On Sunday, The Old Course at St. Andrews to a dog park

Ziggy, named after David Bowie, enjoyed his time on the 15th Green Sunday.

Sean Zak

ST. ANDREWS, Scotland – A polarizing aspect of The Old Course is that it is extremely flat. Flat courses are not good for watching tournament golf! Links Trust has even built highs in the last few years to help golfers. But just this Sunday, that flatness is welcomed.

I can see in hundreds of yards, uninhibited, and currently there are eight dogs in the area buzzing around the property. Behind me, there’s another handful yelling loudly enough to be heard over the sounding grandstand construction.

One of the dogs behind me, a black bulldog named Cato, has enjoyed his time around the 17th green, but has just walked onto the Swilcan Bridge and interrupted a beloved picture. “Come down here, Cato,” said his owner. “It’s a very special bridge, Cato.”

It’s a special bridge, Cato, but goes on Sundays at the Old Course, where poachers run free and the owners respectfully keep them from making too much trouble. The Old Course on Sundays extends to 45 acres and is easily among the largest dog parks in the world. The only rules are obvious: 1. Please pick up after your four-legged friend. 2. Stay away from greens. (The latter is only loosely followed.)

It was on the 15th green where I found Ziggy, the 2-year-old beagle, named after David Bowie for his one blue eye and one brown eye. Ziggy had just taken rapid strides from a pair of heady greyhounds – George and Bingley – and was stabbed. So Ziggy was sitting there on the edge of the green, right where some famous golfer would make a birdie putt in three weeks, ignoring his owners’ calls. Ziggy loves to visit the Old Course, but luckily fencing with the championship on the way. For Ziggy has previously been interested in driving range and it is much more dangerous.

Eventually, Ziggy turned to catch up with Mom and Dad. The walk, by golfers, is out and back at St. Andrews, three miles in total. It follows the shape of a shallow fishing hook, which provides endless opportunities to meet.

In a few weeks, these stands will be filled along the 16th tee. Until then, Ziggy the Beagle and George the Greyhound enjoy it.

Sean Zak

Geoff Shackelford was right when he listed his three criteria for a great golf course:

Do you want to play this course every day?

2. When you leave this course, do you remember every hole?

3. Is this a place you would like to take your dog for a walk?

The Old, of course, marks the box, but differently from its counterparts in America. In the United States, these Sundays are simply not possible, because in America we live in abundance. We love our Sunday rounds and we love our lanes green as possible, watered down and soft so we can spin wedge shots backwards on the green. Dogs tear that turf up, so keep them on a leash. Here in Scotland, where the turf is really only irrigated by Mother Nature, strings are only a suggestion. The soil here sticks under the dog claws.

All of this is possible because hundreds of years ago it was decided that there should be no golf on Sundays. It went against religion. And while the other six St. Andrews Links courses are open on Sundays, Old is almost always closed, with the exception of special events such as Links Trust Amateur earlier this month, or e.g. when Tiger Woods and the boys arrive in town in July.

For now, it’s Ziggy Turfdust and the many friends he crosses paths with: Hamish the west highland terrier, Bailey the lhasa apso, Ava the cockapoo and Indi the golden doodle. All of their owners are locals, with afternoon plans to visit the Jigger Inn, the pub that juts out toward the 17th hole.

Men St. Andrews on Sundays also attracts dog owners from far and wide. Find the parents of the English working cocker spaniel were in town on holiday, up from the south west of England. Finn was invited to attend because “there are good places to walk around here in Scotland.” West Sands Beach is Old’s biggest competitor. Harris, a lhasa apso-bichon frieze mix, was in town from Dundee, just 13 miles away. He is named after the Scottish island off the west coast. “If you want to see Bahama beaches, but with Scottish climate [the Isle of Harris] is the place to go, “said his owner, Julie-Anne Alexander, launching a tennis ball with a” Chuckit! “stick. Harris’ father, Kevin, is an avid golfer who plays at Carnoustie and was less focused on the dog, more interested in the shape of the greens prior to The Open.But he had the right to do as he pleased.It was after all Father’s Day and his son was waiting for his parents for lunch at Jigger.

Hamish the 8-year-old terrier and her owner come from the west of Scotland.

Sean Zak

Around that time, a 10-year-old cocker spaniel named Maisie was sitting on the stairs next to 18. green. It was the first time she went on the Old Course. “She’s beautiful,” said her owner, Isobel Dallas, stroking Maisie’s long, hairy ears. Maisie had already run the course and looked beyond it, just as golfers do the other six days of the week. As she got up to leave, a shepherd ran past her, who jumped down the stairs – just like a golfer too – ran on a leash, ready to receive The Old.

Got an idea for one Summer in Scotland history? – I hear them all! Just send a message to sean.zak@golf.com.

Leave a Comment