You've all heard of – and know why it's called – the Road Hole, but what are the other 17 holes of St Andrews' original layout called? George Cooper takes you through it
How many of the St Andrews Old Course hole names do you know? Well, we reckon you could name the 1st and 17th at the Home of Golf, but what about the rest? Let’s have a look…
Hole 1: Burn
Pretty simple, this one. The 1st hole at the Old Course is named after the famous Swilcan Burn that runs across the front of the green.
Hole 2: Dyke
Another pretty basic reason. The 2nd is named after the stone wall – or dyke – that runs down the left-hand side of the fairway.
Hole 3: Cartgate (out)
The first of several holes which share a name and a fairway, the 3rd gets its name from a cart road which once crossed the hole and ran all the way to the sea. We’re starting to see a pattern here…
Hole 4: Ginger Beer
Our personal favourite, the 4th used to mark the point where golfers would stop for a drink in the 19th-century. Behind the green, David ‘Old Da’ Anderson used to have a ginger beer stand, with the spot now taken up by a bunker bearing the same name.
Hole 5: Hole O’Cross (out)
The 5th has 11 fairway bunkers including the Seven Sisters on the right-hand side. As a result, the name for the Old Course’s first par-5 comes from the need to aim your tee shot way left in a bid to avoid the traps and play across the 14th fairway.
Hole 6: Heathery (out)
Gorse and heather surrounds the entirety of the world famous Old Course, with the 6th described by ancient golfers as the most ‘heathery’ of them all.
Hole 7: High (out)
The green on the 7th hole – which is shared with the 11th – marks the highest point of elevation on the Old Course, hence the simple yet effective name.
Hole 8: Short
You guessed it! The shortest hole on the course, it usually plays around the 130-yard mark for us mere mortals. One of only two par-3s, it generally stretches between 170 and 180 yards for The Open.
Hole 9: End
The final hole on the front nine marks the further point away from the iconic St Andrews club house, hence the name. The par-4 features two treacherous bunkers – End Hole and Boases’ – as well as multiple gorse bushes down the left.
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Hole 10: Bobby Jones
The turning point on the loop, the 10th is named after the legendary Bobby Jones, winner of three Open Championships, including the 1927 tournament at St Andrews.
Hole 11: High (in)
Sharing its name and green with the 7th, the par-3 11th likewise marks the most elevated point on the Old Course.
Hole 12: Heathery (in)
Like the 7th, the 12th is undulating and surrounding by gorse and heather. That being said, the big hitters have the hazards and go straight for the green, with the 12th the shorted par-4 on the Old Course.
Hole 13: Hole O’Cross (in)
Known for its three Coffin bunkers on the left hand side, the 13th shares its green with the 6th, and poses equally as difficult challenges off the tee.
Hole 14: Long
No prizes for guessing why this brute of a par-5 gets its name. From the back tees it comes in at a whopping 614 yards.
Hole 15: Cartgate (in)
Sharing its green with the 3rd, the par-4 15th is again named after the cart road which previously crossed the fairway and ran all the way down to the beach. We’re starting to think they ran out of ideas…
Hole 16: Corner of the Dyke
Back to the quirky names once again, the 16th was originally given to a bunker on the 2nd, but the name shifted across shortly after. A tough hole to negotiate, the green is tucked away into the corner of the 2nd hole’s dyke, hence the name.
Hole 17: Road Hole
It’s the hole every golfer is familiar with on this historic course, and not just because you get to hit over the Old Course Hotel. Perhaps the most famous sight in golf, the 17th is named after the paved road which runs parallel to right of the hole. Negotiate that, and you’re greeted with the dreaded Road Hole bunker guarding the green. Truly iconic.
Hole 18: Tom Morris
Another that needs little explanation. Named after the man himself, Thomas Mitchell Morris – Old Tom to you and me – the Grandfather of Golf not only won four Open Championships but spent the majority of his life living in St Andrews, as well as being responsible for designing parts of the prestigious course.
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