Date: June 02, 2009

Julia Boland blog: Homage to the home of golf

Julia Boland writes from Scotland: St Andrews-It is by far my favourite course in the world, unfortunately my golf was not- but still an absolutely amazing experience. The St Rule Trophy is a 54 hole event run over 3 days playing the new course on Saturday(so new it only dates back to the late 1800s!) and then 36 holes on the old course on Sunday. I&aposll start with the new course but I doubt the words will do it justice. On the first day I play with an American tourist who happened to notice there was a tournament on and somehow managed to get a late entry… she was, as you can understand, completely pumped. this meant that we had photos as the beginning and the end of the round-not to mention numerous times throughout the round when her enthusiastic friend would run across the fairway saying “Oh fantastic I haven&apost got a photo of you in a bunker yet… which do you think is the best angle to take this photo?”. She was actually pretty cool to play with just because she was amazed by everything on the course and was completely overcome whenever I hit anything that somewhat approximated a good shot. She hired an official caddy for the day who informed her that the wind effected distance control on the putting surface so consequently she spent the rest of the day walking on the green bent down with her hand about an inch off the green surface testing for “wind down there”. As you can imagine I found this quite amusing. On one of the early holes I happened to say “Cheers mate” to her and this became a fond greeting to me when ever I hit a good shot, holed a putt or looked in her general direction. The course itself is exceptional! One missed shot and it could cost you 2 or 3 strokes. A lot of the holes felt like they should be par 3.5 or 4.5 (unfortunately for me this rounds up to 4 or 5) and the undulation of the putting surface is incredible and at times i felt like i was just playing a putt-putt course. The closet course I have ever played would probably be Magenta Shores, just because it doesn&apost look tough until you find yourself swallowed by one of the many bunkers aptly named “hell”, “coffin” or any other number of not so encouraging names. If anyone every gets the opportunity to play, definitely take it up. As for the scoring I finished 15th with rounds of +7, +2 and -3. To partly excuse my first round the wind was so so so wicked to the point where driver was required to reach some of the par 3s. Stacey Keating finished level with me and Bec Flood a couple back. Whitney Hillier finished in 8th position at +3.