Author Topic: 40th Scotland/England trip - Carnoustie, St Andrews Old New Royal Lytham  (Read 2670 times)


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  • Old Tom Morris...
This year sadly was my 40th year on this planet, with my alias name really doing me justice my wife offered me any holiday I wished (more than likely to keep me quiet).

So where to go, hmmmm well let's be honest as a golfer there really is only one place to go and that's the home of golf and so that's where I went last week, I have been to the St Andrews back in 1995 to watch the open, but then only had the opportunity to watch and play Leven links at the time but always vowed to return.

So after some months of planning I managed to organise a couple of rounds at Carnoustie while we were up there and Royal Lytham and St Annes on the way back home, and hoped among hopes that I could get to play the Old Course and another while up there.

So what about Carnoustie! What a fantastic course, brutal and no let up from start to finish, driving at the utmost premium, if you drive the ball poorly around their you could still be there playing by the time then next open comes round there. Some magnificent holes which forces you to attempt to shape the ball both ways with both tee shots and approaches, and the last 4 right up there surely with the best finishing stretch in golf.

 Sadly I managed to bogey the last 4 (The Par 3 16th hitting a driver into the wind and just making the front bunker.)including a 5 on the last (what would van de velde have given for that) for an 82 which was'nt too bad. there's a great signature van de velde has inscribed into he wall of the burn on the 18th hole to commemorate his wonderfull collapse in 99.

While up there I had the great pleasure to meet up with Auld Grey Loon and we as a pairing entered the ballot for the Auld (soory old) course but sadly did'nt get through so had the pleasure of playing the New course and what a fantastic course it is, for the first 6 holes or so I think I was in awe of seeing the old course (kid in a candy store syndrome) as the 2 literally weave between one another, but thankfully did manage to hit a few decent shots on the way in. Was great of Dave to meet up with me and much appreciated, and he has promised me a rematch on my home territory within the next year or two so I am expectant! :)

The only way to play the Old course now was an early start and sat with the starter on the Thursday in an attempt to get on the Old course. So a 4.30 alarm clock ensued and got to the Old course by 5.45am thinking must be first surely.......7th on the list gutted, thankfully managed to get on by 10am, weather was great and actually for a change the golf was great with it to the point had a 20ft putt ont he 11th green to go 3 under for my round but sadly 3 putted, managed to hold it to the 16th green and again a putt to go 2 under but managed to 3 putt that, then again on 17 sob....sob, and to top it off had a run in with the valley of sin on 18 that left me with a double bogey and a 75 which was pretty hearbraking and many tears but still a very memorable experience all in all.

The Old course is magnificent but almost at the same time a little bit of a let down to play, admittedly I was warned but it's still a place where if you have the opportunity to play you HAVE to.

Last up was the home of the Open in 2012, had been to this venue back in 1988 watching Seve conjuring magic around the course back then so had great memories. On arrival the pro allowed me to play off the members competition tees which were as close as they get to the championship tees they have there, the memebrs only play the championship tees once or twice a year so was pretty privaleged. Again like Carnoustie driving was at a premium with bunkers littering the course (over 200) with the 17th having 17 alone and the 18th something similar.

The course is very open to the elements and the wind was pretty strong with the wind behind for the first nine and playing right back into for the back 9. Actually scored far better into the wind than down wind, almost impossible to judge down wind shots as the greens were very firm, again like Carnoustie has a fantastic finish the 14th and 15th being absolutely brutal, while having a little respite on 16 before the onslaught of 17 and 18! Great course again, and whoever wins around there in July will have to have a good short game for the week.

« Last Edit: April 20, 2012, 06:23:24 PM by MoaningM »