Scottish Golf Season



The Scottish golf season is beginning to slowly escape from, what seems to me, a rather long winter period which started in mid November last year. Thankfully when April springs into view the golf season will have truly arrived.

The golf season on the links courses at St. Andrews generally starts on the 1st weekend of April with the now traditional event of playing the Old Course in 'reverse' or as they would have played it during the 17th/18th & 19th Centuries.

The 17th green on the 'Reverse Old Course' what we now play as the first.

The course is played in a clockwise direction with the 17th Road Hole green becoming the 1st.You then tee off from the side of the green to the 16th green which now acts as the 2nd hole, followed by the 17th tee to the 15th green which is now the third and on it goes......it is truly odd for the golfer because this is not how they have viewed the golf course on TV and certainly not how they would have pre-planned their route to the greens of the Old Course.

For me, it is fantastic challenge. To be allowed once a year to recognise and walk upon the Old Course as it was originally played, during previous centuries, is wonderful and it brings a different complexity to the Old that is a challenge to unlock. Goodness, I'm still a work in progress on the puzzle it presents with its' eighteen golf holes now.

The approach shot to some of the greens does seem impossible with so much 'dead' ground to carry. This is due to the course being played in the now standard 'anticlockwise' direction for the last 90 years or more, so the original approaches to the greens are obsolete meaning the lay up area has been left as rough with patches of gorse bushes scattered about. The lines from the tees and the fairways are obviously different, the yardages to be passed onto the golfer require more imagination than the reading of a sprinkler head on a fairway...a completely new golf course to us now but one that conjures up images of Old Tom Morris and his cronies from an era when the 'eye' told you what club to hit.

If the opportunity arises, when you are in Scotland, around the end of March I would urge not to miss this chance to play upon the Old Course as she once was. Please feel free to contact Caddie Golf Tours for advice about playing on the 'reverse course'.

Cheers, John. 


Comments

Joe Welsh said…
John,
I have read about 'The Old Course In Reverse'... Do you know why the course was reversed to the layout we are all familiar with today?
Joe

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