Getting to St. Andrews

St. Andrews is a wonderful town. I would say that every other house in town is a B&B, but that would be an exageration. The house that isn’t a B&B is the exception.

It is also, one might say primarily, a university town, complete with ruined castles, churches and cathedrals. I toured through the town quite a bit, snapping photos, on film so it will be a while before I post any.

I arrived on Thursday, my clubs arrived the following evening. Fortunately, I thought to carry an extra change of clothes in my bag since the rest of them were in the golf bag. Turns out that my Denver-Chicago-Glasgow flight itinerary got slightly askew when the Denver flight was delayed an hour and when we were ready to take off it was too warm to take off with enough fuel to reach Chicago safely. (Not enough air density to lift a fully loaded plane.) So, the plane stopped in Kansas City to refuel and we arrived about an hour after my Glasgow flight had left.

I had been talking with the airline booking people to get me rerouted somehow to get to Scotland on Thursday and they obliged by getting me on a flight to the wrong country. I landed in England, at Heathrow, about noon Thursday and caught a connecting flight to Glasgow, arriving there about 3:30 PM, 5.5 hours after my original plans. Of course, no one told the luggage handlers that my flight plans had changed and the bag was checked through to Glasgow, so they put it on the next flight out, which was 24 hours after the flight I should have caught. But they did deliver the clubs (and clothes) to my B&B, which saved me from having to lug them all the way from Glasgow Airport.

TSA was kind enough to leave a note in my bag informing me that my bag had been opened in the course of their normal security check and that they apologized if the lock was broken. Knowing that TSA might look into the bag, I hadn’t locked it but left the lock closed on one of zipper tags and secured it with a key ring loop to stop the zippers from opening. When it finally reached me, I found the bag locked with my lock. Unfortunately, I didn’t have the key. Sometimes people can be too helpful.

From Glasgow Airport, I took the bus to the Central Station, caught the train to Edinburgh, transferred to the Leuchars train, and then caught a bus from the station to St Andrews. Sometime about 8 PM I was knocking on the door of the B&B.

I apreciated having Friday as a down day. It gave me a chance to explore the lay of the land and to see how the courses were set up.

St Andrews basically has three streets: South, Market, and North. I suppose you could count the cliff road as well, The Scores (cliffs) to make four, but there isn’t much on The Scores (except it ends at the R&A). They basically run from the ruins in the east to the western precints of the golf course. There are a number of lanes, wynds, walks and closes that connect the main streets together. So, it rather easy to navigate around the town.

Friday, I was up early and wandering around. The B&B is only a 1/2 block from the R&A/Old Course. The only street you need to cross is the one right in front of the course. An impressive sight. I went by the Old Course, the Castle, the Cathedral, the Church, through the University, and found that Market Street didn’t seem to open up before 10 AM (or 9:30). I basically relaxed, assumed my clubs would be there by Saturday and checked into how to sign up to play the the links. A good first day.