Learn the secrets of playing Golf well, this video shows you the road hole at st Andrews with John Boyne.
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The Road Hole At St Andrews With John Boyne
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St. Andrews Links www.standrews.org.uk
[Thick accented speakers]
Andy: Hi and welcome to episode 9 of Home of Golf.TV and this morning I’m joined with John Boyne. Welcome John!
Andy: One of the Old Course Caddies here. Let’s talk about the 17th hole and generally what life is like as an Old Course Caddy.
So John, how long have you been an Old Course Caddy for?
John: That’s coming on 8 seasons 2002 I begun.
John: Purely by accident but—
Andy: How come, how come was it an accident?
John: My wife saw a little piece of articles in one of the golf magazines and talking about caddy programs being run by the caddy master Anders and so that may be a good point.
John: So I came up to the course to about 4 days and I said thank you very much. He says well why don’t you come and join us.
Andy: Yeah and it was 8 years ago.
John: Yeah. The summer of 2002. Momentous.
Andy: So now you work, is it 7 months in a year?
John: Yes, I generally started at the end of March and Ill go right through to the end of the tour it will be one week in November.
Andy: And typically now in mid May—
John: That’s 4 right now this weekend will be the first start of the season for these caddy we’re going to go hard at it from then on.
Andy: Oh brilliant.
So here we are at the 17th hole probably the most famous par 4 in the world definitely. A lot of dramas happen in the daily open championship always the most difficult hole plays well over par 4 and John by the time a player comes here sometimes ahead for the screwed up if your not used to links golf but certainly they got to get a strategy to play this hole.
John: Oh yes actually already thinking of strategy as they walk down the second fairway because there on the second green and they could see the tee and the red going oh my god. I’m going to play the 17th almost involved—
John: Well that’s my goal for this is to put the player just left of the griffin and on the sharp steeple the more aggressively the hotel couldn’t quite course to the face of the hotel. So it’s about 200 to 220 I’d carry to get on to a fairway so you got to be pretty confident to golfers a shot. That is aggressive but appears of an angle into the green.
Andy: So you definitely just going to trust your swing here because you can’t see the landing area.
John: No it’s a shot of blind faith. You have to have it and so—
Andy: So you still played a fade.
John: Form me I just enjoyed the fade as a shot in this hole and I think it as a fade shot. Well I gaze and draw, draw takes you in your left rough and the left rough you haven’t gone into –
Andy: Yeah, It’s essentials.
John: Your faith takes you end to the fairway going around outside the shed into the fairway and center and right of center will give you a shot as you approach green which is very thin in comparison to the green– 16 and 18th already.
John: Always exciting, great drama. It doesn’t matter what forward ball you have, it’s something odd is going to happen with this hole.
Andy: It’s always a different story every day.
John: It’s crazy, it’s absolutely nuts, well never notice one has to be prepared for every single day and you’re always thinking about it’s great if you got a normal – golfers have a fade so I’m always usually delighted so this hole was made for you.
Andy: So john what are you saying if you’re a pro and you’re confident you’re going to look to aim over the hotel is that right?
John: Yes I believe in taking them over the actual area of the hotel.
John: And maybe I find like 2 three odds to the right of that.
Andy: That’s a tight shot.
John: So you’re going to hit the ball 280, 290 consistently and they will be honest maybe and it will be a perfect position for approach over the green.
Andy: So they are going over the green over the garden and over the landing area.
John: Over to the cemetery of old course hotel and then into the landing area of –
Andy: and I have got you seen a few shots hitting the hotel.
John: Well I have had them come up here with chaps here we’ve been playing very well – putts his golf and putts his the face of the hotel we all had the dock and shared for because the ball is clear with our head going in here as of 14, 15, 16 putts and they are going what? Par 6 we can stop the ball 2 or 3 times it was great. I did have a chat with – to tell you very well it was few years ago and says and its chance just going over the hotel. Lost in translation straight over the hotel into the park, they come down filled with expectation. Tee off again. Good fun.
Andy: So John the 17th hole everyone talks about the letters of the sheds and these actually are a reconstruction of what was here.
Andy: It’s cool when a railer line used to come to St. Andrews.
John: And the hole thing was constructed 82, 83 and 84 and the last to do the reconstruction walking sheds – and this is what they come up with. It’s pretty and if you look at the old footage in television and say this is not so bad.
Andy: You are saying you looked back to it in 1972.
John: Yeah I can remember watching the set 1970 open and I can remember these all industrial units, these triangular roofs and you could see Jack Nicklaus hitting the ball, wow what crazy shot.
Andy: So the rules were at this you had to had some of replicated-before.
John: That’s right they had to be there— job.
So standing here John you actually get a good view of a perfect tee shot to go because you got the green sheds there and the conservatory at the hotel from the garden in between and it’s skirt along the face.
John: Yeah the yard the tighter you can go to the hotel that’s a big carry but the rewards are extraordinary for entrance into the game and the face of the hotel, look at it a straight line on the palm of your hand and they actually keeps in to the end of the hotel.
John: There’s never really too much rough here and it’s a good wind but it’s a shot that needs some bit of courage.
Andy: Yeah so John this is the perfect landing area so the perfect shot, good pro he’s going to shoot 75, 76. He’s nailed one on the line that you’ve recommended.
Andy: I mean what’s he faced with now he’s also on the rough and side of the fairway.
John: Definitely it has to be right center of this fairway tee and people are very, very friendly and a very fearful place to be but from here it’s the 160, 165 yards to the front of the green and then you position with only do the pitch which in championship there would be 35 yards on behind the bunker
John: So we’re looking at shot slight jaw and for me I think if the golfer is playing well and I’m going to shot a really good score possibly a little bit conservitable and I’ll ask you to play 160 out short to he front. I’m just getting a 7 iron or depending on visibility, don’t go too much there’s a road behind and all the associated games as it’s heading of town and those.
Andy: So John this is the perfect place, I was talking about that but we don’t all end up here.
John: No we don’t know.
Andy: And where are all the majority players is it.
John: Unfortunately the majority of players go not come across that line or put up that save for over cook it and off in the west side of fairway and rough.
Andy: Okay let say were’ looking too much we get there.
John: Golfers, especially amateurs, more land in the fairway extremely difficult from this position to get one to the green mostly caddies and even the experienced players will accept the losses cut them and play short rate of the green and have an entrance, difficult, rough is tangled, quite thick probable cause probably go away and they got new short and very difficult way to go down.
John: Once you’ll find it it’s a par5.
Andy: Is it anywhere shopping 50 to 60 yards short.
John: If you can get your hands and stay on the right side you still got a short to have this.
Andy: You can still play the hole.
John: You can still play it.
John: And if you look at 1990 old – Faldo when he went here.
John: Hey played this hole every single day in completion and the par 4 The goal used to be the par 5 back in the 1960s it’s only the mid 70s they changed it to the par 4—
Andy: Because we were saying the most famous par 4 but actually par5
John: And probably displayed here as a par 5.
So this— 240
Andy: This is where the pros
John: The pros are going to come up to the series here they are still right to be on the right hand side and we’ll find a few up on the other side. 140and 135 yards to the front of the green plus a 10 and the 10 skill waddles they still go a little draw with a 9 iron drop up to a lot high ball flight.
John: They can handle it. A few little bunkers we have here, never really come into play.
John: But they did come into play in 2007 ladies open the first open championship.
John: And last day I mean she’s come to the she’s going to win the tournament but she popped the ball into the bunker into the front and she’s 45, 50 yards short of the green and it pins behind the road bunker and she’s like what did I do and there was a lot of walking around and still the option was to pop it down to visitors tee and come in from behind the bunker..
Andy: Behind the road hill bunker.
John: That’s it she did a sensible shot but still left unsafe and come behind it rather than going to direct with the flight. She was comfortable it was the first time us seeing professionals 3 4 or 5 to play and she was uncomfortable.
Andy: So John we’re about 10 to 20 yards short in the green and this is where most people should be.
John: Where this is where I would like my golfers line if I’m not in a professional competition I like this one next to the pin but— score to do a good one in the old course this is quite an expedition, you can see the hole there it has been lean the very option of playing there so you can run of an 899 hitting a long putt. That’s safer when all the guys we’re going to go on go on in 3 we got a chance for a par but we set and she walk off.
Andy: Yeah so that thing is good here.
John: I’m protecting a golfer and scoring up and I’ll be too courageous yeah I like it. It gets spot and it keeps you away from that bunker.
Andy: Yeah that they all talk about. You think lets go they don’t look anyway.
John: Into the bunker and that’s very disappointing at least I got to rake it.
A big shot if they come in hit a couple of yards short to the front of the tee just about a pace off it runs off nice and gentle out the floor and follows then. The green has a slight tilt on green here which feeds down towards and that’s it unfortunately.
Andy: Yeah what normally happens.
John: The ball comes tilt and speeds in front and follows down the bank on to the ash grass or karma and against the wall.
Andy: It’s totally corpse so where.
John: This is the integrity to the course the ball must be played as it lies and in that position you can little mud is an issue. That’s great.
Andy: So here we’re on the road of the road hole.
John: Yes indeed
Andy: And actually I think it was Curtis all the players out here all playing different shots.
John: You have to play it or on the grass not the lob wedge.
John: Putter, I like the 5 iron or 4 iron flat face halfway at the bank putt up and that is off.
Andy: That’s a theory.
John: This is the open championship tour it’s actually over kick 2 iron and came against the wall and it was only 6 or 7 inches short at the wall here.
Andy: And so he had more shot you couldn’t send the club and why is that and lets hit against the wall could either off and bounce up to.
John: Yeah that was a shot.
Andy: Someone to get running.
John: To get running proceed off the ball and seen I have done since. Actually you’re looking for a little bit of imagination from the golf itself and also maybe some experience with the caddy.
Andy: I guess if the pins here at the front is that a little bit easier?
John: Yeah, if you’re very fortunate and your ball is landing in the center.
John: You’ve got a shot to the front.
John: Here you got some steep bank. It’s quite a steep bank and generally your ball will go— that’s on to the natural golfer. There’s no damage get out, get out and get on trying so we.
The 18th tee.
Andy: It’s certainly flat here isn’t it?
John: That’s a consideration.
John: And the green is definitely 50/60 yards long and the bunker is 25 yards into it so just add 30 yards, 40 yards on to that and then the wrong position on the fairway got a lie. Will come to this position here and there should be a putt 4 par. You put it on to the 18th tee and putt it down to the hole and walk off.
Andy: That’s one way of planning it.
Andy: There’s an option if you don’t get your drive in the right position. The position that we are going to—
John: Drive flexibility imagination come long to do that and watch the stuff.
The green is a little bit deceptive and when generally find and you watch until in vision that the golf was missing.
John: He’s at the center of the green here behind me, he’s got 18 foot putt. He’s about 5 feet on the right.
John: It really is that much swings you have is better towards that 6 feet. It’s not until there and you want to drop the ball it’s a putt you want to see down at front.
Andy: I know it’s very difficult to tell.
John: that you got a man tending a flag you got something to give some depth the actual length of the putt
Andy: So always have someone to tend even on the short putt.
John: Well 18 23 something like that.
John: This was the different position of the recent competition we had.
Andy: This is the most green. The road hole.
John: You can see the charts is actually putted into the bunker.
Andy: Yeah, yeah.
John: It throws him off away and I don’t any position around us going this hole something is not played regularly we’ll find it.
Andy: So that’s why it’s so important to have a caddy.
John: A caddy should help why would you not take a caddy of course you never played before where championships.
Andy: Now you’re going off the tee.
John: Off the tee and the most things go of courses and Scotland, the wind is a protection as. There’s no wind that rises 2005 and the course is quite open and score on but the wind is caddy will go to judge 2 clubs 3 clubs I’m mean I have been under lets say 10 yard shot to the green up to the 10 and the guy the saying well that is just my 56 shot the 7 iron
Andy: So how many caddies are there?
John: This year we’re going to have I think this time we’re going to have about 130 to a caddy to what this year. Yeah that can be quite flexible also complete and.
Andy: So john if they want to use your services how would they go about doing that?
John: Generally the golfer will have to have my service in the past if you want a request and my self and you can then request that for future years to the course.
John: You present yourself to the staff so over here then you go to the caddy master and request for the caddy.
Andy: So you got people in this course.
John: Yeah I do 140 to 150 and 160 rounds a year and my other guys are doing 200 240
Andy: Really? 36 everyday, and of course it’s generally closed on the Sunday. Isn’t it?
John: Course is always closed on Sunday with major competitions so it’s what can 6 days a week and those guys will do 10 to 11 yard a week.
Andy: How about you?
John: Me right through to.
Andy: And then some of them will go and caddy in the states.
John: Yeah the winter comes in we’ve got 18 guys went this year and we’ve got a couple guys went to Las Vegas and they gone over there for like 5 months. So really they don’t have any holiday at all or do we.
Andy: That’s in their blood.
John: That’s life.
Andy: So you consider doing this for a long long time..
John: Yeah I find it back and wifes husband for the
Andy: So here we are at the Caddy Pavilion here on the old courses in St. Andrews and this must be a second home for you John.
John: This is my foster home.
Andy: Your wife comes here to see you.
Andy: Thanks very much John for all the stories and the old course on the 17 hole I appreciate that.
John: It’s a pleasure come down if you want.
And I’m just down the road.
Andy: And that’s the end of the show I hope you thoroughly enjoyed it and the question of the day is what’s your favorite open championship hole? Put it in the comments below and have fun reading them and remember it’s nice to be nice.