Welcome to the 1st blog of several on my vacation to Scotland last week. I'm not going to go in order of how I visited the various locations, but will be posting by various themes.
One of the funnest places my brother and I visited in Scotland was St. Andrews.
I had booked a "Walking tour" of the Old Course. I used my phone to get directions to the clubhouse, where the tour started. We went on the main road, then turn up some smaller city streets...and suddenly come to this intersection
The directions told us to go straight.....but that would have us drive across the 18th and 1st fairways of the Old Course. So I got out of the car and asked the guy if we could drive there, and he said yes....we just had to wait for the golfers tee shots. So sure enough, we DROVE on the Old Course at St. Andrews to get to the club house. (Note there is a longer way around, but we just followed the phone directions).
Now, I haven't played golf in over 5 years, so I wasn't about to try and play St. Andrews. It is interesting, that it IS a public course. In order for you to play the Old Course though, you have to enter a lottery-type system, 2-days prior to the day you want to play. And those who are randomly chosen get to play. Also....some golfers spend the night outside the clubhouse, in order to be on "Stand-by" in case someone doesn't show up for their tee-time.
Another interesting tidbit, is that the course is closed on Sundays and is used as a public park. So on Sundays ANYONE can walk the course, and often locals have picnics.
Also FYI, there are 7 total golf courses there, but it's the OLD COURSE that is the famous one that is used occasionally for the Open Championship (British Open to some)
Since we were'n't going to play the course, as I mentioned earlier we took the "Walking Tour". They told us the history of the course, and walk walked through the 1st and 18th fairway (where we had driven before) and made our way to the famous Swilken Bridge. Most Golfers get their picture taken on that bridge....but ANYONE can do it, as long as the hole is clear.
So...my brother and I got our picture taken.
Since it's a very popular course, people play it in the winter as well. I had wondered how they got their tees into the frozen ground. Turns out they actually use these....
Another thing I learned, was that next to the clubhouse was something that was created originally as the "Ladies Course". Now it's called the Himalayas. It's kinda like a putt putt course, but just with all kinds of slopes and mounds to deal with.
And....it only costs a couple of bucks to play it....so of course my brother and I played it!
We didn't do very well, as they were very fast greens...with lots of slope....and LOTS of wind.
I did, however, make a few longer putts. Definitely a fun thing to do at St. Andrews.
I'll more on my Scotland vacation on tomorrow's blog.