The "Old Course" at St. Andrews

We are here at St. Andrews, Scotland.

Hamish showing me where to hit the ball.

The people here are great and we just love their speaking vernacular.  I got a chance to play the Old Course at St. Andrews. We got up at 3:30AM to be at the starter shack by 4AM.  I was 7th in line and there were 16 open slots.  I played at 10:40AM.  WOW!  This was by far my best golfing experience and well worth the $350.  The green fees were 150 pounds and I gave the caddy 70 pounds.  I found that having someone else to do the thinking and me just obeying and doing the hitting really improves my score.  I hit a good drive on 1 to start (very happy to get off of the tee – a fairly good sized gallery of people watching) however, I put the next shot in the mote and scored a double bogey.  I borrowed a set of clubs from Nick and Jenny, the couple that we are staying with in Edinburgh.

I was concerned about adapting to different clubs and especially the putter.  However, my biggest concern at that point was my inventory of golf balls which was now only 5.  Praise God!   I did finish the round with the next ball.  I had a 44 on the front nine and a 40 on the back.  Hamish, the caddy, is a young guy from New Zealand (pictured below) and he really knows the old course.  He kept me away from the dreaded bunkers.  Miraculously, I was never in one – an Old Course experience that I didn’t want.  I putted very well with his help reading the greens.

Vince did not want to play because he wanted to use his new camera equipment to take stills and videos of the my round and the surrounding scenery.   He was wonderful and had a great time being there with dad for this, my special event.

The guys I played with were a father and his 2 sons from Atlanta Georgia.  They were obviously all better golfers than me but had problems during play.  They found many of the bunkers (impossible to get out of – they are small round deep holes in the ground with perpendicular edges).  I and my caddy were shocked at my good score.  I still had jet lag and only had 1 hour sleep the night before the round.  I think I was too tired to care and too tired too over swing.  I’ve been terrible at golf lately and haven’t broke 90 for months.  If I had been here with my clubs, good sleep, and higher expectations, I wouldn’t have been able to break 120 – Thank You Lord!.

Anyhow, I finished with a duck hook on 18 that nearly went out of bounds but ended up on the left side of the first fairway.

Me with the Jack Nicklaus pose on the 18th hole bridge.

 

Amazingly enough though, with 175 yards left, I hit a 5 iron that almost went into the hole.  It rolled 5 feet past the hole.  I played too much break and missed the birdie putt but finished with a par.  The Pic with Vince and me below is at the St. Andrews Cathedral ruins in town.

Christina Kim's 1st LPGA Win

Winning at the Long’s Drug Challenge!Christina Kim & GeorgeOn Sunday, October 9, 2005, I was privileged to be the “Standard Bearer” (the guy who carries the sign/pictured) for the twosome of Kari Webb and Christina Kim.  The golf course was The Ridge in Auburn, CA.  This picture was taken right after they signed their scorecards.  It was Christina’s first win on the LPGA tour.  I think the purse was $150,000.

Christina is not only a great golfer but she has brought much fun to the LPGA.  She is so outgoing and the fans love her bubbly personality.

Kim Family

Christina with her mom and dad

Her dad was the caddy at this time.  It was a treat to see their respect for one another and how well they worked together.