St. Andrews as Religious Experience

My grandmother, still kicking at 99 years young, has been an avid golfer all her life. I can remember playing a round with her when she was in her mid-70s. And for as long as I could read, there has been an old burgundy banner hanging in her kitchen from a visit to Scotland decades ago. The banner referred to St. Andrews as "The Birthplace of Golf" and, I believe, also referred to the place as "Mecca for Golf."

Even though I have played golf as a hobby since I was 13, for some reason it never crossed my mind that I would have a chance to play there. And, in fact, I haven’t. My friends at the World Golf Tour were prepared to get me a round at the Old Course at St. Andrews except that I don’t have a formal handicap (d’oh!). So I was relegated to The New Course and it still felt like a religious experience.

My score was nothing to be proud of, which of course was 100% due to the rental clubs. It undoubtedly would have been worse were it not for the stretch in the Antas wool golf trousers and the warmth of the Peter Millar sweater I was wearing.

The round did steel my resolve to start entering my scores for a proper handicap, and to return to Scotland to play the Old Course…and Carnoustie…and Troon…

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