Smoking can damage your health. I have always known this. On Boxing Day 1968 I was heading south on the old Derby Ring Road, destination Mallory Park for the annual winter race meeting. I never finished the 180 mile round trip from Altrincham. Distracted by my attempts to light up while at the wheel, I didn’t see the approaching roundabout until it was too late. The only route was straight across the middle. The high kerbs squared off the front wheels of my sky blue Mini (6428 VR), pushed back the subframe and cracked the front windscreen. My pride and limited reserves were severely damaged. I was seventeen and lacking the necessary powers of concentration. Two more lesser incidents the following year finally drilled the message home – keep you mind on your drivin’, keep you hands on the wheel.
Now, ‘older and wiser’, I think nothing of driving 750 miles over a weekend except the incentive has changed; once it was racing circuits, now it is golf courses and in this instance, Sconser on the Isle of Skye followed by Traigh near Arisaig.
The Isle of Skye Golf Club sits next to the sea overlooking Raasay, the island with the haunted bridge and Calum’s Road. To the north of the course is the Skye to Raasay ferry and at its southern end, Sconser quarry. I like to imagine explosions from the quarry mid backswing and shrapnel peppering the second green. It has all the right ingredients for Golf in the Wild – the friendly but unpretentious clubhouse, empty fairways, well kept greens, mountains and the salty sea air. The occasional midge is a price worth paying. Look up the hill from from the first green and the main road disappears; the clubhouse appears to sit alone in a mountainous landscape, the perfect illusion.
The differing filter effects reflect a very changeable day:
The following day’s weather was less mixed, more consistent – rain and wind. Nevertheless, we were determined to enjoy the Traigh Open and in a determined fashion we did. Many thanks to www.scottishgolfbytrain.co.uk for sharing in the highs and lows of Golf in the Wild at Sconser and Traigh.