Reflections from the 'Home of Golf'

What a week! 

Fresh off an experiential learning adventure they won’t soon forget, several members of the St. Michael’s College School (SMCS) golf team reflect on their recent adventure to a site steeped in history, legend and tradition --- the ‘home of golf’ --- the Old Course at St. Andrews in Scotland.

A contingent of 12 students and faculty recently visited the Old Course at St. Andrews in Fife, Scotland, considered the oldest golf course in the world, dating back to the 15th century.

The trip included accommodations at the University of St. Andrews (founded in 1413), tours of the school and the town, and playing plenty of golf --- including at the Old Course --- which will host the Open Championship in 2021, marking the 30th time the PGA tournament is held there.

SMCS students from grades 10, 11 and 12 took part in the 10-day adventure.

The Swilcan Bridge (pictured) at the Old Course is situated between the first and 18th fairways and believed to be about 700 years old.

“The event that surprised me the most during my trip to Scotland was the sense of respect and the feeling of heritage within the courses that we played, especially the Old Course. The feeling of standing on the Swilcan Bridge was unbelievable, I have never had a feeling of such respect in my life. The first time I stepped on to the course I got shivers just thinking of the amazing golfers who have played there before me.

This was without a doubt a once in a life time trip that I will never forget. I am so fortunate and grateful for the coaching staff and the school for allowing such a trip to happen. I would not have wanted to spend the trip with a different group of boys and it will be one that I will never forget.”
- Noah Rondinone, Grade 11

“I never truly realized how beautiful Scotland itself was. I learned that the links style of golf is much different and requires different techniques such as putting from farther distances or even chipping with an iron. This trip has given me great inspiration to continue to practice and better myself.”
- Anthony Tsiantis, Grade 9

The SMCS group were given a tour of the University of St. Andrews as well as the town itself, during their 10-day trip to Scotland.

“One of the major things that stood out to me about our Scotland trip was the atmosphere throughout the town of St. Andrews. The majority of the people who live in this town have a true understanding and great sense of respect for not only golf but everyone around them. As soon as we stepped foot in the town I felt very welcomed and almost felt like I was at home. It’s a truly unique experience to see people walking around the town with golf bags on their backs either heading to or from the links. For someone like me where golf is one of the biggest parts of my life, it was very special for me to walk the streets of a town where many people can relate.

This trip gave me the opportunity to truly immerse myself in Scottish culture as well as golf history through the ages. Understanding the history and background on all of the golf courses we played and the places we visited truly enhanced my appreciation for all of the influential people that have impacted the sport we love.”
- Aidan Bischoff, Grade 11

Related link: Fairway to Heaven: Golf Team