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Side trip to St. Andrews before the Scottish Open

Parker Stancil

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A little golf trip never hurt anyone. Since my TurfNet internship this summer includes an opportunity to volunteer at the Scottish Open at Gullane Golf Club, my parents decided to fly  to Scotland to visit me, have a short vacation and enjoy a little golf as well. They met me in St. Andrews the weekend before the Open.

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I arrived in St. Andrews on Friday night and got a chance to play the Old Course on Saturday morning, before my parents' arrival. This was made possible by Gordon Moir, the Director of Greenkeeping at St. Andrews, who guided me through the ballot/waitlist process there.

My round at the Old Course, which was built in 1552, was my favorite round of golf, ever. I was paired with three new friends, John Conway, Hicks Layton and Billy Teichman, and shot an 85... which I was quite content with after not playing golf for a good while. The entire course, greens to tees, has crazy undulations that can take your ball to just about anywhere, even when you don’t expect it.

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View off the 18th tee at the Old Course.
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The picture doesn't do it justice, but the elevation changes can be taller than the average person!

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My new friends I played the Old Course with.  (l-r, John Conway, Hicks Layton, and Billy Teichman)

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Gordon Moir (l), Director of Greenkeeping at St. Andrews, with the Claret Jug from the 2010 Open Championship

My parents arrived on Saturday, and we had a nice meal at Forgan's, a "local knowledge" recommendation from a friend and co-worker at Great Northern in Denmark.

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My mom, Tracy, and step-father Ashley Wilkinson (who also is department chairman of the turf program at Horry-Georgetown)

On Sunday morning I played the New Course with my step-father. The New Course is a Tom Morris design that was built in 1895. 

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Ash-man lining up a putt for par.

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I whooped Ashley with a 79! But 82 isn’t half bad for the old man.

St. Andrews is an amazing little town on the coast of the North Sea and is home to the truest links golf there is. Many hole locations have views of the North Sea, but a lot of views are blocked by the big dunes the course is built on. 

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Views don’t get much better than this. 

Playing the Old and New Course at St. Andrews was a dream come true, and it couldn’t have been done without the help of Mr. Gordon Moir, TOCA, TurfNet, Bayer, and my parents.

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A quick photo op on the Swilcan bridge. It’s the quickest route for the golfers to cross the Swilcan burn.

 



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Happy to see you enjoying your international experience. I know that you and Ashley will have a bond that will Las a lifetime. We are very proud of you reporting and experience at Horry Georgetown Technical College. 

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