Working in my job as concierge at the Fairmont I have been asked numerous times over the past few weeks, especially by keen-eyed Americans, about nabbing a tee-time on the Old Course.
The truth is that there is no miracle way, unless your name is Jack Ma and own half of the universe. He immediately got a tee-time allocated after arriving in St Andrews as part of his ongoing golf tour a few weeks back (according to one of his entourage ‘he has played golf every day around the world over the past three months, mostly in Europe’).
Jack nailed a four-ball at 7.30 am on Friday somehow. I won’t tell how. I am in trouble enough doon toon as it is.
Suffice it to say that he didn’t go through the ballot system!
However your average golfing Joe Bloggs is unfortunately not Jack Ma.
Indeed even a Mr Neil Armstrong who remonstrated with a starter that he was the bloke who had walked on the moon, thought he had a chance of winging it.
‘Aye, but you are nay going to walk onto the Old Course sir!’ was the very dogged de-facto reply from an unswayed starter, who maybe did not appreciate the enormity of his underlying humour, but must have certainly known that he’d brought Neil down to earth (apologies for this! smile sign with wink)
Last night about 10.30pm I was approached by two very determined looking middle-aged Americans who asked about getting an early taxi down to the Old.
‘How early I asked?’
‘2am’ came the firm reply.
They had resolved to camp out in the queue. I booked it and said they should definitely get on queing at that time.
I woke this morning to the pouring rain and took my hat off to these two gentlemen.
I just hope they haven’t caught double pneumonia, the rain stops and indeed that they get on!
Indeed they did get on! It’s now 8pm the following night and I just saw one of the 2am blokes. He said they got off at 6.30am in the first group!
What a sterling performance.