ST. ANDREWS

I used to listen to Spike O’Dell on the way to work. Every year he’d have a contest and the winner would have an all-expense paid trip to St. Andrews to play on the famed course. Sounded like a super-cool thing to do.

Well, I didn’t play on the St. Andrews course, but I did WALK on it and STAND on the bridge.

Because after our stop in Culross, we headed to St. Andrews, Fife. Russell, the friendly bus driver, gave us a quick tour around town and then we had a couple hours or so to explore. The town is old and quaint and looks exactly like you would expect St. Andrews to look.

Me and The Other Three stopped for a sandwich and Irn Bru. (One of the Scottish ladies with whom I was corresponding before my trip, told me I had to have Irn Bru – it’s the very favorite Scottish soda ever.) This is an orangy, syrupy soda that to me, tastes like liquified bubblegum. I took a couple sips, tossed it, and got a bottle of water. Later, I was glad to hear Anne (the tour guide) also describe it as bubblegum flavor.

I then bought a promised birthday gift for my son – a shirt from St. Andrews and the others bought a few things, too.

We next headed for the golf course.  You  hear about it so much  and to be actually –  standing there, looking around …

They were in the process of preparing the course for the British Open (starts this week) which we all decided we were a lot more interested in than we had ever been before. (We can say, Oh, I stood on that spot!)  In fact, if you go on the British Open site, you will see some of the golfers standing on the very bridge I was standing on. (Wait a minute, that’s probably the other way around – I was standing on THEIR bridge.)

Anne gave us a history of some of the Golf Clubs (not like a putter-club, but a social organization.) She pointed out the Old Royal and Ancient Club which came into existence in 1745 and governed golf until 2004 when the governing body was reorganized. However, they aren’t very welcoming to women which has caused some problems. (Duh!)

The Old Course itself dates back to at least 1552, but many think it actually goes back further than that. A unique feature of the course is the seven double greens – greens that are played both coming and going.

We all got our pictures taken on the bridge and then headed over to the North Sea Beach. This is also the beach from the movie, Chariots of Fire. Black-headed gulls were flying around the rocks.

But besides the course, the town also has St. Andrews University (where Prince William attended) and a the ruins of an abbey.

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