St. Andrews hosts Open Championship for 30th time
Take a walk on the Old Course at St. Andrews and one can’t help but get a sense of golf history and the reverence that Scotland has for its official sport.
Its windswept front nine fairways seem to stretch to the horizon even though the North Sea is clearly visible in the distance. The bunkers, made from sod stacked in brick-like layers, are so deep they look like they can swallow a good-sized adult male along with his errant tee shot. And the Royal & Ancient clubhouse, with its “Members Only” sign prominently displayed by the entrance, looks like the kind of place where a British lord might toast his day on the links with a post-round brandy or two.
Yes, this is the home of golf, a public course steeped in tradition and atmosphere. It’s the oldest in the world, dating back to the 15th century when the sport became so popular in Scotland that King James II banned it, reasoning that it kept young men from practicing archery.
As a venue for the Open Championship, St. Andrews has a long and illustrious history, hosting it 29 times since 1873, the most recent being in 2015, when Zach Johnson won in a four-hole playoff.
It will host the golf year’s third major for the 30th time Thursday through Sunday, July 14-17, when an elite field including Scottie Scheffler, Rory McIlroy, Justin Thomas, Patrick Cantlay and Jordan Spieth tee it up in the 2022 Open Championship, airing on Golf Channel and NBC.
What: The Old Course at St. Andrews
Where: St. Andrews, Fife, Scotland
Vital stats: Par 72, 7,305 yards
Toughest hole: The No. 17 “Road Hole,” a 495-yard par 4 with a hotel to the right of the fairway and a crater-like bunker just left of the green
Top performance: Rory McIlroy’s 9-under 63 in 2010, an Open record