Sundays at the Old Course in St. Andrews a cruel tease
Any golfer knows one finite fact: guaranteed tee times on the Old Course in St. Andrews are a bit hard to come by.
So imagine: you were entered in the ballot on Saturday and failed, only to walk by the course at 10 a.m. the following day and see the legendary grounds empty - except for two kids playing frisbee on the Road Hole, and an elderly couple taking a stroll over Swilcan Bridge.
The world’s most famous golf course is nothing more than a city park on Sundays, open for all and policed by no one. Use the grounds as you like, just don’t golf. The only exception to this rule is the final round of the Open Championship or Dunhill Links. It’s a tradition as old as the course itself.
This Sunday it was also sunny, warm and calm. Some Scots I played with remarked they haven’t seen many days like this in late October around these parts…
It’s enough to drive you mad. All the pins are in tact and the tees set up. The only thing missing is the stacked tee sheet.
Upon seeing the wide open course at dawn this morning, my 3-wood nearly jumped out of my trunk on its own, eager to rectify its horrible first tee shot yesterday that was sprayed out of bounds right (when there’s a good 60 yards of fairway left).
Luckily every other course in St. Andrews is operational, and that’s plenty, from the New Course beside the Old, to the New Kid on the Block: Kingsbarns seven miles up the road.
I played Kingsbarns - an incredible newbie with wide landing zones and incomprehensible green complexes. Review coming soon…
Maybe tonight I’ll throw a hippie bonfire party with s’mores, guitars and bongos out of the “Hell Bunker". Heck, the thing could probably fit 200 people.
The Old Course on Sunday is filled with people just strolling around the grounds. Taking photos or simply chillin’.
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