“You guys think you’re gonna get on or what?” “Yeah we hope. I mean we got here at, I don’t know 3 a.m.?” “That’s bad or sick. I don’t know which one.” SOLY: Bobby Jones once said if you’ve played less than 10 rounds at The Old Course and you claim to like it you’re a liar.
Or something along those lines. I can’t find the actual quote and I’m not
positive he actually said it. But we’re gonna assume that he did and today we’re
gonna try to figure out what that means. St. Andrews is synonymous with golf and
I don’t just mean The Old Course. I mean the whole town of St. Andrews. It’s
called the home of golf for a reason and it’s because this place has been golf
obsessed since the 15th century. The people of St. Andrews liked the game so much that King James II banned the sport in 1457 because he felt young men were
playing too much golf and not practicing their archery. It remained taboo until
King James the fourth became a golfer himself and lifted the ban. In 1754 the
Society of St. Andrews golfers was formed, which eventually became the Royal
and Ancient Club. the R&A clubhouse still sits directly behind the first tee
and despite the stuffy stereotypes that come with the R&A, the golf Mecca that
it stands besides remains as one of golf’s most open and most played courses.
Getting a tee time here is difficult but anyone can do it and in this episode
we’re gonna explain how. St. Andrews just feels like a golf town. The game seems to
find its way into every conversation, every pub and even every cab ride. LAURIE: “I guess it’s the home of golf because it’s got the earliest documented evidence of
golf actually being played as a sport in Scotland. And then what it’s gone on to
become over the years – you know 29 Open Championships all the great players that
have played on the Old Course and the fact that the property has grown into
seven courses, I mean it just eats, sleeps, breathes golf. Golf is even in the cemeteries where
you’ll find the grave of Old Tom Morris Part of this golf obsession is because
the game is incredibly affordable for the locals. Like most places in Scotland
St. Andrews charges high prices to the droves of tourists that flock there each
year. This subsidizes rounds for locals and students and keeps prices low. The
class system that seems to hold back the sport in the state seems to not exist on
this side of the pond. At least not nearly to the same extent. St. Andrews’ most famous attraction, The
Old Course is jammed right in the middle of town, surrounded by the village’s most
iconic buildings. The course springs up out of nowhere when you see it for the first
time. The thing that hits you immediately is the accessibility. You can park right
next to the 18th green and on Sundays the course is closed and turns into a
public park where you can walk your dog play catch or do pretty much whatever
the hell you want. RANDY: “We just got out of the pub. We’re going to go across the Swilken Bridge.” D.J. “Randy, what you think of the course so far?” “I can’t see it. For real though, I just love playing amongst buildings that’s the best.” “You’re saying you like infrastructure.”
“Yeah.” “Tron, what do you think?” “I’m gonna reserve judgment. I know a lot’s been written and talked about this place. “What did you think of the Swilken Bridge?” “I thought the Swilken Bridge was a (expletive) disgrace.” “That’s a bold take.” And of course St. Andrews is not just the Old Course. There’s seven courses in total and six
of them sit on the same stretch of land. The Old Course might be the greatest
golf course in the world, which is why it’s the only one we’re gonna focus on
here. But the other courses are such an added bonus. If you’re struggling to get
on the Old Course, your options are plentiful and incredibly fun to play. With a bit of history and geography out
of the way it’s time for the question that every Scottish golf trip asks at
some point: How do you actually get on the Old Course? There are three ways.
Option one is to simply book a tee time and this is tougher than it sounds.
These tee times must be booked way in advance and you can only do it during a
small window from late August to early September. This allows paying customers
the chance to book tee times for the following year. This works great if you
know your travel dates well in advance. But if not there are other options here
as well. Many golf travel companies hold tee times at the old course and can
offer a pre-arranged times if you’re unable to book during this window. Option
two is what is called the ballot and people swear by this system but
personally I’m 0-for-3 trying it. Nearly half the tee times each year are given
out through this lottery system. It’s pretty simple. Two days prior to the day
you’d like to play you enter your name, handicap and home club in the online
lottery and hope to be selected for a tee time. And option 3 is your failsafe –
the singles queue. what makes this place so damn cool is that despite the massive
demand to play here you can line up at the ass crack of dawn and beg for a tee
time at the door. And at 6 a.m. they open the doors to anyone lined up outside and
they fill in any holes in the day’s tee sheet with willing singles. Personally
I’ve done this three times and I’m three for three and getting a tee time at the
Old Course but you got to work for it. LAURIE: “Earliest one I’ve ever heard that was an Australian guy he came about 18 months ago. He queued up at 7:30 the night
before and the people in the office were kind of saying you don’t need to be here. But he was adamant he wanted to be first off in the morning so he had his
sleeping bag.” What time did you guys get
here? 1:30 for me. 1:30? Yes. 12:30. How you holding up? I’m tired. I’m an old man I’m tired.” We had a goal to be there by 3:00 a.m. and since that was still
hours from now we had plenty of time to hit the second most famous golf spot in
St. Andrews. “The famous Dunvegan Pub. We’re going to pop in here for a pint, maybe just a bite of
dinner.” “Does that sound like something that might be interesting?” TRON: “Hey guys I get it now.” Any golfer that has ever come through St. Andrews has been to the Dunvegan and if you’re a famous one you’re memorialized on the wall. It’s golf’s
ultimate 19th hole and it sits within shouting distance of the 18th green.
“What’s the review of the Dunvegan?” What’s this street called? Golf Place. We are literally in a place of golf. We’re out scouting number one. We’re in
the shadow of the R&A. RANDY: “Trying to get a feel for things here. Little out of bounds right I think could be in play for me. So I’m only gonna just blow it
all the way left. Hopefully it’s got a little cut on it. We got to bed just before 1:00
a.m. which meant we had about 90 minutes of sleeping time before we had to get up
for the singles queue. By coincidence we happened to be in St. Andrews at the same
time as our buddy Pooshdaddy, whose real name is allegedly Micah. You may remember him from our pairing together in the Kia Classic pro-am in March. Poosh is the lead
singer of Iration, a reggae band that is way more popular than I realized when we
first met him. We even got to see them play in St. Augustine and if you can’t
tell we’re kind of fans. As luck would have it we even planned to
line up for the Old Course on the same day. 2:45 meeting time. It’s 2:46. I’m all alone. We have one. … We got two. Did you get some good Z’s? D.J.: “Yeah like two. Let’s do this.” Where’s the large Randy? Crandall, let’s go. Maybe he really did die of sickle-cell. D.J.: “Shake your ass man. Let’s go.” Meet you there? How long you need? Get it together. Let’s go. I didn’t set an alarm, I did the timer. I
was like two hours in it until I obviously hit snooze and then with the
timer it actually just turned off. Poosh said there’s there’s
already six people there in line so we got to get a move on. Sick. (Expletive) sick! Morning. Morning. Tron is asleep already. We’re going to get a little bump from Neil. NEIL: “Hey guys! How we feeling?” It was an early wake-up call. 2:40 wake-up call this morning.” Did you guys have a few pints? We lifted a few pints. The wait is long and cold but it turns
into this kind of beautiful scene as the sun’s coming up. You’re meeting golf fans
just as crazy as you are from all over the world. First draft pick here, what’s the
strategy? I think I’m gonna go early as long as I have enough time to get some food and some coffee. Maybe an
energy drink or some Redbull. Are we getting excited? We’re starting to see our lines. We got a bit of a game plan. 5:45, we’re about to open.
“Seven people in front of us, seven behind us.” And eventually the doors open and the
wait is over. “We’re just hearing rumors right now. Not sure what’s fully available.” It was a little bit scary for a minute. I’m a little bit thirsty. A little hungry. It’s a battle of attrition out there and we won. When you line up you have no idea what tea time you’re gonna get. You could be off at 7:00 a.m.
you could be off at 5:00 p.m. but luckily for us we were teeing off just
shortly after noon so we all went back to bed. If you’ve watched the other
episodes in this season it’s clear that we caught Scotland in the best
conditions possible. Crazy firm turf, balls rolling out for eternity with dust
flying out of the ground on the pure strikes. That continued at the Old Course
and it made it even more fun and strategic. The Old Course is not long by
modern standards and with the lack of governance of modern technology it’s
actually a bit sad to see where they have to fit some of the championship tee
boxes. Several tees are over on the new course and the 17th tee, one of the most
iconic holes in golf, has a tee box that’s out of bounds.
We slept about what, three hours? Thereabouts. Maybe a tad longer
with the exception of that fire alarm. I feel terrible. Thanks for asking.
I think I felt better before. I could have played on two hours. Now I feel
worse. It’s terrible. I think my body feels a
little better, maybe, but just mentally I’m gone.
It was on the edge, now I’ve lost it it’s gone. The first tee shot, completely
benign, but very nerve wracking. That’s why we have the sex wood. I don’t want to try to put an iron on the ball. I want to put a bigger head on the ball I think. I think your caddie will let you know what you’re doing on No. 1. He’s gonna look you in the eyes and say listen, let me hop on. This is my show. Are we battling nerves? Actually I don’t get first tee jitters. I just fan open
the putter face but I don’t really ever get first tee jitters. Famous last words. One of the cool parts about being in the singles queue is that you end up getting
paired with people from all over the world. Tron played with this kid in the Gucci sweatpants. DJ ended up with a group
of Australians who were in the midst of a six-week trip. “This is gonna be the No Laying Up group?” “That’s us.” Just had a venti Starbucks. Unfair advantage. Randy can see over the
burn up there. It’s a low stinger, it’ll play. 18 of those. That may be the best miss. Wind cheaters all day. Actually playing the Old Course can be absolute chaos. Only four greens
stand alone and the remaining 14 holes are played to seven double greens. Fun
fact is that the sum of the shared greens always equals eighteen as the 2nd
and the 16th hole share a green. The 3rd and 15th and so on. On almost every hole
there might be 16 people standing on a single green as one foursome and their
caddies are going out and another foursome and their caddies are heading in. At the
furthest point the 7th and 11th holes actually crisscross and there might be
30 people on this point of the property. It’s the ultimate glorious madness. I’ll admit it, the first two times I played
the Old Course I didn’t “get it.” It was still incredible to tee off on that
first hole with my heart pumping. To pick out a line over the Old Course Hotel on
the 17th and check the boxes that every golfer should experience in their
lifetime. But it didn’t fully resonate with me, which is a common reaction for
first timers. “I guess I see why people wouldn’t like it the first time. Actually, no, I don’t. They’re idiots. If you don’t like it first time… it’s the best. It’s so weird and fun and I don’t know. I don’t know how you could have more fun playing golf than that.” That’s cool man thanks, Deej. Bloody St. Andrews. A wee
better than East Lothian. Having a local rivalry – You know, it’s the heartbeat of golf tourism in Scotland. And it’s a misunderstood course. I really didn’t know what to think or what to expect. I knew it was gonna be kind of mind-blowing. I knew a little you know a
lot about the routing, but until you see it in person it didn’t,
it doesn’t really click. I think it’s a lot like Augusta in that you’ve seen it and you feel like you know it but when you actually go for the first time and
see it in person it you just get – I don’t know it’s it’s a validation and
maybe a new appreciation. I think it’s once you get into it you
start a flavour a feel for what’s been here for hundreds of years and bits of it
don’t make sense but that’s brilliant bit about it. I think even those people they
could be a little bit underwhelmed in which is the same thing once you go into
that back nine and you’re coming down 12, 13 you’re going past Hell bunker, you just get caught up in the moment. You reach that 17th tee and you’re looking at a railway shed, you just go no other golf course in the world would be built today with a
railway shed 140 yards away from the tee That you’re supposed to hit a ball over. I mean it’s fantastic. You know this place gives you a buzz. You’re standing on the first tee at the Old Course. Is it a good hole? it’s a
field with a river across it. You know, protecting a fairly flat green. But you know, I think when you play the Old Course the first time, you may be
underwhelmed but really taken by the history. But once you get to play it and
you played a few times you begin to understand it. Great golf course. Staying
left doesn’t save you. I’m a member of the St. Andrews Club up there. my first medal I was 2 under par at the turn. you know and she just gently said well done, well done young man. And then she whipped me all the way back. I think I finished
12 over thanks the two bunkers. You know that’s that that’s the Old Course.
Scottish golf. Don’t get over yourself. It took a special caddy for it to all
really click. Last summer I played one of the rounds
of my life at the Old Course with my man Brett Murray on the bag. He was
plotting me around the historic links like a sherpa and I just followed him
blindly. I knew that on this return visit I had to have him back on the bag. “This is my man right here. Didn’t even have to say anything, he takes it straight to the back
tees. What are we hitting off one this year? I think it’s going to be 5 or 6. With Brett’s help the lightbulb really went off for me in terms of strategy in golf as a whole. And this is where I started to understand Bobby Jones’s quote. The Old Course is on
a very flat piece of land but it’s not flat at all and these contours dictate
your entire strategy. Your first time through you can stand up on the second
tee and think holy shit it’s a double wide fairway I can hit it anywhere. But
after you take the safe play up the left, you now realize you have no route to the
hole as there’s an enormous mound between you and the flag. Oh and also
it’s rock hard out here so you need to play a run-up shot that’s only really
possible to control from the right side. To illustrate this let’s take a look at
the third hole. Playing into the 16th fairway again looks very appealing from
the tee but as you see here the route to the flag is completely cut off by this
massive bunker. Alternatively the more risky route sets you up in a scoring
position if you pull off the tee shot. Every single hole at the Old Course puts
you through this kind of exercise and the wind changes every hole every day.
You need to think about run-out, playing up alternate fairways, all of it
just to try to gain an edge and that’s where the genius of the Old Course lies.
A 15 handicap will love the fact that you can land a 747 in these fairways and
a lower handicap player is in for the chess match of his or her life, trying to
figure out the best angles to come in from. D.J.: “Not a very good start for me.” The golf course
truly is different every single day, which is why I can never really fully be
figured out. In 1995 as an amateur Tiger Woods played his first round there and
remarked, “What are these bunkers for? They’re not even close to being in play.”
The wind switches and, oh my god, they are in play. That’s the genius of this place.
After 11 you make your turn inward and the remaining seven holes are played
back towards the town. The landmarks keep getting bigger and I can’t describe how
cool it is to hear your caddie pick out church towers in the distance for your
line. In the right wind the 12th can be driveable. The 13th again provides a myriad of options. The 14th is the only par-5 on the back and features Hell Bunker. “I thought hell was sleeping on the beanbag chair in a tour van. But it’s actually right here.” The 15th is another stout par-4 and the 16th features the principal’s nose bunkers and an awesome green to tee transition to the highlight
of the day, Number 17. The Road Hole is one of the most famous holes in golf.
While its essence is one of the most copied templates in the game, if someone
built this hole today it would likely be the last golf course they ever built.
With the help of your caddie you pick out a line over this wall and you swing
away. TRON: “17 is it’s the best golf hole in the world and it’s like it’s not even up
for debate. It is unequivocally the best golf hole in the entire world.” Consistent with the rest of the course there’s bailout room to the left but you have tall grass and a bad angle waiting for you there. To get the best angle you have to be willing to take on the OB on the right and risk the lives of those having
a beer at the Jigger Inn. On this approach you’re better off playing in
front and left of the green rather than risking ending up on the road but of
course you also have to avoid the road hole bunker. It may look small but
everything feeds down into it. It’s hard to emphasize how close that
road cuts into the green and how tiny the landing area is. Big Randy didn’t
really take that into account. Well I pumped my second OB it hit the the big road here and hopped the fence right there.
Yeah, it’s a Callaway 3. Hey it’s sacrifice to the gods, huh? Yeah. I made a hell of a six though. You know what comes next,
but rather than our boring bridge photos can we just please take a minute and
look at the audacity of this guy to cut in front of DJ’s group and ask them to
borrow a club for a photo? Backtracking to the 17th fairway a beer
or six is a requirement at the aforementioned Jigger Inn. While the itinerary for this trip was
all world the Old Course is simply in a class of its own and there’s a reason
why we say that the Old Course is essential for any first-timer visiting
Scotland. RANDY: “I don’t know sometimes I feel like describing the Old Course –
it’s like I just don’t have a good enough vocabulary or I haven’t thought
of a good enough analogy for how it fits.” “I just don’t think there’s proper words to
describe some elements of it.” “Yeah it’s more of a feeling.”

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Dennis Veasley

69 thoughts on “Tourist Sauce (Scotland Golf): Episode 4, The Old Course at St. Andrews”

  1. I can't decide if I hate the guy at 23:25 or love him for his commitment to getting a great photo at the Old Course. Also love the fact that he poses in the natural stance of a golfer with the club over his shoulder haha. Thanks for the extended video guys! Keep 'em coming!!!

  2. Great vlog, beautifully edited and narrated 👍
    I walked it on the Sunday, really cool town. How much was the green fee?

  3. Fun little tidbit. If you stop this video exactly at 17:20 and look at the window on the very right edge of the screen, you'll see a little white speck on the sill. Someone managed to actually stop a golf ball on that windowsill.

  4. Had the pleasure to meet you in the queue that morning, great to see how all those drone shots worked out! Superb video lads, keep up the good work

  5. I'm a big follower of NLU on all your media platforms. You guys are awesome! And thanks for this Tourist sauce of the Old Course. Brought back all the memories from my 2011 trip of a lifetime in St Andrews! 😀

  6. Couple things: 1) big fan here, 2) why are you guys acting like Zac Blair didn't tell Pie to leave that Buck Club hat at the Dunvegan, definitely trying to spur foreign investment or attract some American Private Equity guys on vacation (to bad the waiter was a good dude), and 3) should Randy really talking about Cold Beer without Neil there . . . just doesn't feel right.

  7. OMG, 4 fantastic videos!!!
    Genuinely loved all videos.
    I’m inspired to play more golf in Scotland. North Berwick looks awesome. I live 5 mins from Lytham. Never knew how to get on St Andrews.

  8. Before the next episode comes out, I want to point out: the combined age of Randy's playing partners is right around the age of Randy's soul. ~200

  9. This is incredible. Tv coverage gives me no clue of what it’s actually like to play, or why the fuck the course is so difficult or even an interesting challenge. I’ve even been to watch golf there and you don’t get anywhere near the experience of this – amazing stuff

  10. I can understand the audacity of the asshat cutting in front of DJs group asking for a club so his wife can take a photo (23:28) but let’s talk about the real issue here. The douchebag who has the iron head covers he borrowed a club from. R&A should’ve turned him away.

  11. @5:22 proud to say I came close! About 8 Canadians were there at 11:30 pm to be first in line and all got on. Some even got paired together to fill 2 spots. One of the best memories ever for sure

  12. If you don't shoot a bow you're a fucking pussy…I golf and shoot bows and have finished in the top 3 in both state tournaments…. I get pussy

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