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Best Place to Stay in St Andrews: Albany Apartments

Written by: Tony Korologos | Saturday, November 5th, 2016
Categories: GolfGolf For WomenGolf LifeGolf LifestyleHOG World TourLifeReviewsTravel
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albany_apartments_05I’ve now been to St Andrews, the Home of Golf, on three separate occasions.  I plan to return in 2018 and I know where my group will be staying, Albany Apartments.  It’s the best combination of price, convenience, location, and quality of the many places I’ve stayed in the “Auld Grey Toon.”  Let’s take a look:

Location Location Location

Albany Apartments is located on the famous North Street in St Andrews.  North Street intersects with Golf Place, the primary access road to the Old Course.  I would guess the total yardage from Albany Apartments to the Old Course is length of a short par-4.  A long iron to Golf Place, then a 9-iron to the 18th green.  It’s all of maybe a 90 second walk.  Albany is a 45 second walk from the most famous pub in Scotland, the Dunvegan.

If one heads the opposite direction of the Old Course, the center of St Andrews is a 3-5 minute walk.  Shops, restaurants, golf shops, golf shops, pubs, golf shops, pubs, are all very close by. Did I mention golf shops and pubs?

One minor drawback to Albany’s great location is that it could be “too close” to the pubs, if you know what I mean.  On a warm summer night with the windows open one might be subjected to the horrendous and embarrassing sound of 10 drunk americans singing “Bye Bye Miss American Pie” at 2:00 a.m. like I was.

Amenities

Albany features three bedrooms, located on the 3rd floor of the structure (see outside photo).  They’re accessed via a rather fun spiral staircase, as is the 2nd floor from the street level.  The bedrooms upstairs are spacious and feature a bathrooms with showers.

albany_apartments_03

Bedroom

On the main level, one level up from the street, is a kitchen, spacious reading/sitting/TV room, restroom with bath, and a back deck which is located in a secluded garden (first image).  The kitchen is fully appointed with a dishwasher, refrigerator, oven, microwave, and washer/dryer. There are even some staples in the cupboards.

Sitting Room

Sitting Room

Quality

The building was built in the late 1800’s, but renovated and modernized in roughly the mid-2000’s.  The inside is very nicely appointed with quality furniture, carpeting, fine woodwork, and lots of great golf memorabilia to enjoy.  The space is warm, clean, inviting, classy, and extremely comfortable.

albany_apartments_04

Patio

Pricing

Current pricing runs 50 pounds per person, with a four person minimum and three night minimum.  This is a very reasonable price.  Consider that a single room across the street at the Ardgowan Hotel ran me 120 pounds per night in 2012, and the rooms there are barely bigger than a sardine can.   With a group of four or more golfers the cost per golfer, especially considering all of the great offerings I mentioned above, is unmatched.  What a great value. To bring the cost down even more, a group of six could comfortably occupy the Albany Apartments.

Conclusion

Location, amenities, quality, space, price…  No hotel in St Andrews can come close in any of those categories.  If you are putting together a golf buddy trip to Scotland of four or more golfers and are looking for St Andrews hotels, look no further.

Related Links

Albany Apartments website

Ardgowan Hotel St Andrews Review

St Fairmont St Andrews Hotel Review

Kingsbarns Golf Links Review

Carnoustie Golf Links Review

Balcomie Links at Crail Review

St Andrews New Course Review


First World Problems: Having to Cash In Pro Shop Winnings

Written by: Tony Korologos | Monday, October 31st, 2016
Categories: GolfMiscellaneous

It’s that time of year. The courses in northern Utah are slowly winding down. Snow will be flying soon. Many of the courses have a deadline for players to cash in their tournament winnings. “Use it or lose it.” Because of some good results for me in the gross match play, and the city amateur, I had some money that had to be spent by today. Here’s the take from Bonneville:
Winnings
Since I have one of the world’s longest running and most popular golf blogs, the last thing I need to do is buy myself is golf stuff. I seriously trip over training aids in the dark at 3 a.m. on the way to the bathroom. So the pro Steve at Bonneville for the second year in a row has let me order street shoes from Ecco, since they’re an Ecco dealer.

Throw in a couple of Utah Utes items, one for the bride, and good to go.

I know. I know. It’s rough.


The Golf Ball That Refuses to Die

Written by: Tony Korologos | Monday, October 31st, 2016
Categories: GolfHackersMiscellaneous
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My long distance golf buddy John Duval from IntoTheGrain.com gave me some custom logo Bridgestone B330’s earlier this year.  I love it when golf buddies are in town traveling and have to “leave” me great golf balls because they don’t want to pay the airline’s excessive overweight baggage fees.  Thank you.  Come again.

intothegrainball

At the rate I’m using these balls they’re going to last me until 2019 though.  This ball simply refuses to die, and I some how can’t find a way to lose it.


LostGolfBalls.com Review

Written by: Tony Korologos | Monday, October 24th, 2016
Categories: GolfGolf BallsGolf EquipmentGolf For WomenGolf GearReviews
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Golf balls can be insanely expensive. $40-$50-$60+ per DOZEN? $5.00 per ball? Damn. At that price I could lose $50 in golf balls on the first 4-5 holes on my tight, hazard-ridden home course if I don’t hit it well. That’s why I had to institute a “3-premium-ball lost limit” there. That’s a blog post for another day.

When I used to live next to the 1st tee on my home course I could sneak onto the course after hours and find literally hundreds of balls. I knew all the places to look because, well, I hit them there. Now I don’t have that luxury since moving a little farther away from the course.

There’s nothing better than finding a nice Titleist ProV1, or Bridgestone B330, or TaylorMade tour ball in the bushes. It’s like found money. No golfer other than perhaps PGA Tour pros is above playing that newly found ProV1 either. Hand raised.

So if a person is more than willing to play that pre-owned ball in the bushes, a look at LostGolfBalls.com is probably a good financial decision. LostGolfBalls.com has every model golf ball a golfer would ever want, slightly used, for a fraction of retail.

LostGolfBalls.com Golf Balls

LostGolfBalls.com Golf Balls

Quality Levels

LostGolfBalls.com offers several “levels” of used golf balls.

Refinished golf balls are balls that have been reconditioned at a factory that actually makes new golf balls. This is as close to a new golf ball as one can get without it actually being new.

AAAAA/1st Quality golf balls are mint used balls, not reconditioned. One may not be able to tell the difference between this and a new ball.

AAAA/2nd Quality golf balls are still in very good condition and may appear to have a little wear, similar to a ball that has been played for a few holes.

AAA/3rd Quality golf balls are still very playable but may have some smudges, scuffs, and blemishes.

Pricing

Pricing for the different levels of balls is proportionate to their quality level. I chose to go with a couple of boxes of my current gamer ball, the Bridgestone B330 or B330-S. Let’s do some comparing.

On Bridgestone’s website a brand new box of B330’s costs $44.99, plus shipping.

The highest quality AAAAA/1st Quality B330 from LostGolfBalls.com’s website is listed at $23.99, about HALF of retail. For a golf ball that performs the same, the golfer can literally be paying around half the money. Great deal.

The next level ball is the AAAA/2nd Quality. These balls are priced at $15.99 per dozen.

Finally, there are refinished B330’s available for $12.99.

Conclusion

As a decent amateur golfer with a low single digit handicap, I see no difference in playability or performance between the AAAAA/1st Quality balls, and a brand new B330 I’ve played for a few holes. Well, there is a difference actually. It’s in my wallet.


Today’s Office at Grand Solmar Land’s End, Cabo

Written by: Tony Korologos | Monday, October 17th, 2016
Categories: GolfGolf For WomenGolf LifeGolf LifestyleHOG World TourTravel
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Today has been a little rough. Started out having to blow up a floatie for the pool. Got a little dizzy. After recovering from the floatie thing, the rest of the day went (and has been) great. Here’s today’s office.
grand_solmar_lands_end
Oh on a work/golf related note, they’re expanding here and building a new resort which will feature a Greg Norman course, right next to Diamante. Great area.
grand_solmar_lands_end_02

Below is a little shot of my table.  I couldn’t help taking a picture.  Everything I need, water, beer, a HOG hat, sunglasses, chips, sunscreen, a towel, and amazing chile sauce which I just got the recipe for.  Chile Arbol.

grand_solmar_lands_end_03


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