A Day in Scotland Adam Hardy

Photo Courtesy of Evan Wilson

On a cool, breezy summer day, I ventured to Scotland to play the oldest course in golf.

Upon my first day of arrival in Edinburgh, Scotland, I was extremely tired after a full day of travel without sleep. Accompanied by my brother, dad, and grandad, we started our 3 day golf excursion and took a cab ride across the rolling farm land of Scotland. We planned on playing the oldest golf course in the world that day, The Old Course.

My family and I were staying at the Old Course Hotel, where golf's greatest stay before playing the most renowned course in the world. The presence of the many great golfers that had stayed in the hotel was felt with my first step in the building as pictures and artifacts lined the entry. Our golf bags were immediately taken back to be cleaned and prepped for our round of golf. As I made my way into the hotel room, I was pleasantly welcomed to see my name on the television screen as I felt even more professional.

After a quick warm-up on the range, we made our way to the first tee of the Old Course. When stepping out of the van, I immediately felt a cold ocean breeze run up my legs as a second guessed my choice to wear shorts.

First Teebox at the Old Course, photo courtesy of Wolfblur

With St Andrews Bay to the right and the old-fashioned town of St Andrews behind me, I felt as if I was a pro teeing off for the British Open. I began to get nervous before teeing off as both golfers and tourists look on as the people ahead of me tee’d off.

After leaving my emotions behind, I walked up to the tee to take my tee shot. My 70 year old scottish caddie began to read off some distances and give some advice as a wondered how many times he had walked this aged course. I took my driver from my caddie and placed a tee into the ground. I lined up, swung, and hit a line drive down the middle of the fairway as the weight of messing up was lifted off my shoulders. I began to walk toward my ball as I admired the historic landscape of Scotland.

Photo Courtesy of mike138

The course was spectacular and everything I imagined Scottish golf being, the rolling hills, huge sandtraps, and fog rolling over each green. The hundred year old grass was so hard not even the highest shot would put a dent in it. When in a bunker, they towered above you while you got on your tiptoes to manage a glimpse of the top of the flag.

As I a continued to play the course and my score began to rise, I became for comfortable hitting every shot better. With the bay surrounding me, there were constant chirps from the seagulls flying above me. The wind was either my biggest enemy or closest friend as it would either carry my ball an extra 20 yards or completely misdirect my shot.

While closing in on the final holes of the course, you truly admire the scenery of Scotland with aged brick walls surrounding the boundary of the course and the town of St Andrews in the back drop. As a approached hole 17, I marveled over the shot that laid in front of me. A blind driver shot over the side of the Old Course Hotel where all I could see was the top of the town in the distance. I hit my best drive of the day and started my walk. On my way to my tee shot, I passed the hotel bar, the Jigger Inn, where golfers sat and chuckled while they enjoyed a cold Guinness. As I finished the hole, I gathered with my family to take a photo of the renowned Swilken Bridge that connects the 17th and 18th holes.

The Swilken Bridge, photo courtesy of StAndrewsLinks

The experience of Scottish Golf is not for the beginner golfer. Having some of the toughest courses and conditions in the world, The Old Course can make a round of golf hell for eighteen holes. Every shot is affected by wind which can make a round of golf very long if you can't hit your shots straight to begin with. The experienced golfer would enjoy the challenge and appreciate the history of the courses which offer unbelievable memories. The experience of playing golf in Scotland is like nothing I had ever experienced in the States, and I have played some of the nicest courses in the United States (i.e.; Sebonic, Olympic, Shinnecock, etc.). I would recommend the trip for a golf enthusiast who has a low handicap as well a someone appreciates golf and its amazing history.

Photo Courtesy of Adam Hardy

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