September 19, 2013

The Story of St Andrews

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All golfers know St Andrews in Scotland as the Home of Golf. But do you know where the town’s name comes from or what else it is known for?

St Andrews is called the Home of Golf for a reason. Golf as we know it today originated on what is now known as the Old Course at St Andrews. The view from the 18th hole with the iconic Swilcan Bridge and the Old Course Hotel on the background is familiar to all golfers. If you haven’t personally been there you’ve seen it on television. But how did it all start? Does the city of St Andrews have something to offer besides golf and who was St Andrew?

 

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St Andrews is a town with a little over 16,500 inhabitants on the north east coast of Scotland. In addition to being the home of golf, the city is home to University of St Andrews, the third oldest university in the English-speaking world, the oldest in Scotland and one of Britain‘s most prestigious. Despite of this, St Andrews is known first and foremost for golf.

 

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At first the golf course at St Andrews consisted of 11 holes out and the same 11 holes back. In 1764 the 22-holes constituting the Old Course were reduced to 18, which became the standard for golf courses world over. It has been said that today’s golfers would recognise the Old Course of the 1700’s and the challenges it presented as it has changed so little over the centuries. Today St Andrews Links consists of seven courses; Old Course, The Castle Course, New Course, Jubilee Course, Eden Course, Strathtyrum Course and Balgove Course.

 

The Saltire Cross on the flag of Scotland.

The Saltire Cross on the flag of Scotland.

 

There’s the town, there’s the prestigious university and the spectacular golf courses. But who was the guy that all this was named after? Well, he was Saint Andrew, the Patron Saint of Scotland, who worked as a fisherman before following Jesus to become ”fisher of men”. Saint Andrew ended up martyred in Patras, Greece, where he was crucified on an X-shaped cross. That same cross is a symbol used on the flag of Scotland and known as the Cross of St Andrew or the Saltire Cross. Legend suggests that parts of his remains were later transported to the ”ends of the earth”. That place was Scotland. More specifically a town on the north east coast called Kilrymont, now St Andrews.

 

Saint Andrew, the Patron Saint of Scotland with the X-shaped cross he was crucified on.

Saint Andrew, the Patron Saint of Scotland with the X-shaped cross he was crucified on.

 

Our Golf GameBook 24/7 Challenge is on in Canada until 13th of October, 2013. It’s the biggest ever golf contest in Canada and offers prizes that are equally big. One lucky Canadian golfer will receive the grand prize – the ultimate 4-ball golf buddies trip to the Old Course Hotel at St Andrews. And the rest of us? Well, we’ll just have to contact a travel agency.

 

 

– Johanna

 

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