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Tuesday, April 1, 2008

St Andrews April Fool

Beau and Dave on the Swilcan Bridge, 2001

It's not an April Fool's Day gag. The traditional season opening event at St Andrews Links is a weekend when the Old Course is played backwards for three days.

During the Old Course in Reverse event, golfers get to play the Old Course on its original clockwise routing starting from the first tee and playing to the 17th green, then the 18th tee to the 16th green and so on.

The Old Course was played in this direction until the 1870s when Old Tom Morris created the present first green. This made it possible to play in the anti-clockwise direction. In fact, until the early 20th Century the course was played in both directions in alternate weeks.

Until the 1970s the course was set up in the clockwise direction for four weeks in the winter. St Andrews Links Trust, which manages and maintains the seven public courses in St Andrews including the Old Course and the new Castle Course, recently revived this routing and it has proved popular as a season-opening event.

Dave Donelson, author of Heart of Diamonds a about in the

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