It is very difficult to write about the Old Course at St Andrews for it is simply more than a golf course. It is the world’s most famous links course if not the most famous golf course of them all. It is probable that golf was played here in the 12th century and it is one of the oldest golf courses in the world. In 1834, William the 4th bestowed royal patronage on the club and the Society of St Andrews Golfers, which was formed in 1754, changed their name to the Royal and Ancient Golf Club. Significantly, Ladies golf also began at St Andrews. The course is unique in that the majority of greens are double greens with the exception of the first, ninth, seventeenth and eighteenth. To play the Old Course will be one of the great golfing experiences of your life. To have your name called to attend the first tee in front of the R&A Clubhouse is for some, a daunting although exciting prospect. Technically all the caddies say ‘hit it left’ on the way out and ‘hit it left’ on the way back. When the wind doesn’t blow, it’s possible, if you stay out of the bunkers of which there are many, to score a very reasonable number. However, ignore the caddies’ advice and fall into the pot bunkers, a different score will be made. Whilst it is not the most challenging course on the Open rota, it is by far and away the most special golfing experience that you will have. The 17th and 18th holes are spectacular culmination of your round of golf. If the weather is half decent both these greens will be surrounded by your fellow golfers who have either played the course or who are waiting to play the course and will watch with interest as you bring to a close your memorable round of golf. There simply is no other experience like it.
To read a review of this course by golf writer John Huggan, click here.