On Sundays, The Old Course at St. Andrews turns into a dog park

Ziggy, named after David Bowie, loved his time on the fifteenth Inexperienced Sunday.

Sean Zack

ST. ANDREWS, Scotland β€” A polarizing side of the outdated course is that this can be very flat. Flat programs will not be ideally suited for viewing golf tournaments! The Hyperlinks Belief has even constructed mounds lately to assist golf spotters. However on this explicit Sunday, that flatness is welcome.

I can see for a whole bunch of yards, uninhibited, and proper now, there are eight canines in vary, prancing across the property. Behind me, there’s one other handful, barking loud sufficient to be heard above the grandstand development.

One of many canines behind me, a black bulldog named Cato, has been having fun with his time across the seventeenth gap, however he jumped onto the Swilcan Bridge and interrupted a treasured picture. “Come down right here, Cato,” stated his proprietor. It is a very particular bridge, Cato.

It is a particular bridge, Cato, however that is the way in which it’s on Sundays on the Outdated Course, the place the pooches run free and the house owners respectfully stop them from inflicting an excessive amount of hassle. Spanning 45 acres, The Outdated Course on Sundays is definitely among the many largest canine parks on the earth. The one guidelines are apparent: 1. Choose up after your four-legged pal. 2. Keep off the greens. (The latter is barely loosely adopted.)

It was on the fifteenth inexperienced that I discovered Ziggy, the 2-year-old beagle, named after David Bowie for his blue eye and his brown eye. Ziggy had simply gotten flash forwards from a pair of rambunctious greyhounds, George and Bingley, and he was exhausted. So Ziggy sat on the sting of the inexperienced, proper the place a well-known golfer would make a birdie putt in three weeks, ignoring calls from his house owners. Ziggy loves visiting the Outdated Course, however fortunately there’s fencing with the championship arising. As a result of Ziggy has been within the driving vary previously, and that is far more harmful.

Ziggy finally turned to meet up with Mother and Dad. Golfers know that the stroll is spherical journey in St. Andrews, three miles in whole. It follows the form of a shallow hook, offering limitless alternatives for encounter.

In a number of weeks, these grandstands will replenish alongside the sixteenth tee. Till then, Ziggy the Beagle and George the Greyhound are having fun with themselves.

Sean Zack

Geoff Shackelford bought it proper when listed his three standards for an ideal golf course:

1. Do you need to play this course every single day?

2. While you go away this course, are you able to bear in mind every gap?

3. Is that this a spot you’d prefer to take your canine for a stroll?

The Outdated clearly ticks the field, however another way than its counterparts in America. In the US, these Sundays are merely not attainable, as a result of in America we dwell in overabundance. We love our Sunday rounds and we love our programs as inexperienced as attainable, skinny and clean, so we are able to spin wedge photographs again onto the inexperienced. Canines tear up that grass, so maintain ’em on a leash. Right here in Scotland, the place the garden is barely watered by mom nature, straps are only a suggestion. The bottom right here stands agency beneath these canine claws.

All that is attainable as a result of a whole bunch of years in the past it was determined that there needs to be no golf on Sundays. It was towards faith. And whereas the opposite six St. Andrews Hyperlinks programs are open on Sundays, the Outdated is sort of all the time closed, barring particular occasions just like the Hyperlinks Belief Newbie earlier this month or, say, when Tiger Woods and the boys come to the town ​​in July.

For now it is Ziggy Turfdust and the various pals he crosses paths with: Hamish the western highland terrier, Bailey the lhasa apso, Ava the cockapoo and Indi the golden doodle. All of the house owners of it are locals, with plans within the afternoon to go to the Jigger Inn, the pub that juts out towards the seventeenth gap.

However St. Andrews on Sundays additionally attracts canine house owners from afar. Finn’s dad and mom, the hard-working English cocker spaniel, have been on the town on vacation from the south-west of England. Finn was invited to affix as a result of, effectively, “there are good locations to stroll right here in Scotland.” West Sands Seashore is Outdated’s principal competitor. Harris, a Lhasa Apso and Bichon Frize combine, was on the town from Dundee, simply 13 miles away. It’s named after the Scottish island off the west coast. β€œIf you wish to see Bahamas seashores however with Scottish climate [the Isle of Harris] it is the place to go,” stated its proprietor, Julie-Anne Alexander, tossing a tennis ball with a “Chuckit!” stick. Harris’s father, Kevin, is an avid golfer who performs at Carnoustie and was much less targeted on the canine, extra within the form of the greens earlier than The Open. However he had the fitting to do what he needed. It was Father’s Day, in spite of everything, and his son was ready for his dad and mom to have lunch on the Jigger.

Hamish, the 8-year-old terrier, and his proprietor hail from the west of Scotland.

Sean Zack

Round that point, a 10-year-old cocker spaniel named Maisie sat on the steps subsequent to the 18th inexperienced. This was the primary time she had ever walked the Outdated Course. “She’s stunning,” stated her proprietor, Isobel Dallas, stroking Maisie’s lengthy, furry ears. Maisie had already walked the course and was it the way in which golfers do the opposite six days of the week. As she bought as much as go away, a shepherd walked previous her, bounding up these steps, additionally like a golfer, off leash, able to tackle The Outdated.

I’ve an concept for a summer time in scotland historical past? β€” I’ll take heed to all of you! Simply ship a notice to sean.zak@golf.com.

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