Tiger Woods news…and golf on the Old Course at St. Andrews

It’s fun to watch the British Open, or The Open Championship as I should say. I played a tournament round at St. Andrews once and shot 72; I four putted the first hole. The tournament was the International Four Ball.

I think Tiger will play well this week; he’s been working on his swing by himself and I’ve heard Cornelius Carroll, a friend of Tiger’s, has been watching Tiger’s swing. My boys know Cornelius.

St. Andrews is pure links golf, nine holes out and nine holes back; it has huge double greens; I think it takes golfers a few rounds to understand and appreciate the course. When Bobby Jones first saw the course, he thought it was a cow pasture; his view of St. Andrews changed. I know Tiger loves the course.

Links golf is fun...when the weather is like this. The photo is of the par-4 third at Machrihanish on the Kintyre Peninsula near Campbeltown. Note the deep pot bunkers right in the middle of the fairway. Photo D. Noonan.

There’s plenty of room to drive the ball there and the big boys can drive it past and over most of the fairway bunkers.

The Road Hole has a new back tee but you still have to flirt with the corner of the Old Course Hotel. The green is really narrow and it’s like a brick. From a teacher’s standpoint, I enjoy watching the professionals play in the wind; Ken Venturi told me to shut down my swing in the wind and hit a lot of 3/4 shots. Sometimes you have to hit 3-4 more clubs. The Road Hole Bunker to the left of the green is unlike most bunkers American have seen.

Weather can get brutal over there. I played Kingsbarns near St. Andrews on a really, really bad weather day and I could not break 90: into the wind, I could hit the ball 150 yards and that was it. One of my favorite courses is North Berwick, in part because I shot a then course record 64; it was a windy day. Scottish golfers play quickly, often in less than 2 1/2 hours.

I’ll update the blog on Monday after The Open Championship.

For the Jim McLean Golf School site, go here.

Scott Martin, a copywriter who lives in Charlotte, North Carolina, is helping me with my blog. For his site, go here. Scott’s helping me with a business book I’m going to sell initially as an ebook.

Tiger Woods news…and golf on the Old Course at St. Andrews

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