Swilcan Bridge

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Swilcan Bridge
Swilken Bridge - geograph.org.uk - 999441.jpg
The Swilcan Bridge
Coordinates56°20′36″N 2°48′25″W / 56.3432°N 2.8070°W / 56.3432; -2.8070Coordinates: 56°20′36″N 2°48′25″W / 56.3432°N 2.8070°W / 56.3432; -2.8070
CrossesSwilcan Burn
Other name(s)The Swilken Bridge[1]
Golfers’ Bridge[1]
No. of spans1

The Swilcan Bridge, or Swilken Bridge, or Swilcanth as it was known,[1] is a small stone bridge in St Andrews Links golf course, Scotland. The bridge spans the Swilcan Burn between the first and eighteenth fairways on the Old Course, and has become an important image in the sport of golf.[2] The bridge had previously been known as the Golfers’ Bridge, and had been known as this for hundreds of years previously.[1]

The Swilcan Bridge spanning the Swilcan Burn, with The Royal and Ancient clubhouse and the Hamilton Grand in the far distance

The bridge itself is extremely small; at its farthest extent it measures about 30 feet long, eight feet wide and six feet tall, in the style of a simple Roman arch. Originally built at least 700 years ago to help shepherds get livestock across, it has the modern photographic advantage of great backdrops on three sides: the course’s grand Royal and Ancient Clubhouse and Hamilton Grand on one, often a packed grandstand of enthusiasts on another, and rolling hills facing toward the North Sea, on the last.

It is customary for champions of golf to publicly show some sort of homage or respect to the structure. For example, in early July 2010 at The Open Championship Tom Watson was photographed kissing the bridge.[3] Also, at the 2005 Open Championship, Jack Nicklaus gave his final farewell to professional golf while standing on the bridge.[4]

On the second floor of the World Golf Hall of Fame museum in St. Augustine, Florida, there is a life-size stone replica of the Swilcan Bridge, accompanied with a floor-to-ceiling photograph of the Royal & Ancient clubhouse and Hamilton Hall in the background.[4]


  1. ^ a b c d e "The Swilcan Bridge and Burn: A history". St Andrews Links Trust. 31 January 2019. Retrieved 22 May 2021.
  2. ^ Hauser, Melanie (9 July 2010). "Old Course's humble Swilcan Bridge one of golf's great attractions". PGA of America. Archived from the original on 9 July 2015. Retrieved 4 March 2014.
  3. ^ Busbee, Jay (16 July 2010). "Tiger Woods shows respect as Tom Watson finishes at St. Andrews". Yahoo Sports. Archived from the original on 19 July 2010.
  4. ^ a b Ross, Helen (12 July 2010). "Swilcan Bridge replica a true World Golf Hall of Fame highlight". PGA of America. Archived from the original on 31 July 2017. Retrieved 4 March 2014.

External links[edit]