We Sent A Female Beginner Golfer To Play Dundonald And Royal Troon - Here’s How She Got On

Beth Roberts heads to the West Coast of Scotland to play two famous links golf courses

Female golfer with her hands up posing in a bunker
(Image credit: Future)

When Golf Monthly reached out and asked me to head on a press trip to Scotland, I simply couldn't say no.

There were multiple reasons why I jumped at the opportunity. Firstly, Golf Monthly has been my go-to since the beginning of my golf journey. Secondly, I had never been to Scotland before, and it is famously known as the home of golf. And lastly, the trip involved playing loads of golf.

What an incredible opportunity to indulge in my two passions. Although I have only been playing golf for a year, I have been fortunate enough to play in various countries such as Spain, Portugal, Dubai, and Australia. So, anytime I can combine my love for golf with my love for travel, count me in.

As a relatively new golfer, I was filled with nervous anticipation about the trip. I had no idea what to expect. My anxiety heightened when I received the itinerary and saw that I would be playing with Peter Finch at Royal Troon.

As a golf addict, I spend hours watching countless YouTubers play various courses, and Peter's videos have become a favourite of mine. I had to read the itinerary multiple times just to confirm that it was indeed true.

Dundonald Links - Hole 11

Dundonald Links

(Image credit: Mark Alexander)

In my first year of playing golf, not only would I be playing at Royal Troon, but I would also have the opportunity to tee it up with one of the biggest golf YouTubers in the world. It felt like an absolute dream come true.

Due to a slight delay in my flight, I arrived at Dundonald Links and headed straight to the women's locker rooms to get ready for golf.

Let me just say, those women's locker rooms were an absolute dream. They were modern and equipped with mirrors everywhere and all the hair amenities one could imagine. To top it off, there was even a sauna and steam room. As a young female golfer, seeing such fantastic facilities was a delight.

I was in a group with three other golfers, and the nerves started to kick in as I stepped onto the first tee. The air was filled with anticipation.

Even though Dundonald wasn't directly on the sea, it exuded the same feelings as a true links course.

Dundonald Links Gallery

Dundonald Links

(Image credit: Mark Alexander)

The starter offered some advice, saying, "From the first tee, you want to aim to the right-hand side, as on the left there's a spine that severely turns the ball into the bunker (about 230 yards)."

With a stroke of luck, my shot landed right in the middle of the fairway. Hallelujah! This being my first championship course, with its strategic bunkering, undulating greens, and well-placed hazards, it demanded precision and strategy. Fortunately, my team was more than willing to help me navigate the challenges.

Every tee box presented a fresh challenge, and I relished the opportunity to test myself. My favourite hole of them all was the 11th, a short par 3 from the front tees.

I had never seen a bunker like the cauldron bunker, and I certainly didn't want to find myself in it. Luckily, I managed to avoid it (but couldn't resist a photo opportunity in it!).

While the course was challenging, as a beginner, I fared quite well. I found it enjoyable, and it even improved my game by making me think differently about the shots I played compared to the courses back home in Wales.

After the round, I checked into one of the lodges at Dundonald. Darwin Escapes purchased the resort in 2019 and they've done a fantastic job with the refurbishment.

As I entered the lodge, the first thing that caught my eye was a snazzy coffee machine. Being an absolute coffee addict, this was a delightful addition to my stay. But the real treat was yet to come.

As I walked through the living room, the large porch doors opened up to a putting green right outside. I couldn't help but feel thrilled. This unique feature truly made it a golf lover's paradise, and I couldn't wait to wake up the next morning, grab a cup of coffee, and head out for some practice on the green.

Female golfer putts on a putting green

(Image credit: Future)

After a much-needed nap to recover from the round of golf,  it was time for dinner at the clubhouse's restaurant called the "Canny Crow."

As we climbed the staircase, I immediately sensed the buzzing ambiance of a sophisticated yet relaxed dining atmosphere. The clubhouse had a diverse menu with options to suit every taste. What's more, there was a balcony where the next day for breakfast we could enjoy our meal while watching players tee off from the 1st and 10th holes.

The clubhouse went above and beyond with its amenities, offering multiple TV screens, pool tables, and even a whisky lounge. These extra touches really set it apart from other clubhouses I've visited.

I couldn't help but think about how perfect Dundonald would be for a girls' golf trip, as it truly ticks all the boxes for young, new female golfers like myself.

The next day was our visit to Royal Troon, and I was brimming with excitement. Luckily, the wind wasn't too strong, as many had warned.

Perhaps it was the combination of playing at Troon and being paired with Peter Finch, but stepping onto that first tee filled me with nerves and anticipation. It was an indescribable feeling. My shot got off the tee reasonably well, though it landed in the rough. Nonetheless, we started with a bogey, and I considered it a success. 

However, I quickly realised that Troon was unlike any other course I had played before. As a relative beginner, it was slightly overwhelming at times.

The gorse proved to be a formidable challenge, making it incredibly difficult to locate my ball. But despite the setbacks, I remained determined to embrace the experience and enjoy every moment.

Luckily, I had an amazing team, and watching Pete, Hannah, and Ashley display their exceptional golf skills was truly inspiring. We played as a team of four, with the format requiring us to count the two best scores on each hole.

Four golfers pose for a photo before their round

(Image credit: Future)

Surprisingly, I managed to contribute with a few bogeys and even a par on the 18th hole. Speaking of the 18th, it quickly became my favourite hole. I hit the drive of my life, sending the ball soaring down the fairway (I couldn't help but wonder why I couldn't do that on every hole!).

With a fantastic approach shot that earned me a round of applause from the groundsman, I confidently two-putted for a satisfying par. Ending the round on such a high note left me wanting to return to Troon once I've gained more experience. 

The course's beauty was unparalleled, and I'm determined to conquer its famous "postage stamp" hole.

Royal Troon

The Postage Stamp

(Image credit: Kevin Murray)

In the evening, we gathered for a three-course meal hosted by the amazing team at Visit Scotland. As luck would have it, our team emerged as the winners of the prize giveaway, securing first place. Each of us received a stunning brown leather bag adorned with the Open emblem. It was a day I will cherish for the rest of my life.

The trip to Dundonald and Royal Troon has confirmed my belief that golf is a sport for everyone. It doesn't matter if you're a beginner like me or an experienced player; there's always something to gain from the game. 

I'm eager to gather my golfing girls and plan future adventures. Golf has become more than just a hobby to me. It is a passion, a way to unwind, and a constant source of inspiration.

The journey to improve my game and explore the world of golf is one I look forward to. With each swing of the club, I know there's a new adventure waiting, and I can't wait to embrace it fully.

You can follow Beth Roberts on Instagram and TikTok @bethsgolf

Beth Roberts

As a young entrepreneur, Beth is relatively new to the golfing world, but ever since she took up the game almost a year ago, she's been thoroughly enjoying sharing her journey on social media. With a growing following on Instagram and TikTok, Beth's passion lies in expanding the game for young females. Her golfing journey began thanks to an incredible "new to golf" scheme held in Wales, and she will forever be grateful to Matthew, the head pro, and Lynda, a committee member, for their support. Without them, Beth wouldn't have continued this amazing golfing adventure. Having had the opportunity to play in various countries, Beth's love for both travelling and golf has grown exponentially. By sharing her personal experiences, tips, and inspiring stories, she hopes to help others to give golf a try and show them that they can excel in this sport.