Photo of the Swilcan Bridge, St. Andrews, Scotland
The Swilcan Bridge, or Swilken Bridge, is a famous 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 itself become an important cultural icon in the sport of golf.
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 Hall 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. A recent display was by Tom Watson in early July 2010 at The Open Championship, when he was photographed kissing the bridge. Also, at the 2005 Open Championship, Jack Nicklaus gave his final farewell to professional golf while standing on the bridge. Other golfers of past and present include: Tom Morris, Sr., Tom Morris, Jr., Sam Snead, Tiger Woods, Lee Trevino, J. H. Taylor, Bobby Jones, Arnold Palmer, Harry Vardon, Henry Cotton, Gene Sarazen, Byron Nelson and Nick Faldo.
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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
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