A new plaque was recently unveiled at the St Andrews Links Clubhouse showing some of the notable course records for the each of the Championship courses on the complex. It certainly makes the reader envious to see lines of scores in the mid-sixties and lower! Showing that he was well on his way to this year’s fabulous form, young Rory McIlroy shot a staggering 63 on the Old Lady in the 2010 Open Championship to lead the way on the current course set-up. Reading some of the scores prompted me to look into some other ‘alternative’ golfing records and I’m sure you’ll be amazed at some of the findings;
1. LONGEST DRIVE: 64 year-old Mike Austin drove a phenomenal 515 yards with a Persimmon driver on a Las Vegas golf course in 1974. The Guinness Book of World Records only recognises the distance travelled by a ball in the air, however, so the record is actually held by Karl Woodward at 408 yards in 1999.
2. HIGHEST SCORES: John Daly took 18 in 1998 on a par 5 at the Bay Hill Invitational, one short of the 1938 US Open record set by Ray Ainsley on a par 4. I think you’ll agree with me on the most astounding single-hole total though – no fewer than 20 shots were racked up by Frenchman, Philippe Porquier, on a par 3 at the 1978 French Open!
3. ‘AGE SHOOTERS’: The youngest person recorded as shooting their age is Bob Hamilton, a golf professional from Hamilton Golf Club, Indiana, who shot a 59 in 1975 at 59 years old. The oldest record goes to 103 year-old Arthur Thompson of Victoria, British Columbia in 1972. A special mention must also go to Slammin’ Sam Snead who shot his age of 67 at the Quad Cities Open (now the John Deere Classic) in 1979 but then went out and notched up an even better 66 the next day.
4. LOWEST 18 HOLES: The lowest 18-hole score recognised by Guinness World Records is the 58 scored by Shigeki Maruyama in a sectional qualifier for the 2000 US Open.
5. BALL SPEED: So, what sport do you think holds the record? Baseball? No – a measly 127 mph. Tennis? No – a paltry 153 mph. Golf? Correct! ‘Sports Science’ TV show recorded five-time Canadian long ball champion, Jason Zuback, crushing the previous record in 1999 with an astonishing 204 mph drive.
There are no doubt countless untold stories and records from St Andrews and the world of golf. If you think you’re ready to take on the challenges the Old Lady has to offer then contact the Old Course Experience and we’ll guarantee your place on the golf course if not quite in the record books!