Right now, I am not completely sure why I wanted to go to this special course so eagerly. The name occurs more or less always when it is about great scottish links which never were on the Open Rota. Dornoch, Cruden Bay, Nairn, North Berwick West will be named. And then the course with the name I can write without accidents only for a few days now, but which I assume I still cannot pronounce properly. 

Of course, I read about that links in the already mentioned book by Michael Bamberger, To the Linksland. Acutally, one of the most concise phrases from the book is quoted right over the bar: "If I were allowed to play only one course for the rest of my life, Machrihanish would be the place." A bold statement.

But back to to night before first. Quite wet after only a short ride of 5 km from the ferry to the B&B I arrived at the enchanted, but very inviting house. John, the landlord, already stood in the door and instantly helps me to unload the compact pile of luggage from my bike. Lesley, the landlady who will be much more present for the next couple of days, stands right behind and takes the luggage inside. What a wonderful welcome! My room is as all the rooms on the first floor, quite spacious and very neat and clean. I found a packed book shelf, from biological science books to Harry Potter and the Guiness Book of Records there wide range of topics covered. And first and foremost there was a warm shower and a stable Wifi connection, so all basic needs a well secured.

Unfortunately, the next day is very rainy. The forecast shows a certain window in the afternoon where there should be slightly less rain. So my schedule for the day is different to the last couple of days: I am sitting in my room, reading the Guiness Book of Records for the first time in many years, enjoying myself and the warmth of the room. I spent some time wondering, whether the several records regarding eating chocolate could be in reach. At 2 pm I prepared myself with rain gear and went off, heading to the course. I planned to have a lunch in the club house.

It was an easy 25 minute ride to the course. I hoped for the precision of the weather forecast while the rain kept on pouring down. Soaking wet I arrived at the club and the first impression did not get my at once. Through the window of the bar I could see the spectacular, infamous and highly-praised first tee. But only when I concentrated very hard, since the view was quite bleared.

Adjusted to the weather condition the service in the bar was kind of standoffish. Perhaps, I suddenly realized, it had to to with my redfaced worn-outness or even with my trainers? I had this tought when I read a piece in a golf magazine in the bar. It was about a not ending world after visiting a golf club in trainers. I never thought about the offensive potential of my choice of footwear. But after all I interpreted too much: basically, the service was very friendly and when I met someone from the staff later during a cigarette break at my bike we had a very nice chat.
Back to the first tee. It is world-famous for having to be hit in a more or less direct path over the atlantic ocean to the fairway. I am not perfectly sure, if there is a line which leads really over the water to the fairway. Perhaps it takes a very wild slice. But still, this shot was quite intimidating. I wanted to do well on this drive and control it to reach the fairway. Well, I did so. A nearly perfect drive. Easy and sure, like a cat on the hunt, the drive found the middle of the short grass.

Satisfaction came over me and I instantly got: Yes, this is a truely great course! Well, what came after that was a complete desaster. I cannot remember when a course was so consequent in showing me, that golf was not my thing at all, that my talent for that sport was so absent. No single hole where I did not have to look for the ball, no single green which was absolutely impossible for me to read either regarding speed nor line. On a hole which seemed perfectly parable, it may have been the 13th, I started with losing four balls from the tee and then the headcover of my putter. That was the moment when I stopped keeping track of my score. I was so exhausted due to wind and rain. Most of the times I am a pain in the ass of my fellow players when we are not at least on the 16th hole after 2.5 hours. But there and then I was on the 11th hole and that had nothing to do with any players in front of me. I herewith sincerely apologize to all the lads I bugged with speed of play before. But I assume that will not take long... After merely four hours I reached the last hole and as if the gods of golf wanted to ridicule me they sent me a perfect chip from 45 meters which travelled through a through a severe ditch in front of the green and stopped under a foot away from the flagstick. What a round! And how much fun I had with that completely catastrophic, but pure golfing fun!

The course is absolutely incredible in terms of naturalness, completely exposed to the characteristics of the shore line. When there is wind, which can happen from time to time right beside the atlantic ocean, then it is all over you. When there is rain, then there is no shelter near or far. Play your ball and go on! I wanted to come back the next day and do better to avoid to leave this magical place with bad memories.

Actually, the circumstances were quite different the next day. There was constant but slight rain the whole time, but there was hardly any wind. So I was fortunately able to play an at least ok-ish round. Hadn't I done so, I would have been cursed to come back every year, I guess. There are harder curses in life.

Especially, when I think about coming back again to the wunderful Oatfield House. Thank you, Lesley and John, for the great hospitality. Rarely, I felt that much at home in a B&B. John by the way has set up the nice and interesting web page mullofkintyre.org, which presents information and photography regarding the landscape, the fauna and of course the famous song by Sir Paul McC. „Mull of Kintyre, oh mist rolling in from the sea…“

The next stop will be Lochgilphead. That is going to be a real challenge on the bike.

This days gets the golden trophy of the wandering golfer on a socle - which will lead to an enthusiastic discussion with my sculptor girl friend who has a very strict opinion about socles.