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  #1  
Old 05-27-2002, 07:04 PM
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Scotland, Golf & Football

Well, I'm back from Scotland and the trip was very successful.

After taking in the UEFA Championship in Glasgow I actully got on to St. Andrews by merely walking up to the starters shack!! It was well worth the trip.



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  #2  
Old 05-27-2002, 08:54 PM
Tod D Tod D is offline
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Awesome Mark.

After 2 years living in Ireland, I became a pretty big Euro soccer fan. Champion's League is some seriously good football. Nice doubleheader. Only thing better would have been to combine it w/ a Five Nations Rugby match, but the calendars just don't align.

Welcome back. Word is there are a few stripers about....
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Old 05-28-2002, 06:41 AM
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Mark,

What getting on just walking up to the Starters Shack at hallowed St Andrews !! Thought you had to give up your first born to get on their. Now thats some hellish bunker Great photos.

How did you like the course with its 120 bunkers ? Actually I played a course which had more than 120 and my ball found a number of them.

Hal
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Old 05-28-2002, 09:13 AM
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Those are great Photo's Mark.
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Old 05-28-2002, 07:31 PM
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Well, I didn't just walk up to St. Andrews. I took a 1 hour and 20 minute cab ride from Edinburgh @ 5:30 AM, after playing 49 holes of golf the day before and tipping pints in the clubhouse until the wee hours.

When I checked at the starters shack at 7:00 AM he told my threesome that there was no chance we'd all get to play in the same group. He signed us up as singles, albeit with 10 names ahead of us. He instructed us to go grab breakfast, and then lunch, and check back around 12:30!!! We settled in for a long wait. After breakfast, around 9:30, we decided to go back to the first tee and just stand there until he let us play.

At 10:00 he told us we were the next names on the list. At 10:15 a two-some showed up for their tee time. The problem, at The Old Course a two-some is completely acceptable. If they wanted to remain as two they had every right. Luckily they had no problem sharing the round of a lifetime with two complete strangers. The problem we had was our third player. He was our host, had already played St. Andrews and is also an exceedingly nice person. He stored his bag in the caddie shack and carried my friend's bag for eighteen holes so we could all experience the course together. We already have a "thank you" gift in the works, have no fear.

Anyway, I pared the first hole and was ready to bring the course to it's knees. On the front nine the wind was at our backs and I used it to my advantage. I avoided all the trouble the Old Course could throw my way and carded a 41, not bad. Then came the back side where the wind was in our face from 13 through the 18th. I found my first bunker on the par-3 eleventh. I had to go for the green........once, twice, then on the third shot I succumbed and blasted out of the bunker backwards. That netted me a quadruple-bogey 7 but it was worth ever stroke. I found two more bunkers on the 12th hole, saving strokes each time by blasting out backwards.

Once the wind was in my face all bets were off. It was a constant 30 mph. with higher gusts thrown in for good measure. By the time I reached 18 all hopes of a sub-80 round had been dashed. My caddie mentioned that if this wind were behind me I could easily reach the 18th green with my drive. Today, though, I should play it as a par-5 and try to reach it in three. OUCH!! I hit driver, three iron and I was still 40 yards from the green when I lined up my third shot. I hit my best of the day, a punch wedge that bounced once and stuck three feet from the hole. I calmly drained my par putt in front of roughly 100 tourists. I couldn't have ended such an experience any better. I carded a 92 (41 front, 51 back). I truly appreciated every single stroke that I had the opportunity to make. I only hit three bunkers all day but they added 5 strokes to my round.

The pro shop depleted my bank account like an armed gunman. Hey, I'll probably never make it back there again so I needed to make this trip count.

My advice for anyone traveling there to play, take the guess work out of it and book your tee-time 6 months in advance.

Sorry for the ramblings on the board. Can we start up a golf category in the near future...........?
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Old 05-28-2002, 08:06 PM
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Mark,

Thanks for the detail description. I played in a cold wind on a a public course that is usually ranked in the top 100 of the U.S. it has a 138 slope, lots of water and traps, and in the middle of a forest preserve here in Chicago on Friday. No fun into those heavy winds, really makes a difference in your game. I would also be going out the rear side of those pot bunkers, heck I have seen the pros do it. Interesting that they allow two somes on a famous course like that. They will not do that here in Chicago on most courses unless it is early morning or twilight, or winter golf for the most part.

Yes will be a lifetime memory for you, congratulations.

Believe there are a few obsessed golfers on the board along with the fly fishers.

I have asked myself if I had a choice to fly fish a world famous steelhead or atlantic salmon river or a world famous golf course of my choice which one would I elect ? Not sure would be a tough decision.

Hal
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Old 05-28-2002, 09:33 PM
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Here's the picture that will soon hang in my basement, framed, with my score card matted just below it.

It's the shared fairway of the 1st and 18th holes at dawn.



I promise, no more posts until it concerns the stink of fish......
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Old 05-28-2002, 10:53 PM
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Very good picture !

Looks like that is one unique long thin sand trap there. Never seen one like that, oh well it is St Andrews, where golf started !

Hal
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  #9  
Old 05-29-2002, 02:28 PM
DFix DFix is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by pmflyfisher
Very good picture !

Looks like that is one unique long thin sand trap there. Never seen one like that, oh well it is St Andrews, where golf started !

Hal
'Swilcan Burn', the brook running through the fairway, has been known to spoil the day for some very prestigious players.
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Old 05-29-2002, 02:34 PM
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Yes, and runs up to the Road Hole... the difficult 17th. I think
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  #11  
Old 05-29-2002, 09:15 PM
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Yes, the burn comes into play on the 1st hole, where it cuts across immediately in front of the green. It also runs across the 18th fairway about 30 yards in front of the tee box. As for the 17th (the Road Hole), it would only come in to play on a wildly left shot to the green.

Hitting a golf ball over the corner of a hotel on the 17th was a strangely satisfying experience. It is so foreign to drive a golf ball at a structure.
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  #12  
Old 05-29-2002, 10:43 PM
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I think I have only been in the burn once when I had the St. Andrew video golf game on my PC. Yes I remember it now it was on hole 1, never did it on the other holes. I got pretty good on that old course in cyber space even with the wind turned up strong.

That must be one battered hotel, what happens when you hit it, they must have all of the windows covered I would think.

Do you have a close up picture of it ? Would like to see that.

Hal
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