Sky Sports golf commentator Eoin Murray never stops traveling, but when he does, he is often seen flying to Scotland to fish or to enjoy a few holes in the highland gem.
My first vacation memory …When I grew up in Scotland I played on the beaches of the Lewis Isle of Lewis. My parents, Jim and Joan, came from Arbroth and Sternow, so we spent our holidays there. Golf came to me very early in my life, and I grew up playing golf courses in Angus County, such as Edgel, Kirimuir, Carnosti and Montrose.
My best holiday …Spending time at home, because I travel a lot for work. Having said that, it’s hard to beat for a few days on the shores of Dornoch Firth, in Skibo Castle, Sutherlandshire. The golf course, which has recently been transformed, looks like it has been there for centuries and the views are breathtaking. The fort hotel is luxurious, yet surprisingly underestimated. The clock is ticking for a few days.
My favorite destination in the UK.The Deveron River in Aberdeenshire, where I spent many hours fishing for salmon and enjoying the wonderful game of golf at the nearby Duff House Royal. The course was designed by James Brad and Alastair Mackenzie. The small towns in the highlands are largely unchanged and gratefully retain their appeal.
My ideal travel companion …Bruce Critchley, who is a great company and has been a wonderful friend and colleague for over 20 years. Before her retirement last year, we did a lot of traveling together and she made some awesome manageable. Nowadays I tend to travel on my own, as my Sky colleagues often arrive at the venue before me.
I always pack … My boss headphones. I’m 60% deaf, so sound-canceling headphones allow me to listen to music and movies more clearly. I read a lot of hardback books, but nowadays I tend to download them on an iPad, because it saves a lot of space.
Overseas is my favorite golf course.The Lower Valley Les Bordes, designed by Robert von Hague, who was influential, is uniting this year’s Rider Cup venue, Le Golf National in Paris. River Club in Johannesburg, Prince of Wales in Santiago, Royal Harare in Zimbabwe and Lusaka in Zambia are also there.
My favorite UK golf course …As we are blessed with so many great people, choosing is so difficult. I love link golf and apart from politics, what President Donald Trump has done with Turnberry is outstanding. I have a lot of respect for the most difficult but fair carnausti of all open rotor courses. Close to home, Walton Heath, where I have spent 16 happy years, is upstairs with West Sussex Golf Club, which is close to where I live. I’m also a member of Lifuk Golf Club, which I find fascinating.
My favorite city.Buenos Aires. I love South America and have visited many times as a player and commentator. I’ve just returned from Mexico City and am extremely impressed, but with over 27 million people and seven million cars, it won’t be on your list for a relaxing vacation. There are so many places I want to see in South America, because it is one of the few places that retains its identity.
My biggest travel luxury … A first class ticket. I don’t have much, but there is a certain serenity and expectation of having a boarding pass printed 1A. I recently had a new Airbus A380 flying from Shanghai to Dubai. Bathing on board above India was quite fancy!
My ideal holiday is four balls. If I had played in South Africa, I would have included the late Simon Hobde, who was the best swing I saw during my game and commentary of the year and was a great storyteller; John Bland, for his sense of humor; And Tony Johnstone, so I’m not going to be the youngest hitter! Otherwise, Rich Beam, Butch Harmon and Tiger Woods will create another entertaining four.
Favorite hotel. The Lanston House in Winchester, UK, must have been the McCluskey Hotel in Harare, Zimbabwe, where I stayed for a long time in the 1980s.
My favorite holiday food. There will be a simple fish and chip supper from Fif’s Anstruther Fish Bar. While I’m away from work, Howard Clark and I have enjoyed some memorable meals, a special highlight of Madrid’s Casa Botin. When I’m working in the state, I can rely on Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse chain for good food.
My bucket list golf course. Will be Royal Melbourne. I called it golf paradise. Maybe next year’s President’s Cup …
My next vacation will be … Somewhere north of the Hadrian wall. I went fishing in the Helmsdale and Buggy rivers last year and would like to go back. It’s far from civilization, just sheep for companionship!
The holiday of my dreams. Will be in Sandy Lane, Barbados. I had dinner there once and it has a luxurious personality. It’s expensive in someone’s world, but the experience will be remembered after the price is forgotten.
Here’s my top travel tip. To avoid the hustle and bustle, I often wander around trying to catch a flight. Holidays that are full of complexity are neither fun nor comfortable. A time to slow down and do what you want to do in your own time.