Old Course Hotel Turns To Rubber
Post by Sports Writer Derek Clements
THE 17th hole at St. Andrews is one of the most famous and certainly one of the most iconic in all of golf. Everybody knows all about the front bunker and the road and wall behind the green - indeed it is that road that gives the hole its name, The Road Hole.
It measures more than 470 yards and anybody playing in The Open would grab four pars at the start of the week and walk straight to the 18th tee. In fact, many would accept four bogeys.
What many of you may not realise is that golfers have to drive over the corner of the Old Course Hotel. Way back in the mists of time, railway shed stood where the hotel now does and golfers were required to hit their tee shot over the sheds to find the middle of the fairway. When the hotel was built, one of the conditions was that it had to build a structure that was the same size and shape as the old sheds.
That is all well and good when you have the best tour professionals in the world standing on the 17th tee. The thing is, however, that most people who play the Old Course are high handicappers - and high handicappers tend to slice the ball. So here is the thing - the hotel is on the right side of the hole!
Unbelievably, it costs about £1,000 PER WEEK to replace and repair tiles broken by wayward golf balls, so the hotel has decided that the time has come to do something about it and is replacing the tiles with a rubber roof. Bizarrely, that roof has been provided by Euroshield Roofing, which is based in Calgary, Alberta and it is made of recycled car tyres. Wouldn't you have thought that, somewhere in the United Kingdom, there would be a company capable of doing the same thing?
Henry Kampus, the owner of Euroshield, was certainly taken by surprise. “I was kind of stunned when we got the call because it was St. Andrews,” he said..“I was up on the hotel and the gutters are just full of golf balls. It's very easy to hit the hotel, it's right in the middle of the fairway. They looked at a number of different products and hit them all with a hammer and ours was the one that stood up to it. It’s completely impact resistant.”
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