EXPERIENCE: St.Andrews (Old Course)
EXPERIENCE – THE TRAVELLIN' TOG
HOLE 17, ST ANDREWS (OLD)
THERE are probably
THERE are probably only three courses that transcend the golf world, those that are even known by people with only a modicum of interest in golf: Pebble Beach, Augusta National and St Andrews.
Arguably, St Andrews is the biggest name of them all. Yet, if you were to take a quick poll of golfers who have played all three of the above-mentioned bucket-listers, many would wonder what the St Andrews fuss was all about.
Compared with its two American brethren, St Andrews is no match in the visual stakes, and I know many friends have commented they can’t see the wonder given St Andrews is a flat paddock lined with gorse and little in the way of aesthetic beauty.
It is a surprise how often you have to tee off at St Andrews with no idea where the green is located. A good caddie and local knowledge is a great ally especially during your first round. Avoiding the perfectly placed bunkers is no mean feat, and plotting your way around the greens is a challenging task.
The most difficult hole on the course – and possibly the toughest par-4 in the world – is the 17th, The Road Hole. There have been so many stories and such drama at the 17th that every golfer looks forward to seeing how they’ll perform there. From the tee shot over the sheds, followed by an approach to a narrow sliver of a green, the 17th is a challenge that enthrals all golfers.
Carrying the bunker yet stopping the ball before it carries over onto the road, and possibly up against the wall, heightens the challenge and jangles the nerves as one prepares to hit the approach to the green.
As you play the 17th, the St Andrews township looms over the course. The sense of history envelops the players, and for most golfers, the last two holes – especially the 18th – provides the largest of galleries watching them play golf.
Inquisitive travellers, watching just a small part of the magic of St Andrews, tend to gather around the 18th green and watch golfers traverse the Valley of Sin en route to putting out on the final hole. For the mere mortal, a par on the 18th at The Home of Golf can be a satisfying experience.
Perhaps St Andrews doesn’t share the visual delights of Pebble Beach and Augusta, but there is no denying it is one of golf’s great experiences.
GOLF HOLES TO DREAM ABOUT
YOU might imagine the life of a golf course photographer to be a rather blessed one. In many ways it is.
But there's often a lot more going on behind the scenes of a meticulously captured shot of a breathtakingly beautiful and world-renowned course.
In his coffee table book, Golf Holes To Dream About, David Scaletti pens – alongside eye-popping photography – tales from behind the lens while travelling the golf world.
Ever wondered how some of the most iconic images in golf came into being? This book unveils some classic backstories to many absolute gems, including tackling topless bathers in St Maxime, spinning a cart 360-degrees on the 4th hole at Merion, and an 'exotic warm-up' in South Korea.
One for real lovers of the real life adventures in golf.