Showing posts from December, 2008

The Old, the golfer and the dog.

A couple of years ago we had a good bunch of golfers over from North Carolina, USA, and as so often happens when the guys stay in town and are playing the courses of the St. Andrews links a rapport builds up between the caddies and their respective golfer.
On the third day of the tour and playing the Old for the second time the golfers had reached the 6th, Heathery, a 374 yard par 4 that requires a blind tee shot over intimidating gorse bushes to the safety of the fairway. Doug, alias Stitch, a big powerful man who could hit the golf ball a country mile fairly crushed his drive and though it flew left of the intended target we caddies knew that the sanctuary of the 13th fairway, which runs parallel to the 6th, would give him a comfortable approach into the green. The pathway from the 6th tee to the fairway ahead.The remaining golfers had all hit successful drives over the gorse bushes and as we discussed our respective approaches, from the centre of the 6th fairway, to the green, Stitch…

Glengoyne Whisky Distillery, Scotland.

Apart from Golf one of Scotland's other great exports to the World is, of course, our unique National Drink....Whisky.

So, upon your behalf, dear reader, Caddie Golf recently subjected himself to the gruelling situation of visiting the stunningly beautiful Glengoyne Whisky Distillery, located two miles north of my village Strathblane. 

After a journey that almost lasted an incredible 5 minutes, we had arrived!  A crisp winter's day, a lovely pale blue sky perfectly framing this 19th Century whisky distillery which was founded in 1833. 

After a short walk around the grounds where we saw the distilleries very own picture perfect waterfall we all headed indoors for a tour and short lecture about the production of this distinctive Single Highland Malt Whisky.

The vast 'golden stills' within the distillery play an important part in the process of making the famous golden Scottish drink, that is so appreciated across the world.

A great day was had, in a gorgeous setting for one of…

Jimmy Reid, St Andrews Caddy.

A wonderful short film of the legendary St. Andrews caddy Jimmy Reid. A trusted friend, long may he continue on the Old Course.

Caddie & Golfer

The young English golfer David Horsey, who has now joined the main European Tour after winning the order of merit on the European Challenge Tour for 2008, tees off from the 12th tee  on the Old Course at St. Andrews during the summer of 2007, carefully watched by his caddie and fellow player.
This event pictured in 2007 was one of David Horsey's last as an amateur golfer. He went onto represent Great Britain & Ireland against the USA in the Walker Cup later that summer and then turned professional.  2008 proved to be a fantastic year for David with a couple of big wins on the Challenge Tour and a string of top ten finishes ensuring that he finished as the top earning golfer for the year, setting a record earnings on the Challenge Tour. 
He has now played in five of the first European Tour events for the 2009 season, making the cut in them all and securing 17th, 19th and 21st in his last three competitions. David currently sits in 32nd position on the Tour's 'Race to Dubai…

Caddie Golf Tours Video: Images from Scotland's superb links golf courses.

Tales from the Old Course: Mr. Tait

Mr FG Tait, a well known local and golf enthusiast over the links of the Old Course at St. Andrews, once, incredible as it now seems, drove his golf ball through a man's Tall Hat and subsequently had to pay the owner the princely sum of five shillings to purchase a replacement.
At the end of his round, now ensconsed in the bar of the St. Andrews Clubhouse, he was grumbling about his misfortune to the legendary Old Tom Morris about the injustice of this particular shot when the grand golf sage of St. Andrews interrupted him, ", Mr. Tait, perhaps you ought to be glad it was only the cost of a new Tall Hat you had to purchase and not an oak coffin".

Tales from the Old Course, St. Andrews

There are so many interesting, astonishing and curious facts related to the golf links of St. Andrews that one has great difficulty in believing them to be true. I suspended my belief long ago having witnessed some incredible incidents first hand through caddying upon the Old Course.

The stories/articles that I will be posting under the title Tales from the Old Course have either been viewed by myself and fellow caddies or have been well documented in the annals of golf at St. Andrews. I hope you all enjoy reading them.

The Burn

A couple of years ago I invited couple of friends to play their first game over the Old Course. We were fortunate and got a picture postcard day, light wind blue skies and a warm sun. I was really pleased to see that they both held their nerves on the first tee and hit super drives down the fairway. Well done indeed but it is the second shot to the first green that poses the difficulty with the infamous Swilcan Burn (stream) running directly in front of the green…

Seaside Golf, a celebration from Betjamin.

I regularly return to this life affirming poem from the great English poet John Betjamin, it's simplicity and joy show the beauty of playing golf on the links (seaside) golf courses of Britain.
Seaside GolfHow straight it flew, how long it flew
It cleared the rutty track And soaring disappeared from viewBeyond the bunker's back -A glorious, sailing, bounding driveThat made me glad I was alive.
And down the fairway, far alongIt glowed a lonely white;I played an iron sure and strongAnd clipped it out of sight,And spite of grassy banks betweenI knew I'd find it on the green.
And so I did, it lay contentTwo paces from the pin;A steady putt and then it went Oh, most securely in.The very turf rejoiced to seeThat quite unprecedented three.
Ah! Seaweed smells from sandy cavesAnd thyme and mist in whiffs,In-coming tide, Atlantic wavesSlapping sunny cliffs,Lark song and sea sounds in the air And splendour, splendour everywhere.John Betjamin

Odd Games of Golf, part 1.

On the 19th November 1932 , R.S. Little and K.G. Sherriff, students at St. Andrews University, played a cross country match from Ceres, an inland Fifeshire village, to the 18th home hole at St. Andrews Old Course.

The conditions were that each was to use one club, they were allowed to tee the ball up on each shot, and to hole out in less than 300 strokes. The distance was nine miles and they took eight hours. Mr. Little holed out in 236 strokes against Mr. Sherriff's 238.