive repairwork. What makes this course distinctive from the others is the lack of dunes on holes near the seacoast, which makes a perfect test for the player. It has stayed a favorite course and has hosted 4 Opens. The view of the British Isles is just a teaser for the game experience and being on the very same holes Jack Nicklaus and Tom Watson battled on!

Royal County Down Golf Club: Having one of the best front nines amongst the world’s courses, this is worth the trip. Located in Northern Ireland, it rests nicely at the foot of the Mourne Mountains and is welcomes the golf player with an impressive view of the Bay of Dundrum. With its spotless conditions for a challenging game, this course surprisingly haven’t hosted a single Open. Although the course has an incredible surrounding, it could give you major frustration as the wind can be quite unpredictable. The wind is strong enough to topple a trolley, bend the ball in flight, or bend the flagstick. The difficulty of the course will challenge a golfer to the limit, not only because of the winds but also with its number of blind drives also. The challenge it offers simply deserve a spot in the top ten of the world.

Augusta National Golf Club: Being the host to the annual Masters, this dream course is situated in a dream-like setting, and even getting to play here is also dream-like also. This course has a high exclusive status with its green fees and the list of its members aren’t available to the public. The popularity of the course is all over, with lots of other courses that tried to imitate the course design. Designed by Bobby Jones and Alister Mackenzie, anyone can easily say that it is an ideal duo that created a perfect course. Usually, every after concluded Masters, changes are done with one or two holes to incorporate variety to the playing experience. It’s no wonder that it will get closed to every 6 months and nobody can just simply list up to get to play the tee. The scenery just comes second with the good standing of this course, the playing experience and with the unique status. If there is an opportunity to play, a golfer will undoubtedly not refuse.

Cypress Point, USA: This golf course has surely the largest water hazard of all which is the Pacific Ocean on the third tee. It is a longshot to even get the chance to play on this course that even the late J. F. Kennedy was declined admission to the restaurant and has only a few members which ranges from actors, political, and corporate giants. The course still maintains it historical traditions, being a walking-only course, no yardage markers and even the lockers can make you feel that it’s still 1920. Its parking lot is not even more than 15 stalls and does not have that much players in a single day. It is really an advantage for the course to have not so many players as it will help the course to be kept pristine in its condition and one of greens that is so smooth without bumps, ball marks, nematode patches, or sand from nearby bunkers. Simply one of the best courses that anyone will get to play on if given the opportunity.

Pine Valley, USA: This was a brain child of Philadelphian hotelier George Crump, who passed away a year ahead of the course’s completion. It opened on 1919 and players had a difficult experience accomplishing the course in 70 strokes, effortlessly gaining the popularity as the amazing golf challenge. Each hole mocks you with a different challenge, with one bunker 10 feet deep. Missing the green will mean a lot, since there are sloping greens and the holes are wrapped in pine-covered heath – not a good place the see the golf ball go. It can be a massive pain the moment you get a mistake in your shot. Having the chance to play in this superb course is very rare, so don’t decline an invite. There is no golf course that is visually inviting and hard as Pine Valley. It greatly justifies why golfers rank this as No. 1.

Certainly, there are numerous other courses around that doesn’t require membership. However, being able to feel the real challenges of golf lies in these courses, so don’t let an opportunity to play in these courses pass by.

How to Choose the Right House Boat For You

It is important to choose the most reliable craft if you want to enjoy your “bareboat” adventure. For beginners, said boats belong to the modern category and measure from 30 to 50 feet. These vessels have been manufactured and fine-tuned for different sailing conditions.

The first step in choosing a houseboat is to determine the type and size of boat. Then, look for a charter firm through the web or by asking for referrals from people you trust. Provide specifications and indicate your preferences so the charterer can help you in making a decision. Clients without any experience in sailing must hire a skipper and crew to navigate the houseboat. However, this will entail additional expenses aside from the rental, fuel and port fees.

Make sure that the boat has one or two wind scoops. This mechanism is used for ventilation purposes although some modern vessels are fitted with air conditioning units. Inspect the boat’s basic gear and see if it is fitted with safety equipment, communications devices, navigation implements and fundamental tools. You may have to rent a GPS (Global Positioning System) unit if you want one.

Most charter companies provide cellular phones along with VHF (Very High Frequency) transmitters. This can be used for personal calls provided you pay for activation and usage. You can also request for diving paraphernalia such as snorkel, fins, mask, and oxygen tank. However, it is advisable to bring your own because rentals are quite expensive. Besides, the equipment may not match your measurements.

The houseboat usually has a fridge and ice chest for canned and bottled beverages. Make sure that you confirm this with the charter company before you sign a contract. Incidentally, review terms and conditions of your agreement to see if everything is in order. You will need to pay a deposit of at least 50 percent while the balance should be settled before sailing out. Inquire about insurance coverage. This is essential for any sea voyage in case of accidents.

Travel light. Bring only essential such as light and warm clothes, towels, swim wear, first-aid kits, sunshades and wide brim hats. Blankets and bed linen are usually provided by the charterer. Prepare a schedule so that you do not waste time and make sure that you enjoy every minute of your houseboat escapade. Remember that this cruise is relatively expensive so make sure that the entire journey will be very memorable.

There is an excessive amount of traffic coming from your Region.

Well the kids are back at school, the great British summer seems to have passed us by and the nights are drawing in, so this can mean only one thing – Christmas is on its way. Although it might seem a little early to be mentioning the C word, a lot of people are getting excited at the prospect of visiting their favourite German-Style Christmas Markets.

With a vast choice of Christmas Markets to choose from the biggest problem is deciding which one to visit. Most major cities in the UK have at least one of the authentic German Markets which tend to feature between 20 – 250 different stalls offering a wide range of unusual and often hand-crafted gifts. As well as the gifts, many of the markets feature attractions such as a Nativity Scene and also hot Mulled Wine and “Fire Punch” stalls, which help to keep you warm on the cold winter days. There are also lots of stalls selling a variety of hot carved meats and also many sweet treats.

Although the German Markets date back to the 1400’s they have only been visiting the UK since 1984 with the first being held in Lincoln. To this day the Lincoln Christmas Market remains one of the biggest and most extensive markets in the UK with around 300 stalls and attracting a whopping 100,000 visitors over four days. Some of the other major Christmas Markets include, Leeds, Liverpool, Glasgow, Manchester, Nottingham, Edinburgh and Birmingham, with the Birmingham Market attracting more than 2 million visitors over a four week period.

No matter which Christmas Market you wish to visit, by far the easiest way of getting there is by Coach. There will no doubt be a Coach Hire operator offering a great value tour package and you usually find that most of the packages prices to the UK markets usually around start from around £80 per person which also includes a nights stay at a hotel, although for those more adventurous travellers, they could look at visiting one of the European markets of which there are quite a lot. If you are an event organiser looking to create your own package, then you should start contacting Coach Hire operators to arrange coach travel for your group as availability will undoubtedly be limited during the festive period. Organising your transport now will help avoid disappointment and will also help secure the best rates.

Top Scottish Wedding Venues

With so many venues to choose from for your Scottish wedding, where do you choose? Here are some of my favourite wedding venues in Scotland.

Lennoxlove House

Only a short drive from the capital, Lennoxlove House provides an enchanting backdrop for your wedding. With features such as a private chapel and a sunken garden this is a very romantic venue for your Scottish wedding.

Signet Library

With fabulously luxurious surroundings, the Signet Library is a unique wedding venue in the centre of Edinburgh’s old town. With its Georgian splendour your wedding guests will be stunned when they walk into the room.

Blair Estate

With its stunning estate, Blair Castle is a fairytale venue for a wedding in Scotland. Whether your wedding is large or small, Blair Estate will provide an individual approach and cater for your every need.

Hopetoun House

What better backdrop could you have to your wedding than one of Scotland’s finest stately homes? Hopetoun House has a spectacular fountain and gardens which are perfect for wedding photographs.

Kirknewton House Stables

These renovated stables give a romantic and secluded venue for your wedding. The exposed brickwork provides a rustic charm and will give your wedding reception a relaxed feel. The walled garden ensures your privacy on your special day.

Cameron House

A fabulous hotel on the banks of Loch Lomond, Cameron House is surrounded by breathtaking scenery. You can choose to say your vows by the Loch, erect a marquee, or choose one of the reception rooms for your ceremony and reception.

Mount Stuart

A gorgeous Victorian Gothic mansion, Mount Stuart is a perfect island getaway for your special day. There is a chapel on the grounds for your ceremony and a choice of rooms for your reception so you can choose the wedding day that best suits you.

Dundas Castle

Dundas Castle, in South Queensferry, is set in a gorgeous 1,000 acre estate. The castle is yours exclusively on the day. With its spectacular surroundings it looks stunning all year round and can cater for weddings in every season.

Stirling Castle

Offering stunning views of the city below, Stirling Castle is a magnificent venue for a wedding. From the intimate Argyll’s Lodging to the majestic Great Hall, there is the choice of room to suit you, no matter what the size of your wedding. This is just a few of the fabulous wedding venues Scotland has to offer. What are your top choices?