Scotland – Hole-in-One

Teeing Off

Golf was invented in Scotland in the 15th century and soon after came the legendary Old Course at St. Andrews. The Sip Advisor won’t bore all you little sippers with the details of how the game came to be, likely because there is way too much debate over those facts and laziness is a hell of a drug. Instead, let’s take a look at some of the wilder facts about the game:

Golf was actually banned in Scotland by the Scottish Parliament on three separate occasions, as the government believed the game was causing citizens to neglect their military training, particularly learning archery. These bans occurred in 1457, 1471, and 1491.

Golf Sport

A number of celebrities and sports stars are known for their golf game and this has bred the popularity of Pro-Am tournaments. Michael Jordan, Bill Murray, Samuel L. Jackson, Jack Nicholson, and Wayne Gretzky all have a penchant for the links. On the female side of the ledger, Catherine Zeta-Jones and Cameron Diaz are known to get their swing on. There are also a number of high-profile folk who have invested in golf course ownership. This list includes Clint Eastwood, Justin Timberlake, Willie Nelson, and Celine Dion.

Great golf movies to check out include: Caddyshack (plus its sequel), Happy Gilmore, Tin Cup, and The Legend of Bagger Vance. Bill Murray’s famous ‘Cinderella Story’ scene from Caddyshack was completely improvised and is perhaps the best part of the entire movie.

Along with javelin (I can’t believe an astronaut actually packed a spear with him), golf is one of only two sports to be played on the moon. As part of the Apollo 14 space mission in 1971, astronaut Alan Shepard brought along a 6-iron and hit a one-handed shot (it was all he could manage given his bulky suit) which will eventually return to earth as an unstoppable meteor, causing mass chaos and human extinction.

Golf Club

Most are unclear as to where all the bird names (birdie, eagle, etc.) for golf shots came from, but the Sip Advisor is here to settle the matter, at least for birdies. In 1889, George Crump hit a bird with his first shot. On his second attempt, he hit the ball mere inches from the hole (a putt he easily made later, giving him a one-under par score for the hole). The Smith brothers, whom Crump was playing with called it “a bird of a shot” and that later became a birdie, as the term spread through their club and then across the country.

Sticking with the golfer’s glossary, a hole-in-one (known as an ace) is golf’s greatest shot, but it can be even better. If hit on a par four, the player has scored an albatross, while if the rare feat is achieved on a par five, it’s known as a condor. Only four condors have been recorded and verified in history.

One of the most unique golf courses in the world exists in Nunavit, Canada, where a nine-hole tournament is played each year for the Toonik Tyme Festival. Golfers battle freezing conditions, a course made up of sheets of ice and snow, and use fluorescent balls to get their round in. The highest golf course in the world is located in Morococha, Peru, where the Tactu Golf Club can be found 14,335 feet above sea level.

Monkey Golfing

Little guy probably plays better than the Sip Advisor!

If you want to play some of the best golf courses in the world, you better start saving now. Aside from the astonishing cost to become a member at some of these clubs – New Jersey’s Liberty National Golf Club (where Phil Mickelson and Eli Manning are members) has a membership price tag of $250,000, plus yearly dues of $25,000 – even many public courses will take a serious chunk out of your wallet. Shadow Creek Golf Course in Las Vegas is the most expensive at a whopping $500 per 18 holes.

There are some great pro golfer nicknames out there. Some of the best include: Wild Thing for John Daly, the beer-drinking, heavy-smoking, trailer-living, lovable star; Halimoney for Hal Sutton, who is thrice divorced; Aquaman for Woody Austin, who once fell into a lake following a shot at the 2007 President’s Cup; and Smiling Assassin for Shigeki Maruyama, a Japanese player, whose facial expression is locked on smile, regardless of his performance.

Golf Score

Before tees were invented, golfers would build mounds of sand to hit their shots off of. It’s amazing how the smallest piece of wood can make such a huge difference… like they say, it’s not the size of the tool, it’s how you use it!

One last little nugget of info to blow your mind: there are 336 dimples on a regulation golf ball. Can you imagine the insanity of the person who actually took the time to count these indentations? What if he lost count halfway through and had to start over again? That would drive someone to drink!

Scotland: Hole-in-One

Hole-In-One Cocktail

  • 1.5 oz Scotch
  • Top with Iced Tea and Lemonade
  • Garnish with a Lemon Wheel

When I was 13, I became wildly interested in golf. While that passion petered out when I realized I wasn’t any good at the game, I did make one hole-in-one during my brief career. Hole #15 at the Sunshine Woods Golf Club will always be in my memories thanks to that great day. Amazingly, one of the guys in the pair my friend and I were playing with that day, scored an ace earlier in our round on hole #6.

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (4 Sips out of 5):
I really liked this cocktail. I know Scotch isn’t traditionally meant to be mixed, but this was a good coming together of flavours. If you like your drinks strong, but easier to down than straight booze, then this is a recipe you should seriously consider.

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