The BWD Tournament Hole of the Week: October 1 – 4, 2015. The 8th at St Andrews (The Old Course), Home of Alfred Dunhill Links Championship.

Tournament: Alfred Dunhill Links Championship – St Andrews (The Old Course), St Andrews, Scotland
Hole: 8th – Par 3, 175 Yards
Architect(s): Old Tom Morris (renovation) – 1860s

Architectural Summary:

The Old Course’s 8th hole is aptly named “Short” as the par 3 measures 175 yards. Playing back towards Auld Grey Toon, the 8th plays to an expansive double green where the tee shot is partially obstructed by a ridge and the “Short Hole Bunker” guarding the front of the green. Club selection will be critical as the wind, like most holes at St Andrews, dictates strategy. Those looking to play conservatively will aim for the middle of the green, though it is often difficult to hold when playing downwind. The putting surface, which is shared with the 10th hole, slopes from front to back and features subtle undulations throughout. The most difficult hole location is found on the left side of the green directly behind the 8 foot deep “Short Hole Bunker.”  Players will not want to find themselves in the bunker short of the green, though a difficult up-and-down awaits any player who misses the green long. Judging the wind and finding the green will be key to par or better on the Old Course’s “Short” hole.

Statistical Analysis:

During the 2014 Alfred Dunhill Links Championship, the Old Course played to a playing average of 71.16. While the course yielded an average under par, we expect the 8th hole to play to par or slightly over.

Earlier this year when St Andrews hosted the Open Championship, the “Short” hole played to an average of +0.04 over par.

Fun Facts:

  • There has only been one hole-in-one at St Andrews during the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship. In 2010, Pelle Edberg made an ace on the 8th hole during the Dunhill 3rd round.
  • The 2015 tournament field includes 10 Major Champions, 4 World Number One Players, as well as 6 European Tour Number One Players. One of the Major Champions represented is Padraig Harrington, who has played in each edition of the tournament since 2001. Harrington is also the only winner of multiple titles, winning in 2002 and 2007.
  • 2014 winner Oliver Wilson is looking to become the first player to successfully defend the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship. With his 2014 victory, Wilson captured his first European Tour title after previously holding the record for most runner-up finishes without a title (9).