Make no mistake about it, I’m passionate about the game of golf. I’ve been consistently complaining about being an average golfer for 15 years, and that won’t be changing anytime soon. I also love to watch golf on television. I try to stay away away from watching television as much as I can, but if there is a big golf tournament on, I’m usually glued to it for four solid days. Last weekend was even more special to me. It was The Open Championship, which was held at the Old Course in St. Andrews, Scotland. I was lucky enough to visit St. Andrews and play the Old Course in 2010, and this was the first Open Championship held at the course since then. It was a thrill to wake up at 5:00 am to watch the golf seven time zones away. Tiger Woods has always been my guy, and even after he melted down starting on the first hole of the tournament, it didn’t kill the fun of watching the great golf.
St. Andrews is known as the home of golf, and the sport has been played on that plot of land in some form since the 16th century. The type of golf in Scotland and Ireland are mostly what are called ‘links’ courses, meaning they are played near the sea. The Old Course at St. Andrews sits on the Eden Estuary, and the course was formed because of the sand base and sheep keeping the grass short by using it as their diet. The sand bunkers were formed from those same animals burrowing down in a storm. When there, its amazing to look at how this course has taken shape over the last five years. Its also something to think the course still holds up to be a challenge to the best players on the planet.
Right up there with the golf is the spectacular town of St. Andrews. The town revolves around two things: Golf & The University. There are more pubs per capita in St. Andrews than anywhere in Europe, and when visiting, there is nothing like seeing golfers from all over the world sharing their stories over a pint in the pubs. Prince Harry went to the University of St. Andrews, and not shockingly, the number of female applicants went up three fold! While America has some great history, walking through the streets of St. Andrews and seeing some buildings built in 1500 AD is almost hard to fathom. People from all over the world treat St. Andrews as a pilgrimage of sorts, and I consider myself lucky to have been able to visit, and after watching the Open Championship last week, I’m plotting my next adventure over there. I’ve been fortunate enough to visit many places in Europe and the Caribbean over the years, but walking down the road and first laying eyes on the 18th green and 1st tee next to the R&A Building is my favorite location I’ve ever visited.