“A Stroll on the Old Lady”

Book by Taba Dale

“A Stroll on the Old Lady”

Stories from amazing golf courses
and historic sites in Scotland

This is Taba Dale’s book of humorous short stories about playing golf in Scotland – The Home of Golf. The feature story, A Stroll on the Old Lady, will give you a rare peek into a special round on the Old Course. Come make the pilgrimage to this magical land full of pure links golf and discover the wit and ingenuity of the Scottish people.

A Stroll on the Old Lady

Take A Stroll on the Old Lady, a hugely entertaining and informative collection of nine adventures centered on playing golf in Scotland.

No matter what level of golf you play, if you love the game, these enchanting stories will immerse you in these hallowed locations revealing the people, places, and culture that make golf in Scotland so extraordinary.

Written over a three-year period by author and golf aficionado Taba Dale, these thoroughly-researched, historically accurate, and immensely enjoyable true stories take place at pure links courses and significant locales along the coast of Scotland, from Prestwick, the birthplace of the Open Championship, to the remote and magical Machrihanish on the Mull of Kintyre.

Taba shares the inner sanctum of many exclusive golf clubs

Taba Dale is the ultimate golf insider, welcomed where very few writers have ever been — the inner sanctum of many exclusive golf clubs. Her infectious wit and authenticity allow you to vicariously visit these historic sites, providing an unprecedented behind-the-scenes look at some of the most elite golf courses in the world—including the Old Lady herself, St. Andrews.

With a masterful use of language and dialogue, Dale immerses you in the lingo and lore of each location as she takes you on this one-of-a-kind tour.

For fans of Golf in the Kingdom by Michael Murphy and Two Years in St. Andrews by George Peper, this insightful and humorous book is an essential addition to any golf lover’s library.

Images of places, events and things Taba wrote about in “A Stroll on the Old Lady”

(Hover over the image to access navigation arrows)

Old Course Swilcan Bridge (Photo by Brian Morgan)

Taba on Swilcan Bridge (Photo by Brian Morgan)

Old Course St Andrew (Photo by Brian Morgan)

Taba at St Andrews Castle (Photo by Taba Dale)

Royal Dornoch Golf Club (Photo by Taba Dale)

Graywalls a magnificent Edwardian country house (Photo by Taba Dale)

Musselburgh (Photo by Taba Dale)

Open Champions in stone (Photo by Taba Dale)

Taba at Prestwick in front of Jug and Belt exhibit (Photo by Taba Dale)

Royal Dornoch Golf Course (Photo by Brian Morgan)

Machrihanish 1st hole (Photo by Brian Morgan)

Machrihanish best opening hole (Photo by Taba Dale)

Macrihanish Sunset (Photo by Taba Dale)

Machrihanish map

Marcliffe Hotel lobby (Photo by Taba Dale)

Raku hare by John Hine at Marcliffe Hotel (Photo by Taba Dale)

Culloden Memorial Cairn (Photo by Taba Dale)

“Culloden 1865 Last of the Clan” painting (Photo by Taba Dale)

How Hard Can it Be?

Published in A Stroll on the Old Lady

Now you might be thinking, How challenging can a putting course be? Well, if it’s the Himalayas—and you play off a 5-handicap like Kevin does, and you’ve already taken six without finishing the hole, I’d say that is pretty damn challenging!

“I want a mulligan,” Kevin griped as his ball went everywhere but in the hole.

Well, that cracked me up so much I almost peed my pants. We did play the hole over again, and made a rule right then and there that five was the maximum we could take on any hole.

Truth be told, after botching the first hole, I said, “Sweetheart, there’s nobody behind us, let’s just start over, OK?”

We had each taken one ball and our putters, and walked over from our accommodations by the 18th green of the Old Course. I had been looking forward to this experience for years—not only for the sheer fun of it—but because I figured this time there’s no way I’m going to lose a ball!

Just like at regular courses the world over, there was a starter. As soon as we arrived at 4 PM and paid our £2 he said, “You can go now.” Perfect.

“Can I have a scorecard?” I asked when he didn’t offer. We were each given a little white card, but then he only gave me a single super sharp bright red pencil. Hmmm. This is Scotland after all. I guess one pencil would have to do for the both of us.

The famed Himalayas, which is open from April to the end of September, is the home of The St Andrews Ladies’ Putting Club, founded in 1867. It has officers just like any other golf club, including a President and a Secretary and even a Tournament Secretary!  READ MORE

Praise for the Book

Taba has done a wonderful job . . .

“Born and raised in Scotland I love both the country and game it birthed, Golf. Taba has done a wonderful job bringing the rich culture, history and vibrance of my homeland to life in her writing.”

 ~ David McLay Kidd,
Principal, DMK Golf Design

The enthusiasm and wonderment in eloquent prose . . .

“Taba Dale displays the enthusiasm and wonderment of a young girl as she strolls and wanders from one golf adventure to the next and, thankfully, shares it all in eloquent prose. Traveling with her one becomes a part of the fabric of the game, its history and its now, its people and its places.”

 ~ Pat Ruddy,
Owner & Designer, The European Club

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What Readers Say

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“Absolutely fabulous read for anyone who is a golf traditionalist and/or interested in the history of golf. Taba shares the character and captures the true essence of a Saint Andrews golf experience whether 300 years ago or today. Enjoy the delightful images she imparts to the mind and senses.”

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“She brings you along on a journey you truly want to be a part of. With a 3 handicap, my late husband was passionate about the game and valued the history and traditions of what he always called ‘a gentleman’s game’, using the word ‘gentleman’ in the sense of respecting the course, the players and the rules. Ms. Dale echoes this philosophy, which led me to become aware of her involvement in the golf community, and when she began to write about her golf travels, she shared lots of her writing with me. I find her work quite appealing as she writes from the heart, communicates very effectively her emotions about her surroundings, and depicts landscapes like artists skillfully brushing on canvas what they see and perceive. Her golf stories are very inclusive and engaging: the game, the landscaping, the architecture, the people, the socializing, the happy hour on the 19th hole . . . she leaves nothing behind!”

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“A must read for anyone visiting Scotland to Golf! I have already read this wonderful book twice and it has helped get me ready for my planned trip to Scotland this summer. It beautifully intertwines history with current day experiences.”

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“Just finished reading Taba’s book, I loved reading about her golf experiences.  It makes me want to learn how to play golf and play at Saint Andrew’s in Scotland. You also made me laugh at the “Irish Stallion”. No offense Kevin!”

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” Taba Dale’s A Stroll on the Old Lady is a delightfully written book featuring short stories dealing with such varied topics as Scottish golf origins, local Sottish culture, amusing tales and some Scottish history. I am a lover of Scottish and Irish Links golf courses and enjoyed the stories related to these topics. I also enjoyed some of the historical narratives especially the account of The Battle of Culloden and Bonnie Prince Charles. Taba has an interesting, amusing and captivating writing style!”

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“I love Taba’s energy and style and found the book to be a great read. It is also a nice change to read about golf from a women’s perspective. I especially enjoyed the chapters on Prestwick and Machrihanish and the historical research that she provides. Well done!”

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“What a wonderful, informative and entertaining read! Our group has a trip planned next year to play the Scottish greats and reading this book makes us even more excited to go!”

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“I love this book as much as her first one. The subject matter is different, but the stories are just as intriguing. If you love golf and its history, I think you will find this book to be a wonderful addition to your library.”