Most HOG readers know I have a big place in my heart for the “Auld Grey Toon,” the home of golf, St. Andrews. St. Andrews is one of the coolest towns in the world, if not THE coolest. The whole place is about golf. I’ve made one trip there so far, back in 2011 with three great pals. We are pictured right in the Road Hole bunker. At the time we had planned on saving up our dough and going back in 2014. Having experienced the town and the golf in St. Andrews I vetoed the proposition of coming back three years later to do it again. That was way too long to wait. The guys agreed and we will be back there in July of 2013 again. We have our first tee time on the Old Course at 1:40 p.m., July 3rd.
St. Andrews Day
Today is St. Andrews Day. Happy St. Andrews day to HOG friends and patrons.
What is St. Andrews Day? From Wikipedia:
St. Andrew’s Day is the feast day of Saint Andrew. It is celebrated on the 30th of November in Scotland.
Saint Andrew is the patron saint of Scotland, and St. Andrew’s Day (Scots: Saunt Andra’s Day, Scottish Gaelic: Latha Naomh Anndra) is Scotland’s official national day. In 2006, the Scottish Parliament designated St Andrew’s Day as an officialbank holiday.
Although most commonly associated with Scotland, at least in the English-speaking world, Saint Andrew is also the patron saint of Greece, Romania, Russia, Ukraine and the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople.
In Germany, the feast day is celebrated as Andreasnacht (“St Andrew’s Night”), in Austria with the custom of Andreasgebet (“St Andrew’s Prayer”), and in Poland as Andrzejki (“Little Andrews”–diminutive).
World Challenge presented by Northwestern Mutual
Dates: Nov. 29-Dec. 2
Venue: Sherwood Country Club, Thousand Oaks, Calif.
Golf Channel Airtimes (Eastern):
Thursday 3-6 p.m. (Live) / 8:30-11:30 p.m. (Replay)
Friday 3-6 p.m. (Live) / 8:30-11:30 p.m. (Replay)
Saturday 1-3 p.m. (Live) / 8:30 p.m.-1:30 a.m. (Replay)
Sunday 1-3 p.m. (Live) / 8:30 p.m.-1:30 a.m. (Replay)
Saturday 3-6 p.m. (Live)
Sunday 3-6 p.m. (Live)
Tiger Woods, Bubba Watson, Nick Watney, Brandt Snedeker, Ian Poulter, Graeme McDowell, Dustin Johnson, Jim Furyk, Rickie Fowler, Jason Dufner, Keegan Bradley, Jason Day, Zach Johnson, Matt Kuchar, Hunter Mahan, Webb Simpson, Steve Stricker and Bo Van Pelt.
Nedbank Golf Challenge
Dates: Nov. 29-Dec. 2
Venue: Gary Player Country Club, Sun City, South Africa
Golf Channel Airtimes (Eastern):
Thursday 9:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. (Tape Delay)
Friday 9:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. (Tape Delay)
Saturday 9 a.m.-12:30 p.m. (Tape Delay)
Sunday 7:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. (Tape Delay)
Notables in the field include Lee Westwood, Nicolas Colsaerts, Peter Hanson, Paul Lawrie, Garth Mulroy, Carl Pettersson, Charl Schwartzel, Bill Hass, Martin Kaymer, Francesco Molinari, Louis Oosthuizen and Justin Rose.
The governing bodies (USGA & R&A) have proposed a rule on anchoring clubs to the body, to be effective in January of 2016. Just as I predicted in my post a few weeks ago, they did not ban any equipment or make any equipment rulings. The act of anchoring a club to any part of one’s body is what will be become illegal. You can keep your belly putter, so long as it isn’t anchored against your belly or any part of your body.
“As the governing body we are doing what we think is best for the game of golf, and this is our responsibility.”
You can keep your belly putter, so long as it isn’t anchored against your belly or any part of your body.
Below is the official press release from the USGA & R&A:
17th Road Hole Changes Underway – click to see more
I keep close tabs on happenings at the Home of Golf, the Old Course in St. Andrews, Scotland. Having gone there in 2011, I feel I have a close tie to the course and the town of St. Andrews. I’ve got a couple of friends there, including my good friend John Boyne who is a caddie there as well as a St. Andrews tour operator with his company Caddie Golf Tours, helping folks just like me arrange their dream golf trip of a lifetime.
John has provided HOG readers with fantastic photographs of the Old Course, now undergoing some changes this winter as part of “improving” the course in preparation for the 2015 (British) Open Championship. I’ve quoted the news release text from the Open Championship website below. Click read more link below to see it.
In a nutshell, the plan is to “enhance the challenge for elite players without unduly affecting club and visiting golfers while remaining true to the special character of the Old Course.” Changes are detailed below, with the most debate regarding the 11th hole, where the green is to be altered to add a new pin position.
What’s your take?
As would be expected, there’s a large debate between those who think the course is sacred ground and should not be changed, and those who think that it is fine for the course to change over time to accommodate changes in technology. That argument is one which has been going around for a long time now, still with no resolution. They’re not going to “roll the ball back.”
I’d like to hear your opinions on this. There’s a fairly heated discussion going on over on Geoff Shackelford’s blog. I have a few questions to start it up:
Is tweaking the Old Course “repainting the Mona Lisa” as some have said?
Can we really expect golfers and golf manufacturers to buy into rolling back equipment, thus “saving” classic courses?
Do courses really need to make these tweaks to challenge pros who play there four days a year or in the case of the Old Course every five years?
The vibe I gathered when in St. Andrews is that the locals don’t like it when low scores are dropped on the Old. Is the R&A Championship committee doing this to keep the Old Course respectable and prevent it from giving up low scores, 59’s or even 58’s? If so, why care if the best in the world shoot super low scores? Why does the course have to be changed because of that? In talks on Twitter with Robert Thompson, I liked his quote, “Or we can just stop worrying about some guy shooting 60. Why the need to protect par at the expense of courses?”
And perhaps the best question to ask is, “what would Old Tom Morris do?”
Happy Thanksgiving to all of you who celebrate it. I’m very privileged to have such great friends in the golf world. I’ve met a many great people in the years I’ve produced this golf blog, starting back in 2004. Those friends and relationships have been by far the best part of running this golf website.
Cheers to all of you. XOXOXO