I arrived in St. Andrews on Thursday afternoon having spent the last week and a half at my home in London. With the GOLF CHANNEL based in Orlando, spending time in the capital is a rarity so I really appreciate every chance I have to visit, seeing friends and family is also a very nice treat.
Golf around the capital is spectacular at this time of year, and my home club, Walton Heath, is looking wonderful. Although the new tees weve added pose quite a test, certainly for my game.
I was lucky enough to rub shoulders with a sporting icon on my journey-up to Scotland. No not Tiger Woods, Roger Federer or Annika Sorenstam, the person in question is far bigger. As I walked through Gatwick Airport to catch my flight, this giant of a man was coming towards me, dressed in trademark bandana, designer sunglasses and sleeveless t-shirt it was non-other than Hulk Hogan.
You couldnt get further from blending in to the crowd, Hulk still creates mania wherever he goes, and on Thursday it was Gatwick Airport. I felt the urge to rip-off my Joseph Abboud shirt in tribute to such a star, but thankfully I resisted and went on my way with a smile.
London was very comfortable when I left, certainly short-sleeve weather, but by the time I came to standing behind the 11th green of the Old Course at St. Andrews in the early evening, the wind was whipping a chill into my back. That corner of the golf course has to be one of the coldest places to play this great game, and with rounds pushing into the six hour mark, the ladies teeing-off late in the day better be packing their thermal underwear.
Two groups were waiting on the 11th tee as I wondered by, and it was evident by the hand-warmers and woolly hats in use, that those players and caddies used to the warmer climes of the LPGA and LET summer tour stops will be in for a shock to the system.
A great charm of this town is how close life is to the 18th green, and as I was leaving the course I bumped into Brittany Lincicome in sweats pants and sweatshirt, out for an early evening stroll and in search of a hot chocolate. She was just a short walk from her hotel and the young LPGA winner is certainly, after Thursdays 71, enjoying her first visit to the home of golf.
It's hard not to.
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