I’m a pretty lucky old pro – on Thursday I played the Old Course in St Andrews with the regular Thursday Club boys, and on Friday played the Royal Aberdeen Golf Club, with Carolyn and Ian Craig, a fine chap from Liverpool. And I had excellent weather both days, in fact today is the fifth great day in a row. And for some reason (maybe my new Taylormade clubs) I’ve found my game, lost since God knows when!
The Old Course round was difficult, with little wind and no rain it was truly hard to figure out where to aim! Toughest conditions for a year. I managed to hit every green until the brilliant par three 11th (6 iron into the bunker, up and down for save), then hit all the greens except 16 (fat 9-iron second, short), four three putts and a one over score. Fun round, won the Stableford.
The next day we drove to Aberdeen to play at the sixth oldest golf club in the world. The scenic drive from St Andrews takes about two hours, passes through the city of Dundee (this must have been a beauty two generations ago), then north past Carnoustie through beautiful countryside, similar to western Ontario only greener, and with the North Sea always to your right side.
The club has an excellent website www.royalaberdeengolf.com
and it tells more than I can about the club, its history and courses. From arrival I knew this was something special, good proshop with friendly team, the Director of Golf is a PGA member, Ronnie MacAskill. When you enter the clubhouse, and go into the vistors lounge, what looks like the world’s largest big screen TV is really just the world’s cleanest window which is directly on the first tee! Our clubhouse at Fairmont St Andrews has a great view, this has an even better one because it is on the first tee and faces down the hole, past the green, over the dunes, to the North Sea and beyond. What a place to sit and think about the joy to come.
The first nine is routed through some very large coastal sand dunes, most of the second return nine is along a plateau slightly inland but with the same outstanding views of the North Sea.
Prior to teeing off we were told the wind today was considered very light (10 to 40 mph is my guess). I hit three irons 150 yards, and drove the ball on the fifth green (327 yards). Made the putt for an eagle, just like 1970 again! Absolute must play course for any pilgrims, more details to follow, have to go take advantage of this weather!