What, and where, is the Swilken Burn?

What, and where, is the Swilken Burn? ‘Burn’ is an Old Scottish word meaning ‘brook’ or ‘stream’. Geographically, the Swilken, or Swilcan, Burn is a watercourse that rises to the northeast of the village of Strathkinness, three miles west of St. Andrews, and flows 2¾ miles into St. Andrews Bay, on the eastern coastline of North East Fife. From a sporting perspective, the Swilken Burn is noteworthy because, after flowing through the North Haugh area, it turns northeast and meanders across the Old Course at the Royal & Ancient Golf Club of St. Andrews.

Indeed, the route of the Swilken Burn was fixed for the first time in 1834, with the addition of brick retaining wall, such that, nowadays, it fronts the first green and continues across the eighteenth fairway. Carrying the burn on the exposed, but otherwise gentle, opening hole – fittingly, named ‘Burn’ – presents a challenge and, while the hazard is not really in play on the final hole, it does, at least, present a photogaphic opportunity, courtesy of the Swilken Bridge.

Formerly known as the ‘Golfers’ Bridge’, the Swilken Bridge is a small, unprepossessing stone arch, dating from the Middle Ages, which has, nonetheless, become one of the most landmarks in the world of golf. St. Andrews, known as the ‘home of golf’, has played host to the Open Championship 29 times and is scheduled to do so again in 2022. It is customary for previous champions, including, in recent years, Jack Nicklaus and Tom Watson, to bid farewell to the gallery, and the Championship, from atop the Swilken Bridge.

In golf, what is a condor?

In golf, what is a condor? In the natural world, a condor is a huge, but increasingly rare, New World vulture. In golf, a condor is also a ‘rare bird’; in fact, the rarest of them all. The term ‘condor’ refers to a score of four-under-par on a single hole. The odds against achieving a score of three-under-par on a single hole, known in golfing parlance, as an ‘albatross’ or ‘double eagle’, are apparently 6,000,000/1, but despite astronomical odds, albatrosses have been scored in numerous important golf tournaments, including major championships, down the years.

By contrast, the elusive condor has never been scored in professional golf, or on a professionally accredited golf course. That should come as no surprise, because a condor equates to scoring a hole-in-one on a par-five, a two on a par-six or three on a par-seven, although par-six and par-seven golf holes are few and far between worldwide.

A condor is nigh on impossible but, even so, in the entire history of golf four condors, all on par-five holes, have been reliably recorded. Three of them occurred on holes with a sharp bend, or dogleg, in the fairway, allowing players to diminish the total yardage tee-to-green by ‘cutting the corner’, or going for the green as the crow flies. The other, recorded by Professor Mike Crean, of the University of Denver, on the 517-yard, par-5 ninth hole at Green Valley Ranch Golf in 2002, was aided by high altitude, hard ground and a 30 mph tailwind, but nonetheless represented the longest hole-in-one ever recorded.

Which golfer shot the highest single round score in PGA history?

Which golfer shot the highest single round score in PGA history? In June, 2015, Tiger Woods made headlines when he shot the highest score of his professional career, 85, in the third round of the Memorial Tournament at Muirfield Village Golf Club in Dublin, Ohio. However, embarrasing though it may have been, Woods’ score still came nowhere near what is believed to be the highest single round score in Professional Golfers’ Association (PGA) history.

In 1974, at the now-defunct Tallahassee Open at Killearn Country Club in Tallahassee, Florida, the late Mike Reasor, who could be described, not unfairly, as a ‘journeyman’ professional, shot level par for the first two rounds to make the halfway cut. However, Reasor needed to complete the 72-hole championship to retain exempt status for the Byron Nelson Golf Classic at Preston Trail Golf Club in Dallas, Texas two weeks later.

On the eve of the third round in Tallahassee, Reasor was thrown from a horse, suffering ligament damage to his left shoulder, which effectively immobilised his left arm, and other injuries. Undaunted, but heavily medicated, Reasor played the third round with just a 5-iron, which he swung one-handed, and shot a 51-over-par total of 123. Later quoted in the ‘New York Times’, Reasor said of his record-breaking round, ‘You should have seen them laughing on the first tee today. I stepped up with a 5‐iron and barely got it to the ladies’ tee.’ Indeed, Reasor played round four in similar fashion, improving to a 42-over-par total of 114, but failed to recover sufficiently from his injuries to play in the Byron Nelson Golf Classic in any case.

What is the highest single hole score in a major golf championship?

What is the highest single hole score in a major golf championship? The highest single hole score in a major golf championship is the 15-over-par 19 recorded by Raymond Ainsley on the sixteenth hole at Cherry Hills Country Club in the second round of the 1938 US Open. A hitherto unheralded professional, based at Ojai Country Club in Southern California, Ainsley hooked his tee shot on the 441-yard par 4 into the rough and found the so-called ‘Little Dry Creek’, which runs up the left side of the green, with his second shot.

Despite its name, Little Dry Creek was, in fact, five feet wide and filled with shallow, but fast flowing, water. Unbeknown to Ainsley, he could have taken a drop, at penalty of one stroke – he later confessed, ‘I thought it was a two-stroke penalty to start with’ – he chose to play his ball from the sandy creek bed. After three unsuccessful attempts, Ainsley lost his temper and starting swiping at his ball ‘like a wild man’ as the current carried it further and further downstream. After nearly half an hour, he managed to return his ball to dry land – albeit to a greenside bunker – and emerged from the creek, covered from head-to-toe in sand and soaked to the skin.

His subsequent bunker shot ‘airmailed’ the green, to the tune of 50 yards, and after further altercations with a tree, or two, Ainsley finally reached the putting surface in 17 strokes. Two putts later, he signed for a 19, which contributed to a 25-over-par total of 96, compared with 76 in his opening round the day before. Had he taken a drop and chipped in for par, he would still have missed the cut by two strokes.

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