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The Home of Golf

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The Old Course in Reverse

November 06 2019

The Home of Golf will celebrate St Andrew’s Day with two days of reverse play on the Old Course, the world’s most famous Links.

Played in a clockwise direction, the Old Course was originally laid out with greens used for both inward and outward holes. When Tom Morris introduced the present first green in the 1870s, an anti-clockwise alternative became feasible – an option that gained in popularity until the original clockwise rotation was discarded in the 1970s.

The reverse routing of the Old Course, which sees golfers start on the first tee and play towards the 17th green, had been played perennially in recent decades, largely in and around late March to herald the beginning of a new season. However, it was last played almost a decade ago before returning to the calendar this month.

Director of Golf John Grant said, “We are reintroducing this route to play the Old Course for two days later this month as part of the calendar of events celebrating St Andrew’s Day in the town.

“On Saturday 30th November there will be a competition for the local Golf Clubs and so that is a limited entry event. However, for play on Friday 29th November a special ballot will take place 7 days ahead of play (22nd November).  We anticipate there will be great interest in playing this route, however given the reduced daylight, we would like to stress that tee times are only available between 08:40am and 11:40am. 

“As usual there will be times allocated to both the Local Priority Ballot (slightly increased number) and the Open Ballot.”

All forms of ballot entry will operate as usual, namely, online, by telephone or in person and entry will be available from 2:15pm on Thursday 21st to 2pm on Friday 22nd November, with the results published by 5pm on the Friday (22nd).

Golfers wishing to consider entering the ballot should be aware that fairway mats will be in use and there will be no restriction on trolley use.

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