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A visit to the home of golf

As many of you know, I had the thrill of attending the 2015 British Open at the Old Course in St. Andrews, and I thought I would share some of my experiences.

We arrived in Scotland on Saturday afternoon and stayed at a hotel just outside Gullane, which had just hosted the Scottish Open (won by Rickie Fowler). All of the grandstands and corporate tents were still in place and there was a feel of “golf tournament” in the air. The rain-out on Sunday altered our golf plans, so we played The Renaissance Club in East Lothian on Sunday and drove to St. Andrews (about 90 minutes) for the Monday round of The Open. Here's a picture looking up the 18th fairway from the tee box.

15 08 27 St. Andrews pic

 

Talk about “golf tournament feel”, the buzz was INCREDIBLE! Sadly, the weather wasn’t, so we spent a lot of time in a hospitality tent hosted by the PGA of America, but it was still pretty cool with Jordan making a run and the playoff – all pretty special!

We drove back to our hotel, played Muirfield Golf Club (literally next door to The Renaissance Club) on Tuesday and then drove to Turnberry (owned by U.S. Presidential candidate Donald Trump) and the Ailsa Course on Wednesday, which was preparing to host the Ladies British Open the following week. You guessed it – more “golf tournament” in the air!! Next it was back to St. Andrews and four nights at the Rusacks Hotel, which is parallel and right next to the 18th fairway of the Old Course, where we played Kingsbarns Golf Club in Fife (which just happens to be home to the only Scotch distillery and tasting room in the area) Thursday, the Old Course on Friday and the Jubilee Course on Saturday!

My Top 3 courses were the Ailsa Course, Kingsbarns, and the Old Course, but it was the stunning architecture of the Old Course that really stood out for me. It is such a unique combination of bunkering and green complexes, plus the rocks out in the fairways (about 14 inches high) that have a “G” on one side and a “W” on the other to indicate which side was for golfers and which was for walkers – an important directional tool 400 years ago! There truly is nothing like it anywhere and, if it is not on your Bucket List, please add it immediately.