report from St. Andrews: The Old Course

mulligan, 16 July 2005, Comments Off on report from St. Andrews: The Old Course
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I walked 18 holes of The Old Course at St. Andrews this morning, following Justin Leonard and Mark Hensby, and then Tom Lehman and Chris DiMarco. The Old Course is elegant in its simplicity: the holes run on parallel tracks — first nine closer to the water runs one way and then the inward nine runs back alongside the previous holes, eventually running alongside the fife’s road at the end. If you tend to overcook your drives left, you will be in the other fairway all day. In several areas, the greens are right next to each other, or pretty close. If you were playing alone for the first time, you might not know which green was yours.

Biggest impressions: simple, elegant layout, protected by many bunkers, undulations, and, depending on the weather, the wind. There’s no tree to speak of, very few water hazards, and the greens are not as fast as Augusta’s. Today, it’s pretty summerlike — hot with some, but not much wind. (I kind of wish for some more wind, to see how the golfers respond.) The scores should be low. Also, the Road Hole on 17th is visually stunning, as is No. 18, given the backdrop of the historical buildings in St. Andrews. The other holes are traditional links style holes that tend not to be as visually breathtaking, but certainly are filled with tremendous character and history. Here’s a hole by hole summary of the course.

Now I have to go recharge my batteries, to get ready to follow Tiger and Monty at 3:05 (UK time). Real time Open Leaderboard is here. Enjoy the coverage on ABC and BBC.


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