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Old Course Hits Top Spot
The Old Course at St. Andrews topped the list of the best golf courses in 184 countries – including England, Ireland, Canada and Australia – in an international poll. Golf Digest bestowed the accolade following the magazine’s inaugural survey of courses outside the U.S.
Basing the results on the opinions of more than 800 experts, including course-rating panelists and international editors, the poll considered over 1,000 courses in terms of shot values, resistance to scoring, design variety, memorability, aesthetics, conditioning, ambience and walkability. The “Old Lady” came out on top, further reinforcing Tiger Woods' recent assertion that the Old Course was his favorite course in the world.
The survey, which is part of Golf Digest's “Planet Golf” biennial feature, is published just 13 weeks prior to the British Open, which will be returning to the Home of Golf for a record-breaking 27th time. In preparation for the event, Links Trust greenkeepers have completed a significant amount of work on the Old Course, including revetting the faces of more than 80 percent of the course's 112 bunkers and introducing five new tees.
Despite these developments, the Old Course retains an unmistakable character that has captivated golfers through the ages. As Alan McGregor, general manager of the Links Trust, explains, this most recent accolade goes to the heart of the lasting appeal of the ancient links.
"Every facet of the Old Course is steeped in history – from the remarkable achievements of Old Tom Morris and his son to the success of Tiger Woods. It is the depth of history that encourages people to make a pilgrimage to the Old Course, and the subtlety of its design that fascinates them. Our job is to maintain the best traditions of golf at St. Andrews while ensuring it remains a venue that is truly open to all."