Old Course, St Andrews Review

There is something magical about the town of St Andrews and the same applies to the Old Course. But don't run away with the idea that this is the greatest links in the world because it is not. As long as you don't slice the ball, the chances are that you will play this course reasonably well as all the trouble is on the right. However, the best line to almost every green is from the right side. The rolling fairways stretch out in front of you as invitingly as any in the world but you need to have a local caddie on the bag to tell you where the hidden pot bunkers are - get into one of those and all you can do is hack it back out onto the fairway, often backwards. And then there are the double greens - it is possible to leave yourself a putt that can measure as much as 100 yards! 

The 17th is the Road Hole and is arguably the most famous hole in all of golf. Once upon a time, you had to drive over what were railway sheds - they have long since gone. The area is now occupied by the Old Course Hotel, and a structure shaped like the sheds has been built. Find the middle of the fairway and you then face an incredibly difficult shot to a narrow green protected by the Road Hole bunker at the front and a road to the rear.

 The 18th is the most famous finishing hole, with out of bounds on the right and miles of room on the left. However the further left you go, the harder you’ll find the second shot to the huge green that slopes from back to front as well as being protected by the famous Valley of Sin. Everybody who plays this hole should take the time to stand on the world-famous Swilcan Bridge, which has been crossed by every giant of the game.

THE Old Course at St Andrews is the most famous links on the planet - it evokes memories of legends from a bygone era. Every giant of the game of golf has played here. In what other sport could you share the same arena as the best golfers who have ever lived? And there is no bigger arena.

Find out more details about the Old Course, St Andrews.

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Derek Clements

Author, Derek Clements

Derek Clements is a golf journalist - he has covered many Open Championships and European Tour events, as well as The Masters. Born in Glasgow, he writes for The Sunday Times and Golfshake, and has also written for Today's Golfer, the Daily Mail, Swing by Swing and many other golf websites, magazines and newspapers. He has played golf all over the world and numbers Gleneagles, Kingsbarns and Aldeburgh as his three favourite golf courses in the United Kingdom. He lives in Suffolk, is a member of Waldringfield Golf Club and has a handicap of nine. He had lessons from the late Bob Torrance and has worked with Jean-Jacques Rivet, one of the world's leading golf biomechanists. Derek has also ghost-written several autobiographies, including golfer Gary Wolstenholme and former cricke