To some outsiders, St. Andrews is known for The University of St. Andrews, founded in 1413. It is Scotland’s oldest university and the third oldest university in the English-speaking world. To others it’s known for the Royal and Ancient Golf Club, commonly referred to as the “home of golf.” Among folks who enjoy rude street names, St. Andrews may be known as the home of a street called “Butts Wynd,” number 55 in Rude World. In Scotland, a “wynd” is a path between two major streets, often between buildings and running up or down hill. It’s actually pronounced as though it rhymes with “bind.” In medieval times the term “butts” often referred to an archery range. Laetitia decided to accommodate those who were interested in golf today and those interested in other tourist activities tomorrow.
The Royal and Ancient Golf Club was founded in 1754. Originally, the captain of the club was the winner of a golf competition, but in 1806 the members decided to make the captaincy an elected office. Six members of the British royal family have been captains, including Prince Albert, Queen Victoria’s consort. The most recent (2004) was Andrew, Duke of York. Contrary to what many believe, the Royal and Ancient Golf Club does not own the Old Course. The latter is public, and club members share tee times with members of other clubs and golfers from the world at large.
As expected, most of those who showed up for Laetitia’s tour were golfers. Laetitia took them to the British Golf Museum and then watched them play the first hole of the “Old Course” before retiring to the picturesque clubhouse. One of the eccentricities of the course is that a street called Granny Clark’s Wynd crosses the fairways of the first and eighteenth holes, making moving automobiles hazards with which golfers must contend. The road inspired Laetitia’s limerick of the day. Of course, some might deliberately mispronounce the street’s name. David Joy has written a comedy called Granny Clark’s Wind about a dilapidated hotel near the Old Course.
When your car is on Granny Clark’s Wynd
“Tis hoped you’re not one who’s inclined
To open your door
When someone yells “Fore!”
For flying golf balls are unkind.