Old Course, St. Andrews, Scotland

The Old Course, every golfer's Mecca.

With an interest in golf architecture, I've always been intrigued, when reading the Old Course described as having been "designed by God".  Therefore, it seems appropriate to describe the journey as a pilgrimage and the experience as religious.

It did not come easy. As a twosome on a Monday in April, we expected no trouble to win the daily ballot, but we were sadly mistaken. This meant a 5:30am wake-up call to line-up at the starter's hut to sign up for the walk-on list. Arriving at 6am, we were number 7 & 8 in line.

They asked us for our name, home club and a handicap card, the only course thus far on our trip to request one.  The maximum handicap for a male golfer is 24.  My Dad's handicap index is 24.9 and when converted to a handicap it comes out as a 27, so we strategically folded the paper above the handicap, only displaying the index.  The starter read it, looked at us, paused and said, "this is the max, but you're okay." We were relieved indeed.

We went back to the hotel for a rest, came back at the suggested time of 9:30am and luckily we were off by 10:10am with a couple of nice guys from California. The day could not have been better. 

It is often difficult to judge a course and the overall golfing experience independant of your score.  Fortunately, I had my best round of the week, making a special round even more fun.

For the entire round, one experiences a unique feeling, an awareness of walking in the footsteps of history.

A very special day indeed.

The rising sun bouncing off Rusacks hotel at 6am

In front of the starter's hut on the first tee

Looking back on the 1st hole, offering a generous fairway for nervous tee shots

Pete had to go backwards twice on one hole to get out of the bunkers

Tee shot from the 18th over 100 years ago

The same tee shot - April 2011

The perfunctory Swilcan Bridge shot on the 18th


on 2011-07-13 15:55 by Travel Impresarios

The deadline for applying for 2012 Old Course Tee Times is Wednesday September 7 at 10am BST