A Reflection on the Scotland and Ireland Golf Expedition by Golf Pro Duncan Savage

For this year’s inaugural Scotland and Ireland Golf Expedition, Canadian Golf Pro Duncan Savage joined OOE guests on a memorable trip discovering the world’s top golf courses. There are no places linked to the sport of golf more so than Scotland and Ireland and travelling by expedition ship allowed our golfers to access more courses in less time, all within the refined comfort of RCGS Resolute.


“My overall impression of the trip was that it was spectacular! The variety of courses we were able to play at was incredible. Some of the courses are really challenging to get to by land, so it was great that we got to enjoy our time on the ship, then hop into Zodiacs to get to shore.  The rooms onboard RCGS Resolute are beautiful. I found that the upstairs Library and Observation Lounge was a perfect little quiet spot where I could have my coffee in the morning and also engage in some one on one conversations with the guests. The meals were delicious. I enjoyed sitting in the dining room with the guests and getting to know everyone. It was so great to be on a ship surrounded by like-minded individuals – people with a passion for golf and travel!”

When asked what his favourite course on the trip was, Duncan said that it was too tough a question to answer – whatever he played that day was his favourite! Our resident Golf Pro stated any golfer would be lucky to play any of the courses on the itinerary – each of them could be put into their own category and having a good foursome on a good day would make any of them the ‘best day ever’.

Golf Pro Duncan Savage. Image by Boomer Jerritt.
Golf Pro Duncan Savage. Image by Boomer Jerritt

After much debate we were finally able to get him to break it down a little more for us:

Most Memorable – “Askernish Golf Club on the Isle of South Uist. This is a course that was lost to the wild for a number of years but then brought back to life. From an amenities standpoint, it didn’t have as much as some of the other courses we visited, but unanimously it was the most talked about and will last the longest in our memories. Very few people get to do it, and the property was spectacular. Holes 7-17 was one of the best stretches of golf course I’ve ever seen.” 

Course I’d Play Day In and Day Out“Royal Dornach. This course is rated #2 in the world with a great classic design. Tom Watson, one of the top golfers in the world said it’s his favourite course in the world and I don’t disagree. It’s a beautiful piece of coastal land with really nice conditioning. I could play it every day.”

Expeditions golfers at Royal Dornoch. Image by Boomer Jerritt.
Expedition golfers at Royal Dornoch. Image by Boomer Jerritt.

Course With The Most Unique Feeling – “Cruden Bay. This course is a must play if you’re a golfer. The use of the land created some really quirky sections. We were working around massive natural sand dunes, sections of holes that were very short, big runoffs and bigger stretches. This course was built before machinery could curate a perfect course so it can be very challenging, but that’s part of its charm.”

Favourite Day“I still can’t answer this! Every day was my favourite. But I really enjoyed the Orkney Islands. This was a rest day with an optional course. Of course, I golfed and the course here had a ‘local’ feel and was very nice. It was a really good contrast to everything else we had played. I thought it was neat that they do midnight tournaments here since days were so long. It’s a shorter course so fewer people played and many guests went to visit the coastal village. But by the end of the day, everyone ended up at the same pub –whether they golfed or cycled or another excursion. Another memorable day was our day at Ballyliffin in Ireland. The views were amazing, and we had great weather which always helps. The course was lush and green, the clubhouse very welcoming. The practice facility was really well maintained and as this was the beginning of our trip there was a good energy – everyone was getting to know each other, and we stuck around and had a little ‘après’ golf get-together. I was impressed by how people weren’t getting too competitive, everyone was very friendly and social. We all had a great round that day and you could say that the ‘luck of the Irish’ was with us!”

Golfers enjoy a gorgeous day at Ballyliffin. Image by Boomer Jerritt
Golfers enjoy a gorgeous day at Ballyliffin. Image by Boomer Jerritt.

Funniest Moment“At Askernish we encountered some rabbit holes, and I shot this amazing ball – one of the best of the day, perfectly down the fairway and then the ball fell straight down a rabbit hole. It was so unusual it was actually just really funny.”

We are so glad that Duncan was able to join us as our Golf Pro on the inaugural Scotland and Ireland Golf Expedition and that he had an amazing time – and so did our guests! Those interested in traveling with Duncan in Scotland and Ireland can join him on next year’s voyage. We can’t wait to hear all about his favourite moments from Canada’s East Coast – Fiddles & Sticks, departing July 3rd, 2019. Thank you, Duncan!