The Dunhill Links Championship was played last week over the Old Course at St. Andrews, Kingsbarns, and Carnoustie. I’ve played all three and the Old Course is certainly the least immediately impressive.
So it wasn’t too much of a surprise when Rory McIlroy said that when he first played the Old Course he hated it. Bobby Jones felt the same way when he first played it, but came to love it over time. Not only this, but McIlroy’s home course is Royal Portrush in Northern Ireland, one of the top few links courses in the world and certainly one of the most beautiful.
His comments sum up the reaction of most golfers who get to know the Old Course, its quirks and its continued challenge to modern golfers:
“Thought it was the worst golf course I’ve ever played,” he said. “I just stood up on every tee and was like, ‘What is the fascination about this place?’ But the more you play it and the more you learn about the golf course and the little nuances, you learn to appreciate it. Now it’s my favorite golf course in the world.”