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Golfers to play St Andrews backwards

For one day next year, golfers will be able to play the 600-year-old Old Course at St. Andrews the way it was originally designed -- in reverse.

The St. Andrews Links Trust said Wednesday that on April 1, 2002, golfers can play the course starting on the first tee, but playing to the 17th green, continuing around the course in a clockwise direction.

The Old Course was traditionally played clockwise until the end of the 19th century when Tom Morris, custodian of the Links, created a new first green. For many years, the course was played over both circuits on alternate weeks. As recently as the 1970s, it was played in a clockwise direction for one month every winter.

"This is a rare opportunity to play the Old Course as it was in the old days," said St. Andrews Links Trust spokesman Peter Mason. "Playing the course in reverse presents an entirely different range of challenges with hazards coming into consideration which do not normally affect play."

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