Trying to recreate Tiger Woods’ iconic walk over the Swlican Bridge from last summer’s Open Championship? Try as hard as you can, but you might not be able to make it look just the same.
That’s of course aside from the fact the build-out and crowds from the Open won’t return to the Old Course at St. Andrews for a few years, but according to recent photos, the course has made some changes to the legendary stone bridge itself.
The travel blogger UK Golf Guy posted three new photos of the bridge over the Swilcan Burn between the 1st and 18th fairways. Two new stone entry areas have been constructed on both approaches to the bridge.
Originally constructed at least 700 years ago, the bridge helped shepherd livestock over the burn, but has taken on added significance at the “Home of Golf.” It’s customary for winners of tournaments at the Old Course to stand and wave at the crowds from the bridge as they walk down the final hole.
It’s also been the setting of famous farewell moments for Open champions such as Jack Nicklaus in 2005, Tom Watson in 2010 and most recently Woods last July.
The change seems to have caught many off-guard, including three-time Open Championship winner Nick Faldo, who claimed the 1990 Claret Jug at St. Andrews.
There are three other crossings for the burn on 1 and 18, but the Swilcan bridge is by far the most popular method for those chasing their tee shots on 18. Given the traffic the bridge receives, the patio approaches were likely added to ease the wear and tear on the turf surrounding the entries to the bridge.
The bridge is also a very popular photo spot for golfers luckily enough to score a tee time and anyone else who walks onto the bridge in between groups, or on Sundays.