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The Hope men's golf team traveled to Scotland for their first international trip. The MIAA-champion Flying Dutchmen played competitive matches, participated in a service project and got in plenty of sightseeing over the 10-day trip. Throughout their trip, the players prepared a journal which is posted on this website.
TUESDAY, AUGUST 7
Written by Coach Bob Ebels
The team woke up at 5 a.m. on Monday and had a quick breakfast at the hotel. We packed the bus at 5:45 for the 30-minute drive to the Glasgow airport. Everything went very smoothly on the flights to Grand Rapids where we arrived at 5:15 p.m. to see the Hope bus waiting for our drive back to the DeVos on Hope campus. Some parents were at the airport, but most were at the DeVos. The boys were excited to see them!!
The coach could not have asked for a more wonderful time with one of the best teams in my 16 years as the golf coach at Hope College!! This was the first in the history of men's golf that a team went to Scotland (birthplace of golf) on a international trip. The boy's were great !! They represented Hope College very very well.
The three aspects of the Scotland trip (cultural, competition and service) were all experienced by the team -- three days of sightseeing, three days of competition against local Scottish teams (3 wins) and a service project at St. Margarets Hospice House.
We thank God for protecting the boys with safety and good health. Thank you Hope College for giving permission for a trip to "the home of golf." This was a once in a lifetime experience, The memories will indeed last for a lifetime.
SUNDAY, AUGUST 5
The Dutchmen started their last morning in Scotland off with breakfast followed by devotions and time for personal reflection upon the trip. The weather was composed of cloudy skies with a steady rainfall. After the morning activities, the team departed for Prestwick Golf Club, the site of the 2007 Scottish Amateur Championship and the first ever British Open Championship. The course featured deep pot bunkers, narrow and firm fairways and lengthy rough. Rain fell for the duration of the round and the players were soaked, which did not make playing Prestwick Golf Club any easier.
After golfing at Prestwick, the players returned to the hotel near Glasgow for dinner and an evening filled with packing. Tomorrow the team will depart from Glasgow early in the morning to return to the United States. See you in Holland, go Dutch!
SATURDAY, AUGUST 4
Today we completed the service project portion of our trip in Scotland. We arranged to help at St. Margaret’s of Scotland Hospice center. We started off with a tour of the facilities and learned about the day to day operations that make the center resourceful. They were in the middle of an expansion project which was going to add an additional 30 rooms to Hospice. This expansion required ₤1.6 million (about $3.5 million), which the Hospice center had to raise on its own, as no government aid was given to this cause. To help St. Margaret’s of Scotland, the team did fundraising at the local mall and supermarket. In addition to fundraising through donations, we sold raffle tickets and wristbands, in an effort to help St. Margaret’s reach their goal. We all had an awesome time with this project and enjoyed the company of those who helped us at St. Margaret’s also.
After our service project at St. Margaret’s we headed over to the west coast and had the opportunity to once again experience links golf at its finest. We played at Glasgow Gails, one of the oldest courses in the world, opening in 1787. The night was capped with a delicious dinner at the hotel and a restful evening. The team is looking forward to a final round at Prestwick and the completion of an incredible trip.
FRIDAY, AUGUST 3
Friday morning brought the end to a great stay in the city of
King James IV Golf Club is very unique in that the entire course is situated on an island in the River Tay. The day's competition promised to be a trying test as the Dutchmen teed it up against the King James' junior team, featuring some of Scotland's finest junior players. Three of the individuals competing have captured Scottish Boys Strokeplay Championships over the past two years in their respective age groups. Once again, the host course and participants were extremely welcoming and provided top-notch hospitality.
The format for the day's competition was singles match play, pitting one Hope player against one player from King James, with each match worth one point. The overall competition proved to be as advertised with a very close finish, the Dutchmen earning the victory by a narrow margin, 5 ½ to 4 ½ points. The final match brought Hope's record in Scotland to 3 – 0.
Following the match, all the players gathered for food, fellowship, presentation of gifts, and thank yous in the clubhouse.
The full match results are as follows:
After departing the golf club, Steve Park had arranged for the team to try their hand at lawn bowling at his local bowling club in Perth. The game is played similar to Bocce Ball but on a flat, closely mown surface with weighted balls the curve as they roll. Some of the players were naturals, other struggled, but a fantastic time was had by all in trying something new.
Tomorrow brings a day off from golf and a trip to Edinburgh for sightseeing and shopping in one of Scotland's largest cities. The team will then transfer accommodations to the Glasgow area for the remainder of their stay.
WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 1
After our morning round at Carnoustie, we drove to Dunkeld and Birnam Golf Club to play our second match against the Dunkeld and Birnam club team. The course was perched on the top of a mountain and was unlike anything anyone had ever played. The team had some great matches and in the end came out victorious. The team Matt Lapham and Josh Jelenek led the way with a victory of 4 and 3. The team of Tommy Yamaoka and Steve Martindale won 2 and 1 as did the team of Nate Golomb and Don Kring. Steve Strock and Danny Oumedian halved their match while a comeback by the team of Ryan Sheets and DJ Scholten fell just short as the lost 1 down. A banquet with our playing companions followed the round where we were served some great food and had wonderful conversations with our fellow competitors.
Tomorrow the team will tour a football arena in Perth followed by our third and final match against a talented team at King James Golf Club.
TUESDAY, JULY 31
After lunch back at the hotel, the team traveled to Blairgowrie Golf Club, one of Scotland's most exclusive clubs, to play their first competitive match on the Landsdowne course. The hospitality provided by the club and its members was exceptional. The course featured above average length (6,900 yards) coupled with tree-lined fairways and small, firm greens. Upon completion of the round, all the competitors from each team gathered in the clubhouse for dinner and refreshments. At this dinner, gifts were presented and received by both teams and the final results of the match were announced.
Hope College came away with the overall victory by a score of 3 to 2, with each match being worth 1 point. Two players from each team were paired up for a best ball match against their opponents. Coming away with victories were the teams of Steve Strock and Danny Oumedian (2 & 1) and D.J. Scholten and Ryan Sheets (3 & 2). The team of Matt Lapham and Don Kring halved their match as well as the team of Tommy Yamaoka and Josh Jelenek. Hope's only defeat was experienced by Steve Martindale and Nate Golomb (4 & 3).
Tomorrow the team will play the Burnside course at Carnoustie, which lies beside the Championship course, which played host to the 2007 British Open Championship. The afternoon will feature their second match against the Dunkeld and Birnam Golf Club. Go Dutch!MONDAY, JULY 30
Written by Matt Lapham and Tommy Yamaoka
Today we had the opportunity to visit the home of golf, St. Andrews. Although we were unable to have a chance to play, due to the playing of the Women's British Open, we did have a chance to walk the course and experience what St. Andrews has to offer. We were able, however, to get on the 18th hole and have a picture taken on the famed Swilken Bridge. After this exciting opportunity, we were able to follow, meet, and talk with some of the world's finest women's players. The rest of the afternoon left us to explore the city of St. Andrews. There were many shops, historical markers, St. Andrew's University, as well as the historical British Golf Museum. The time spent in St. Andrews was well worth the trip and a day seemed like it wasn't enough time to explore everything St. Andrews had to offer.
After a day off from golf, the team is looking forward to competition tomorrow as we will compete for the first time in Scotland.
Kingsbarns is found on the southern skirts of St. Andrews where it sits on the North Sea. Rated as the 17th best course outside the U.S., the team found it to be a true pleasure and quickly found out how tough Scottish links golf can be. The round started off with heavy winds, followed by a few holes with warm, sunny skies. If you think weather can change quickly in Michigan, you haven't been to Scotland. Over the last 12 holes it rained three separate times and strong winds were encountered. The team split up into two teams of five and a match play format was used. Tommy Yamaoka carded the low round of the day with a 73.
On Monday the team will travel to St. Andrews where we will spend a day around the town and hopefully get an opportunity to walk around the birthplace of golf, the Old Course at St. Andrews.
SATURDAY, JULY 28
Written by Dan Oumedian & Nate Golomb
The team arrived safely in Glasgow, Scotland at 7:45 a.m. Saturday. All ten members of the past season's roster, Coach Ebels and his wife, Marilyn, and Coach Ray Smith and his wife, Sue, have made the journey, covering over 3,500 miles. Upon arrival, the team was met by their tour guide for the entire trip, Steve Park, a Scotland native. After a meet and greet session, the team traveled by 'motor coach' to Loch Lomond for a leisurely stroll and light breakfast.
Late morning brought the squad to the town of Stirling, home of William Wallace from Braveheart, for some exploring in the town, time to exchange currency, and to grab a local lunch. Following lunch, the Dutchmen traveled to the nearby Brucefields driving range to unwind, hit some balls, and get some practice in for the upcoming week of golf. Being in the hometown of William Wallace, the team had to visit the great Scotsman's park and national monument.
A hike up a large hill led the team to a stunning view of the vast countryside. A five-story monument rests at the top of the hill, warranting a steep climb up a narrow flight of stairs to an even more impressive overlook. With jetlag catching up to them, the team took a short nap on the drive from Stirling to their accommodations at the Royal Hotel in Blairgowrie for the next seven days. Upon arrival, the guys (and ladies) unpacked and relaxed before an evening Scottish dinner complete with salmon fish cakes, haddock, and meringue desert.
Sunday brings an early morning breakfast and the chance to experience a Scottish church service in the St. Andrews area. The team will then play its first round of golf in the afternoon at the highly acclaimed Kingsbarns Golf Links, ranked 17th in Golf Digest's 100 Best Courses outside the U.S. The rest of the week will include three competitive matches against local club teams and another personal round to end the trip at Prestwick, the birthplace of The British Open Championship dating back in 1860.