|1st Tee and 18th green behind|
Mysterious, incredible, unique, unpredictable, natural, beautiful, astounding. These are some superlatives which streamed through my mind as I walked in the kingdom of golf. There have been many attempts by the best architects in the world to reproduce the elements of the Old Course and I have seen some. But as I walked the course, happily chasing my golf ball, I kept saying, “wow, I have never seen that before.”
|11th and 7th green|
The Old Course has 11 massive double greens, with some holes crossing each other to navigate the "out and in" routing pioneered in St. Andrews by Old Tom Morris. Have you ever seen that on a "modern" golf course? The variety of mounds, swales and hollows will also make you scratch your head when negotiating the many tricky approaches to the greens. Make sure you take a caddy to fully appreciate the nuances of the Old, especially if you only have one round to play, you may hit towards the wrong flag stick once or twice.
An incredible fact to consider is that the Old Course has hosted the British Open 28 times in the 144 year history of the tournament. This is a testament to the quality and integrity of the course as it sits today, challenging professionals and amateurs alike. Scotland's wet and windy conditions also play a role in keeping the game interesting, on a golf course which demands an inventive short game.
I can think of no other place in the world where golf feels so much at home as it does in St. Andrews. The geography of the town literally embraces it, coming right up to the 18th green warmly awaiting intrepid golfers returning from their adventure on the links.
|The home hole, 18|
|Proudly standing in the Strath Bunker!|