St Andrews Old Course: Walking through history

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Dark clouds gather over St Andrews at The Old Course on July 27, 2018 in St Andrews, Scotland. (Photo by Tony Marshall/Getty Images)

St Andrews Old Course makes for a lovely Sunday walk, even if you don’t get the opportunity to play the course. This was my experience.

The most casual golf fan knows all about The Old Course, or The Auld  as it is known to the locals.  Even a non-golfer knows that The Old Course is the place where the game was first played.

The Auld is, and probably always will be, at the top of any list of courses to play.  One reason, of course, is simply the history and tradition of what it represents.  Second, and just as important, is the fact that anyone (with a decent handicap) can play it, with some planning, determination, and adequate financial resources.

St Andrews

Stacy Lewis of the United States putts for birdie on the 18th green during the final round of the Ricoh Women’s British Open at the Old Course, St Andrews on August 4, 2013 in St Andrews, Scotland. (Photo by Warren Little/Getty Images)

Women on The Old Course

As we enjoy this year’s Ricoh Women’s British Open at Royal Lytham and St. Anne’s, it’s easy to forget that the best women’s golfers from around the globe have only been playing the Open Championship golf courses for the past two decades.

Probably the tournament that turned the corner for the women was the 2007 Women’s British Open at The Old Course.  Lorena Ochoa was clearly the best player in the world, and the victory solidified her as the one to beat moving forward.  Having Lorena, the best player, win at The Old Course, the icon, was poetic and symbiotic.

The next time the women played the Old Course, Stacy Lewis bagged her second major championship.  Her birdie-birdie finish resulted in a two-stroke victory.  It also showcased both the women and the Old Course for many watching back in the U.S.

Although most golfers will never have the chance to play it, the Old Course is not impossible to access.  In fact, it is probably the most accessible major championship course in the world.  I was fortunate enough to visit it a few weeks ago, and here is what I discovered.

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