This past year I was fortunate enough to take a once in a lifetime guys trip to play golf where the game began with my brother and father. We played some of the best courses in the world including St Andrews Old Course. Those rounds were easily the most challenging rounds in all of the rounds of golf I’ve played.
Trip Report Index (Reverse Order):
- British Airways First Class London To Atlanta
- British Airways First Class Happy Hour
- Lunch In British Airways Concorde Room
- London Concorde Room Walkthrough
- Breakfast In The Concorde Room And British Airways 1A On A319
- British Airways Club Lounge in Edinburgh
- Jewel Of The Crown–Happy Hour In Edinburgh Scotland
- The Old Course at St Andrews Scotland Golf Round (This Post)
- St Andrews, Scotland Happy Hour
- McDonald Rusacks Hotel St Andrews Scotland
- Carnoustie Golf Links Angus Scotland Golf Round
- Royal Lytham & St Annes Golf Club Lancashire England
- Hotel Vincent In Southport England
- Royal Birkdale Golf Club Southport England
- British Airways Coach Class From London to Manchester
- Breakfast In The Concorde Room First Class Lounge
- American Airlines First Class From Miami To London (777 Trip Report)
- OneWorld Miami Premium Lounge Video Walk Through
- American Airlines Miami Admirals Club Video Walk Through
- Ultimate Golf AAward Trip AA First Class To Where It All Began
It was challenging because I had to relearn the game of golf. Growing up in the states, I’ve been used to links or wide open courses. But translating the game I’ve learned to Royal Birkdale’s rough, Royal Lytham St. Anne’s bunkers, or Carnoustie’s weather was a challenge. These courses were fun and challenging to play, but my favorite hole of the entire trip was easily at St Andrews.
There are many challenging holes on the St Andrews Old Course. For starters, the first hole is where the nerves are ridden. I didn’t realize how challenging the first hole was until my caddie and I exchanged the following after barely shaking hands on the first tee box:
Caddie: “Nice to meet you. Proper Scottish name you have. You ready to have a nice round?”
Weekly Flyer: “Thank you. All set, looking forward to spending time with the guys and having the round of our trip”
Caddie: “What’s your safety club?”
Weekly Flyer: “Safety Club? I’m good with a driver.”
Caddie: “I’ve been doing this for a while. What is your safest 230 yard club?”
Weekly Flyer: “That would be my fairway 3 wood”
Caddie: “Fairway 3 wood it is”
She, yes she was the only female caddie at the Old Course that day. Susan Squire (firstname.lastname@example.org) pulled out my 3 wood Orlimar fairway wood and handed it over for my first tee shot of the round. I used a gentle (Ernie Els style Big Easy) swing and landed my Titleist Pro V1 X ball right in the middle of the first fairway. Right then I knew I had the best caddie of the group.
The first hole jitters are alive and well at St Andrews. The history, the setting against the sea, and the chance to play what is the oldest course in the game gives you a bit of nerves.
So I grabbed my 3 wood and ripped a smooth draw about 220 down left center of the fairway. I’d end up pushing my 7 iron to the right of the green, chip up, and two put for a bogey. Not a bad start to the round.
Honestly, the entire rest of the round seamed fun after I got that hole out of the way.
The next most challenging hole was the 17th, commonly referred to as the Road Hole. My Dad got up there and ripped a fade around the giant green wall about 230 down the fairway. Then my Bother was up next, he torqued a driver just over the left edge of the green wall about 260 down the fairway.
Unfortunately I didn’t have honors so I was hitting last off the tee box and went straight over the center of the Old Course logo on the wall in the picture above. I cleared the wall by about 10 feet with a low burner and made it down the center of the fairway about 260+. The rest of that hole seemed easy in comparison even though there was a road directly behind the green.
The entire course was challenging and fun, but the most challenging of all was the 18th. My Dad was ahead by 2 strokes, my brother out of contention, it was up to me to birdie the hole. That wasn’t the challenging part. It was finishing out on the best round of the best golf week of my life and knowing this opportunity may not come up again in my lifetime.
The Swilcan Burn Bridge, the Old Course Club House, the Rusacks Hotel set the perfect setting for the last hole in our once in a lifetime guys golf trip to Scotland. Finishing the hole with honors, knowing I’d have to live with the results for the rest of my life, was the biggest challenge of the entire trip. I’ll just say that the ride back to Edinburgh and last happy hour in Scotland was a great one with good stories shared all around.
Happy Fathers Day to all you out there and especially you golfers!
If you have the opportunity to experience a golf trip to Scotland in your time, I have three words for you, just do it!