An innovative golf tour adventure company created by two dedicated enthusiasts of the sport will take to the skies to give discerning visitors unique access to Scotland’s most spectacular and remote courses. Bravo Whisky Golf was created by friends Paul Geddes and Neil Scott Johnson in a bid to bring some of Scotland’s hidden gem courses to the thriving golf tourism market.
Their exclusive bespoke golf journeys will take select groups on private chartered flights across breath-taking Scottish scenery, to discover some of the most dramatic, challenging and memorable courses in the country. As well as taking in world-famous courses, Bravo Whisky Golf visitors can quickly ‘island-hop’ by air to tackle scenic far-flung courses which rarely feature on typical golf tours.
It means they will have a unique chance to experience ‘the royal and ancient game’ in its truest form – battling the elements on remote ‘Old’ Tom Morris-designed courses in the Western Isles, challenging their swing surrounded by stunning Highland scenery and conquering demanding links courses which test the world’s greatest golfers.
In addition to distinguished accommodation and refined dining from Scotland’s bountiful natural larder, specially tailored events provide Bravo Whisky Golf guests with an authentic and inspired flavour of real Scottish hospitality – making the journeys ideal for non-golfers too.
They include castle banquet dining with a laird, exclusive ‘behind-the-scenes’ whisky distillery tours and expert-led tastings, and even private dinner and accommodation on board the Royal Yacht Britannia.
Bravo Whisky Golf is targeting Scotland’s booming golf tour sector which currently attracts around 16,000 visitors every year and is worth £286m to the Scottish economy.
The Scottish Golf Tourism Development Strategy 2013–2020 has ambitions to grow the market considerably, so that “by 2020, Scotland will be the world’s leading golfing destination” and valued at £300m.
According to recent VisitScotland research around half of Scotland’s golfing visitors – 47% – travel from overseas, with North Americans dominating the market.
Bravo Whisky Golf’s founders say they were inspired to create the bespoke adventures to appeal to fellow passionate golfers and sport enthusiasts seeking fresh challenges away from the beaten track, but with limited time to spare.
“Scotland is internationally recognised as the home of golf with almost 600 courses, yet many golfers spend their visit being ferried in buses often to a handful of well-known courses,” says Paul Geddes, who met co-founder Neil Scott Johnson while they were students at Aberdeen University.
“Life is short and it’s not worth wasting it on a long coach journey when you could be enjoying spectacular golf in an amazing location.
“Some of the best bits of Scotland are miles from the well-trodden paths and can be hard to reach. We wanted to offer golfers – and non-golfers too – the chance to hop on a flight to the outer edges of our country and see it in all its spectacular glory.”
The idea was hatched during a ski holiday in France, when the friends realised international sports enthusiasts often missed experiencing some of the country’s most spectacular scenery and golf.
They decided that by using a private chartered plane, Bravo Whisky Golf guests could nip between Highland and Islands golf courses in minutes, avoiding long road and ferry journeys which often make some of the country’s most stunning and exciting courses inaccessible during short vacations.
Co-founder Neil Scott Johnson, a member of both North Berwick and Royal Portrush Golf Courses, added: “Bravo Whisky Golf’s aim is to be a breath of fresh air from the expected conventions of tourist golf in Scotland.
“It will allow the independently minded golfer to take to the skies and experience the game on the outer edges of Scotland.
“There they can reconnect with the essential, unspoilt challenges of golf against a backdrop of the raw remoteness of Scotland, the warmth of its people and the depth of its culture.”
Bravo Whisky Golf vacations are all individually tailored to take in as much or little golf as guests want or follow one of three ‘flight plans carefully curated by Neil and Paul to combine Scottish hospitality, impressive scenery and sporting challenges.
- Skye’s the Limit: A seven-day vacation that takes in nine golf courses and 10 short flights across spectacular Highland and Islands scenery. Highlights include private dinner on board the Royal Yacht Britannia, private Islay distillery tour and golf at legendary links golf courses including Royal Dornoch and 2019 Open venue, Royal Portrush.
- The Islander: A three-day break based in the heart of iconic malt whisky island, Islay, with the chance to tackle four unspoilt and challenging links courses, including two designed by the legendary ‘Old’ Tom Morris. Featuring distillery tours, expert whisky tastings and the thrill of a beach landing – tide permitting – plus a memorable opportunity to dine with a Laird in his ancestral home.
- Odyssey: A ten-day golf excursion taking in the Atlantic coast extremities of the Mull of Kintyre, Islay, South Uist, Northern Ireland and the Scottish Highlands. Highlights include dining on board the former royal yacht, a private dinner with one of Scotland’s leading whisky experts and golf on the mighty Dunluce at Royal Portrush Golf Course.
Bravo Whisky Golf packages are priced from £4,500 per person.
Top picture Paul Geddes (left), ‘Ben Sayers’ and Neil Scott Johnson
Bravo Whisky Golf www.bravowhiskygolf.com