We've decided to begin at the end...since this is where some of our finest golf moments are first relived, perhaps embellished, and always made more memorable when shared with others. This post celebrates the always anticipated 19th Hole!
The 19th Hole is many a golfer's favorite hole: it's never rainy or windy at the 19th hole, our game "feels" better with more time spent there, and no matter how bad the first 18 holes were, the 19th can help us look forward to the opportunity to tee it up once again with the same unbridled optimism with which we started our round!
Narrowing down the list of our favorite 19th Holes down to the Top 7 was a difficult chore and required much research in several countries. We enjoyed our time at all of the 19th Holes, even the ones that didn't make the cut. The following list represents our favorite 19th Holes...what are yours?
#7: Phil's Grill— Scottsdale, Arizona, U.S.A.
A Phil's Grill, it's all about the "hang." Named after PGA Hall of Famer Phil Mickelson, this is one of the best places to hang out after a great round and soak up the atmosphere. With an extensive collection of "Phil Memorabilia" adorning the walls (including a persimmon driver he swung as a junior golfer), it's not hard to figure out why it's called "Phil's Grill." And if you happen to be there when Phil wins an event, drinks are on the house! With a hardwood bar, leather couches, and a collection of HD televisions for viewing great sports action, you'll have a hard time leaving. Our most important tip: try the Navajo Corn Chowder. We once ate it for six straight days... and we wish it would have been seven!
#6: Valderrama— Spain
There's something undeniably special about sitting on the veranda at Valderrama, sipping on your favorite beverage and staring out at the hallowed grounds before you. Enjoy the view of the beautiful cork trees lining the famous fairways that have been home to so many historic golf moments, including the 1997 Ryder Cup. You've just played what is arguably Continental Europe's most famous and finest golf course, often referred to as the "Augusta National of Europe," and you're watching the sun go down over the golf course with a view of the Mediterranean Sea. If you're lucky, you've been able to take a peek at one of the most formidable golf memorabilia collections in the world, located in the member's lounge. This collection includes the original Rules of Golf from 1744. Yeah, this is a good day.
#5: Turnberry—The Duel In the Sun— Scotland
The 19th Hole at Turnberry could make this list based on the name alone. There's just something cool about putting out on the Ailsa Course's 18th and then saying, "Let's have a pint at the Tappie Toorie!" Add in some of their fantastic fish & chips and that leather seat gets comfortable real fast! With stunning views looking over the opening and closing holes of the Ailsa and the adjoining Kintyre Course, upstaged only by the vista of the magnificent Alisa Craig and the unparalleled views of the Irish Sea, every direction you look appears to be a postcard view.
#4: Royal County Down— The Murlough Room— No. Ireland
You've just played in the #1 ranked golf course in the world. You've got a pint of Guinness in front of you. You take a sip from the frothy top of the perfectly poured pint, lift your head and look out the window of the Murlough Room. You see the 18th green, where moments before you putted out, completing one of the most incredible walks in all of golf. You see the majestic Mountains of Mourne and the rolling Irish countryside. A great setting for the 19th Hole? Without a doubt. The best way to make it last? Have a second Guinness... you've earned it and the moment deserves it.
#3: Pebble Beach— The Tap Room— California, U.S.A.
Ok, we admit it. If you served us a cold pint and some of the Tap Room's Prime Rib Chili in a broom closet, we'd be tempted to list the broom closet as one of our favorite 19th Holes! But fortunately, the incomparable chili is not the only thing the Tap Room brings to the party. With a vast array of single malt whiskeys, prime & certified Angus steaks, and delectable seafood choices fresh from the Pacific Ocean— a 5 iron from the Tap Room— you could be here for awhile. Oh yeah, did we mention the Prime Rib Chili?
#2: St Andrews— The Dunvegan— Scotland
It was a close call whether to include the Jigger Inn or the Dunvegan on our list. Not wanting to include two 19th Holes from the same town, we ultimately decided to go with the Dunvegan. Why? In our humble opinion, it's the coolest place in the Home of Golf to grab a pint and a bite to eat. There's a good chance you'll be having a pint next to the caddie who looped for you on the Old Course earlier in the day; it's the choice 19th Hole for the St Andrews locals as well. Previous owners Jack & Sheila Willoughby (Jack's a native Texan and Sheila a born and bred Scot) cultivated a vibe at their establishment that is pure golf. From Tiger Woods to Clint Eastwood to Arnold Palmer to Presidents and Kings to the first man to walk on the moon, many passionate golfers have killed a thirst at the Dunvegan— there are pictures on the wall to prove it! The Dunvegan may house the world's largest collection of pictures of famous golfers under one roof. In fact, the collection is so large, there are pictures plastered all over the ceiling! After you've quenched your post-round thirst, don't pass up the Sticky Toffee Pudding. If there's a Hall of Fame for desserts, this incredible finisher gets in on the first ballot. Enough said.
#1: Royal Dornoch— Royal Golf Hotel— Scotland
It's not a total coincidence that our favorite 19th Hole stares out onto our favorite 18 holes of golf, the famed Royal Dornoch golf links. But the bar at the Royal Golf Hotel does absolutely stand on its own merit as a world renowned watering hole. If you're a lover of fine single malt whiskeys and you appreciate having a great selection at your fingertips, you've reached the pinnacle of 19th Holes here at the Royal Golf Hotel. The fact that one of the most knowledgable, personable, and omni-present bartenders in all of Scotland, Cameron, is ALWAYS behind the bar helps make this 19th Hole's case for being our #1. For a bonus photo of the bar of the Royal Golf Hotel, with the famous Cameron behind the bar with a group of Garmany Golf Guests, click here. Perhaps our favorite picture ever taken on a Garmany Golf experience, the looks on these faces say it all. This place rocks!
If you're ready to start planning your next Bucket List Experience, contact us today!