What could be better for a golfer with an appreciation of quality than travelling in style through some of Scotland’s finest scenery and playing at one of the most renowned championship courses? Well, what if you also shared the trip with a legendary European Ryder Cup captain?
This summer the internationally-acclaimed Castle Stuart Golf Links has joined with the Belmond Royal Scotsman, the UK’s only luxury sleeper train, to offer an unforgettable experience.
This four-night adventure will take 40 passengers on a journey through magnificent mountain landscapes, to historic Highland castles, distilleries where some of the most famous malt whiskies are created, and to Castle Stuart, a modern classic course which was home to the Scottish Open four times in the last six years.
A contemporary icon in Scotland’s rich heritage of links golf, Castle Stuart has become a favourite of champions like Phil Mickelson since opening in 2009. Designed by Mark Parsinen and 2016 Olympics course creator Gil Hanse, it is regarded as a model for modern golf architecture, being fun, engaging and playable for every-day players of all abilities, but also a challenge for the very best.
Joining players on the course overlooking the Moray Firth will be Sam Torrance, an eight-time Ryder Cup veteran who famously sank the winning putt for the European team in 1985, and went on to captain the winning side in 2002.
One of the game’s most charismatic ambassadors, Torrance is host of the ‘Scottish Golf Tour’ on board Belmond Royal Scotsman from 26 - 30 June and will share tips as he joins guests for a round of golf before giving an insight into his career at an after-dinner gathering in the train’s Observation Car.
Sam said: “Scotland is the home of golf and as a Scotsman I enjoy nothing more than playing on Scottish links. Castle Stuart is a really challenging, magnificent course, it is well laid out requiring you to think your way round and forcing you to play a variety of shots. It is no surprise that it was chosen as the host course for the Scottish Open from 2011-13 and again in 2016.
“Located North East of Inverness, (and conveniently close to Inverness airport) you’re open to the elements allowing you to experience true links golf. I feel very fortunate that I will be hosting Belmond Royal Scotsman guests this year at this spectacular venue.”
Sam will join guests for two nights of the journey and it is clear it is as much a pleasure for him as it will be for them. As he says: “It is not often I get to spend time with people who love the game, whilst travelling in such style through my beautiful homeland. I am looking forward to experiencing the wonderful atmosphere and hospitality on board Belmond Royal Scotsman and it is a true luxury to be able to appreciate the scenery, with no pressure of having to make a putt!”
Starting from Edinburgh, the fully-inclusive trip passes through the spectacular Cairngorms National Park to picturesque Boat of Garten and Kyle of Lochalsh. Whilst golfers head to Castle Stuart and other famous links including Royal Dornoch, which last year celebrated 400 years of golf being played in the town, non-golfers can visit the historic castles of Dunrobin, Ballindalloch and Fyvie, as well as Glenmorangie distillery and Pitmedden Gardens.
It’s a great way to travel and to see the stunning Highland countryside. And the news keeps getting better, as this year Belmond has launched a new spa carriage to the Royal Scotsman for the start of the 2017 season.
The Bamford Haybarn Spa is the first spa carriage to feature aboard Belmond’s portfolio of luxury trains and features bespoke Bamford treatments for passengers travelling on overnight rail journeys throughout Scotland and Great Britain.
Whether on the train or on the fairway it will be an experience way above par