Golf – Day 6
Another day in the small village of St. Andrews.
We had our usual breakfast of scrambled eggs and sausages. We then walked down from our guesthouse to the Old Course (5 mins) to meet Gary, another local tour operator, who sold us his guaranteed tee time on the old course. We were hooked up with a father and son, David and John, from Toronto and North Bay respectively. Nice people Canadians, very similar to the Scots. They were Leafs fans, which always results in some awkward silence because everybody else in Canada hates the Leafs.
Nice day for weather, mixed cloud and sun, but no howling wind today like the first few days. We did have two brief showers which blew by after a few minutes. It actually hailed rather then rained, which made putting more difficult. Overall the best day of weather that we have had so far.
Barry had a difficult start, but had a strong finish on the inward nine I think he has finally figured out his driver. That is with the exception of hole 18 where he hit it way right. I was waiting for the sound of a smashing windshield or car but some how it rebounded off something (car, building or person) and made its way back onto the fairway in perfect position.
I played pretty well with an 84, but still too many double bogies.
Tip of the day: When you hit it into a bunker in Scotland,don’t go for it, just chip out.
I had one bad episode in the bunkers today, but much better then previously.
St. Andrews is a very interesting course. Lots of workers around building the stands for the Open next month. Lots of people walking just aimlessly around for no reason oblivious to the golfers or the possibility of getting smoked by an errant golf ball. There were a number of young ladies walking the course preparing for an amateur tournament in the next few days. One of the girls we talked to was extremely pretty, almost as beautiful as my wife. Many of the holes share one green. Barry had one great approach shot to the wrong pin.
Shot of the day: Hole 17 is a dogleg right and you have to hit your drive over an old shed on the right side of the fairway. The shed is about 120 yards out and about 20 yards wide. On the right, the shed is connected to a new 3 story hotel with lots of windows (Kevin you’re probably guessing where this story so going). David our playing partner crunched one which hit brick between two windows about 120 yards away 3 stories up and rocketed back at us which caused our caddie to fall trying to evade the ball. The ball ended up about 60 yards behind us. A good laugh was had by all. The older caddie said that was something that he had never seen before.
The challenge for the Chalice is all tied up with just Carnoustie left to play. I ahead by a slim margin having one more birdie than Barry. No golf clothes or shoes to dry off after today’s round, bonus!
We had dinner at a seafood restaurant just behind the clubhouse of the Old Course with a nice view of the bay.
Hoping for decent weather for the last couple of days
Chris signing off, have a good evening and a pleasant tomorrow.
St Andrews is a very sleepy town and it is the golf industry that keeps it alive. It does have a university with about 8000 students. It is the 3rd oldest university in the English-speaking world. You can google to find the first two. I can’t do everything for you.
Originally we were to have our name put into the daily ballot in an attempt to win a tee time. There was a group from a different tour company that had to cancel (quite common I was told). The tour company could not find a replacement so they sold it to our tour company. That is how we secured our tee time without going through the ballot process. Sweet! Especially since our tour guide said the number of entries into the ballot was very high for this week.
There are many nongolfing tourists hanging around the clubhouse. They even had what looked like 8 & 9-year-olds golfing! I wanted to check their handicap cards.
Chris & I decided to carry our own bags but the two other golfers had caddies. I would estimate that 95% of golfers use caddies on this course. Other than one blind tee shot on the 7th hole, we did not need their advice. One good benefit of using caddies is that they keep the pace brisk. We finished in 4 hours on a very busy day.
Sidebar: You are not allowed to use trolleys before noon on the old course. This is because of a law passed back in the 1800’s to protect the livelihood of caddies.
The caddies were friendly towards us but there were a few occasions when they forgot about us and walked ahead while we were trying to shoot. They complimented Chris a number of times on good shots throughout the round but not me. I did not get a “cracking good shot” compliment until the 15th hole.
As Chris mentioned I had a rough start. It pays to listen to the starter: white flags for the front 9, red flags for back 9. Since there many double greens, and putting from the wrong flag makes for an extremely long putt. They have LARGE greens here.
We both drove the green on #10. I birdied but Chris could not keep up. Chris did birdie #12 though to take the birdie contest lead at 4-3.
One distracting thing is how holes 7 & 11 crisscross. At one point we had our group of 6 along with another group of 8 all standing beside each other wondering who was to shoot.
On 18, although our names were not on the leaderboard, it was different to have a gallery of people watching you play. Luckily I did not shank my iron shot into any of the spectators.
Sorry Stu but the girls preparing for the upcoming golf tournament were way prettier than any biker girls.
Wayne, I shot an 89 today.
Margo, I included a few foodie pictures just for you. This is just what Chris had for supper.