The British Open celebrates golf history at St. Andrews

ST ANDREWS, SCOTLAND - JULY 15: General View of an Open Championship flag during the first round of the 139th Open Championship on the Old Course, St Andrews on July 15, 2010 in St Andrews, Scotland. (Photo by Stuart Franklin/Getty Images)

The professional golf scene today is mostly centered on stateside competition, but the game’s historic roots are overseas, and this week marks one of the game’s oldest and most prestigious competitions – the British Open.

The Canadian Press had a great interview with Arnold Palmer, one of the first American players to play on the Old Course at St. Andrews.

“I felt that if you were going to be a champion, you couldn’t be a champion without playing in the Open and hopefully winning the Open,” [Palmer] said. “So that was part of the whole program for what I was doing.”

Palmer won the Masters and U.S. Open in 1960. On his way to St. Andrews for his first British Open, a conversation with sports writer Bob Drum led Palmer to effectively create the modern version of the Grand Slam.

He finished one shot behind Kel Nagle. Palmer won his claret jugs at Royal Birkdale in 1961 and Royal Troon in 1962.

Even so, St. Andrews remains a big part of his life. Palmer was given an honorary degree at the St. Andrews University on Tuesday. The only disappointment was not getting to play in the “Champions Challenge” because of bad weather Wednesday.

The Bleacher Report also put together a nice preview of the field this year. As the article states, with 49 of the top 50 players on the field this week, it’s sure to be an exciting tournament. Will Tiger be able to regain the mental determination that led him to so many victories? Will Justin Rose and his perfect rhythm net another win this year?

If you’re interested in getting to the Open, or just getting to the Old Course some time soon, Wikitravel has a comprehensive guide to getting the most out of your St. Andrews experience.

Tiger Woods PGA Tour 11 from Wii

Tiger Woods might be having trouble in his personal life, and it may be affecting him on the links, but he’s his old robotic self in the new Tiger Woods PGA Tour 11 from Wii.

The game gets a great review from IGN, provided you have MotionPlus.

Last year’s Tiger Woods wasn’t just a great playing game of golf, it was a pretty awesome showcase for Nintendo’s Wii MotionPlus peripheral. The company was clearly so proud about what it accomplished, it even beat Nintendo to the punch as the first game on the market to support the motion device. Armed with all that Wii MotionPlus knowhow, the Wii Tiger Woods team set out to improve an already fantastic golfing experience with the yearly follow-up. Tiger Woods PGA Tour 11 might not be a massive step up from the previous incarnation, the game is a significant improvement and there’s a ton to enjoy even if you’ve plowed through last year’s 2010 edition.

It’s not the real deal, but it’s a fun way to pass the time at home.

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