Thursday, July 14, 2016

Golf in the Old Country

International travel experts make lasting impression on Miami private club professional, helping him and his members arrange trips to both Scotland and Ireland

(CHARLESTON, SC) — The eyes of the golf world travel across the pond this week toward the birthplace of the game, Scotland, and historic Royal Troon. The 145th Open Championship, along with the advantageous, post Brexit U.S. Dollar to British Pound exchange rate, will surely whet the appetite of American golfers wishing to test their skills on some of the world’s most storied links courses.

Ernie Ruiz understands the attraction. Ruiz apprenticed at Miami’s La Gorce Country Club in the 1990s and returned several years ago as the private club’s Director of Golf.

Ruiz regularly has members turn to him and his staff for assistance planning trips, both domestic and overseas. “We will typically help arrange 10 to 12 trips annually,” he said. For domestic trips, Ruiz tends to reach out directly to the club. For international travel, he has employed a variety of tour operators.

When Ruiz was planning his inaugural trip to Scotland in 2014, his wife, Carrie, who works at nearby Trump National Doral, suggested he consider using

“She had great success with at her club,” Ruiz said “The trip set-up was very easy. Having never done a trip to Scotland, I had a number of questions and the folks at helped me through each step. Like most travelers, we wanted to do everything during a weeklong trip. helped us organize our trip so that we could see as many great courses as possible while being able to enjoy ourselves. That was the service I needed to ensure a successful trip.”

Ruiz said he and his members enjoyed every bit of the Scotland trip, both the golf courses and the accommodations. They started the trip at Turnberry, and then headed over to St. Andrews for the balance of the week.

“There are so many great memories,” he said. “Clearly, playing the Old Course was fantastic. Over the past few years it has been interesting to hear the group talk about the trip. They always mention the stay at the Ardgowan in St. Andrews as a great memory. The staff there was incredible. had recommended that we stay at the Ardgowan and after initially being against it, I am so glad we did. Our trip in 2018 will definitely include staying with our friends there again.”

That’s right; Ruiz and a group of members are already planning a return trip to Scotland. This past May, in fact, he took a group throughout Ireland’s South West Coast, arranged by, and he is turning to them again for Scotland in 2018.

“Incredible is the only thing I can say about the quality of the golf in Ireland, such dramatic views on every course,” Ruiz said. “We thoroughly enjoyed Old Head on our first round and were thrilled that each course we played seemed to get better. Trump Doonbeg in particular was fantastic. It is a luxury property that has stayed authentic to its Irish roots.”

Ruiz said he looks forward to booking more groups in the future and called his permanent, go-to tour operator.

“The folks at have made sure we maximized our time and that we did not make any critical errors in scheduling — no easy task when you want to do so much on a limited time frame,” Ruiz said. “I also appreciate that takes into account different price points based on group wants and needs. It takes the guesswork out of the equation.

“I only wish we could go more often.”

Don’t miss out on your own dream trip. Call the experts toll free at 844.676.GOLF or visit — and turn your dream into reality.

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