Why I Start Every Day In St. Andrews

A webcam view of the first hole of The Old Course, where the grandstands are being built for this summer's Open Championship. (Image: St Andrews webcam)

by Brian Kendall

My morning webcam visits to the Old Course connect me to the game and fuel my imagination with the possibilities of the day. 

Rain or shine, every morning after breakfast I head straight for the first tee of the Old Course in St. Andrews. 

Well, not in person. But I almost feel like I’m there thanks to the spectacularly clear and versatile webcam operated by the St. Andrews Links Trust.

After checking in at the first tee, the camera’s various settings enable me to zoom in on the adjoining first and 18th fairways, the Swilcan Bridge, the Road Hole Bunker and several other stunning vistas.

With a little imagination, I can almost smell the salt air and picture myself nervously getting ready to tee off on the world’s most famous links.

Casting its shadow behind me is the stately home of the R&A, and through the misty ‘har’ that often creeps in off St. Andrews Bay, I can just make out the outline of the distant Old Course Hotel.

Setting up over my ball, I try hard not to be distracted by the crew noisily building the grandstand to the right of the first fairway for this summer’s Open Championship.

Yes, my morning visit to the Auld Grey Toon sets me up nicely. I feel connected to the game and somehow uplifted. Life seems full of possibilities.
Of course, there are webcams at many of the world’s other courses, both famous and unheralded.

I also sometimes check in on the PGA Centenary Course at Gleneagles, Pebble Beach, Royal Westmoreland in Barbados, and Coronado Golf Course, a scenic muni in San Diego, one of my favourite cities.

But it’s to the Old Course that I return every morning. Like breakfast coffee, it’s the fuel for my day.

About the Writer: Brian Kendall Is The Editor Of Canadian Golf Traveller And Has Published Several Books. He can be reached through his website Canadian Golf Traveler