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Sean_A

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ST ANDREWS NEW COURSE New
« on: November 02, 2011, 03:26:10 AM »


Often solely attributed as an Old Tom Morris (with his trusted right hand man, David Honeyman) 1895 original design, The New Course was in fact modified by Harry Colt in 1919-20.  The R&A commissioned the New Course in response to increased demand for golf in St Andrews mainly encouraged by the coming of the railway in 1852.  Hence, R&A members are given special playing rights (enshrined in an Act of Parliament) which guarantees every other time for much of the year.  Visitors are restricted to walk-on basis unless booked in conjunction with The Old.  Despite the unique relationship between The New Course and the R&A, most of St Andrews is about The Old Course.  There is no New Course clothing, hotel or long lines.  Generally speaking, The New is the consolation prize for those who fail to obtain a time on The Old. As the name implies, The New fails to be an overwhelming attraction because it lacks the history of The Old.  None of this should imply The New isn't popular....it does about 40,000 rounds a year!



With the irony of OTM designing the New Course, the Old and New share some attributes such as firm, true and interesting greens, plenty of humpty bumpty terrain with nary a hill in sight and an essentially out and back design.  Other than the double greens, the main difference between the courses is where the trouble is located.  Running generally clockwise, most of the trouble on The New is left, leaving the slice a very viable option.  Try this sort of play on the generally anti-clockwise Old and it will make for a long day!

Squeezed between The Old and Jubilee courses, The New begins mildly with a very short par 4.  Due to a large hump in the fairway it makes sense to lay-up. 


The second doesn't move many needles.  Things get far more interesting on the dogleg left par 5 third.  With the wind coming off the left the tee shot and second shot are very demanding.  The raised green flows from a hump coming in off the right side of the fairway and is essentially levelled off.  Coupled with #15, this double green is as large as those on TOC and one can easily imagine very long putts with the wind pushing toward the 15th.






Despite the lovely greensite, I don't care for the 4th, a shortish par 4 turning hard left and with blind gorse down the left in the driving zone.  From near the left side of the fairway the reader can see the drop-off from left to right.


Thank goodness for the cracking 5th!  I am a bit underwhelmed with the opening four holes, but from the 5th onward the course is very good.  On most courses this would be the par 3 to talk about.  Fortunately, The New has two marvelous short holes.  With the wind off the left this is a very demanding tee shot.  The bunkers are placed to protect the flag almost anywhere on the green.  Very cleverly, there is a three foot swale on a line off the right edge of the two near bunkers.  Any loosely played fade will more likely than not result in a player putting through the swale.  This is a great alternative to a rear bunker. Front and back of the green.




The sixth is a very demanding par 4 bending around the gorse covered dune on the right. 
Another interesting green which seems to me a sort of model for the types of greens modern British archies such as Steel and Hawtree built.  There has been recent gorse clearance hear and there as evidenced on the left.






The shortish two-shotter 7th is odd because the fairway ends at about 250 yards off the tee and instead there is a nest of bunkers making it a pot luck shot if one chooses to reach the second part of the fairway.


The long eighth is another par 5 which legs left back into the wind, but unlike the 3rd, this hole is littered with extremely unattractive pot bunkers, any of which could result in a pick up. 




A very long uphill par 3, the All-Scotland 9th plays along the OOB Eden Estuary.  The green is in a hollow just to the left of the 10th tee and is further protected by a scar on left.






The back nine begins with perhaps the toughest par 4 on the course.  Blind off the tee, very long at 460 yards, fairly narrow (though recently widened) in a valley of dunes and with wind off the right are all features which conspire to make this a more realistic par 5 for most.   


Another interesting green and what is generally a very good set of surfaces.


Continuing the purple patch, the 11th is another good hole.  There is scads of room on the right which can't be seen when on the tee.  The forward bunker in the middle of the photo conceals dead ground. The first photo is 50 yards forward of the tee.




The quite short par 5 12th is very perplexing.  At 30 yards longer than the 10th, this hole seems very reachable in two.  Yet it plays in the same direction as the 10th and that hole seems like very hard work to reach in two blows.  Is this the effect of blindness off the tee? 

While a good and attractive hole, #13 is not in the same league as the short holes on the front nine. 


Below is a photo taken from the 14th tee.  The 13th flag is in the foreground with the 10th in the background. In lower light it is easier to appreciate the quality of the 10th green.


A bit of a breather hole, 14 should not be overly onerous.  The 15th (a shared green with #3) is a different matter.  The drive isn't difficult, but much depends on where the hole is.  The approach is difficult if the hole is anywhere near the false front. 


A deep, but narrow false front!


The purple patch now over, the course essentially makes a bee line for the house.  Another tough two-shotter, 16 bends ever so slightly to the right and is backed with rather unattractive gorse when there is a lovely view to be had in the distance.  This is a re-occuring theme throughout the round.  Some of the gorse makes sense as it hides unsightly maintenance buildings, but some doesn't seem to add anything to the course.  The long three-shotter 17th rather reminds me too much of the approach to #16.  Although, the sharp bank protecting the right front of the green is a good touch. 


The home hole is a fine finish.  The drive is easy enough, but with gorse tight down the left near the green the approach is a butt puckerer.


With the house so near the green great crowds can gather which is always a bonus.  Mssrs Lawrence, Warren, Hiseman & Johnson are rather unimpressed with the proceedings.


It is easy to get carried away and dismiss The New as a bit of a diversion from The Old, as did the Great Bernardo, but this is steady, good golf for most of the round. In the past few years some gorse has been cleared and exposed patches of sandy scrub, but the texture of the course is still a bit too yellow for my tastes  8) .  However, the rough was interestingly pot luck in terms of lies.  Oddly, in addition to a fine set of greens and being a great walk, the strength of The New is really down to the longish 4s and longish 3s with the 9th being a truly great hole.  The shorter two-shotters as a set aren't quite up to the task  Still, I have a lot of time for The New and think it would be much more respected if it were located in most any other part of Scotland.  In any case, The New should not be treated as a consolation prize.   1* 2019

Ciao
« Last Edit: March 25, 2021, 06:54:22 AM by Sean_A »
New plays planned for 2022: Erewash, St Pats, The Loop x2, Arcadia Bluffs South, Lawsonia Links, Shoreacres, Culver Academies & Crystal Downs

Ben Jarvis

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Re: The New Course
« Reply #1 on: November 02, 2011, 03:35:17 AM »
Sean, I'm looking forward to this tour.

I caddied in the 2007 Womens British Open over the Old Course. Before doing so though, we had get through final qualifying on the New Course.

I too feel that the Old Course is superior, while the New more demanding. A great golf course!

I'll have to check my notes, but from memory, our strategy on the 1st hole was to lay-up down the left, opening the green for a simple approach.

Twitter: @BennyJarvis
Instagram: @bennyj08

Tony_Muldoon

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Re: Winter Tour 2011/12: The New Course
« Reply #2 on: November 02, 2011, 04:59:09 PM »
I still think any course where you can see TOC from 2/3 of it's holes is going to be marked down in some way.   Itís impossible not to compare the two and thatís why the New doesnít get  itís due respect.

The bottom line is The Old has far more very good to great holes with its back nine in the discussion for best nine in the world.  That in no way takes away anything from The New because it is a fine course if perhaps lacking in a bit of daring.

Whilst I think thatís a fair summary I think one should also point out that on the New thereís no  all world stinkers like the 9th TOC, nor any holes as average as the 10th (a bumpy entrance to a green, does not, on itís own,  a hole make.  And while Iím at it Iíll diss the 8th too). 

I have Burnham as perhaps my 2nd=, Ďbestí course in England, so the New could still be special even if it canít match that.  Sean what courses would you say the New was on a Par with?


(Thanks for the tour, we have an embarrassment of excellent photo tours at the moment.)
on 29th May I am riding 100 Miles to help raise funds for Dementia Research. All donations are welcome.
https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/ridelondon-tonymuldoon

Bill_McBride

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Re: Winter Tour 2011/12: The New Course
« Reply #3 on: November 02, 2011, 05:25:12 PM »
I am a big fan of the 6th hole.   Somewhere I have a photo of the town's skyline sticking up above the gorse behind the green.   I love the way the first four holes march out from the clubhouse in a straight military line and then suddenly the sixth turns back on the route of march.  Then the seventh and eighth resume the march to the Eden.

No, the New is not the equal of the Old, but it's a darn good golf course.

Sean_A

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Re: Winter Tour 2011/12: The New Course
« Reply #4 on: November 02, 2011, 07:29:06 PM »
I still think any course where you can see TOC from 2/3 of it's holes is going to be marked down in some way.   Itís impossible not to compare the two and thatís why the New doesnít get  itís due respect.

The bottom line is The Old has far more very good to great holes with its back nine in the discussion for best nine in the world. That in no way takes away anything from The New because it is a fine course if perhaps lacking in a bit of daring.

Whilst I think thatís a fair summary I think one should also point out that on the New thereís no all world stinkers like the 9th TOC, nor any holes as average as the 10th (a bumpy entrance to a green, does not, on itís own,  a hole make.  And while Iím at it Iíll diss the 8th too). 

I have Burnham as perhaps my 2nd=, Ďbestí course in England, so the New could still be special even if it canít match that.  Sean what courses would you say the New was on a Par with?

(Thanks for the tour, we have an embarrassment of excellent photo tours at the moment.)


Spangles

Unless they jack the prices up too much, The New would certainly be a course I would keep on my list of courses to see if in St Andrews. 

I do think three of the opening four holes are not up to much and set a bad tone for the course (sorry Ace).  I am nearly always gonna side on the course which is taking chances even if some holes miss the mark.  The New just isn't that sort of course - very good in a "safe as houses" sort of way, but perhaps great anyway.

Ben

No question one should lay-up left on #1, but what a drag eh?

Ciao
« Last Edit: May 29, 2019, 11:15:09 AM by Sean_A »
New plays planned for 2022: Erewash, St Pats, The Loop x2, Arcadia Bluffs South, Lawsonia Links, Shoreacres, Culver Academies & Crystal Downs

Mark Pearce

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Re: Winter Tour 2011/12: The New Course
« Reply #5 on: November 03, 2011, 04:38:49 AM »
II have Burnham as perhaps my 2nd=, Ďbestí course in England
Really?  I'm surprised.  What's number 1 and what ties B&B in your book?
In July 2022 I will be riding 3 stages of the Tour de France,  in the Alps, to raise money for the William Wates Memorial Trust which is dedicated to providing opportunities for under privileged young adults.  To support the Trust, please visit https://fundraising.wwmt.org/fundraisers/MarkPearce/rid

Tony_Muldoon

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Re: 2011/12 Winter Tour: The New Course
« Reply #6 on: November 03, 2011, 09:14:49 AM »




Sean of the courses Iíve played, I would have the levels as


Penard (interesting as youíve probably played it 20 x my 5 plays.)
Brancaster Alwoodley
New, Princes (I was wandering about this but it is the course that came to mind as similarly undervalued)
Southerndown,  Wallasey, Hunstanton,
New Zealand, Portrush Valley



I.e. The New is worth 3.5 hrs and £60 quid (summer rate) of anyoneís time and I donít think weíre that far apart in our value of it.

Maybe its nitpicking but I think 9, 10 & 11 deserve ďgreatĒ.


Mark

No 1 is RSG for me, there is a magnificence there that lifts a days golf.

You can surely guess no 2=. on a Regular basis it Continues to Perplex, beGuile and Confound.
on 29th May I am riding 100 Miles to help raise funds for Dementia Research. All donations are welcome.
https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/ridelondon-tonymuldoon

Mark Pearce

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Re: 2011/12 Winter Tour: The New Course
« Reply #7 on: November 03, 2011, 09:49:21 AM »
Tony,

I might agree with RCP as number 1.  You would rate B&B over all of the heathland courses?  Have you played Ganton? 

I was surprised when I saw your statement but then struggled to come up with any English courses that I would think were clearly better than B&B.  Other than Silloth, of course ;)
In July 2022 I will be riding 3 stages of the Tour de France,  in the Alps, to raise money for the William Wates Memorial Trust which is dedicated to providing opportunities for under privileged young adults.  To support the Trust, please visit https://fundraising.wwmt.org/fundraisers/MarkPearce/rid

Tony_Muldoon

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Re: 2011/12 Winter Tour: The New Course
« Reply #8 on: November 03, 2011, 12:10:20 PM »
Mark I rate Ganton above all other inland courses I've played, with Sunningdale Old about equal with Alwoodley.  Haven't seen Notts or Lindrick.

But I know I'm unduly swayed by the lure of the salt air and I'd still choose a day at Brancaster over Ganton.
on 29th May I am riding 100 Miles to help raise funds for Dementia Research. All donations are welcome.
https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/ridelondon-tonymuldoon

Sean_A

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Re: 2011/12 Winter Tour: The New Course
« Reply #9 on: November 03, 2011, 12:43:31 PM »
Yes, I too was surprised by B&B being #2 for Spangles.  B&B wouldn't make my top 20 in England for quality.

Ciao
« Last Edit: May 29, 2019, 11:15:37 AM by Sean_A »
New plays planned for 2022: Erewash, St Pats, The Loop x2, Arcadia Bluffs South, Lawsonia Links, Shoreacres, Culver Academies & Crystal Downs

John Mayhugh

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Re: Winter Tour 2011/12: The New Course
« Reply #10 on: November 08, 2011, 11:01:25 PM »
I still think any course where you can see TOC from 2/3 of it's holes is going to be marked down in some way.   Itís impossible not to compare the two and thatís why the New doesnít get  itís due respect.

I tend to agree.  It was nice to get to see a photo tour and Sean's thoughts on the course, as it's been so long since I played there.

Bill_McBride

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Re: Winter Tour 2011/12: The New Course
« Reply #11 on: November 08, 2011, 11:31:57 PM »
I still think any course where you can see TOC from 2/3 of it's holes is going to be marked down in some way.   Itís impossible not to compare the two and thatís why the New doesnít get  itís due respect.

The bottom line is The Old has far more very good to great holes with its back nine in the discussion for best nine in the world.  That in no way takes away anything from The New because it is a fine course if perhaps lacking in a bit of daring.

Whilst I think thatís a fair summary I think one should also point out that on the New thereís no  all world stinkers like the 9th TOC, nor any holes as average as the 10th (a bumpy entrance to a green, does not, on itís own,  a hole make.  And while Iím at it Iíll diss the 8th too). 

I have Burnham as perhaps my 2nd=, Ďbestí course in England, so the New could still be special even if it canít match that.  Sean what courses would you say the New was on a Par with?


(Thanks for the tour, we have an embarrassment of excellent photo tours at the moment.)


Spangles

From a quality perspective rather than a preference perspective:

The New is on par with Pennard, Southerndown, Wallasey, Hunstanton and New Zealand. 

The New probably pips Portrush Valley, Harlech, Perranporth and Southerness

The New probably falls behind Cruden Bay, Princes, Brancaster, Alwoodley and (likely controversially) The Castle Course

Unless they jack the prices up too much, The New would certainly be a course I would keep on my list of courses to see if in St Andrews. 

I do think three of the opening four holes are not up to much and set a bad tone for the course (sorry Ace).  I am nearly always gonna side on the course which is taking chances even if some holes miss the mark.  The New just isn't that sort of course - very good in a "safe as houses" sort of way, but never great.

Ben
N
No question one should lay-up left on #1, but what a drag eh?

Ciao

I didn't say 1-4 New were good holes, I just like their orderly march away from the house.   But I really do admire 5, 6, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 17. 18 is okay.   And I like the parv3 that's 90o off to the left.   

When you run back through the New, there is a lot of very good golf there. 

Mark Alexander

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Re: 2011/12 Winter Tour: The New Course
« Reply #12 on: November 09, 2011, 05:18:47 AM »
To help with the debate, find below a link to the New Course section of my website.

http://www.markalexanderphotography.co.uk/StAndrewsNew/

For what it's worth, I love the New Course. Growing up in St Andrews, the New was the serious, grown-up course and always the local club members' favourite. What always stood out for me was the conditioning of the course, which was, and still is, immaculate. Unfortunately, like all courses in St Andrews, the New can't be discussed in isolation. It also falls foul of being marketed as one of seven St Andrews Links Trust courses, rather than being promoted as a golf 'product' in its own right. If it was, it might collect the accolades (outside of this forum) that it strongly deserves.

Melvyn Morrow

Re: 2011/12 Winter Tour: The New Course
« Reply #13 on: November 09, 2011, 06:53:53 AM »

St Andrews for me comprises of just 4 golf courses (see the 1935 attached sketch below which illustrates the only real honest ďThe St Andrews CoursesĒ IMHO).

All others are pro-modern courses which I have always found difficult in accepting as traditional Fife let alone St Andrews courses.

I see through my local eyes what I suppose is for me the fundamentals required to be able to define a strip of land a golf course. A golf Course IMHO must reflect both the natural and Nature with a touch of the hand of man, yet today we seek the opposite approach, noting that the land no longer represents the paramount item in the search for locating a course. Even when a good site is selected its guts are ripped out before terraforming the plot after installing man made drainage. I do very much question the selection process and the need to conduct this total invasion of the sub soil for drainage. Surely a golf course must represent Nature by sensible selection of land utilising the natural while minimising the very destruction of the construction process, otherwise all we get are extremely expensive fake courses.

I give you my list of the St Andrews Golf Courses

TOC
The New
The Jubilee
The Eden


All as shown on the following 1935 aerial sketch



As for the remaining three courses out of the so called 7, they IMHO could be found at home in many parts of the world, being more cosmopolitan than Scottish, certainly not what I believe can be defined as from St Andrews.

Melvyn   

PPallotta

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Re: 2011/12 Winter Tour: The New Course
« Reply #14 on: November 09, 2011, 04:02:36 PM »
Thanks, Sean.

Just as a complete aside, I'm so used to seeing (on the courses you profile) elevatiion changes and canting fairways and the occasional perched up green that when I see the relative flatness of the New it strikes me a very unusual -- and the 'changes' that came about when architects started designing inland even more startling/dramatic than I usually imagine.

Peter 

Sean_A

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Re: 2011/12 Winter Tour: The New Course New
« Reply #15 on: November 10, 2011, 04:20:48 AM »
Pietro

Yes, I know what you mean.  The course cruises up a wee hill for #9 then comes right back down for #10.  There are, however, nice rumpled fairways and some raised greens. 

If fees hold reasonably well, I would play The New again if in town.  Its pretty good value, with a few cracking holes, in St Andrews and a links - thats a lot to like.

Ciao   
« Last Edit: August 31, 2019, 06:11:43 PM by Sean_A »
New plays planned for 2022: Erewash, St Pats, The Loop x2, Arcadia Bluffs South, Lawsonia Links, Shoreacres, Culver Academies & Crystal Downs

Dan Grossman

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Re: 2011/12 Winter Tour: The New Course
« Reply #16 on: November 10, 2011, 12:00:45 PM »
Sean -

Thanks for the photo tour.  I played the New about 10 years ago and, thanks to a very long night in the Dunvegan, I don't remember as much of the course as I should. 

What I do remember is showing up to the starter's window (which I think is on the corner of the clubhouse that you can see in your photo of #18) with a friend of mine, both of us were "not feeling our best" at about 8am.  We paid and then asked the starter if we could, by chance, play the Medal tees.  We both pulled out our handicap cards that we were low single-digit golfers, starter looks at them, looks at us and then tells us to go play the regular tees.  Both of us were a bit upset, but whatever.  Both of us tee it up from the regular tees and both of us each stone cold top our drives about 30 yards down the fairway.  We look back at the starter, which then frowns at us and points down the fairway with the look of "hurry up!" 

We were both embarrassed, although laughing our arses off at the same time.  Fortunately, the golf got better from there.

Bill_McBride

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Re: 2011/12 Winter Tour: The New Course
« Reply #17 on: November 10, 2011, 12:03:00 PM »
The double green, the approaches to 6 and 8, the tee shots at 5, 9 and 17, those are enough to make me quite happy to play the New.

Next time over I've got to play the Eden.

Mark Alexander

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Re: 2011/12 Winter Tour: The New Course
« Reply #18 on: November 10, 2011, 01:17:24 PM »
Bill,

I would be happy to take you round the Eden when you are next over - this is where I learned to play golf many moons ago, and it is certainly one of my favourite courses (excluding the obvious changes that were made to the course which have been well documented and debated elsewhere on this site).
There is a stretch of holes - the 'new' 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th - which is on par with the best St Andrews has to offer.
Great fun.

Bill_McBride

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Re: 2011/12 Winter Tour: The New Course
« Reply #19 on: November 10, 2011, 02:26:05 PM »
Bill,

I would be happy to take you round the Eden when you are next over - this is where I learned to play golf many moons ago, and it is certainly one of my favourite courses (excluding the obvious changes that were made to the course which have been well documented and debated elsewhere on this site).
There is a stretch of holes - the 'new' 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th - which is on par with the best St Andrews has to offer.
Great fun.


Thanks, Mark, I will look forward to that!  Do you live in St Andrews?  (Lucky sod if so!)

Marty Bonnar

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Re: 2011/12 Winter Tour: The New Course
« Reply #20 on: November 10, 2011, 03:01:32 PM »
Bill,

I would be happy to take you round the Eden when you are next over - this is where I learned to play golf many moons ago, and it is certainly one of my favourite courses (excluding the obvious changes that were made to the course which have been well documented and debated elsewhere on this site).
There is a stretch of holes - the 'new' 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th - which is on par with the best St Andrews has to offer.
Great fun.

Hereby Dibs called on the third slot,
Neffers M.


Thanks, Mark, I will look forward to that!  Do you live in St Andrews?  (Lucky sod if so!)
Assembled in Michigan from foreign parts.

Mark Alexander

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Re: 2011/12 Winter Tour: The New Course
« Reply #21 on: November 11, 2011, 04:20:39 AM »
Bill,

I do have the good fortune of living in Fife - 25 minutes from St Andrews. I grew up in the Auld Grey Toon and when I returned to Scotland following stints in Northern Ireland (living near Portrush) and London, I couldn't think of a better place to bring up the kids.
It's also not a bad place to live if you're in the golf industry.

Sean_A

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: ST ANDREWS NEW COURSE
« Reply #22 on: May 29, 2019, 11:20:05 AM »
Resurrected from the dead! I was lucky enough to have another go round The New last week.  I am surprised the course didn't look more cleared out of gorse with the recent work, but its a good start.  There aren't many courses which plod along in such a good fashion as The New.  For sure my estimation of the course has gone up.  See the vastly upgraded photo tour.

Ciao
New plays planned for 2022: Erewash, St Pats, The Loop x2, Arcadia Bluffs South, Lawsonia Links, Shoreacres, Culver Academies & Crystal Downs

Thomas Dai

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Re: ST ANDREWS NEW COURSE
« Reply #23 on: May 29, 2019, 11:46:42 AM »
Thanks for the update.
Looks like a collection of right rogues and rascals on that balcony! :) :)
atb

Mark_Rowlinson

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Re: ST ANDREWS NEW COURSE
« Reply #24 on: May 29, 2019, 04:10:28 PM »
Good to see once again. I didn't play it anything like as often as I played the Old, but I always felt it was more difficult somehow.

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