Iconic golf course angers fans over changes to Swilcan Bridge
The change to the iconic St Andrews landmark sparked swift backlash.
St Andrews golf course has backflipped on its plans after announcing it would make changes to the cobble creek bridge on the 18th hole. The St Andrews Link Trust announced it would add a pathway to the Swilcan Bridge on the 18th hole of the Old Course in Scotland.
Golfers became aware and angered of the move when photos were posted on social media of work being done to the path leading up to the Swilcan Bridge. The iconic bridge is one of the most recognisable landmarks in golf.
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Remarkably, it is claimed the bridge could be up to 700 years old. The bridge carries special significance for golfers with the likes of Arnold Palmer, Tom Watson and Jack Nicklaus having stopped to wave goodbye to The Open
However, the reaction to the decision to remove the bridge was swift. Many argued that there was no need to remove the landmark.
Many slammed the work down around the bridge, which didn't keep with its historic aura.
If you’ve travelled halfway around the world for your bucket list round at St Andrews, would you rather leave with a bit of historic dirt on your shoes or a few cement mix scraps? 😱 pic.twitter.com/O1NWIHbIKt
— Sir Nick Faldo (@NickFaldo006) February 5, 2023
They appear to have built a garden patio next to the Swilken Bridge! pic.twitter.com/XDljucNB5z
— UK Golf Guy (@ukgolfguy) February 4, 2023
Twitter is not happy about the changes to the #Swilcanbridge. It's a hideous design for the “upgrade.” I won’t bother posting a photo of it. Instead, here is one of my favorite historical photos of the bridge. It shows Margaret Hamilton at the 1929 British Ladies Amateur. #Golf pic.twitter.com/W5aaEtsUVb
— Shanking Shots Historical Society (@ShankingShots) February 5, 2023
St Andrews caves over Swilcan Bridge design
However, after the golf universe spoke up about the plans surrounding Swilcan Bridge, St Andrews swiftly announced the turf around the bridge would be fixed.
"The stonework at the approach and exit of the bridge was identified as one possible long term solution, however while this installation would have provided some protection, in this instance we believe we are unable to create a look which is in keeping with its iconic setting and have taken the decision to remove it," a statement read.
The body claimed they are aware of the need to maintain the heritage that surrounds the golf course and the importance of preserving the 'hallowed grounds'.
Further to recent communications about works in the area around the Swilcan Bridge, we have released an updated statement below.
The full statement can also be found on our website here: https://t.co/Xo3TXjBD3r pic.twitter.com/ZKCY2qty1j
— St Andrews Links (@TheHomeofGolf) February 6, 2023
The Swilcan Bridge round patio is being removed. https://t.co/bBXIrvpUEa pic.twitter.com/qIpOOYlZ6f
— Mike Hauser (@Hauser_Mike) February 6, 2023
Tiger Woods caused a stir on the bridge last year during The Open. Woods removed his hat and acknowledged the crowd as he crossed the famous landmark.
However, he did not stop on the bridge. This prompted many golf experts to claim that he would most like return to St Andrews in the future, since he didn't follow in the footsteps of legends Palmer, Watson or Nicklaus.
The bridge is one of the most popular spots on any golf course in the world for visitors to grab a photo.
Last year, Australian Cameron Smith took home his maiden major after winning The Open. Smith wrote his name into Australian sporting folklore after a spectacular comeback victory at the landmark 150th British Open.
With five successive birdies to start the back nine, Smith chased down home hope Rory McIlroy to become the first Australian to claim the famous Claret Jug since Greg Norman at Royal St George's in 1993.
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