WCGA Travels to Scotland
We are united in our interest in playing golf. During the Fourth of July Congressional Recess week, 16 members of our Women’s Congressional Golf Association (WCGA) traveled to Scotland to play golf, connect and network with other WCGA delegates in addition to exploring Edinburgh together.
We (WCGA) are proudly a bipartisan, bicameral, intergenerational group with members at all levels of golf experience and professional careers. It was an opportunity for our WCGA group to play on new courses together including a links style course, meet new friends and enhance relationships as well as explore Scottish Parliament, the famous Edinburgh ‘Royal Mile’, Scottish castles and the Scottish Highlands.
The Dalmahoy Hotel & Country Club served as our host course and home for the trip providing wonderful Scottish hospitality including delicious breakfasts with local specialties including local tea and Scottish eggs. The Dalamahoy’s head golf professional, Scott Dixon kicked off our WCGA golf trip with an innovative and exciting clinic at the golf range using game theory and philosophy to help assist our golfers in generating long and accurate drives. Many of our WCGA golfers rented golf clubs for the week from GolfGearHire which provided a cool and fun opportunity to try new clubs. Heard amongst the WCGA group after our days on the links were ideas about purchasing new clubs upon our return to the USA as we enjoyed using our rental clubs.
The Dalmahoy Hotel & Country Club hosted our first round of golf on their east and west courses which provided a fun, but challenging round of golf amongst our WCGA group. With the beautiful Scottish greens and flowers, it was a picturesque day as we drove our ‘Scottish buggies’ for the 18 holes while scoring many pars and birdies amongst the group.
Following our round of golf, our WCGA group headed into the city of Edinburgh for an exciting and informative tour of Scottish Parliament led by Parliament tour guide, Rachel.
Currently led by Nicola Sturgeon, the modern Scottish Parliament building was constructed to create an inclusive space both in form and function. In the main chamber, with natural Scottish light shining through, the ceiling has fixtures with ‘cutouts’ of ‘people’ that are supposed to represent all Scots recognizing that everyone is unique in their own way.
The next day, we celebrated America’s birthday, July 4th with a WCGA golf day at The Glen, East Links, North Berwick, a links style course with rocky beach scenery and panoramic views across the Firth of Forth to the Bass Rock and beyond. For many WCGA golfers, this was our first experience playing on a links style course which includes long grasses, fairways of varying elevations and deeper sand traps. With 50 miles per hour winds and alongside the water, our WCGA group accepted the golf challenge and played 18 holes while also running after our golf caps and visors. With thanks to the best ball format and amazing friends, it was exciting for some golfers including me to shoot an 88 which was my best score ever on a golf course for 18 holes.
We then headed to The Crown and Kitchen in the Village of East Lindon for a festive lunch and celebration for completing the links style course. The restaurant opened for us and extended Scottish hospitality with delicious food and beverages.
After rounds of golf and our clinic, most of our golfers headed to the Scottish Highlands on the last day for a visit. Led by our informative and engaging guide, Eric from Timberbrush Tours, we explored Stirling Castle, traveled through the Scottish highlands including seeing the outside of the Winterfell castle as portrayed in the show, Game of Thrones and concluded the day with a Scottish Whiskey tasting and tour at Glengoyne Distillery.
Our WCGA Scottish mission provided a unique opportunity for our women golfers with all points of view to come together to play golf and build relationships. Politics, policy and the news of the day is just one component of our lives and deepening these relationships on the golf course or at meals or while sightseeing provided a great change for many of us from our daily DC lives.
We shared about our interests which definitely included travel as many of our WCGA ventured solo or in groups to other cities and countries before and after the Scottish mission including hiking in the Highlands, exploring Paris, cheering on tennis players at Wimbledon, visiting Dublin, exploring other Scottish cities including Glasgow and Inverness, seeing family and friends in Croatia and spending time exploring Tuscany wineries.
Written by Michelle Sara King
Golf is what brought our WCGA group together, but we are building and enhancing relationships that provide opportunities for us to enjoy working and having fun together both on and off the course. Join us as a WCGA member and we will see you on and off the green!