I just received an email asking if I ever do any golf related videos here at Hooked On Golf Blog. It’s been awhile since I’ve mentioned this so be sure to visit the HOG YouTube channel, and subscribe too! Here’s the URL: https://www.youtube.com/user/TheGolfSpace
The HOG YouTube channel currently features 450 videos. There are 672 subscribers and the channel has logged over 5,486,000 views! That’s substantial! Below are a couple of highlight videos for your enjoyment.
Oasis Palmer Course Hole #5 Reverse Flyover
Tiger Woods Driver Swing With Slow Motion
Automated Folding/Unfolding Golf Push Cart (Trolley for those of you in the UK)
Black Mesa Golf Club 16th Hole Flyover
Sandals Emerald Reef Golf Club Flyover
There are a couple of videos of my baby boy in there but since his name is Seve that qualifies as golf videos… 🙂
Now that I’ve confirmed the pending third HOG World Tour trip to St Andrews, Scotland, I can’t help having Scotland on my mind. It is a magical place. Sadly 99.999% of the courses in the United States do not play like true scottish links courses. Scottish golf is a natural, hard style of golf I far prefer to the overly-soft, over-watered, too green, over-manicured courses here in the USA.
One thing most golfers who have not been to there don’t realize is that there are a ton of courses in the town of St Andrews, not just the Old Course. That’s why I’m always giving people grief when they refer to the Old Course as St Andrews. “Hey have you played St Andrews?” they ask. I say, “which course?” St Andrews is the name of the town, not the course(s). In the town itself the other courses besides the Old Course include the New Course, Jubilee Course, Eden Course, Strathtyrum Course, The Dukes, and the Balgove Course. All but the Balgove are within walking distance. In a few minutes by car one can find even more courses: Castle Course, Torrance Course, Kittocks Course, Saint Andrews Bay Course, and Kingsbarns Golf Links.
The closest course to the Old Course is the New Course. While the Old Course dates back to around 1400, the “New” Course opened in 1895. Yeah, that’s “new” alright. The New is literally next to the Old. You can miss a fairway on the Old and the ball may end up on the New, and vice versa. I don’t recommend that though, because the New is out of bounds if you are on the Old and vice versa.
New Course Overview
Old Tom Morris is the architect of the New Course. The new is a par-71 course which tips out a 6,625 yards, short by modern standards. The new has many very similar designs and feels as the Old does, but is a little more straightforward and less quirky.
The course rating is 72.8 with a slope of 127 from the tips. For those of you in the UK, the standard scratch score (SSS) is 73. The rating would make the New just a tiny bit tougher than it’s next door neighbor, the Old.
From the tee, the new presents some great challenges. The course can be a wee bit (as they say in Scotland) tight. Errant tee shots will be penalized by bunkers, deep rough and in the worst case, gorse. If you don’t know what gorse is count yourself lucky. Gorse is a very nasty dark green bush with thorns which feasts on a strict diet of golf balls and the occasional golfer. Going into the gorse after a ball is usually not a good idea, unless you like scratching the hell out of yourself and ripping your fine golf apparel to shreds.
Some tee shots can be intimidating
Given the shorter nature of this course and the typical hard ground, driver is not necessary on many of the par-4 or even par-5 holes. The longest par-5 is 518 yards. Once again, distance isn’t the most important part of the tee shot at the New. Accuracy is.
The fairways can be tight on the New Course, but fairly flat in most places. If the golfer has managed to avoid the pitfalls mentioned in the tee description, the approach from the fairway is fairly straightforward.
Left rough approach on the 18th hole
If the golfer misses the fairway but avoids bunkers and gorse, the rough can be very thick and inconsistent. Difficult lies in the rough may be tempting for the golfer to hit the hero shot, but it is often wise to be more conservative and get the ball back into play.
The greens at the New are quite different than the Old. They’re considerably smaller and less undulating but still guarded well via bunkering and adjoining gorse and rough areas.
Because of the smaller greens, the hard ground, and the ways the greens are protected by bunkering or natural obstacles, I find the greens at the New fairly hard to hit. This puts a premium on short game. A green reached in regulation is not an overly difficult two-putt proposition like the gigantic greens on the Old.
The St Andrews Links Clubhouse is a very spacious and large facility featuring the pro shop, Swilcan Restaurant and lockers with showers. I’ve enjoyed a few meals in the Swilcan Restaurant and knocked back some refreshing beverages while overlooking the 18th green. Such a great spot.
St Andrews Links Clubhouse
Next to the clubhouse is a nice practice green for getting the feel and working on short game. There is no driving range. The nearest range is a bit of a walk or very short drive to the St Andrews Links Golf Academy.
The St Andrews Links Trust sells a few different great golf packages. I highly recommend purchasing a three-day or seven-day “ticket.” These packages allow the golfer to play unlimited golf in either three days or seven days on the six Links Trust courses other than the Old. In the middle of the summer there is so much daylight that a hardcore golfer could literally play 3-4 rounds in ONE DAY. I’ve done the 3-day twice now and loved it. In one day I played 18 on the the Jubilee, 18 on the New, and a relaxing 9-holes on the Strathtyrum Course.
The New is a fantastic links style golf course. It’s a great course on its own and serves as an excellent alternative or backup for times when the golfer is not able to get a tee time on the Old Course. Plus the cost is a fraction of the Old.
I highly recommend experiencing the New Course when traveling to St Andrews to play golf. The New provides a tremendous and satisfying links experience.
It is with great pleasure that I post to inform HOG patrons of a major HOG World Tour event taking place in July of this year. I’ll be heading to Scotland for a third time and checking out many new courses in the Scottish northeast. Courses on the list for that swing are Fraserburg Golf Links, Cruden Bay, and Royal Aberdeen.
I’m thrilled. Not a day goes by that I don’t daydream about the upcoming July tour. I’m not in golf shape yet. I put on some insulation over this brutally cold and snowy winter. I look forward to getting into golf and walking shape and of course, getting my game ready for real golf. Links golf.
I have a lot of testing to do. Added to the list is the Zepp motion sensor. This is a device which attaches to the golfer’s glove and sends data to the player’s smartphone or tablet. The very valuable is then shown to the user to help improve his/her swing, and even compare swings with pros like Keegan Bradley. I know better than to compare my swing with Keegan though. I’m trying to match is pre-shot routine…
Awesome glove sold separately
Here’s a list of the data collected for golfers by this interesting unit:
Speed (not sure what speed this is yet, probably club head speed)
Stay tuned for my full review soon, after I’ve had a chance to put the Zepp though the rigorous HOG test battery.
When I do golf equipment reviews or golf accessory reviews I typically do a “first look” post to get the word out that I’ve received a product for testing and give those who submitted the product a little air time. That gives them a little golf blog love and buys me time to spend testing the unit. I do spend a lot of time testing, unlike other fly-by-night sites who test from their kitchen table or by hitting three range balls.
This time around I’m compelled to do an intermediate post on the new TomTom Golfer Premium GPS watch. I already did my first look of the TomTom golf GPS watchand I’m not quite ready to post a full review because a single round is definitely not enough. I was so impressed with this unit during my first round I have to post about it.
The TomTom golf GPS watch is not overly large like other golf GPS watches. So it is actually wearable for those who can wear a watch and play. I’m not a watch guy, so I played a couple of holes with it on, then just attached it to my golf bag.
The yardages were quick and accurate, and I love the way they display with the black background. Below you can see the yards to the front, back, and middle:
This GPS watch not only gives yardages, but has all sorts of other great features. It will track scores, show green view, and even show hazards. See below? The first hole has water all the way down the right side:
And below is a shot of the score tracking. I made par on the par-5 first hole.
I’m not done testing and have yet to post my full review, but now that I have a round under my belt I already know the TomTom Premium golf GPS watch is superb. Stay tuned for my full review.