Elie Golf Course, St. Andrews

The course on the score card seems short at 6,235 yards but the par is 70. There are no three shot holes and just two one shotters. Yet, there is no attempt by the members to make the course longer or to conform to a more standard 'par'. In fact, the course has resisted change since 1896 when Old Tom Morris stretched it to 18 holes. What there are par fours - sixteen of them to be exact. A couple of them are very long, three of them may be drivable by the low marker, and the rest are in the pleasant medium range. The highest compliment is that a player does not appreciate the inordinate number of two-shotters until someone points it out to him. Elie highlights the differences between Scottish golf and golf elsewhere (particularly the United States). Look no further than the first hole. A thirty foot hill looms some fifty yards directly off the tee and there is a periscope from an old submarine so the golfer can tell when all is clear. A blind shot of such magnitude is unheard of elsewhere, especially for the opening tee shot. And yet… what a satisfying start to see your ball sail over the hill! Except for the first and last several holes, the holes are laid out on a broad plain that slopes gently down to the sea. There are no sand dunes to speak of; rather the holes have a clean simplicity to them. However, there are plenty of small-scale undulations, such as the excellent crumpled fairways of the 4th and 5th, to hold the player's interest.

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