Golf Fans React To Swilcan Bridge Changes At St Andrews

The Swilcan Bridge has been given a makeover and it's dividing opinion online

The Swilcan Bridge at St Andrews with the clubhouse behind it
(Image credit: Getty Images)

When people say the word St. Andrews, there are a number of thoughts that can rush to your head. For a lot of people, that image is the Swilcan Bridge which has recently received a bit of a makeover and some aren’t best pleased about it.

Just last year, Tiger Woods made what he thinks could be his final Open appearance at St. Andrews, but caused optimism amongst fans as he made the iconic journey over the Swilcan Bridge without stopping for a photo, before an emotional walk up the 18th fairway.

In 2005, one of our game's greatest players, Jack Nicklaus, ended his career at the Home of Golf - creating, arguably, one of the most iconic moments as he waved farewell to fans on the bridge before holing his final stroke at the Old Course for birdie. 

Jack Nicklaus waving on Swilcan Bridge

Nicklaus during the 2005 Open Championship

(Image credit: Getty)

10 years before the ‘Golden Bear’, it was Arnold Palmer who created history as he said goodbye to St. Andrews and, once again, the moment was shared on the Swilcan Bridge. It was an emotional ending as The King was vital to the future success of The Open, reiterating the importance of the tournament to his compatriots which has helped carve the event into what it is today.

It is true that the Swilcan Bridge is among the most famous bridges in the world, not quite up there with the Tyne Bridge, Tower Bridge or Golden Gate Bridge, but you get my point, it’s pretty iconic. 

However, recently, the bridge has seen some changes and, as a result, golf fans have fled to Twitter to blast the decision to add a 'patio-like landing' just in front of the opening which has seen golf greats cross to the other side.

Such was the extent of the change that one user, @warrenallsworth, said: “No. Just no. That’s like drawing a moustache on the Mona Lisa.”

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Another Tweet blasted the decision, stating: "A great and iconic sporting landmark turned into an eyesore. What ludicrous thinking brought this about? It has ruined one of the historic holes in golf."

Some other users agreed with the decision to add the brick work though, with one explaining that it "makes sense if the ground which sees an increase in more tourists standing to take photos with bridge in, is getting churned up. This could preserve the area for the long term."

There is yet to be any comment on why the decision has been made to introduce it. However, it is easy to assume that they are looking to protect the bridge and make sure it is still a landmark within the game for future generations.

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Cieran Faulder

Cieran joined the Golf Monthly team having previously written for other digital outlets like Reach PLC and Northern Golfer. After studying Journalism at Northumbria University, Cieran went on to complete an MA at the University of Sunderland. A big golf fan, he currently plays at Blyth Golf Club, where he holds a handicap of 8. Citing his favorite golfer as Tiger Woods, Cieran regards himself as the best snap hooker of a ball in the North of England.