Monday, 12 September 2011

St. Andrews: More than Golf

We went to St. Andrews this weekend to see the home of golf -- created 600 years ago on the beautiful coastal town of eastern Scotland.  But when we arrived by train and taxi, it was the city itself that pulled us in -- gorgeous ruins of castle and cathedral, first class European university just coming to life, and long, leisurely beaches.  We didn't bring our clubs (not that we could get onto the Old Course anyway), knowing that the weather was dicey but on the ride in, the cabbie drove us through a road between the 17th and 18th holes -- something anyone can do any time even when golfers are teeing off and hitting directly toward the cars -- or pedestrians!  On Sunday, there is no golf -- just the ancient course which evolved over time with all of its moguls and deep bunkers making it look impossible to play save the  PGA professionals who tackle the Open (we call it the British Open, they just call it The Open) every six years on the Old Course.  We may go back to play another of the many courses at St. Andrews (the New Course, created in 1857, is adjacent to the Old Course right on the shore of the North Sea but the weekend we just spent was memorable without the golf -- now we are thinking 9 holes around Dalkeith.