Call me narrow minded, but I’ve never been much of a view man. The Chicago skyline and Lake Michigan from the top of the John Hancock Centre? Take it or leave it. Ayers Rock at sunset? You could do worse. The Grand Canyon from the South Rim? Okay, worth a second look.
You see, great views for me always leave you slightly let down. It’s as if there is nothing else to follow the experience. You sample the sight and then, within seconds, the moment has gone. It’s all a bit of a tease.
But as I approached the famous links land of Turnberry on the A719 last week, the distant sight of the coastline as the sun baked the course’s famous lighthouse left me with a sense of fulfilment not felt before. Unlike many of the world’s wonders that have past me by, Turnberry’s oceanic views would be complemented by three days of golfing paradise at one of the finest venues the game has to offer with top-class teaching thrown in for good measure.
Still, there was even more. Leading the way on this stretch of golf therapy was none other than Mr Colin Montgomerie, as the eight-time Order of Merit winner got the weekend rolling with a special one-hour clinic where he discussed his philosophy of the golf swing. The Colin Montgomerie Links Academy at Turnberry is blessed with the latest technology as well as some of the finest teaching staff in the land. The aim much like Monty’s views on the game is very simple: to make you a better golfer.
After Monty had said his piece, the rather daunting prospect arrived of teeing off on the first at the Arran Course (a rather quaint selection of par 3s and short par 4s) under the big man’s watchful eye. A high hybrid drifted harmlessly left, but a scruffy-looking par helped settle the nerves as Monty walked through the opening holes by my side. He made a par on the first to halve the hole before pitching his wedge stone dead on the par-3 2nd to take the hole against my double bogey 5!
A pleasing 90 on the Kintyre on Saturday helped me focus for the Sunday Challenge on the Ailsa, where my 26 points (handicap 18) should have been much better were it not for my putter staying in the naughty cupboard; an eagle opportunity on the par-5 17th quickly became a par you get the picture?
Overall, my experience at Turnberry has only served to whet my heavy appetite for this great game. You can read more about my “Full Monty” experience (sorry, couldn’t resist) in November’s issue of Golf Monthly. Until then, I’ll keep you informed of the peaks and troughs online.