I was lucky enough to get a tee time on Christmas eve. Having just played the New Course expectations were high. Although both me and my golfing partner had strong first tee nerves we immediately relaxed by the large fairway on the 1st hole that awaited us.
I would like to add the whole set up is incredibly relaxed and the staff are incredibly friendly and generally you will tee off as the group in front finishes on the first green. Although we expected a course guide we were happy to receive a small gift back with tees and a pitch marker which added to the experience.
The second hole is really where the magic of the old course starts. Both being relatively big hitters we could see the challenge of driving it between the bunkers. Studying of the course guide seemed almost necessary for first timers. A pitch onto the green of the 2nd left us both in bewilderment of the undulations of the green. This course is really built to match the terrain of the course.
My golfing partner being a competitive and talented requested playing off the championship tees. What we did notice very quickly was that the Old course really is not the most challenging course we have played. Personally I believe the Jubilee course to be the most testing of the three. The Old course is rather forgiving, unless you find yourself in the face of a 6ft bunker 150 yards from the green.
The 7th hole in my opinion is one of the finest holes of the course. We studied the course guide and angled our shots. Astonished at the size of the green at 53 yards across. Immediately we realised that the players on the 11th were hitting over from us and players on the 12th were teeing off. Furthermore, the three ball in front were finishing on the green on the green as we walked around the corner. It was here that we realised the Old Course is inherently special. We both felt an immense sense of connectivity and enjoyment between all players on the course and ourselves. The next best experience for us was teeing off on the 11th and experiencing the same feeling yet again but from another perspective above other players on the 7th.
The hardest hole for both of us proved to be the 14th. Both of us even with the map really struggled to work out where to hit it. The red hat of a player in front gave us some idea of where to hit it. Hell bunker is a feature of this hole although easily avoidable it does make for an incredible photo opportunity. A stand out hole in our mind.
The 17th provided the all-risk and little reward we craved and dreamed of since watching the open. Driving a ball over the old course hotel and cutting the corner. Or in my case, getting a helping hand from of the roof of the hotel to return me to the fairway. Neither of us ended up in the pot hole road bunker but we would of happily to try and emulate what we had seen on the TV as children.
The 18th was everything we had hoped for and more. Both grinning as we crossed the bridge. The members behind us were very courteous and didn’t mind us taking photographs and even lending our clubs to a tourist for a quick photo.
I won’t focus on any negative points of the course for the review. I believe these have been talked about in detail in past reviews. I will admit a few holes such as 8 and 9 are on the weak side. Is the Old Course one of the top 10 courses in the world? I think so. Is it the best golf experience in the world? Yes, yes, it is. We are hoping to make this a Christmas tradition.
I would also like to add that the course is in perfect condition despite it being December and the greens are second to none.
Date: December 26, 2019