A Few First Impressions Of The Old Course 2015

The Old Course was getting some final touch-ups Sunday evening prior to The Open in the form of mowing, rolling and bunker prep. In a nutshell: the condition is perfect. As soft as Tiger made it out to be? No way. The ground had a nice firmness and the greens decent enough firmness and speed to not be confused with the TPC Deere Run, or even Gullane, last week's Scottish Open host.

What the spitting rain is doing today or the forecasted weather later in the week remains to be seen. Either way, it must be remembered that with such impeccable turf conditions the scoring will be excellent. Records may fall. The sun will still rise in the east.

Here are some random observations and images from a dreamy Sunday late summer evening stroll around the Old Course at St Andrews as the 2015 Open Championship arrives.

Looking down on the eighth, ninth and tenth holes:

The acute spur formation(s) lives! No. 4:

Hell bunker has a very flat floor again, designed presumably to send balls up to the face. Not idea but indicative of the efforts to make the course as difficult as possible in subtle ways:

Late evening rolling of the approaches. Imagine that! The approach taking priority. I wanted to cry tears of joy!

This next images is of the left rough at the Road hole. Refreshingly, it looks like a natural rough with a recovery shot very much possible. This was not the case at the last Open, where it was unnaturally dense and of the pitch-out variety. And this will not make the hole any easier, since we know anyone playing for the Road green will almost surely regret it.

The right side remains restored as far as it can go, rewarding the tee shot flirting with the boundary.

Less refreshing is the Road bunker, which has taken on a volcano shape designed to discourage the left hand shot used by many greats as sort of a back door way to 4's at the Road. The artificiality will offend the senses and on a place of so many random contours feels man made as a feature despite quality shaping work endeavoring to make the change feel natural.

The Home hole...