Day 3 of Rob Smith's and reader Chris Walker's amazing Mercedes-Benz roadtrip was due to focus on the Old Course action, but the Golfing Gods had other ideas
It is hard to imagine a more pleasurable or indeed luxurious way to travel to St Andrews than an hour-long drive putting the all-new Mercedes GLE and GLE Coupe through their paces.
For Chris and Rob, it was hard to decide whether to be more impressed by the striking appearance of their cars, which gained admiring looks throughout the journey, or the detailed and stylish interior which contains every imaginable aid to the driver and passengers, even down to the cup holders with their built-in heater/cooler for whatever drink you have with you.
For the writers in each team, the morning was spent with their Mercedes hosts in a workshop with The R&A which was chaired by the governing body’s director of golf course management, Steve Isaac.
Both Mercedes and The R&A are working extremely hard on sustainability and lowering any carbon footprint, with the aerodynamic designs of some of the latest models cutting fuel consumption by up to 30 percent.
Greenlinks looks at how to protect nature throughout Major Championships while also catering for the massive crowds that visit such events, minimising waste and re-using materials wherever possible.
With Mercedes’ long-term goal of zero-emission driving, the two have much in common and will be working closely together for the benefit of all.
A personal highlight for Rob was that following the workshop, he finally managed to get his hands on the Claret Jug, somewhat eclipsing his 6th place finish in the June medal at his home club, Tandridge.
The big disappointment of the day was that the ferocious winds meant play was restricted almost entirely to the evening. This caused much speculation over the timings of the event, with Golf Monthly pondering possible new ways to deal with the delays.
Inevitably pace of play was again a major subject for discussion although under the circumstances, speed was not really the issue. Impressively, this did not seem to deter the crowds who filled the stands on the practice ground and had a great time exploring the tented village.
Following a photo opportunity for Chris alongside the closing hole, there was a further treat for the pair with an early dinner with their new friends from Germany, Spain and Italy in the spacious Rocca Restaurant that is part of the Rusacks Hotel lining the 18th fairway.
There, they enjoyed the novel concept of seeing the restaurant they were in on television, just as the final groups walked past at the end of a very long day.
As the sun descended over the grandstands on what turned out to be a perfect summer evening in St Andrews, there was no doubt that despite the earlier frustrations caused by the wind, it had been a day very well spent indeed.