We'd played the Old Course a few years earlier, but had to play off fairway mats, so we were keen to experience the course again and play it properly.
A 7:40am tee time meant an early start on the range in order to prepare ourselves for the opening tee shot. Thankfully the weather was kind and the sun was shining, albeit with a slight breeze.
We got to the 1st tee early and enjoyed a bacon sandwich whilst watching the earlier groups tee off, and seeing all kinds of opening tee shots!
Once on the tee the starter was happy to take photo's and have a chat, and trying to keep everyone calm. We'd opted not to take caddies but were very much in the minority as most people on the course had.
As with the last time we played, tremendous nerves again accompanied our tee shots, but thankfully we were all successfully away down the fairway.
The course itself is in great condition, as you'd expect. One thing I'd forgotten is the close proximity to the New Course over holes 2 to 9. In fact, any shot way right is in danger of landing on the New Course itself. However, the line on the Old Course is to aim left on pretty much every hole but study the course guide carefully as there are hidden pot bunkers everywhere, and you're more likely to come out backwards or sideways than advance it forwards if you find one.
The greens were true, and if the wind isn't blowing too hard you can score well. I find the 8th, 9th & 10th to be the only weak holes and having now played it twice I still have no idea how to play the Par 5 14th!!
16, 17 & 18 are great closing holes and I was glad to miss the road hole bunker this time around.
Driving on 18, and taking photo's on the swilcan bridge, you can appreciate all of the history of the place and the greats that have gone before you. A particular highlight is putting out on 18 in front of a small crowd, applauding when you drain the putt.
It's not the best course you'll ever play, but it might be the most memorable.
Date: May 30, 2019