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View Full Version : Course Review - The Old course at St.Andrews



Paul_Stewart
03-Aug-2010, 15:24
OK, the ultimate No.1 course. No need to explain many of the holes but getting on the hallowed links to play is actually a lot easier than you might think if you are prepared to make a sacrifice or two.

The Links Trust want every group to be a four-ball and they go off at 10 minute intervals from 6.30am. Outside of times reserved by the many clubs that use the links, there is also a daily ballot for 2-4 players to apply for. This is a lottery basis and the lucky names are displayed on the R&A Website at 4pm for the following day.

And any group that does not have four players will be upped to that number from single players waiting at the starter's hut. This is first come first served and you have to be there when your name is called.

I was there at 4.45am last Monday, was fourth in line and eventually got out with a three-ball from Burton-on-Trent at 11.10am. This is a lot later than I've usually had to wait and have been on within the hour a couple of previous occasions.

So are you prepared to be there that early? To play the greatest golf course in the world, damn right I am!

There is nothing that quite prepares you for that first tee-shot. Yes it's the widest fairway in golf but it's the Old Course St.Andrews and even the most hardened amateur will crap themselves at the point of taking the club back.

The first few holes are often a blur as you realise where you are and what you are doing but you soon settle in to recognising all the holes and locations you have seen so often on TV. The Open tees are a heck of a lot further back than where you play from and the hole locations are a lot easier too.

The drive over the centre rough section at 4 is a lot longer than it looks and 7 is a much tougher drive than appears on TV. And when you play 12, you really just take your chances with all the bunkers down the fairway and hope you just get lucky.

And on the back nine, the town and the Old Course Hotel are lurking closer and closer. And by the time you reach 18, you have the required pictures on the bridge and a lot of people watching you as you walk across the Wynd and finish your memorable round.

The cost is 130 and you get a course planner, tees and commerative scorecard in a nice bag when you get your official start time. Caddies are 40 plus tip and I would highly recommend you get one even if it is not your first round on the Old Course.

This is something every golfer has to do in their lifetime, this is golfing nirvana. This was my fifth round there and although I missed out on my bucket list ambition of breaking 80 by one shot again, the sand save I made from the Road Hole Bunker for par is something I will treasure for a long time.

Losttheplot
04-Aug-2010, 07:35
As most golfers would agree its a complete must that you have to play it sometime in your life and I really cant wait to play it.
I have no idea when I'm going to play St Andrews Old Course but your review just adds to my desire.
:)

sawtooth
04-Aug-2010, 14:37
Another nice review Paul. I might give this a bash myself at the end of September. Perhaps enter the ballot the previous day or roll up very early.

Sounds great. I assume the green fee is 90 but with the optional caddie its 130

Iaing
04-Aug-2010, 20:41
Another nice review Paul. I might give this a bash myself at the end of September. Perhaps enter the ballot the previous day or roll up very early.

Sounds great. I assume the green fee is 90 but with the optional caddie its 130



Err, I think you'll find that during high season ( mid April to mid October ) the green fee is 130 and the caddie is another 40.

sawtooth
04-Aug-2010, 21:35
OK thanks. How many people play this without a caddie? Another 40 may blow my budget :(

StuartD
05-Aug-2010, 13:33
OK thanks. How many people play this without a caddie? Another 40 may blow my budget :(




Shoulder season (19th Oct - 31 Oct) is not very long but you will get a caddie and round for 131.

Notsure if you will get on the old course at end of Sept as the Dunhill championship is usually near the start of October. If you do get on it might be with a mat