THE OLD COURSE AT ST ANDREWS – HOLE BY HOLE – AHEAD OF THE 144TH BRITISH OPEN STARTING ON THURSDAY:
1st (Burn), 376yds, par 4: widest fairway in golf, though not wide enough to stop Ian Baker-Finch and others going out of bounds. The Swilcan Burn snakes its way across in front of the green and when the flag is at the front expect to see balls spinning back in.
2nd (Dyke), 453yds, par 4: with gorse down the right there is a temptation to aim way left over towards the Old Course Hotel, but Cheape’s bunker lies in wait. The green, shared with the 16th, has a pronounced diagonal ridge.
3rd (Cartgate Out), 397yds, par 4: gorse in front of the tee hides much of the fairway and some tiny pot bunkers on the right are definitely to be avoided. Depending where the pin in, the banana-shaped Cartgate bunker can be a big danger.
4th (Ginger Beer), 480yds, par 4: so named because it was among the items a 19th century trader called Old Daw Anderson sold from a mobile refreshment hunt. A plateau to the left gives a better sight of the green, but that brings more bunkers into play.
5th (Hole O’Cross Out), 568yds, par 4: pot bunkers down the right get everyone’s attention here, but providing it is not into the wind the green – 85 yards from front to back – can be reached in two over the Spectacles bunkers and a gully.
6th (Heathery Out), 412yds, par 4: a marker post helps indicate the line between the Coffins bunker on the left and the scattered traps down the right. Another gully just short of the green adds to the importance of distance control.
7th (High Out), 371yds, par 4: start of The Loop. The approach is played across the line of the short 11th and involves a carry over the huge Shell bunker, with the Eden Estuary behind. Easy to leave yourself with a massively long putt.
8th (Short), 175yds, par 3: first of only par three threes. Two bunkers short should not come into play much, but the green tilts slightly towards the back and a crosswind can cause real trouble.
9th (End), 352yds, par 4: driveable in favourable conditions, but Boase’s and End Hole bunkers narrow the landing area and the gorse and heather creeps in from the left. First green since the first that is not shared.
10th (Bobby Jones), 386yds, par 4: named by the Town Council in 1972, the year after the great American amateur died. The safe tee shot is right of centre short of a pot bunker, but wind helping the direct line is more tempting.
11th (High In), 174yds, par 3: the Strath bunker that eats into the front and Hill on the left are both treacherous, but over the green there is a drop away towards the estuary and saving par from there can be just as difficult.
12th (Heathery In), 348yds, par 4: Stroke bunker sits in the middle of the fairway, but the two slightly further on are more of a hazard. Going left or trying to carry them brings gorse into play, while the shallow two-tier green is one of the trickiest.
13th (Hole O’Cross In), 465yds, par 4: avoid The Coffins bunkers and come up short of the Cat’s Trap at the end of the fairway to set up an approach over the Lion’s Mouth to the largest putting surface on the course, shared with the fifth.
14th (Long), 618yds, par 5: right of The Beardies drives will enter the wide expanse known as the Elysian Fields, but there is out of bounds over the wall down the right and 110 yards short of the green lies the cavernous Hell bunker.
15th (Cartgate In), 455yds, par 4: the distant church steeple provides a pointer for the line to take between two humps known as Miss Grainger’s bosoms. Three pot bunkers called Rob’s have to be taken into consideration, while there is gorse on the right.
16th (Corner of the Dyke), 423yds, par 4: out of bounds down the entire right of a fairway which contains the Principal’s Nose pot bunkers and, just beyond, the equally nasty Deacon’s Syme. Going left is safe, but two more bunkers then have to be negotiated.
17th (Road), 495yds, par 4: tee pushed back this year on what was already one of the most demanding holes in golf. The hotel stands inside the corner of the dogleg, while the slender angled green has Road bunker in front and the path, road and wall beyond.
18th (Tom Morris), 357yds, par 4: shots have to be played off the road – Granny Clark’s Wynd – if the ball comes to rest on it. The Valley of Sin is front left of a green which will be driveable for some, but care needs to be taken with out of bounds all around.