Playing St. Andrews Backwards
By Kickntrue on 7/13/10
Here is your must read of the week via SI's Alan Shipnuk. Every year on April 1st, St Andrews is open to the public to play backwards- as they used to do. Shipnuk convinced his editors to send him to St Andrews for a chance to play the course like this back in 2005 From Shipnuk:
So what's the verdict? At 6,350 yards the reverse is a couple of hundred yards shorter than the counterclockwise routing, but it is definitely more demanding--I putted better but still shot three strokes worse than the day before. The reverse has fewer blind holes, and to my eye it makes better use of many of the Old Course's most celebrated bunkers. The reverse gets bonus points for making the 11th green more playable--at least for me. At next week's Open Championship expect some of the players to opine that the Old Course is the best course in the world. Little do they know that it's even better backward.
I'm not going to ruin the rest of the story for you. It's a bit long but definitely worth reading to get you pumped up for the Old Course this week. The experience sounds like a MUST-ADD to any golfer's bucket list.

As a special bonus- I found another link (again- a decently long read) from Wei Under Par about a course in Oregon that isn't listed, but if you find the guy, you can play it. A "private-public" course if you will. Thirteen greens but no predefined holes. You finish putting out. Whoever wins the hole points out another green, drops his ball and you start playing to it. While I absolutely love heading out to the course and playing a "normal" 18 with my buddies- I do thinking changing it up sometimes and getting away from "the scorecard" sounds like a great idea.

St Andrews Backwards
Oregon Sheep Course

Via Wei Under Par

photo source

[ comments ]
eventHorizon says:
thanks for the article on the Oregon Sheep Course. Awesome.
Bryan K says:
Sounds dangerous.... what if two different groups decide to play to the same green?
Banker85 says:
how do you play a course backwards? tee off from 18 tee bax to 1 green? i dont get it.
Swingem says:
@bjohn13-I believe that Sheep Ranch only lets one group on the track at a time, usually a group in the morning and one in the afternoon. Sheep Ranch is where the movie version of "Golf In The Kingdom" was filmed and is rumored to be the site of the fifth and final course at Bandon Dunes so it may not last forever. Additionally, it was designed by Tom Doak, designer of Pacific Dunes, as a side project.
Kickntrue says:
@Banker85- I think it describes it a bit in the article. I don't think it's 100% backwards, but close to it.
TravisMiller says:
I think that is a double add to the bucket list
[ post comment ]
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