A slice of golf heaven
For 29 years, this has been George Peper's view from his apartment situated on the edge of the 18th fairway of the Old Course
Published on Tuesday, Aug. 07, 2012 11:05AM EDT
A SLICE OF GOLF HEAVEN: For Sale... a luxurious apartment in a terrace of Victorian stone built houses... fully refurbished by the current owners who have created a very special golfers' retreat... There are two principal rooms – one on each floor – both with bay windows facing the golf course... lower room is an open plan kitchen/living room with a small glazed door in the bay window leading to a small terrace with a gate... good sized bedroom on each floor, with a bathroom on the upper floor and a shower room on the lower floor.
The description is of 9A Gibson Place which is situated on the edge of the18th fairway of The Old Course in St. Andrews, Scotland. The house looks out over the fairway to the first tee, the 18th green and the Royal & Ancient Clubhouse, with the the West Sands and the Bay of St Andrews providing a stunning backdrop. The Swilken Burn with its famous Golfers' Bridge is just a few yards from the house. The "Road Hole", the infamous 17th with its deep bunker, is just to the far side.
It has been home to former Golf magazine editor George Peper and his wife for the last 29 years. The story goes that Peper sliced his tee shot on the 18th tee of the Old Course that it crossed the road adjoining the fairway. He never did find his ball but what he did stumble across was a two-bedroom flat overlooking the course that was for sale. He paid £42,000 (roughly $65,000 at the time). It officially goes on the market Sept. 1 with an asking price of £1.5 million (or about $2.35 million). If you think that’s pricey, consider that in 2010 a 3,700-square-foot home just up the street from Peper's flat sold for £4 million.
While the taxes will cost you almost $5,000 a year, you will be buy what’s known as a "full resident ticket" that will allow you to play all seven of the courses managed by the St Andrews Links Trust, including the Old Course, for around $270 a year.
MENTAL TOUGHNESS: There has been much talk heading into the final major of the season about players coming from behind to win the first three events this year. It’s been somewhat of a trend on the PGA Tour this year with players struggling to hold onto leads in the latter stages of tournaments.
Lanny Wadkins thinks it has to do with a lack of mental toughness.
"I'm not sure I see guys closing like some of us used to – myself, or Johnny MIller or Raymond Floyd,” he recently told Golf Channel’s “Morning Drive” show. “There was no question we were capable of taking the lead and extending it, and keep going. I think that's what you don't see sometimes."
Wadkins, who won the PGA Championship back in 1977, has a theory as to why players today are more prone to collapses. He blames it on the money that’s now available.
"We grew up playing more match play, more money games, win at all cost," he said. "Today it's so much about how much (money) you're going to win."
THERE’S A STORM COMING: Most golf observers predict the R&A and USGA will come down with a decision regarding the use of the belly putter or anchoring the club to your body before the end of the year. While we’ve heard from some players who are for a ban, for the most part, those who are currently using belly or long putters have taken a “wait-and-see” approach, preferring to keep their opinions to themselves. That is until Tim Clark recently spoke up in the July issue of GolfWorld. Clark says he won’t accept a ban without a fight.
“I’ve used [a long putter] for 16 years. I used it before I turned pro. Had it been outlawed then, I probably would have never turned pro.”
“I’d have to fight changing the rule. ...Essentially, they’re probably taking our livelihoods away. It absolutely [takes the club out of the bag].
At the RBC Canadian Open last month, Jim Furyk - who is part of the group of players who helps determine policy on the PGA Tour - said any decision by the governing bodies on the use of the long putter would not simply be rubber stamped by the Tour.
“I don't really understand why. I feel like it's a little bit of a knee-jerk reaction. I feel like, you know, they allowed it for 30 years. All of a sudden you've got Keegan at the PGA, you got Webb at the U. S. Open. You got Ernie.”
“I disagree. Even more from a PGA Tour perspective, but from an average, every day player. I've got a lot of friends that don't putt very well at our local club that shoot 80 to 85. They enjoy the game of golf. They putt with a belly putter or long putter. It helps them get around, and to take that away I think takes away from the enjoyment of golf. I think we're doing a lot of things with the rules and with golf course design that aren't making the game as fun as it could be.”
“I honestly think you should play from a different set of rules than issued. I have no problem with that.”
“At Washington [D.C.] I was in the airport for 14 hours. Lost my clubs, lost my suitcase. So apart from that, everything is great.” - Roger Chapman, winner of the Senior PGA Championship and U.S. Senior Open, on his way to South Carolina to play in his first PGA Championship