Note: This is a repost of a 3-part walk through of The Old Course at St. Andrews by my good friend and Old Course caddie John Boyne (Boynie) of Caddie Golf Tours. I asked John to give us these hole by hole descriptions for the 2010 (British) Open Championship and he kindly obliged because, well, he’s a hell of a good guy. Watch for the next two posts covering holes 7-12 and holes 13-18 respectively. Many thanks to Boynie for doing this special piece just for Hooked On Golf Blog ~Tony Korologos
The descriptions for the holes that I summarise on the Old Course at St. Andrews will be as if the golfer has found the perfect day for golf on the links – no wind!
1st, Burn, 376 yards, Par4
Should be a relatively straight forward par 4 with the tee shot heading down the widest fairway in golf – 143 yds across the walkway Granny Clarks Wynd – No excuses for missing it really!
Having played the Old Course several times now, I have a soft spot in my heart for any cool photos, blog posts, or video from there. The St. Andrews Links Trust keeps a blog which is one of the few golf blogs I frequent. I love seeing their updates. Today’s was fantastic, a time lapse video of the rebuild of the very daunting “Hell Bunker.” I’ve been in that bunker, once.
The riveting (the laying of sod layers to create the steep walls of the bunker) is tedious and expensive in terms of labor and money. No courses I know of in the USA do this kind of bunker work. It is very cool.
Hats off to the St. Andrews Links trust for such a neat video.
Yesterday (a Monday) I had a couple of hours to spend with my little guy, a 2.5 year old full of energy who loves putting with his plastic Little Tikes putter. I usually go to my more upscale course, but this time I decided we would visit the “neighborhood” course. This course is a lower end executive type course, a par-68 with short holes, a super modest pro shop, and a crowd more unique and authentic than I could have imagined.
The vibe of this place is super casual. No collared shirts required. Cargo shorts okay. In fact, I don’t think they’d care if you didn’t even wear a shirt as long as you were there.
Junior Golf Lessons
My boy and I were putting for a while. A group of kids started converging for what obviously was a group junior golf lesson. As it turned out I actually knew, and had had some previous lessons from one of the instructors. It was great to watch these kids on the range and on the putting green learning the golf swing and the game.
The very working class parents sat in chairs under the shade of a big tree watching their kids hit balls. There was a UPS guy, moms and dads of all types… All this while a guy on a golf cart was playing guitar, harmonica, and singing. More on the live entertainment later (really, keep reading). What a cool scene.
Guitarist in cart on left while mom walks son to junior golf lessons…
My boy and I started to get quite hot and I remembered I left some bottled water in the car. So we went back to the car for a drink. While we were standing by the car I noticed a man carrying a woman in his arms from the driving range, while escorted by two other people. The man set the lady down in the shade and they were very concerned about her. I thought maybe it was a heart attack or heat stroke until I saw them icing and attending to the left side of her jaw. She’d obviously been hit by a club. What a bummer and that’s certainly a big point about golf injuries. Most golf injuries are not from players being hit by golf balls. Rather, the majority of golf injuries are the result of someone getting hit by a club during someone’s practice swing.
Takes Strokes Off Golf Lessons!
Breathless Live Entertainment
My boy and I went back to the practice green and hit a bunch more putts, then he took his plastic putter to the range stalls and started taking his first full swings. He had been watching those kids and was mimicking them. It was cool to see and he was knocking real golf balls a good 20 yards with a plastic putter. While he was hitting I thought I’d say hello to the guitar player.
As a former professional musician who made a living for 25 years playing music, I’m always interested and want to say hello to other musicians. I thought it was pretty cool a guitar player would bring his guitar and perform for the people at the course. How cool to sit on a golf cart and play guitar! He was very quiet and I could hardly make out what he was playing or singing from more than 5-10 feet away though.
Me: “Can you play Flight of the Bumble Bee?”
When I got close enough to talk to the guitarist and ask his permission to take a photo, I realized he was on oxygen. That explained the quiet vocals.
I grabbed my boy and brought him over to listen to the music when I realized something odd. He was capoed up about 5-6 frets, using no pick, and not really doing anything with his left hand other than muting some of the strings randomly. It only took me a few seconds to realize that this guitarist was not playing any chords at all and was making up lyrics which he talk-sang as he chicken-plucked.
Bless this guy. He didn’t know how to play guitar or sing, but it was still cool. Nobody noticed because he was so quiet.
It will not soon forget my odd Monday evening at the “neighborhood” course. It was authentic, tragic, entertaining, heartwarming, and breathtaking all at the same time.
I had quite an enjoyable round yesterday at the Mountain Dell Canyon Course, between Salt Lake City and Park City, Utah in Emigration Canyon. The Canyon course is one of two courses on the property, and the one I prefer.
I had some spectacular shots yesterday. One was a punch 8-iron from under a tree in the right rough on the par-4 9th. The ball ended up 12 inches. Birdie. The next one was a punch 9-iron from 145 (lots of wind), from a severe side-hill lie. That 3rd shot on the par-5 14th astonishingly didn’t go in. It must have lipped out for eagle. The ball was TWO inches behind the hole. Birdie.
I had some other fantastic shots after the round, via my golf aerial photo/video hexacopter drone.