Wednesday, April 28, 2010

The New Look Road Hole

In 2006, I had the unique opportunity to caddie at the Old Course at St. Andrews. It was pretty strange at first to be an American boy telling people how to play one of the most local-knowledgy golf courses in the world, but I quickly caught on to a few things.

A.) 99 percent of the time your golfer isn't going to hit the shot you tell him to hit.
B.) 99.99999 percent of the time they aren't going to hit a putt like you want.
C.) The more you compliment them on their bad shots, the better tip you will receive.

While I felt I did a pretty decent job at the caddie thing, one hole that was always a challenge was the Road Hole. The par-4 17th, the Road Hole is arguably the most unique golf hole this side of Prestwick. A blind tee shot over a hotel shed, it forces you to pick a spot on the shed, and try and hit over it.

Now, St. Andrews has lengthened the thing by 40 yards, making it, in my opinion, the hardest hole in the world.

It will now play 490-yards, and will force players to play it like it used to play. That is, even after a good tee shot, playing either long left or short right and hoping to get up and down for four is the way to go.

I am heading over to Scotland in June to play some golf, and one of my few goals is to step back on the new tee and hit a tee ball, just so I can give people a better understanding of how tough the challenge will be. While I don't know a lot, I do know that the course rangers and such aren't a big fan of letting "regular golfers" play from the back tees. Hopefully by 17, I won't get in too much trouble by jumping back there.


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