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What you'll find inside No.7

In No.7 we take a deep dive into the Road Hole of the Old Course at St Andrews with Clayton, Devries and Pont architect Sam Cooper as he gives his low down on why it's such a brilliant design. Small is Beautiful as Dan Davies fulfilled his lifelong dream of building his own golf course, in an orchard, in his back garden. We caught up with a group of American golfers for a Guinness filled night of laughter at The Jigger Inn, and Murray Bothwell pens a unique folklore tale from the links of Royal Dornoch staged in the middle of the night. Golfers and their lawns, for some it's an obsession for perfection. Reece Witters gives his amusing and clever take on Harold Whifflesworth pursuit of the prefect surface. What was it like teeing it up with Tom Watson in the 2009 Open Championship final round? Jim Hartsell speaks with Matt Goggin as he gives his perspective of that Sunday round. All of this and more in TLD No.7.

Tom Watson Final Round of the 2009 Open at Turnberry with Jim Hartsell
Echoes In The Wind

Words by Jim Hartsell

Alamy Stock Photography

In July 2009, on a windy Sunday afternoon, a 59-year-old man came within one hard linksland bounce of perhaps the greatest achievement in the history of sports. Mathew Goggin, a 35-year-old professional golfer from Tasmania, was his playing partner.

The Grass Barber
The Grass Barber

Words by Reece Witters

Photography by Graeme McCubbin

“That’s not a reel mower,” the grey-haired man warmly declared toward the tall hedge under the din of two lawn mowers – one, a purring reel motor mower; the other, an electric battler from Wally’s Outdoors. It was just audible enough to alert, yet muffled enough to confuse the recipient, the apparently inferior neighbour, Mrs. Wallace.

The Lost Links of Holy Island in the North East of England
The Lost Links

Words by Murray Bothwell

Photography by Stuart Currie

Whether it’s fate, or just luck, connections which result in the revelation of something entirely unexpected are often the catalyst of a great story. The mystery of a long-lost links on the windswept Northumbrian coast, designed by one of golf’s greatest; a young lady who stood on the rocks with her lamp, warding-off ships from the treacherous rocks; a young lad playing with his family in the high, sandy dunes of 1970s Lindisfarne. 

Royal Dornoch Golf Club in the Scottish Highlands
Just A Wee Tweak

Words by Murray Bothwell

Photography by Graeme McCubbin

And so, the story goes that a determined group snuck out on the course later that evening and, by the light of the moon, made their way carefully to the high escarpment where their first new hole would lie. With military precision they found the canes for the 7th fairway right next to the edge of the cliff where a very steep slope of about 20m-30m, covered in dense thickets of gorse bushes, dropped away into the darkness on the right.

The Road Hole at the Old Course in St Andrews
The Art of Par - The Road Hole

With Sam Cooper, Architect with Clayton Devries and Pont

Photography by Stuart Currie

The 17th at St Andrews has confounded players for generations. There are many reasons why this is the case, but for these purposes, I’ll offer an oversimplification. The green is magnificent. Long but very narrow. Its long axis is angled from front right to back left, almost 45 degrees from the ‘centre’ of the fairway. Short, and cutting into the green, the Road Hole Bunker acts like a black hole - gathering any ball in its vicinity into its infamous depths.

A bonsia golf course in a back garden
Small Is Beautiful

Words by Dan Davies

Photography by Brian Sweeney

By the end of that week we had identified and established four very rudimentary green sites. The first was ‘Home’ green, a flat area beyond the small copse of apple trees that fronts the open-sided livestock shed I’d already earmarked as the clubhouse. The second was ‘Apples’, a perfect central ledge protected by thick rushes on two sides and an apple tree on another. The third was initially named ‘Kop’ for its position on slightly higher ground. The fourth was christened ‘Gerry’s’, after the man who owns the barns next to our new home.

The greatest concession and sportmanship in golf. Jack Nicklaus and Tony Jacklin
Gimme Peace

Words by Gary Henderson

Artwork by James Wilson @short.side

All of those turning points, the little nuggets of gamesmanship, missed putts and errant shots whirred through my head as he pulled the putter back and... nothing. I said nothing. The ball missed on the high side as I stood there in sheepish victory. “Sorry mate, not the way to lose a match” I mumbled as he half-heartedly shook my hand “I should’ve given you that” I conceded (finally).

The Jigger Inn in St Andrews
A Night At The Jigger

Words by Tron Carter & Kenny Pallas

Photography by Graeme McCubbin

As the pints grew ever empty, a short silence was broken by the inevitable chat about who’s got game. A discussion about handicaps ensued, a conversation I hate but it is an obvious and easy conversation in a group of golfers. Andy piped up, “This guy can play, California State Champion 1994.” as he gestured toward Steve Woods.

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