First Tee Nerves

It is always a privilege as a caddie to stand on the first tee of the Old Course. However, as the Kilted Caddie explains, there is a world of difference in standing there holding a golf bag as to having a club in hand…

Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus and Gary Player prepare to tee off

This event for most people coming here is probably the most singular, momentous and nerve racking in their golfing lives. It is usually the fulfilment of a dream to be in St Andrews and playing the most famous golf course in the world. Adrenalin kicks in and, in addition, there are usually a sizeable number of onlookers taking spectacle of the most iconic scene in golf. Indeed, the spot is now a major tourist attraction and on a summers day there can be quite a crowd.

As caddies we often sense it in our players. You know the keen excited conversation, nervous laughter, the scurrying around the golf bag, the excessive number of practice swings. Some will just openly admit they are damn well nervous and don’t rate their chances of moving the ball too far. However, in most cases they hit splendid shots into the sea of green, which is the rather generous and wide area of the first and eighteenth fairways. In fact, it takes a pretty bad shot not to hit this ocean of fairway.


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