Archive for July, 2013

Scotland, the Home of Golf

By: purgatorygolf on July 22nd, 2013

Musselburgh Golf CourseThis huge golf ball is in a turnabout between Edinburgh and Muirfield. It is another course (Musselburgh) that locals claim is the true 1st golf course. Well, you could debate that, and golf scholars, and golf courses do debate the subject of who deserves the title of the true home of golf. But everyone seems to agree that it is Scotland, just the exact location in Scotland is less clear.



The Open Championship – Claret Jug

By: purgatorygolf on July 21st, 2013

The Claret Jug


You can read the official history of The Open Championship – Claret Jug os the Open Championship website. I personally found it a little confusing. So I’ll summarize it for you. The original prize was a belt, similar to one a boxer would receive. It was changed to the current trophy in 1873 and Tom Morris junior had the honor of being the first name engraved upon it for his 1872 win (apparently his 3rd).

They gave the original claret jug to the winner, who then had to return it in time for the open the following year. In 1927 the committee decided to retain the original and give the winner a replica claret jug, reasonable enough decision.

In 1872 the committee also added a golf medal as you may have seen and heard when this year’s winner Phil Mickelson was presented with both the Claret jug and his gold medal. Congratulations Phil!

Photograph taken by junior golfer Clay Merchent with his iPhone when he played Carnoustie earlier this year.

Muirfield is in Scotland’s Pinehurst

By: purgatorygolf on July 20th, 2013

Muirfield (home of the 2013 British Open) is in East Lothian which is the Pinehurst of Scotland. It’s a golf destination, an epicenter of golf, and you can see by the map (courtesy of the Craigielaw Golf Course Hotel) that golf courses are everywhere. It isn’t actually shown on this map, I presume because it is private, but it is right between number 45 & 23, near North Berwick.

By the way, golfer’s in Scotland walk.

Golf in Scotland

By: purgatorygolf on July 19th, 2013

Golf in ScotlandThis week the tour players are in Scotland, Muirfield to be exact. They play golf there all the time, cool weather doesn’t stop them, and it is daylight from about 5:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. this time of year, so there is no shortage of time.

Contrary to the television advertisements, there are lots of golf courses in Scotland. It was sort of a game for us, who could find the next golf course when we were on the train on in the car.

There are so many great things everyone will get to enjoy. I’ve included photographs below of some of the ones that come quickly to mind.

First is Iron Bru, the #1 selling soda in Scotland. It contains caffeine, my first question, it’s sweet, but a little bit bitter too. But I went for a coke.

Beer is serious business to the Scotts. They always present it in the proper glass, and they don’t have the wimpy watered down light beer I’m used to. I enjoyed their beers, they have lovely flavors, but they are definitely strong!

The scenery is amazing, from the sod faces bunkers, to the quaint homes, to the frightening flowering gorse that will catch your pants if you’re not careful. It is all so different from the States, and the people are so kind and cheerful. They speak our language, well sort of, and most of the time 😉



Caddyshack’s Haggis Description was Right

By: purgatorygolf on July 18th, 2013

I first heard about haggis in Caddy Shack. Turns out that colorful superintendent was absolutely right. Haggis is a spicy meat combination made from the heart, liver and lungs of a sheep or a calf, cooked with suet (fat), onions and spices in the animal’s stomach. That doesn’t sound appealing to the average American, but Mike and Clay assure me it is quite tasty. If you ask in a restaurant what’s in haggis, they’ll focus on the onions and spices and probably just say meat because they don’t like to hear us gasp.

Haggis is traditionally a breakfast meat, although it has now wandered to dinner as an appetizer in some restaurants.

With the British Open is in Muirfield Scotland this week, many people will get to enjoy a proper Scottish breakfast this morning. This starts with a pot, not a cup, but a pot of tea, often served with a second pot of hot water to warm said tea. This is a strong tea, served with milk, that is added to the tea after the tea is poured similar to adding cream to coffee, but oh, so much better!

Next comes a rack of toast, literally. Proper jams and honey are also presented with the toast, and thank goodness, the toast is dry, not buttered. I wish that would catch on in this country.

Meat selections are often haggis but there is also black pudding, which unfortunately I didn’t take a picture of, silly me. Mike’s looked like a black hockey puck. And when he asked our server about it she said cheerily, “It’s a sausage, sort of like Haggis.” I thought “Uh oh,” then she added, “Oh, and it has blood in it!” smiled and went about her business. Just not something we normally hear at the breakfast table, “And oh it has blood in it.”

They serve eggs, cereal, and a sort of bacon too. While the haggis and blood pudding may not be my choice, I don’t normally eat meat in this country, much less another. But I really miss the presentation of their breakfast. It has a subtle elegance that I loved. If you’re in our bar you’ll have to ask Brittany about it, as she has travelled in Scotland and loves both tea with milk, and haggis.

Thank you to Jim Conrad for asking about a Scottish breakfast, it made me think it deserved a proper description.

Daybreak in Scotland

By: purgatorygolf on July 17th, 2013

Sunrise in ScotlandWith the British Open this week in Muirfield, it seemed appropriate to share some of our photos and thoughts from our recent trip to Scotland. Some of you already know, our son, junior golf Clay Merchent was in a golf tournament in Craigielaw, about 45 minutes outside of Edinburgh in May. So the Merchent family traveled to Scotland.

This week we hope to share some of the images we captured while we were there along with some of our thoughts and observations about the amazing home of golf.

I captured this image at about 4:30 a.m. the first morning we were in Craigielaw. You are standing behind a sod-faced bunker, looking into the 9th green,  clubhouse on the right, scorers tent just to the left of the clubhouse, and an inlet of the North Sea beyond. It was a glorious sunrise. The part that captured my eye the most was the magnificent reflection of the sunrise in the clubhouse windows.

Funny thing is, while you can get out the fire escape door at 4:15 in the morning, you can’t get back in at 5:30. Luckily there was a night watchman that let me in, and then when everyone was up and moving, I was treated to a proper Scottish breakfast!

Craigielaw golf course is just about 5 minutes from Muirfield where the British Open is being held this week.


July 18th is our British Open Men’s Night. Open to All!

By: Aaron Konold on July 12th, 2013
Fish & Chips Men's Night
It’s our popular Fish and Chips event with a back nine shotgun start at 6 pm.

Play great signature holes like Eternal TormentBlinding Cloud of Smoke and Hell’s Half Acre.

The entry fee of $35 covers free range balls,  nine holes of golf with a cart and a complimentary buffet..

In addition, join Assistant pro Brian Pearce (purple shirt) for the special events before play. Brian hosts a chipping contest at the range to win a free draft back at the clubhouse.

Noblesville’s Carmacks Cigars brings their popular cigar buffet to the range along with a Demo Day by Cobra Golf from 2:30-6 pm.

A courtesy pass to fish the putting green pond is also extended to players from 4 to 9 pm.

Back at the clubhouse, Chef Tom’s famous fish and chips buffet closes the event.
Call the pro shop, 776-4653, by Wednesday, July 17 to reserve a tee slot.

Purgatory Sends Two Golfers to USGA Public Links Finals

By: Aaron Konold on July 2nd, 2013

Public Links AwardJustin Wenger of Greenwood and Michael Sharp of Kendalville recently qualified at Purgatory for the
USGA Public Links championship to be played at Laurel Hill GC, Lorton, Virginia.

This marks the 10th year Purgatory has hosted the Public Links Qualifier for this region. The course was set
at 7,300 yards, Par 72. Invites were awarded to the top two finishers.

Wenger, who played at IUPUI, shot a 69-70-139 to gain one spot.  Sharp, a senior at East Noble  HS
and a Michigan State recruit, shot 73-72-145 to get the other invite.

The national championship is held July 15-20.

Wedding Photography

By: purgatorygolf on July 1st, 2013

Mandy has been kind enough to forward some links to wedding photography that has been done at Purgatory. I of course look at everything from a photographer’s perspective.

The 1st link I’m going to share is from Tall and Small Photography (photos by Mike and Erin Lee). These are images from Stephanie & Drew’s wedding. They are all well done, captured with both technical and artistic expertise. My two favorites are the 5th one from the bottom, where the Drew is lifting Stephanie in the air, and the final image where they are both backlit.

The second group is from m.e. g. Photograhy. These images are equally well done. It’s funny though, the same location, Purgatory Golf Club, but a different photographer, and of course, a different bride and groom, and the feel is completely different. For Melissa & Tyler’s wedding, while capturing the couple and festivities, she also was able to include many of the nuances and details, like the lace on the dress, the colors of the pastel rug outside, the detailed pattern of Melissa’s earrings, very nice touches.