100 Holes of Hope
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  1. #1
    Hall of Fame jvincent is on a distinguished road jvincent's Avatar
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    Mar 2004

    Trip to St Andrews

    Hi all,

    So, mjf and I decided last year that we would head out to Scotland this year, so we submitted a request to the Old Course lottery last fall and got a tee time for the last week of April and built a trip around that.

    We flew out of Ottawa on Friday, April 21 and we had rounds booked at the following starting on Sunday:

    - Kingsbarns
    - Old Course
    - Castle Course
    - Carnoustie
    - Jubilee

    The plan was to try and play second rounds as well depending on fatigue and weather. Before we left the forecast was not looking very good for Monday, which is when we had our round at the Old Course booked.

    We arrived in Glasgow on Saturday, minus golf clubs which were coming on the next flight. Since we were playing the next morning, we decided to hang around the airport and have dinner. The clubs arrived without incident on the next flight, so first bullet dodged.

    Started on Sunday at Kingsbarns. Weather was fantastic. 15*C, sunny, winds were light in the morning and picked up during the day to what I would call "interesting". Kingsbarns is really spectacular. I'll get a link with pictures up later.

    We played the original Crail course (Balcomie) in the afternoon and had a blast. Some interesting holes, especially in the wind which got up above 45kmh. mjf hit a 352 yard drive on one hole (down wind and downhill) and I hit a tee shot on 16, 264 yard par 4, that could have been a hole in one, with a 4w, that ran across the green and was save from going onto the beach by the long grass.

    Monday, the Old Course.

    We teed of at 10:50 and it was about 7*C, sunny, and wind of 30 kmh. The wind was in our face heading out. There were spotty clouds all around with very short rain showers. I don't think any hit us until the ninth.

    That is when things got interesting. I guess the front was moving through because the wind picked up to 60 kmh and the sleet started. Yes, it was sideways. We played 10 in the sleet and rain and then it was sunny again but the wind was still there and actually got stronger. Luckily we were just making the turn so it was downwind coming in. Gusts were over 70 kmh.

    I either drove the green or drove it to the fringe on every par 4 coming in after 12. On the 17th, the Road Hole, I hit a perfect tee shot over the building that actually ended up over the green. We measured it with the GPS. 470 yards. Crazy. The caddies couldn't believe it.

    Then I hit a terrible chip that ended up on the road trying to make sure it didn't get into the road hole Bunker. Next chip was played beautifully into the bank and hopped to tap in range for par. My tee shot on 18 was on the fringe in the Valley of Sin and mjf drove the green almost pin high.

    I had 47 on the front and 39 on the back with two birdies. Could have been lower but putting in that kind of wind is hard to say the least.

    We really couldn't have asked for a more truly Scottish day weather wise.

    Tuesday we played Castle in the morning and it opened late because of snow overnight. We played in 5 to 7 degrees temps with a couple of holes of rain and some sleet. Oh, and wind up to 60kmh. Castle is actually a pretty nice layout. It would be fun to play in less harsh conditions.

    We played the New Course in the afternoon. Not much to say there, other than the wind was still up and on the 9th hole, a par 3, I piped a driver and actually hit the green!

    Carnoustie on Wednesday. Championship course in the morning and Buddon course in the afternoon.

    The day started off cool, 5*C, but it was sunny and the winds were light, under 30kmh. It warmed up during the day to the point I had to take of a layer of clothes.

    The Championship course is pretty well known, so no surprises there. We both hit balls into the burn on 17. The Buddon course was actually pretty cool. Links style with group of 4 holes in the forest on the edge of the course. Definitely a good second round course.

    Played the Jubilee course on Thursday. The weather warmed up again, I think it reached 12*, but it was still on the breezy side.

    I quite liked Jubilee. Good routing and interesting holes. Compared to the Old and New courses there was more separation between the holes which was nice. There were also two trees on the course!

    We had time to play another round, but after 8 rounds in 4.5 days I was kind of gassed so we passed on a final round.

    I'm still collecting pictures, but will post a link to an album once they are all in.

    If anyone is on the fence about visiting St Andrews, I would say definitely go. Just make sure you have the right clothes and you'll be fine.

    In addition to our Old Course booking we got the three day links pass which gets you three reserved times and additional rounds on those days. We ended up playing 4 rounds for the price of two. We burned a day on the pass because we played Carnoustie but it was still worth getting the pass.
    Not fat anymore. Need to get better at golf now!

  2. #2
    Hall of Fame jvincent is on a distinguished road jvincent's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Forgot to mention, we stayed at an AirBnB which was literally 180 yards from the first tee of the Old Course. Owned by a member of the R&A and from the balcony we could see the clubhouse and 1st/18th fairways.

    Prime location and in April was really cheap, $215/night IIRC. Two bedrooms each with its own bathroom and a really nice kitchen and living room.
    Not fat anymore. Need to get better at golf now!

  3. #3
    Hall of Fame jeffc is on a distinguished road jeffc's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2001
    In the 613!
    beauty John, can't wait to see the pics.
    I got a fever. And the only prescription is more golf equipment.

  4. #4
    Consistently present SnazzyD is on a distinguished road
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    Sep 2013
    Wow...what a trip. Glad to read that you both really made the most of it with some legendary drives! I pity the next group of Canadians who get the same caddies and shatter the myth you've both created

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