St Andrews – The Eden Course – April 2016 – I am currently sitting in the conference room in the Jubilee Greenkeeping Centre at St Andrews logged in to thehomeofgolf wifi. Looking out the window I can see the Old Course and across to the town.
Yesterday, I drove through some terrible rain and had watched it snow and hail on and off all morning so when I arrived in St Andrews I wasn’t surprised at the swirling grey clouds.
They sky was full and ready to burst.
I was half an hour early to the Jubilee Greenkeeping Centre where I was meeting with Gordon Moir, (my playing partner). I was swiped into the offices and I commented on the security then stopped by the sheds for a quick look at all the equipment which requires said security measures.
Gordon still had a bit of work to do so I left him to it and went for a little drive in the pouring rain. The sky was heaving, although I decided it would blow through quick (hoping perhaps).
While I watched some kite surfers, I checked twitter and had to apologize. I couldn’t run #golfchat, I was going to be teeing it up at St Andrews – best excuse ever.
I headed back to Gordon’s office. After he decided we should play The Eden Course, he ran back upstairs getting me an Eden Course bag tag and a couple of magazines. As we drove around the Old, I smiled as the sun came out over the town.
While I have only been golfing (or interested in golf) for not quite two years this is my second visit to St Andrews and I do love the skyline and all the old buildings.
It was crisp as we layered up, shouldered our bags and headed to the starter. The weather was clearing and while cold, it wasn’t raining (or snowing).
Gordon nailed his drive down the first and I am pleased to say I followed suit.
I started off really well with a par, bogie then a par and was even happier when Gordon told me he thought The Eden Course had the hardest starting holes.
The Old was fairly busy with excited Americans hunting for their balls (with no success) and yet Gordon and I seemed to have the Eden to ourselves.
The grey skies cleared and it was all blue skies and fluffy clouds but being Scotland that can change very rapidly.
I was playing some good links shots, selecting the right club after taking the run into account and although I had some mediocre shots I was happy with my 50 on the front nine.
I had some great bunker work and was only in two bunkers on the front nine but got out easily of the first one on the 5th. The second, on the 8th, I was very close to the wall and couldn’t even stand in the bunker to hit the ball so I was on my left knee with my right leg stretched out, leaning down into the bunker while Gordon filmed. Both of us thought it an impossible lie and that I would at least bounce it off the wall giving me a better bunker shot.
I opened up the club face as much as I could and surprised both of us popping the ball up and over the edge. And I have that on film. Love it.
I had a couple of bad holes but nothing worse than a 7 on the front nine.
I started the back nine with two doubles and a bogie and completely duffed my tee shot on the par 5 13th, hitting the ball around thirty feet. I then mishit my 5w digging holes about four inches behind the ball just nudging it a little further in front of me (a couple of metres at the most). Then I nailed my third shot with The Hawk – one of the best shots of the day. I finished the hole with a double and I was stoked considering the start of the hole.
We only saw three groups of people the whole time and everywhere I looked it was just beautiful – hence the amount of photos I took.
Here I was in the late afternoon sunshine golfing at St Andrews with Gordon.
Not a bad day at all!
I nailed my drive on the 14th and followed that up with a fantastic shot with The Hawk, cutting the corner over the water to land pin high but off the green. I very nearly ended up with a birdie as I left my putt inches from the hole.
I’m always happy with a par but what a lovely par to have at St Andrews.
On the 15th I drove straight into the water duffing my tee shot hitting so far behind the ball the divot finished four inches behind my tee. Taking a drop I finished with a triple.
While my I got three bogies on my last three holes on the 17th I had hit two beautiful shots and was on the green in regulation but had a couple of ordinary putts which was the only bad putting all day.
I am an agressive putter (Gordon’s words not mine) and I am confident with that club in my hands. I have been able to putt from day one when I started golfing a couple years ago and I can read a green really well.
I am not sure if it is transitioning from links to parkland and changing my style of golf to suit wherever I play or if it is just lack of practice (only playing) but I seem to have lost my knack and touch around the greens. I only hit three decent pitches all day, topping the rest and sorting myself with my putter in my hands.
I was very happy to shoot 49 on the back nine finishing with my first sub 100 round this year. After adjusting for my handicap I shot a par round 73.
What a nice way to play at St Andrews for the first time.
I love that there is always something to work on with my golf.
Gordon and I will be off shortly to play in an annual Course Managers event at Aberdour so I have another 18 holes that I can practice.
St Andrews – The Eden Course – April 2016