top of page
What you'll find inside No.8

In No.8 we sit down for some quiet time. Jim Hartsell pens a love letter to Iona, as he experiences one of his favourite days in golf playing the Iona Open, in The Honourable Company of Iona Golfers. The day Jack and Seve turned up at Ladybank GC to present the junior open day prize giving was definitely Straight out of a Fairytale. Richard Pennell embarked on a winter pilgrimage to the Highlands of Scotland as he chased the light in The Alchemy of Adventure. Golf architect David McLay Kidd runs us through the process of design on Machrihanish Dunes drivable par 4 4th hole with The Art of Par. All of this and more in 144 pages of golf for the soul.

Hands on Leather

Words by Jamie Darling

Photography by Isaac Paul

‘Hickory clubs in good condition’ my fingers typed profusely into the google search engine on my phone. About 2.6 million results. What the..., where on earth do I start? Used set £849, another at £1499, and another coming in at a mouth watering £3600. Time for a rethink, after all I only wanted a few to quench the intrigue I now had.

The Alchemy of Adventure

Words by Richard Pennell

Photography by Simon Pope

Packing for the north of Scotland in late November is a precarious business. Each item must earn its keep in the minimal luggage allowance, but how many layers is too many? And what might three degrees above actually feel like, when it is caressed by an Atlantic breeze? We have only a single flight bag; selection of the fourteen clubs between us is the source of the longest deliberation. Carrying only a half-set each is a delicious ingredient of this assignment.

Ode to Golf

Words by Eric Davidson

Photography by Stuart Currie

Despite golf habitually extracting the urine, play regularly and you will have a friend for life. Shake its hand or pat its back, particularly at an early age, the great game will be there for you as you journey through life’s ups and downs. If it could offer you a dram, it would. Surely, the mirror of the scottish psyche. Hopefully my ‘Ode to Golf, captures this spirit.

The Links Gallery

With William Eager

I studied for a Fine Art BA in Canterbury and went to get an MA in Illustration at the Royal College of Art in London. In my artwork I use and utilise a number of different techniques and processes, always looking for new ways to refine, capture and distil the most interesting aspects of a golf hole.

The Art of Par - 4th Mach Dunes 

With David McLay Kidd of DMK Golf Designs

Photography by Graeme McCubbin

We worked backwards on every hole we built. As a golf course architect you’re designing, and often building, green to tee, whereas a golfer is playing from tee to green. Their desire is to put the ball in the hole and the architects desire is to make it a challenge. So they’re on the offence beginning at the tee and we’re on the defence starting at the green.

A Walk in the park

Words by Kenny Pallas

Photography by Stuart Currie

Local knowledge is vital for success at the Short Hole Course. Long-standing members have their own unique methods, distinct from the younger players. The buoyancy of youth adopt a more lofted approach, a method that has elders shaking their heads in disbelief, although they wouldn’t dare voice their dissent directly. They preferred to mutter about it amongst themselves while sanctimoniously demonstrating, in their eyes, the ‘correct’ favoured low-running game.

Straight out of a Fairytale

Words by Murray Bothwell

Photography Courtesy of Ladybank GC

Who was the exhibition match for? It is not recorded that any of the decision-makers at Ladybank actually knew this at the time, nor exactly what tee-time they might require, but the prestige of an exhibition match was clearly going to be beneficial. Having decided that they would simply re-schedule the Boys to earlier in the day, and put out a quick communication to them, the engagement was taken on and Martin called John to confirm.

The Honourable Company of Iona Golfers

Words by Jim Hartsell

Photography by Graeme McCubbin

Yes, there is a golf course on Iona. One that embodies everything that is great and right about this ancient game. There is no clubhouse – the sole pub on the island acts as the unofficial gathering place.  You will most likely have to walk over a mile to reach the course from the ferry landing – although friendly locals are known to pick up hiking golfers along the single lane track. When you arrive at the cattle gate entrance to the glorious machair there is not even an honesty box for your green fees - Iona Golf Course is free to play for visitors. Sheep graze idly near the 1st tee marker, oblivious to your presence. You could be forgiven in thinking the sandy road has ended at the gates of Heaven.

Running true

Words by Gary Henderson

Photography by Isaac Paul

We are through the looking glass in a post-truth world and golf stands increasingly lonely as one of the few authentic sincerities left in life. And by that – I don’t mean our professional game. A broken, greedy, and increasingly soulless endeavour save four weeks a year. I mean golf.  Our golf.

Midlife Golf Crisis

Words by Reece Witters

Art by Allan Sanders

All golfers like to reminisce - a pured long iron burned into your memory, that stretch of holes where nothing could go wrong, a fabulous finish to a memorable round, or a prized scalp of a local legend who seemed untouchable, these moments stay with us. I also found myself recalling those days fondly. Golf was easy for a while there - banging in five-footers with foolish freedom, flop shots over penal bunkers with reckless abandon, covering towering trees with nonchalant ease, walloping driver…everywhere, ahhh the good ’ol days.

bottom of page