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Want To Play The Old Course At St. Andrews?

Aug 17, 2007
Several years ago I had the opportunity to play the Royal Links Golf Course in Las Vegas, Nevada. I had heard a lot about the course with the holes representing some of the classic holes of the British Open like The Road Hole from St. Andrews, and The Postage Stamp from Troon.

The clubhouse is a replica of a castle and adds a lot to the atmosphere. Some of the other courses represented on the course are Carnoustie, Turnberry, Royal Liverpool, Prestwick, Royal Lytham, Muirfield and Royal Birkdale. There are many monuments placed around the course highlighting historical moments in British Open history. There's also a wall near the putting green honoring the American champions of the British Open.

My friend and I were in awe of the atmosphere and couldn't wait to play. As part of the package you get a caddie for the first few holes and if you want him for longer you have to pay him. Our caddie had an Irish accent and with the atmosphere and his accent we really felt like we were in Scotland.

The wind was calm and I started off on fire. I birdied 3 of the first 4 holes and I think the caddie was a little shocked. Well I came back down to earth after the 6th hole and finished even for the front 9. By the 8th hole the wind really started to blow. It was gusting around 25 mph and it made the course extremely difficult. So with the atmosphere, caddie, and the wind we got a real good taste of what it's like playing on a links course in Scotland.

The holes had rough like you see in the British Open that measured several feet in height and very thick. With the wind blowing we found ourselves in the rough quite a bit on the back nine as well as finding those nasty little pot bunkers. We tried to keep the ball low and out of the wind, but the fairways and greens were so hard that the balls had a mind of their own... and we were at the mercy of the wind.

To give you an idea on the wind... I hit driver 3-wood on a 380-yard par 4 and I was just short. On 18, which was a 515-yard par 5, I hit driver 9-iron and just missed an eagle putt.

Overall I had a great time and it was an awesome experience. If you're a golfer and you've dreamed of going to Scotland to play, but just don't have the time or money then The Royal Links is a must play. The rates are kind of high during the peak season, but during the off-season it's about $125. I'd suggest getting a package deal, which are plentiful in the Las Vegas area. Also check the web for some great deals.

I also forgot to say that the course was in immaculate condition when I played in July.
About the Author
Don Smith is a single dad and avid amateur golfer of over 30+ years. He manages a very informative golf school web site called U.S. Golf Schools. His golf blog "To Golf Or Not To Golf" has golf tips, product reviews, etc...
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