DEPARTURES

BRITISH OPEN

One hundred sixty-two years and one hundred forty-nine Opens later, the home of golf will host The 150th Open at the Old Course, St Andrews.

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The famous Swilcan bridge on the 18th hole of the Old Course links in St Andrews Scotland.

History and golf have been allies in the charming seaside village of St. Andrews for centuries. The ancient ruins of the Cathedral of St. Andrews, founded in 1158, are still unyielding to the forceful elements blowing in off the North Sea. The University of St. Andrews was founded in 1413. Benjamin Franklin became the first American to receive the key to the city at the university in 1759. And St. Andrews was built around 1200 and rebuilt several times during the Wars of Scottish Independence.

Golf has been a fabric of the city since the fame was born here in the 12th century. One of the gems in the Kingdom of Fife is the Old Course, where the Royal & Ancient Golf Club, established in 1754, looms over the first tee.

This is where many of the greats have won the Open Championship: Jack Nicklaus (twice), Tiger Woods (twice), Nick Faldo, Seve Ballesteros, Bobby Locke, Peter Thomson, Sam Snead, Bobby Jones, and James Braid.

However, every player who has stepped onto the Old Course has had to deal with the puzzling collection of challenges over the rumpled grounds that serve up mystifying bounces. Fourteen holes share greens. Some of the double fairways are 100-yardswide. There are 112 bunkers, and you better stay out of the ones called Strath, Hell, Spectacles, Principal’s Nose, and Road Hole.

Power plays well here - ask the Golden Bear and Tiger. But so does precision - see Faldo and Jones.

“I don’t think there’s anything more special in golf than playing an Open Championship at the Home of Golf,” Jordan Spieth said. “There’s only a couple of those maybe in the world. I think here and at August National are my two favorite places in the world.”