Dan is an addicted golfer. The three times a week in the summer and not-inexpensive trips to warm climates in the winter kind of addict.
So, of course, on a trip to Scotland, it was unthinkable not to make a pilgrimage to the holy grail of golf. We chose to do this between the Orkney Islands week and our final week in Edinburgh. We took an overnight ferry from Kirkwall to Aberdeen, so a stop at St. Andrew's on our way to Edinburgh was logical.
Interestingly, St. Andrew's is a public course. Anyone who can get a reservation can play there. Reservations are handed out on a lottery basis. You call the course, tell them when you want to play, and they put your name in a hat. If you are very lucky, your name gets drawn. Saturdays are the easiest days to get on the course.
Another interesting thing, the caddies inherit their jobs. Some of them are 4th and 5th generation. It's a very, very big deal to be a caddy at St. Andrew's. Here's the caddy shack.
For some reason, which being a non-golfer, I don't understand and don't really care, the 18th hole is sacred at St. Andrew's. You'll have to ask a golfer about this.
I think it may have something to do with this dude. Old Tom Morris. He was some really important golf god, and his name is on the marker for the 18th hole. Again -- ask a golfer if you want to know who Old Tom was.
I found it very odd that non-golfers can walk around on the course while people are playing. Here's Dan standing in front of some little stone footbridge that he got very excited about being able to walk across. I think he had a bonified religious experience as he walked across this bridge.
One last surprise to me, for about $3.00 US per person, you can have this really cool retired caddy give you a private tour if you want. You won't understand half of what he says, but it will be fun.