There has never been any doubt in a golfers mind and hearts that St.Andrews Old Course in Fife is the ‘Home of Golf’ The course sits on many golfers bucket list in pole position and from the first-hand experience, there really is nothing quite as special as experiencing teeing off in front of the R&A.
Nothing compares to the ancient university town, the railings around the first hole, the views over the stunning beach, the shops specialising in the craft of golf. The town lives and breathes golf.
What is so marvellous about the golfing at St Andrew's is that it really is open to all. It is public land that is unrivalled, and although the ballot is the easiest and cost-effective way to play the Old Course, Anybody can play the four courses that sit parallel to each other. The experience is surreal.
Never has the Old Course ranked outside the top 10 in world golf, and the reason is simple. The Old Course is the spiritual home of golf designed by mother nature, The most famous links in the world, and the world's oldest golf course.
The Course is designed by mother nature and of course, was updated in the late 1800s by Tom Morris, But the layout of St.Andrews is ultimately dedicated to the lie of the land and plays just how nature intended it to.
Follow the path of the greats.
The St.Andrews Links Old Course has held more Open Championships than any other.
On 29 occasions, the St Andrews Golf Course was home to the Open Championship, and the event will return in 2022 for the 30th occasion.
Put every great of the game has walked down 18 and crossed the Swilkan bridge.
Past Open Champions at St.Andrews include infamous legends of the game such as Bobby Jones, Sam Snead, Peter Thompson, Jack Nicklaus, Seve Ballesteros, Nick Faldo, and Tiger Woods.
The widest fairway in golf awaits your first tee shot, A short Par 4 that will test every nerve in your body, You are teeing off from the first tee in front of the Royal and Ancient at the home of golf. Aim straight down the middle to avoid the Swilcan Burn that reaches for shots left and right of the target.
S.I 10 | 376 Yards
One of the best par 4’s on the course. You must decide on the tee. The left-hand side is favourable, take the bolder line down the right-hand side of the fairway and risk getting caught up in the thick gorse. The second shot will be one of the world's largest greens (Doubled with the 16th) Don't get close to the pin, and you are well and truly in 3 put territory.
S.I 6 | 411 Yards
The 3rd is usually a decent drive and a flick with a wedge. A Birdie is makeable on the 3rd, Although your second shot will not allow you to see your ball's finishing position as the green is ever so slightly raised. Whatever you do make sure that short left is not in your Arsenal as the Cartgate bunker awaits all balls not hit as desired.
S.I 16 | 370 Yards
You need a good carry here from the tee box should you want the optimal line into the green, Thick rough awaits anything short. The bailout is a landing strip of fairway left of the tee box, just we wary of the Sutherland bunker at 266 yards, Getting out in one is more than a challenge. Fire onto the second double green of the round for an interesting putt.
S.I 8 | 419 Yards
A good chance at birdie awaits here, A good drive down the left-hand side will be what you are looking for. The right-hand side has the ‘Seven Sisters’ a group of deep pot bunkers that will wreck your scorecard if found. If you find the left fairway from the tee box, the next set of hazards that await are the ‘Spectacle’ bunkers in play left and right of the green. Hit the wrong side of the green, and you can also end up with a putt from well over 80 yards.
S.I 2 | 514 Yards
The drive is hidden on the 6th by a heathery bank, aiming for the marker post to be your guide. You must again avoid pot bunkers left and right of the fairway. Make sure you check the wind before aiming, and a nice crisp drive should find you down the middle. Avoid the gully in front of the green, and you will certainly have a decent chance at two putts for your Par.
S.I 12 | 374 Yards
A generous choice of lines from the tee awaits you at 7. The 11th will cross you at a right angle halfway down the fairway. The second shot requires your focus on 7, with 3 plateaus on the green finding the right one is the only way of having a chance at birdie. The green slopes all to the right so make sure you aim just left of the pin.
S.I 4 | 359 Yards
A vast green awaits you on the 8th. The green is easier to hit than miss but so easy to make 3 putts. This hole can either be a short Iron or a Wood, depending on the wind and requires all carry. The first of the par 3’s on the Old Course and a real cracker too.
S.I 14 | 166 Yards
The 9th and 10th run parallel to each other and are similar in qualities. Both are drivable Par 4’s dependent on the wind direction. They face opposing each other so they can really play with your mind. Avoid the End hole bunker, and all will feed down to the pin. Sometimes a putt from the fairway for your second shot is the best way of getting close to the flag.
S.I 18 | 347 Yards
Bobby Jones had a great relationship with the Old Course, and this has passed through folklore. Again dependent on wind conditions, this green is drivable with bunkers down the right. Have a go at this one a birdie could await.
S.I 15 | 340 Yards
The second Par 3 on the course can play anything from hybrid to 8 iron depending on the wind and the toughest putting surface on the course awaits you. The 11th green slopes heavily from back to front. Avoid Hill and Strath the two short greenside bunkers. Par is a good score on this hole.
S.I 7 | 174 Yards
This short par 4 looks inviting at first glance as all of the danger awaiting is hidden from the eye line. Aim for the fairway's left-hand side as bunkers hidden in the middle of this fairway makes for a tough challenge to escape. A shallow two-tier green awaits and getting close to the pin is a real test of your skills.
S.I 3 | 316 yards
Fairway bunkers named coffins await in the middle of the 13th fairway to attract any drives short. If the prevailing wind is into this can be a tough tee shot. Aim for the left-hand side of the fairway for safety will open up the green, guarded right with bunkers.
S.I 11 | 418 Yards
This is the longest hole on the golf course as the name suggests. The wind is more often than not blowing back into you, making a low piercing drive more favourable. Out of bounds covers the whole right-hand side of the hole, so make sure to keep to the left of the fairway also. Don’t be too greedy with the second shot the largest bunker on the course ‘Hell’ will turn this Par 5 into a card wrecker. The pin position is key on this narrow landing area of green. Walk away with a Par, and you are entitled to a good pat on the back.
S.I 1 | 530 Yards
A good drive over the cart gate bunker will set up a nice approach to one of the course's trickiest greens. The green slopes left to right and front to back. Take 10 yards off from your second shot and allow the ball to feed on the front left towards the hole.
S.I 9 | 414 Yards
This is a tough driving hole with out of bounds all on the right, On the left principal's nose bunker is well within reach. Therefore the sensible play is a long iron or hybrid to land just short of the bunker. Ensure you take enough club with your second shot as the false front on the green will feed everything back towards Grant’s bunker. The 16th is a tough hole, and a Par is a great score.
S.I 13 | 389 Yards
If not the most famous driving hole on the planet then we do not know what is. The tee shot requires a carry over the former railway shed. Many love this hole, but all fear it. Take Aim at the letter ‘L’ of the Old Course Hotel if you are a bigger hitter for the perfect line in for your second. The ‘C’ of course is probably the better line for the shorter hitters although you will face a daunting second shot with the road hole bunker and, in fact, the road well in play. The second shot is likely to be a long iron or hybrid into this tough green, Make sure you stay out of the road hole bunker at all costs as you will eliminate any chance of making a birdie and Par will not be in your favour either. A Bogey is an excellent score on the Road Hole anything better, and you will be grinning like a Cheshire cat.
S.I 5 | 455 Yards
This hole will send shivers down your spine after a friendly knock with friends, Imagine stepping up on the 18th needing just a 4 to win the Open!
In front of you, you will see the Town of St.Andrews on your right, The Royal and Ancient directly behind the Tom Morris Green, St. Andrews Bay to the left, and the Swilcan Bridge in front of you to cross. I honestly can't think of any time playing golf that I have felt a feeling like teeing up on 18. It’s the final hole of a day that you will never forget. The perfect drive is over the pathway crossing through the fairway. Missing the fairway is very tough due to its width. The second shot is to a green big enough to house a cricket game with a pavilion of spectators watching you play out. Take enough club to take the ‘Valley of Sin’ out of play and walking away with a birdie or par is easily achieved. You will not find a more rewarding putt in golf than the final one on the St.Andrews Links Old Course.
S.I 17 | 357 Yards
The Old Course owes far more to mother nature than man and is a masterpiece where words can not do justice.
Just like Bobby Jones once said
“ I could take out of my life everything except my experiences at St.Andrews, and I’d still have a rich, full life.”