Posted by: randyhaaggolf | July 30, 2018

GOLF IN SCOTLAND – THE AMAZING OLD COURSE

I’m sure many of you have been watching the Senior Open at St Andrews. While on TV it may look less than impressive, you must play it to feel the presence of the history of this magical place. There is no 1st and 18th hole in golf like St Andrews anywhere in the world. The 1st and 18th holes share a fairway that spans at least 120 yards, and you have double greens starting at #2 and #16, #3 and #15, #4 and #14, #5 and #13, #6 and #12 all adding up to 18.

We played on a calm Saturday, similar to round #1 of the Senior Open, and yes the course is a sitting duck without the wind. When the wind blows, its a completely different course. Without the wind, the 12th hole is drivable, into a strong wind, the hole is VERY tight. The downwind holes are also very tough, as you cannot stop your ball once on the green. This is not the typical golf we play here in the USA, and it does take an array of different shots to be efficient in these conditions. Many people I’ve spoken to about the Old Course have said that they didn’t really like it, thought it was a “dog” track. I completely disagree, this is the home of golf, where it all started. The city of St Andrews is amazing and beautiful, and everything about the place is magical and historic. So if you have not been there, get it on your bucket list!!

Oh so how did I do in the qualifier? For the last 5 days I kinda felt like the old saying in golf, when someone asks you what you shot, 80% of the people don’t really care, and the other 20% wish you would have shot higher. I have plenty of great excuses why I shot my worst round ever in a qualifier over here. Even after three rounds of under-par practice rounds does not mean your ready. I made many mistakes this year in my attempt to get into my 6th Senior Open. I was staying up too late at night and sleeping till late morning. My sleep pattern never normalized, so when I requested an early tee time and got it, I had no sleep the night before, not one wink of sleep. I dragged myself out of bed, tired and without any balance.

My round started with 4 straight 5’s on the card and in a deep hole. As I rallied back, I realized that an under par round was not going to happen for me, and that I needed to get as close to even as possible. As it was 73 played off, 8 players for 4 spots. After a tidy triple bogey on the 10th hole, I was pretty much done. I felt quite disgusted at not giving myself a better chance at making this years Senior Open at St Andrews. Instead I am parked in Wales in a town called Porthcawl, where Royal Porthcawl is located and prepared to host the Senior Amateur starting this coming Wednesday. Its a very tough course and is where I competed in the Senior Open last year.

All the courses over here are baked out and brown dormant fairways. However we’ve just been hit with a huge rain and wind storm the past few days that should soften up the course a bit. Stating the obvious, I’d like to end this VERY long trip with at least a respectable showing in the Senior Open, and perhaps even a W!!!

My post tomorrow will review the past 5 years with the 2 stock picks I have given you. Both have appreciated more than 300%, and I will be giving you my next pick that should appreciate more than 1000% over some time (although there are no sure things).

And stay tuned from more from Porthcawl and the start of the Senior Amateur


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