Why I Start Every Day in St. Andrews

My morning webcam visit to the Old Course connects me to the game and fuels my imagination with the possibilities of the day.

Rain or shine, every morning after breakfast I head straight for the first tee of the Old Course in St. Andrews.

Well, not in person. But I almost feel like I’m there thanks to the spectacularly clear and versatile webcam operated by the St. Andrews Links Trust. The camera’s various settings enable me to zoom in on the adjoining first and 18th fairways, the Swilcan Bridge, the Road Hole Bunker, the Himalayas putting course and several other compelling views.

A webcam view of the first hole of The Old Course, where the grandstands are being built for this summer's Open Championship. (Image: St Andrews webcam)

A webcam view of the first hole of the Old Course when the grandstands were being built for the 2015 Open Championship. (Image: St. Andrews webcam)

With a little imagination, I can almost smell the salt air and picture myself nervously getting ready to tee off on the world’s most famous links. Looming behind me is the stately home of the R&A, and through the misty ‘haar’ that often creeps in off St. Andrews Bay, I can just make out the outline of the distant Old Course Hotel. Setting up over my ball, I try hard not to be distracted by the traffic on the street that edges the 18th fairway, or by the sightseers who inevitably gather by the fence at the first tee.

Yes, my morning visit to the Auld Grey Toon sets me up nicely. I feel connected to the game and somehow uplifted. Life seems full of possibilities.

Of course, there are webcams at many other courses around the world. I also sometimes check in on Royal Porthcawl Golf Club, PGA Centenary Course at Gleneagles, Pebble Beach, and Coronado Golf Course, a scenic muni in San Diego, one of my favourite golf destinations.

But it’s to the Old Course that I return every morning. Like breakfast coffee, it’s the fuel for my day.