St Andrews, Scotland, “from a slightly different perspective,”

When thinking of golf almost everyone, especially a golfer, will think of St. Andrews, Scotland, a tremendous place. “The Old Course”, the most famous golf course, is unique because of the location, next to the sea, the unusual double greens, the routing of two loops of nine holes outgoing and nine (in) back playing, the hazards and to be specific the bunkers , the Gorse (Ulex europeaus), the “bump and run” method of playing golf and the accessibility.
In “The Home of Golf», golf can be played in the opposite manner, instead of the usual routing now on The Old Course. For one day a year, it takes place now. Tom Morris created the current 18 holes in 1863 out of the oldest and most iconic golf course from 1764 with 22 holes. Extraordinary elements: the “Hell Bunker”, located on the 14th hole or “Swilcan bridge” which connects the 18th Tee and the 18th fairway, when walking towards the R&A building and the 18th green you will even have to cross a road and walk past houses, which have always been along the right side of the 18th green. Do not come up short to the green, otherwise your ball ends up in the “Valley of Sin”.

What many people might not know is that “The Old Course” is accessible to all, with the exception that men are required to have a maximum handicap of 24 and women are required to have a maximum handicap of 36, despite of the almost “sacred” status the course has.

Golfing on Sunday is impossible on “The Old Course”. The golf course is closed, but it is open to the public. People go to have picnics, walk their dogs, go jogging or hiking. The golf course has always been closed on Sunday and no one will ever change it. Try taking your walk of fame by simply walking the course without playing it on Sunday to truly grasp the magnificence of this course. Getting a tee time is problematic given the amount of people wanting to play the course and the availability. Try your luck in the morning, at 7.00 am in the starter off, an empty spot in the starting list and it’s your lucky day.

If you are travelling along and are not interested in golf whatsoever than St Andrews has plenty of other beautiful and interesting places to offer. Take a walk on the beach alongside the 1st up till 11th hole of the “Old Course” do be careful of the “New” (1895) and “Jubilee” (1897) are two left-handed courses that still lie in between, both created by Tom Morris. Another suggestion is to go from the R&A building along the houses up to the sea south where great buildings and panoramas can be seen looking at the ruins and the small harbor. When at the harbor you even have a view on the most recently made golf course “The Castle Course” and also on the Fairmont hotel right next to the 2 18-hole courses, The Kittock’s, Torrance and overlooks St. Andrews Bay.

After returning, visit the Mac Donald Rusack Hotel, located next to the 18th fairway with a beautiful view and the experiences of the “Rocca” Italian restaurant, The one-under First Gastro pub, R-bar champagne and whiskey or go to the top floor of the Old Course Hotel which has fantastic panoramic views. Experience all of this at St. Andrews, Scotland! Share your moments or question, looking forward.

Text and photos by Peter Klerkx, Paliwigo
(Passions Lifestyle Wine Golf)

by : Peter Klerkx