Elizabeth Hurley In The Tall Grass, Tiger Crosses The Bridge & There’s A Cleveland Hot Dog Bun Shortage

I’m starting to think golfing in St. Andrews isn’t as intimidating as I was thinking

Friday, I had questions about golfing in St. Andrews from the perspective of a guy who shoots in the 90s (with full integrity) and you guys had answers. My big question with St. Andrews is whether it’s super stuffy to guys who duff a ball here and there. I watch The Open and all I keep thinking is that some Scot is going to laugh me off the course, laugh me out of the pubs, tell me I should’ve saved my money and stayed home.

I’m picturing Brits — yes, I understand St. Andrews is in Scotland — f-bombing me off a course and shaming me into never playing golf again.

And then the community came out of the woodwork. The emails poured in. From everything you guys are telling me, St. Andrews is actually a very welcoming place that loves all types of golfers.

• Mike C. in Salt Lake City writes:

  1. It will not be a miserable experience for a golfer who shoots in the 90s.  I was a 19 handicap when I went in April 2019.   I shot an 86 on the Old Course, and we were playing a tournament with our golf group so that was holing every putt.
  2. You must find a way to get on the Old Course.   It is not a super difficult course.   You will need proof of handicap.   You can sign up for one online.
  3. Balls are pretty easy to find.   They will have the tall rough cut down in a lot of places.   It is beautiful but I would not recommend the Castle Course if you are concerned about finding your ball.   Very difficult.
  4. I am not sure about the lodging in St. Andrews itself, but 10 miles out of town it is pretty cheap.   That is where we stayed.
  5. I went in April of 2019 and in 4 days did not see a drop of rain.  Your mileage may vary.
  6. I think you can play 36 easy in July.    Be prepared to walk though.   Not a lot of courses allow carts.
  7. Course beers would be allowed.   They sell airplane bottles of Scotch.   I had The Famous Grouse at the turn one round.   Really great.
  8. They will not care about your brand of golf balls.
  9. Must have drinks at the Dunveegan.

• Andy F. in St. Louis writes:

Great screencaps today as usual. I’ve been to St Andrews twice (my son went his last two years of college there) and have a few answers to your questions.

With all of the hype surrounding the Old Course most people don’t realize that there are a number of very affordable relatively easy courses right in St Andrews. The summer weather is generally good and you can play until 10 o’clock at night.

The only thing you need to know is that there are no golf carts and most people use a pull cart or trolley. Beers and Kirkland balls no problem. What costs a lot? Not food unless you look for the fanciest places. Hotels and airfare maybe.

Best thing we did was rent a house for a week. Highly recommend St Andrews. People are friendly, love hackers and Ohioans.

Keep up the great work.

• Rann R. in Jeffersonville, IN writes:

It has been a few years since I played the course, but I have since attended an Open there. 

1) you probably have too high a handicap to play the Old Course, but there are other courses in the immediate vicinity, like the New Course
2) summertime you can easily play 36 or 54. Days are looonnngggg. 
3) I stayed at Scores Hotel just past 18th hole. Old Course hotel runs along 17th hole
4) bring plenty of balls. Gorse eats golf balls. In rough, you can generally find your ball. 
5) weather changes hour to hour. I had snow one time and got sunburned another time. 
6) you can play any ball you want
7) prices are much better than Pebble Beach, etc. 

PS If you want an awesome vacation, try Grand Tetons NP. Flying home today. My view when we landed.

Definitely not Scotland/ via Rann R.

I’ve been to the Tetons, but I was 12 and it’s time to go back. Trust me, that entire area is on my bucket list over the next 3-5 years. My wife and I have been talking about picking off these different spots with the kids like when my parents rented an RV and took us across the U.S. all those years ago.

…back to St. Andrews…

• Brandon W. writes:

Read your recent Screencap post and thoroughly enjoyed. I am currently here in Edinburgh. My dad and I went to The Open on Monday, Thursday and going again tomorrow. Also, I got to play a couple courses as well. 

After seeing some of the outfits around here and knowing that they allow members to walk their dogs on the Old Course at certain hours, the Kirkland balls would be just fine.

Turnberry (Trump Property). 18th green at Robert the Bruce course. Ailsa is the championship course. / via Brandon W.
The old course 15th grandstands, 2nd and 15th green. / via Brandon W.
Second shot on Gullane No 2 4th hole. Hall is about 15 yards right in the tall grass. / via Brandon W.

• Matt in New Orleans writes:

Joe, it’s Matt In New Orleans.  Long-time reader, dreaded Linked In VP who connected on a Saturday, and as they say, first-time emailer. 
So I should start with a big thank you for creating a space for us normal people.
“Do Hard Things” is a great motto for those who were raised right.  I was raised in NY on “Nothing’s for free”, which might be a great corollary.  Don’t blink is the legit truth.  Time moves faster every day, even in NOLA.
As for The Old Course/ Scottish golf vacation, it’s been 20 years since I’ve been there, so better info may be available, but…
Is it an absolutely miserable experience for a golfer who shoots in the 90s?

* Bogey golf is NO barrier to having a ball.  90% of Golfers are bogey golfers or worse.  For the Old Course itself, get the caddie, treat him right, (they love normal Americans who appreciate the experience), and they will enhance your experience  They will even buy you a pint in the bar after if you’re a decent tipper.  Tons of good courses in the area that won’t ask for your firstborn, but you have to play the Old Course at least once.
Is it impossible to find a place to stay around there?

* Not with enough lead time. Depending on budget and lead time, you can stay at the Old Course Hotel if you’ve got the $$$
How hard is it to find a ball in the rough/tall grass because that’s where I’d be playing from?

* See above about the caddie.  If you’ve never played with one, they are part birddog.  I have paid for a caddie twice.  Pebble and the old Course.  Worth every penny when you are checking a life box.  Crazy good at locating a ball, reading greens and will save you 10 strokes.  If you’re not locked on breaking par, take the drop like a normal person after 2 minutes, instead of scouring each inch.  Have a ball and talk to the caddie as much as you can.
If the golf is a steal, which part of the trip is going to break me financially?

* You sound like my kind of people, so probably the bar tab.  They have this brown liquor over there you may have heard of???????  Be prepared to buy a few drinks for people you don’t know.
Out of three days, how often will it be drizzling on me?

* Honest to God, every time you approach the 1st tee in Scotland, you should be prepared for all 4 seasons in that round.  You should prepare for everything from high 20s and driving sleet, to sunny 70s with a polo shirt and plenty of sunscreen.  You’ll be amazed how far North you really are.  You won’t regret backups for each season and give it 15 minutes for the next season to roll in off the coast.  It’s amazing.  In one round I seriously considered a) quitting; b) what I could burn for a fire; c) trading my left nut for an ice water.  No good way to explain it.
Unlimited golf sounds awesome, but realistically, how much links golf can you pack into a day in St. Andrews? Is 36 easily done in July?

* Doesn’t get dark till 10:30.  You could easily play 36 or more every day with planning.  IMO, the magic is the place, and the people and their reverence for the game.  Don’t let the golf overwhelm that part.  At the end of the day, you’re a bogey golfer chasing a white ball.  How many times will you been in Scotland? Don’t blink.  Play some golf, go see a castle and do the scotch tasting etc.  You’re bringing that same swing to the Put in Bay Classic right? 
Are course beers allowed?

* See weather commentary above.  It’s been a while, but I vaguely remember taking a break on the Old Course for a beer and some lunch.  Don’t quote me.  The other courses for sure.  All depends on weather, as you may wish they were hot totties.  Again get some intel more recent than Y2K.
Will they laugh at the ‘Home of Golf’ if I play Kirkland balls?

* No idea what that means, but as long as you’re not an asshole and don’t hold people up with jackassery, your hosts, the caddies, and you will have a ball.  Just like every other golf course you have ever played.
Keep up the great work Joe, and if you ever pass by New Orleans, give me a shout and we’ll get you off Bourbon St. to the best food you’ve ever had, and then out to the fishing camp where the magic happens.
Keep up the great work!

I’m not going to lie, Friday was a complete grind in front of the computer. This summer as a whole has been a grind and that’s scary considering the real grind is coming up in 6-8 weeks when football season arrives and it’s full bore until the middle of February. But that’s where we are right now.

My Friday ended late last night nearly asleep at the computer and really burnt out after five days hammering out posts fully knowing I had to get up this morning to knock out Screencaps.

Then I opened the Gmail inbox. It was heaven sent.

The St. Andrews emails this morning were like therapy for me. They were seriously needed.

Just guys talking travel, sport, life, laughing at ourselves, and sharing small bits of information that make this community thrive. Keep it coming.


• If you read Friday Screencaps, you might’ve caught the part where I mentioned the shopping magazines in the back of seats on airplanes. SkyMall slipped my brain, but Chris B. was all over it.

Chris B. writes:

Hi, Joe — Back when I was a road warrior, praying for an upgrade and battling for an exit row, Jonathan Coulton put out this song that captures it perfectly:


• Bill H. writes:

Ok, sports fans, who would like to see the pics of Salman Bin Abdulaziz Al Saud hiking up his thawb and with 46’s lips placed on the king’s moakhreh, especially after 13iden called the Saudis “pariahs”?

I bet there are at least 76 million.

God knows this country doesn’t have its own, plentiful sources of fossil fuel… Wait, it did a year and a half ago!

Hey, as long as the price of fuel drops, right? Wrong! What is the price of that to us, US?


• Mark W. sent in:

More Gauntlet chatter

• Sean C. writes:

The last couple days I’ve seen stuff about the gauntlet and it sounds awesome and amazing. Small little issue for me.  The wife and I just moved to Eaton, Colorado last year.  She is from here and I don’t know enough people to start something like this. 

Was wondering if you knew of anyone in Colorado or elsewhere really that was doing one or needed someone to join?  I’m not sure if it’s easy to do without being there physically in person but hell I figured you would be the guy to have the answers.  Thanks for the read every morning.  Time to hopefully partake in league night!

I have really good news for Sean C. — the Gauntlet isn’t hard at all to do online. That’s how I played last season with Michael J. in Illinois.

We won’t leave guys behind. Gauntlets are popping up all across the U.S. thanks to Screencaps and I guarantee there will be someone who needs an extra for an online auction. Hang tight. We’ll dive further into the Gauntlet as we get closer to the season and get you guys connected with others who want to play.

And with that, I’m done for this morning. I can’t say enough about how big of a week this has been for Screencaps considering we are right in the middle of the slowest time of the year for sports and people actually on a computer.

Have a great day, have a great weekend and I’ll see all of you Monday morning. I’m turning off the computer.

Email: joekinsey@gmail.com  

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Written by Joe Kinsey

I'm an Ohio guy, born in Dayton, who roots for Ohio State and can handle you guys destroying the Buckeyes, Urban Meyer and everything associated with Columbus.


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