At the World Open, even professional golfers are tourists checking out new courses

Jordan Spieth had some company during the last round in Lahinch.


Street. Andrews, Scotland – There isn’t much in golf that can impress professional golfers. They’ve seen it all, played most of it and can basically get their hands on anything they want.

So maybe that’s why it was so interesting to see the best golfers in the world playing the best courses outdoors this past week; And even Instagram is like your buddies trip.

Let’s face it. These players rarely play random close courses on their way to their next PGA Tour stop in the US, but during Open Week? Yes please.

In the past two weeks, Jordan Spieth, Justin Thomas and Ricky Fowler have played Tralee in the West of Ireland. Scotty Scheffler, Sam Burns, and Spieth played Lahinch, about a three-hour drive south. And this is just a small sample. (It’s not all on social media, folks.) They had showrooms, greeted neighborhood dogs, took pictures with surprised fans, and sipped pints of Guinness. There was even one video of Spieth hitting a path while goats graze a few feet away – those things happen here. (Context for this moment is also essential, as some red-headed tweets went viral that Spieth was playing Tiger Woods. Tiger wasn’t around, but he’s frequently referred to by the GOAT acronym – Greatest of All Time – some people actually believe that short clip with the text Spieth plays golf with a goat It was basically Spieth plays golf with Tiger Woods. No, it was actually just a goat.)

Speaking of the tiger, those comrades outside are also hanging on. Ballybunion played Rory McIlroy on Thursday.

North Berwick was another popular venue for professionals. Max Homma showed a passion for playing world-class golf that we can all admire, playing round two of the Genesis Scottish Open at the Renaissance Club on Friday morning and at North Berwick on Friday night.

Thomas only played one “extra” course in Tralee he said, but he had bigger plans as a backup.

“I wish I could play a group more, but only when it’s not the time and when we’re here and unless I get the chance,” he said. “To be perfectly honest, if we couldn’t get into our hotel room here earlier this week, I would have tried to play a set, but I never played Golan, never played Muirfield. I played North Berwick. If I wanted to play “Wonderful place in the States, that’s a couple of hours. Like I wouldn’t come here on vacation for two days just to play those golf courses. So try to make the most of it.”

There is something romantic about Scottish, English and Irish golf. The courses are old, quirky, unassuming, interesting, comprehensive and fun. In the US, if it rains you have to cancel your tee time. Here, you’re cuddling it, and if you’re a true golfer you’re smiling because of it Currently It’s a true bonding experience.

So why is it such a big deal these guys play extra links golf in their spare time? Not really, but somehow it’s lovely to see their desire to play the world’s best courses in the far corners of it. When they’re not playing for history, glory, and $2 million winner-takes-all Sundays, they’re really just like us, trying to score low on a great tournament they read once.

Josh Berhau editor
Josh Berhau is Managing Editor of This Minnesota native graduated with a journalism degree from Minnesota State University in Mankato. You can reach him at

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