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Melvyn Morrow

Re: Not everyone likes TOC, but this kind of thing surprises me.
« Reply #50 on: July 19, 2010, 09:08:03 AM »

The amount of work that has gone into TOC over the last 150 years is absolutely remarkable. The proof is looking at the old maps and if you can the old photos. The course has been transformed, her bunkers which once were very deep now have been filled in by approx. 14 to 24 inches due to the rising water table. Today some as just pussycats compared to Tigers pre 1870s.

The first major changes started with removing the first 4 holes  which played back over the ground covered by the R&A Clubhouse up towards the monument and  Hamilton Hall, but  more changes were to come about  a century later.

The main change came from reclaiming land form the sea allowing for a completely new  1st Hole and the construction of the 18th. During the storms of the 1860/70 and even up to the 1880 a battle Royal was waged to save the 7 & 11th holes which back then had the Eden Estuary just feet from the hole. Today they are many yards away and safe thanks to the work done back then and with a little help from Nature allowing the Eden to silt up is certain areas.

I love TOC not just for her bumps and warts but for her history and the constant enjoyment she give every time I see her, let alone walk or play the Old Girl.  She is always in control even when she allows her defensives to drop.

One thing I must say and that is she takes her time letting you get to know her. As for her secrets, even after 50 years, you are still uncovering them.

Melvyn   

Bill_McBride

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Not everyone likes TOC, but this kind of thing surprises me.
« Reply #51 on: July 19, 2010, 09:59:33 AM »
"Did you see where the 18th tee was so close to the 17th green?"

Yes I did and it seems there isn't any other possible place to put it with more length. I guess you haven't yet figured out what the essential trick question is have you Billy Bob? ;)

Actually the 17th and 18th may be the most perfect example on that golf course!

Not sure what the trick question is (but can't wait  ;D), but there is quite a bit of open ground over by the 1st green and in the rough where I guess you could put a tee and add 20 or 30 yards.  But that would just make #18 play like #10.


I thought one of the coolest things Saturday was when Casey and Westwood were waiting on the 18th tee and Louie Louie's smart shot came rolling through the 17th green right up to their feet - and Lee acted like he was going to hit it back down the fairway.  A rare amusing moment in that pressure cooker!
« Last Edit: July 19, 2010, 10:05:18 AM by Bill_McBride »

Brent Hutto

Re: Not everyone likes TOC, but this kind of thing surprises me.
« Reply #52 on: July 19, 2010, 10:14:56 AM »
I still don't get TOC and suspect I never will as one probably needs a load more games on her than I shall ever play.  That doesn't mean I don't respect the course nor does it mean I don't think it is a good course.  I just don't get it (meaning how to play it), but that is certainly part of TOC's charm.  I am going back for my 4th visit over a 20 year period and I suspect I shall still be shaing my head as I look out the window of the St Andrews GC - its almost too predictable.   

You've encapsulated why The Old Course has never found itself atop my "must play" list when one of my too-infrequent trips to England and Scotland are arranged. I think a single time around the course on a busy summer day, playing in a clump of hackers and caddies, would lodge in my memory as an indistinct blur rather than a clear idea of the course. Not that it wouldn't be fun but mostly it would make me wish to come back again and again the next several days and get a handle on what's going on.

The odds of me finding my way to Fife even four times over the next 20 years are infinitesimal. Yet you're not the first person I've met who considers four visits to be just scratching the surface. And I'm not sure how practical it would be to be 8-10 days in St. Andrews standing on line each morning hoping to accumulating several plays. Not that a week and a half playing the other courses with three or four times around the Old Course would be a kick in the shins but it just hasn't quite managed to beat out my other options...yet.

And then there's the issue (for me) of playing golf in such a busy, crowded environment. Is a random Thursday morning in June on the Old Course somewhat like the first two days of the Open? Keeping your head on a swivel and waiting for other groups to play their shots from "your" fairway (and vice versa)? Again, as a one-off whirlwind experience I can see the thrill of the whole thing but after a round or two that could get old. I'm much more of a "playing Brora on a day when there are only six other people on the property" kind of golfer, truth be told.

Mike Hendren

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Not everyone likes TOC, but this kind of thing surprises me.
« Reply #53 on: July 19, 2010, 10:23:23 AM »
Brent, I timed my very brief trip to Fife so that I would fly into Edinburgh on a Sunday morning.  This left me plenty of time to shake the jet lag and walk the The Old Course.  Often I'd just sit down beside one of those massive greens and let my eyes wander.  I was so pumped that I had to get an emergency 18 in on The Eden before dark.  Steel's work on The Eden brought me back down to earth so I could get some sleep that evening. 

Your reasons are understandable and legitimate.  That said, to stand on the first tee with your ball pegged is the thrill of a lifetime.  Please go.

Mike

Two Corinthians walk into a bar ....

Melvyn Morrow

Re: Not everyone likes TOC, but this kind of thing surprises me.
« Reply #54 on: July 19, 2010, 10:28:42 AM »
Mike

So we do have something in comment, TOC then there must be hope for you  - yet ;).

Melvyn

Sean_A

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Not everyone likes TOC, but this kind of thing surprises me.
« Reply #55 on: July 19, 2010, 11:50:33 AM »
I still don't get TOC and suspect I never will as one probably needs a load more games on her than I shall ever play.  That doesn't mean I don't respect the course nor does it mean I don't think it is a good course.  I just don't get it (meaning how to play it), but that is certainly part of TOC's charm.  I am going back for my 4th visit over a 20 year period and I suspect I shall still be shaing my head as I look out the window of the St Andrews GC - its almost too predictable.  

You've encapsulated why The Old Course has never found itself atop my "must play" list when one of my too-infrequent trips to England and Scotland are arranged. I think a single time around the course on a busy summer day, playing in a clump of hackers and caddies, would lodge in my memory as an indistinct blur rather than a clear idea of the course. Not that it wouldn't be fun but mostly it would make me wish to come back again and again the next several days and get a handle on what's going on.

The odds of me finding my way to Fife even four times over the next 20 years are infinitesimal. Yet you're not the first person I've met who considers four visits to be just scratching the surface. And I'm not sure how practical it would be to be 8-10 days in St. Andrews standing on line each morning hoping to accumulating several plays. Not that a week and a half playing the other courses with three or four times around the Old Course would be a kick in the shins but it just hasn't quite managed to beat out my other options...yet.

And then there's the issue (for me) of playing golf in such a busy, crowded environment. Is a random Thursday morning in June on the Old Course somewhat like the first two days of the Open? Keeping your head on a swivel and waiting for other groups to play their shots from "your" fairway (and vice versa)? Again, as a one-off whirlwind experience I can see the thrill of the whole thing but after a round or two that could get old. I'm much more of a "playing Brora on a day when there are only six other people on the property" kind of golfer, truth be told.

Brent

I know exactly how you feel about summertime St Andrews.  My last two times back and the next will have been in the shoulder season before/after mats are in play.  It is a totally different experience and far better imo.  I will be hard pressed to ever go back to St Andrews in the summer because it is akin to Disneyland - just too much peripheral stuff going on.  Every Tom, Dick and Harry comes out of the wood work and on balence it is a bad scene.  

Regardless of what anybody writes, every golfer should play TOC at least twice no matter what time of year.

Ciao
« Last Edit: July 19, 2010, 12:08:00 PM by Sean Arble »
New plays planned for 2024: Fraserburgh, Hankley Common, Ashridge, Gog Magog Old & Cruden Bay St Olaf

Melvyn Morrow

Re: Not everyone likes TOC, but this kind of thing surprises me.
« Reply #56 on: July 19, 2010, 12:01:06 PM »

If you think that is bad, we finally see the summer guys leave to find we have the more picky crowd with their so called knowledge on GCA descending upon our small town. ;)   Problem this time is that they believe they understand what they the others did not. ???

Ops not The GCA.com mob, then its time to take a holiday, perhaps Spain this year, perhaps not. :P

Only joking Guys really ;D

Melvyn

TEPaul

Re: Not everyone likes TOC, but this kind of thing surprises me.
« Reply #57 on: July 19, 2010, 12:33:03 PM »
I hate to mention this because I've never been to St Andrews and TOC, and I recognize some will scream I'm some kind of heretic but I get the feeling that some view it these days as something akin to a "Theme Park" placed in an around a very significant bit of golf and golfing antiquity.

I got this feeling while visiting one of the oldest American cities----St Augustine, and particularly its Ponce de Leon "Fountain of Youth." ;)

For God's Sakes, I want to have the feeling the place is in many ways the way it was when Ponce de Leon discovered it back in 1278 or whatever, and not some Florida "Theme Park" where you can turn around and buy a hotdog or some vividly emblazoned tee shirt that says: "I visited Ponce de Leon's Fountain of Youth."

And I gotta tell you if I ever do go to TOC and play it there is no way they are going to make me pay to play it and drag around some piece of plastic to hit the ball off of. I understand completely the agronomic issues with running hundreds of thousands of golfers through that place constantly but like any other golf course perhaps the best method would be to just give it a rest from time to time when its turf becomes stressed and messed from overplay!   :P


 ;)
« Last Edit: July 19, 2010, 12:35:28 PM by TEPaul »

Ken Moum

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Not everyone likes TOC, but this kind of thing surprises me.
« Reply #58 on: July 20, 2010, 09:10:40 PM »
A few more quotes from the Naysayers... for your reference.

I think that bunkers that dot the fairways like landmines that are virtually impossible to see and you can't really play out of are not the kind of penal I like. I prefer bunkers I can see, can avoid if I try and can play out of with a well struck shot to save par or even make birdie from if I really put a good swing on it. Bunkers that tour pros can't even consider getting up and down from and many cases can't even get out of in a single try are just too penal and test your luck more than your game. Perhaps that's why only bombers who blow it past all these bunkers or no names we've never heard of tend to win at British Opens. It's either the big hitters or the luckiest guy you've never heard of who wins lately over there.

Is that the fairest test of the true champion golfer?

I just don't believe it is anymore. I believe there are better tests to determine the best player without goofy stuff like the road hole or a bunker that's so penal it can cost the best player the whole shebang because he ends up in jail with a beautifully struck shot that just ends up getting swallowed up after a gust of wind nudges it into an impossible lie in a sinkhole.

Some people like seeing the fates mess with great players while they sit on their barstools in the pub and snicker and guffaw watching on the telly. Some find it very entertaining to see a tour pro with a golf ball a few inches from a mud wall as tall as he is that stands between him and what was good score. That's why those moments get replayed over and over on the Golf Channel....like watching a car accident.

In my mind fate shouldn't have such a strong say in determining what should be a test of skill. In most golf tournaments it doesn't. At the British Open....especially at St. Andrews, it does.


I love it when people say that that playing in that crap is what REAL golf is all about. What do the Scots say? "Nay wind,nay rain,nay golf"
Yeah thats great. Looks like a real blast. Thats why when it blows you get flukes like "Louis whatever his name is,and Curtis,and Hamilton and Lawrie. The winners are basically determined by which end of the crap weather and wind you get. And of course which way your ball ends up bouncing either into the gourse or into a bunker or the heather.

Thanks but i'll pass. But this is an "opinion" Forum and thats just mine.


St. Andrew's, apart from its historical significance, does not thrill me. Perhaps if you are there and play it, it takes on more meaning, but the course does not bring on the warm and fuzzies for me.

I do like some links style courses, but St. Andrew's is just not one of them.


As I said before, I don't expect everyone to like TOC, but these comments fascinate me.

K
Over time, the guy in the ideal position derives an advantage, and delivering him further  advantage is not worth making the rest of the players suffer at the expense of fun, variety, and ultimately cost -- Jeff Warne, 12-08-2010

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