The spiritual home of golf is perched on a nose of Scotland poking out into the North Sea, a tranquil old town named for the first-century martyr who is shown in the seal at the left. Next week the British Open will return again to St. Andrews, conducted, as always, by the Royal and Ancient Golf Club, whose headquarters are seen here in the Scottish summer gloaming. It is a mystic place. Twenty years ago Bobby Jones said, "I could take out of my life everything except my experiences at St. Andrews and I would still have a rich, full life."
The Old Course, on which the Open is contested, is the heart of St. Andrews. It is flat, treeless, double-greened (as here) for 14 of the 18 holes, and pocked with bunkers.
The facade of the cathedral, consecrated in 1318 and once the largest in Scotland, dominates North Street. It has long been in ruins, as has the 13th-century castle (upper right), a bloody place in its day. At the university, two scarlet gowns flow through the gates of St. Salvator's College. The delicately ornate bandstand, adjacent to the Royal and Ancient, stands against the darkening evening sky.
Anyone can play the four St. Andrews courses; they are all open to the public. On a summer day, one might well descry such golfers as the pair on the 9th green of the Old Course at left, with the town lying beyond, or the lad on a path between holes on the Eden Course, or the family at the tee on the New Course, which was opened in 1895. On the right, both men and women do gentle battle on the Ladies' Putting Green, known more familiarly as The Himalayas.
What appears to be wainscoting in the Big Room at the R&A are the members' lockers. Beyond the 1854 clubhouse lie The Himalayas.