Adventure Girl: 8Great Spectators’ Guide to the 2014 Ryder Cup
Next week, the most prestigious event in golf returns to the country that gave birth to the sport. The Ryder Cup will be played at Gleneagles in Scotland, Sept. 23-28, with Team USA trying to rebound from a stunning loss to Team Europe in 2012.
For international fans descending on the quaint town of Perthshire, knowing your way around the event and the Scottish Heartlands can feel overwhelming. For fans making the trek to the “home of golf”, Premier Golf – the travel agency that is an exclusive partner of the PGA and has sent more than 25,000 golf fans to the Ryder Cup since 1991 – provides these helpful tips to make the most of your trip.
1. Get the lay of the land – Whether you’re staying in St. Andrews, Dundee or Edinburgh, take some time to explore the surrounding area by foot. Hidden gems like the University of St. Andrews campus are worth exploring while you have the chance.
2. Get to the course early – as in even earlier than you think. Grab an early shuttle bus to avoid traffic on Perthshire’s roads. Free grandstands fill with spectators on a first-come, first-serve basis so arriving early ensures both a great seat and a few minutes of silence before the crowds roll in.
3. Book a spa appointment – While Gleneagles will be swarmed with pros, media and event staff, there are a number of luxurious resort spas nearby to help you unwind between rounds. The Kohler Water Spa at Old Course Hotel and One Spa at the Sheraton Grand Hotel in Edinburgh are two of the very best.
4. Play some golf yourself! – Scotland is home to more golf courses per capita than any other nation in the world. You’re never more than a mile or two away from fantastic courses, so get out and check a few off your international bucket list.
5. Grab lunch in Edinburgh – Scotland’s capital is a great blend of old world charm and contemporary flair. The Balmoral Hotel in Edinburgh encapsulates this mix, offering the rustic Hadrian’s and upscale Number One restaurants at one location.
6. Enjoy the sights – Don’t forget that there’s a wealth of must-see attractions in Scotland beyond just golf. Schedule time to visit Edinburgh Castle or take a stroll along the Dundee waterfront.
7. Stop in for a pint – If you make your way to St. Andrews, settle down at the 163-year old Jigger Inn for a beer. This cozy pub, right beside the 17th fairway of the Old Course, let’s you simultaneous watch the golfers and settle beside the fireplace.
8. Dress appropriately – Remember, the reason you’re here is to watch golf’s most competitive event. Wear your red white and blue, bring a rain jacket for those unpredictable Scottish mornings and consider trying on your first kilt should you feel inspired!