Genesis Scottish Open

The Renaissance Club


A long, long Road Hole

October 16, 2009

The St. Andrews Links Trust in conjunction with the Royal & Ancient will add a new tee box and 35 yards to the Road Hole, the 17th of the Old Course at St. Andrews, stretching it to 490 yards for the 2010 British Open. It will be the first time in more than 100 years that the hole has been lengthened, according to Peter Dawson, chief executive of the R&A.

"The 17th was played at the same yardage in 1900 as it was in 2005 and this fueled our belief that the formidable challenge of this iconic hole should be returned for the Open Championship," Dawson told the BBC. "Over the years, we have seen the threat from the road behind the green, and to a lesser extent the Road Bunker, diminished as players have been hitting shorter irons for their approach shots, allowing them to avoid these hazards more easily. This change will ensure that the hole plays as it was originally intended."

-- John Strege