Since 1990 the Old Course at St. Andrews has been scheduled to host the Open Championship every fifth year, so it came as no surprise when the R&A officially announced Tuesday that it will host in 2015. And I’m already counting down the days — only something like 1,363 days to go!
ST. ANDREWS, Scotland (AP) — Organizers say the 2015 British Open will be held at the Old Course at St. Andrews.
The event has been staged at the famous Scottish venue known as the “Home of Golf” every five years since 1990.
Peter Dawson, chief executive of tournament organizer Royal & Ancient, says “St. Andrews has proved time and again that it is perfectly equipped to host The Open and I am certain we will yet again see a worthy winner lift the claret jug.”
St. Andrews has hosted the British Open 28 times, most recently in 2010 when Louis Oosthuizen of South Africa won by seven shots.
While I’ve only covered two Opens — and Royal St. George’s this year was actually pretty cool, too — I don’t think it gets much better in terms of atmosphere, tradition, and the challenge and intrigue of links golf than a major at St. Andrews. I had the good fortune of going in 2010 and I plan to keep attending the Opens there whether or not I’m covering the event. It was by far the most interesting, random and adventurous (and even educational) week of my short golf writing career.
I won’t ever forget my first night in St. Andrews, which led to a nine-hole fourball at the Castle Course the following morning. Then I tried on the replica Challenge Belt. Next, I was marvelously overwhelmed with my first visit and impressions of the “Home of Golf.” I got to walk down the fairways of the Old Course during a practice round with Tim Clark, Jason Day and Michael Sim.
Rory McIlroy shot 63 in the first round in calm weather and followed it with an 80 in brutal, blustery and nearly unplayable conditions. I spent an afternoon in the male-only members Royal & Ancient Golf Club’s clubhouse — usually women aren’t permitted, but they make an exception during the week of the Open — directly behind the first hole during the third round. And of course, I hopped the wall to the cemetery with a dozen others, including Jim Nantz, to pay tribute to the ghost of Old Tom Morris.
Mark your calendars because I guarantee a trip to remember. Heck, the Open always holds unforgettable adventures…trust me.