This is a bit of a Ronnie Corbett story but please bear with me. Many moons ago my wife and I took a holiday to Tunisia where we met a charming couple called Barbara and Alex McLennan. They hailed from Mallaig, in the Highlands of Scotland (a short hop to Sky). We really enjoyed their company and when they said “why don’t you come and visit us”, we said yes!

It’s almost 600 miles door to door and we did it in stages stopping off with friends and family along the way. Even from Glasgow it felt like an all day drive with many single lane roads with pass ways. You could tell the locals immediately as they never gave any hint of giving way so maintaining their speed!


Archie encouraged us to stay in the town’s hotel which they used to own and run before retiring. The McLennans  seemed to have taken it upon themselves to keep their clan going single handed producing 12 children! As the hotel only had 12 rooms it must have been very cosy.

We settled into out lovely Victorian style bedroom with a sunset which seemed to go on for hours. We were watching Wimbledon on TV but it had been rained off which was quite ironic given the average rainfall in this part of the world.

The phone rang and a voice with a soft Highlands lilt said “I wish to make your acquaintance.” It was Archie and he invited us to meet in the Hotel’s snug bar. I offered to get the first round in and Archie suggested single Malt. When it was his round the drinks arrived and the measures were at least double the size. “Och the barman’s my cousin” he said. Afterwards we were given a guided tour and kept bumping into people who knew Archie at which point he’d explain “Och he’s my cousin. ” 

It was like being on the set of Local Hero (one of my favourite films)

Golf in the Highlands

The weather turned showery but the forecast said it should stay dry for the morning so we headed to Traigh Golf Club. Founded in 1900, a 4,900yd par 68 but no pushover with a standard scratch of 65. Great names like the 479yd 7th called “The Lang Wang.”

At that time the clubhouse was closed but there was an honesty box in the wall for green fees. It was sunny and a little breezy (not surprising really as not much in the way between the course and Newfoundland)The skies in the Highlands are big and the views were stunning.

Can’t remember how I played that day but that wasn’t the point. It was all about enjoying the experience of a “natural” golf course maintained by the head green keeper and his flock of sheep. A time to be grateful to be alive and just playing golf.

So when you tee it up on 29th March – be grateful.

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