How can you tell it’s spring in Scotland? The rainsuits are a different colour, all winter we “locals” wear black tops, black bottoms, black wool caps. Now the courses are once again covered with the blues, yellows, reds, greens of visitors, with caddies remaining the only dark force. Not many North Americans yet, however the Scandanavians have done a great job of fillingthe gap. On a recent Thursday as we teed off on the Old Course in the weekly Thursday Club “competition” the two hours ahead of us was completely filled with Swedes, Norwegians, Danes and a fourball from Germany immediately ahead. Although the US$ is pretty good value right now, the Euro is even stronger compared to the UK pound. And the length of time to play 18 holes has also increased, it’s up to 3 hours 45 minutes average.
Other signs of spring, the swallows have returned to the Dunvegan Bar, the favourite local 100 yards from the 18th green of the Old Course.
At Fairmont St Andrews it’s Easter (hundreds of kids in the resort) and we are looking forward to getting our TORRANCE COURSE open in July. It’s almost ready, the 63 sod-walled bunkers will be tested in August when we host the European Senior Tour’s SCOTTISH OPEN. Not sure if any Canadians are playing the circuit this year, hope there are so we can look after them and warn them about the bunkers (Stay Out).
Our KITTOCK’S COURSE (formerly Devlin with changes) is in fine shape, the two new finishing holes which used to be part of the TORRANCE have made Kittocks into possibly the best test of golf in our area. I know Kingsbarns and Carnoustie have the reputations but you’ll have to believe me when I say Kittocks from the back tees is tougher, cause it is. Fortunately from our middle sets of tees Kittocks is a super fun course as it skirts along the cliff tops overlooking the North Sea (aka St. Andrews Bay, Eden Estuary). It now plays from 5900 to 7200 yards, with the White tees being a very testy 6600 medal score test. Mistakenly I labeled the Yellow Tees Championship Women’s which meant men would not play them – at just under 6400 yards the Yellows are now called men’s regular and the majority of our male players can enjoy the course.