(Editor's note: This is part of a series in which GolfChannel.com staff reveal their favorite or personal moments of 2015.)
Here’s what I expected on my first visit to St. Andrews:
An old and gray town. (Check.)
An easy walk to the course. (Check.)
And several pints at the Dunvegan Hotel. (Most definitely check.)
An Open at the Old Course, the most famous golf course in the world, didn’t just live up to my expectations. It exceeded them. Easily.
Sure, the course is a delight, even if it’s a bit confusing to navigate. But an Open there is more about the intimate experience – walking the cobblestone streets to get to “work” every day, passing players and caddies en route to dinner, cramming inside a pub and talking golf with hundreds of fans.
This year was even more special. Arnold Palmer participated in the Champion Golfers’ Challenge for the final time. Ivor Robson announced on the first tee for the final time. Tom Watson played an Open for the final time. Jordan Spieth chased the single-season Slam for (what was likely) the final time. And I plunked down a few pounds on Zach Johnson at 100-1 odds for the final time.
When our last stories were filed, at 11 p.m., colleague Rex Hoggard and I walked down the 18th fairway and snapped a few photos on the Swilcan Bridge, in case, for some reason, we never make a return trip.
If there’s one place that a writer doesn’t mind staying for a Monday finish, it’s most definitely St. Andrews.