Women's British Open host the Old Course at St. Andrews will be friendly to Ochoa - but it isn't for regular lady duffers
It’s a groundbreaking week for pro women’s golf. The Women’s British Open is being hosted on the Old Course at St. Andrews for the first time in history.
Shortly after the U.S. Women’s Open earlier this summer, I predicted a breakthrough major victory for World No. 1 Lorena Ochoa this week. Why? Well, the Old Course is a long-bombers course (just look at Tiger’s two titles here, John Daly’s also) and the Ocho is a beast off the tee.
Also, people always point to her tendencies to pull tee shots under pressure. Well, the Old Course is her kind of course. Many holes, especially down the home stretch, have miles of room to the left of the fairway, none more than the 18th, which has a massive double-fairway with the 1st hole to the left.
And of course, Ochoa’s documentary crew will finish filming this week at the home of golf. I’m a sucker for fairytale endings, how could I not root for it?
It’s sure to be a memorable week for the women of the Title IX generation. I’ve written before how open and accommodating St. Andrews is to guests all over the world (men and women). I’ve also documented how awesome the town of St. Andrews is for all ages, even Bill Murray.
The one problem with the Old for women however is that like almost all of the old links courses in the British Isles, it’s not set up for the higher-handicapped woman golfer at all.
You often hear modern architects talk about a new course they’ve just built as being “playable for all skill levels with five sets of strategic tee placements, which makes for an enjoyable experience for golfers of any gender or ability".
Old Tommy and James Braid didn’t really think about the women when they built courses.
Most of the Old Course’s tees are usually placed just at the front of the men’s tee and sometimes require shots over gorse where a decent 75-125 yards of carry is needed. I played with an older, local woman during my round there who on several holes, had no shot, hitting her ball straight into gorse sitting in front of her tee. She would leave it and walk up to the fairway and play from there.
She also didn’t even bother to tee it up on the very long par-5 14th.
You’ve got to be a pretty strong player to get out of some of these deep bunkers properly - or you look like an idiot.
Even still, I think this particular woman was the only one I played with in about 25 rounds of golf in Scotland and Ireland, so maybe that doesn’t deter women from playing golf’s most storied course.
For the average, high-handicapping woman, luckily there are five other tamer courses next to the Old, including the women’s original course here, the Jubilee. It was given a major face lift in the 1980s by Donald Steele and only loosely resembles its 1902 design. Today, it’s a stern, 6,700-yard test and some argue it’s the toughest course the Links Trust has. No worries, the Strathtyrum course and Balgove courses are especially playable for everyone.
I also wonder if Augusta National holding an LPGA tournament isn’t far behind. It’s probably at least 20-30 years away if I had to guess, but it will happen some day.
What exactly are the old men in charge so disgusted with women like Natalie Gulbis, Paula Creamer, Erica Blasberg and other young hotties with wicked game occupying their course for a week?
If I were one of the grizzled codgers in charge, I’d at least try and cut a deal for co-ed locker rooms that week or something.
|« Steroids in golf: can we move on please?||Winless cutie no more: Natalie Gulbis wins Evian Masters »|
She also didn't even bother to tee it up on the very long par-5 14th.
You've got to be a pretty strong player to get out of some of these deep bunkers properly - or you look like an idiot. "
--My guess is that the women playing at St. Andrews are nothing like your date. Some of them might even qualify as pretty strong players by the bracker standard.
"What exactly are the old men in charge so disgusted with women like Natalie Gulbis, Paula Creamer, Erica Blasberg and other young hotties with wicked game occupying their course for a week?"
--Is there a syntax here? Did you wake up at noon again?