Even though The Old Course at St. Andrews was originally conceived as a reversible layout it has been rarely used as such since 1914. The Loop has long been a passion of local Architect Tom Doak to create the only reversible golf course ever built in North America. Since it opened in 2016 it has become the most talked about and awarded golf course in the U.S. So much so that in 2017 Golf Digest named The Loop the “Best New Public Golf Course” and Golf Magazine called it the “Best New Golf Course You Can Play”.
It’s hard to fathom that one day you play clockwise where you are approaching a green that is wide and shallow with plenty of bunkers and the next day on the counter clockwise track you are faced with a skinny green with no visible danger. Doak was ingenious in laying out a minimalistic design using expansive fairways, gentle elevation changes and thorny evergreen gorse-like shrubs to re-create a Scottish heathlands-style course. The fairways and tee blocks are fescue grass so there are no carts allowed (walking only).
The first 150 yards off each tee are maintained since it serves as the approach on the next day. The large greens are hybrid bent grass that are firm and fast with big undulations. You will need to learn how to bump-and-run with a 7-iron since nothing holds on these crested putting surfaces. I’ll guarantee that you will putt off the green at least once. There are about 50 non-manicured bunkers and plenty of wasteland with sand that is deep and soft sourced on property and reportedly rated the best around.
A caddy is mandatory and costs $100 + $40 tip or $60 per person for a twosome plus $30 tip.
PS. A distance finder would be helpful since there are no yardage stakes on the fairway.
To read about more of Dave Finn's adventures visit www.golftravelandleisure.com
Date: September 27, 2017