June 14, 2010

st. andrews hole in one!

Can you possibly imagine a better way to top off a trip to St. Andrews than with a hole in one? Well thats what I did!! Josh and I were playing this morning, and it was on the 16th hole. I hit my drive perfectly straight, just a little left of the pin, right where I had aimed it. It rolled, broke to the right and dropped straight into the cup. Here’s where the story gets really weird, two holes later, Josh also got a hole in one. Thats right, on number 18 at St. Andrews. He hit his drive past the hole, up the hill, and it rolled straight back down into the cup. A truly amazing shot. You may be wondering which course we were on. Well unfortunately it was not the old course. It was a course called the Himalayas and it is the official putting green of the old course. They have 18 holes laid out, and you can rent a putter and balls. No, silly clowns mouths or windmills allowed, this is just a very challenging, and highly rolling putting green. In fact we had to wait until 11:00 this morning to tee off because they have a ladies putting league that plays before that. It is complete with its own clubhouse and everything. Here I am in my fashionable St. Andrews argyle sweater, getting ready to tee it up!

We arrived in St. Andrews yesterday afternoon, after visiting Castle Edinburgh in the morning. The castle was very interesting, and we again learned some interesting Scottish history. We stayed in the hotel Rusacks’ which looks right out over the 18th Fairway on the old course. We could sit in our room and look out at both number 1 and 18 fairways. They have already done a lot of work getting ready for the Open. This is the last week that the public can play on the course until afterwards. So there are lots of grandstands under construction. The great thing is that the course is closed on sunday so the public can walk the course. So we did.

We’ve talked a lot these last few days about walking where other famous people have walked. We’ve walked the same rooms and stairways as Mary Queen of Scots, King Henry the VIII, Oliver Cromwell, and many others. Now we can add to our list Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklas, Old Tom Murray, and even Tiger. The room that we stayed in at Rusacks is the same room used by Arnold Palmer, and other golfers. In addition Mick Jagger also stayed in our room. I don’t know that Mick cares about golf but he was on the list. I’m sure they will be adding the Miller family to the list any day now.

Back to walking the course, it was really fun to walk along and remember seeing some of our golfing hero’s and where they hit great shots and where they got in trouble. We found lots of deep bunkers to take our picture in too. Here is one of me on the Swilcan Bridge:

This blog entry would not be complete without a little culinary update. Last night we ate at Nahm-Jim a Thai restaurant right in the heart of St. Andrews. We had some delicious curry, and Josh claims he had the best Pad-Thai of his life there. Very good stuff. After dinner the tide had gone way out, so Josh and I hiked out on the beach, we got a great look back at St. Andrews. You can see the Golf museum lit up on the far right, and some of the temporary construction they have stared for the open, also on the far right.

After a very light lunch in St. Andrews today, we finally gave in to Josh’s urge to have a Subway Sandwich, we drove to Stonehaven. Stonehaven is a small town outside Aberdeen, its probably about the same size as Decorah, but its right on the North Sea. Our Bed and Breakfast overlooks the town harbor and is really beautiful. We took an Awesome hike out to Donnotter castle. This castle is all in ruins but it is such a great setting, its was really amazing. This is the site where they filmed Mel Gibson’s version of Hamlet. This picture gives you a sense for how isolated the castle is.

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Location:St. Andrews, Scotland