Activities Sports & Athletics The Swilcan Bridge on The Old Course in St. Andrews Share PINTEREST Email Print Stuart Franklin/Getty Images Sports & Athletics Golf Golf Courses Basics History Gear Famous Golfers Golf Tournaments Baseball Basketball Bicycling Billiards Bodybuilding Bowling Boxing Car Racing Cheerleading Cricket Extreme Sports Football Gymnastics Ice Hockey Martial Arts Professional Wrestling Skateboarding Skating Paintball Soccer Swimming & Diving Table Tennis Tennis Track & Field Volleyball Other Activities Learn More By Brent Kelley Brent Kelley is an award-winning sports journalist and golf expert with over 30 years in print and online journalism. our editorial process Brent Kelley Updated May 24, 2019 It's not a particularly imposing bridge, the old stone bridge over the Swilcan Burn on The Old Course in St. Andrews, Scotland. But the Swilcan Bridge on The Old Course's 18th hole is one of the most famous golf course landmarks in the world. Everyone who crosses it stops to have his or her photo taken, even the pros. And this gallery of Swilcan Bridge images includes some of those famous pros who've posed on it. Even a trio of greats who said their goodbyes to St. Andrews from atop it — plus another legend of the game who once tapdanced across it. We'll see photos from the early part of the 20th century and wrap up with the beautiful site of St. Andrews blanketed in snow (beautiful unless, that is, you hoped to play golf that day). The name of the humble-looking stone bridge, spanning a small creek, is sometimes spelled "Swilken." The farther back in the history of Old Course you go, the more likely it is to be spelled as Swilken Bridge. But "Swilcan" is, by far, the most-used spelling today. How old is the Swilcan Bridge? Nobody is really sure of the arch's age, but estimates are from 700 to 800 years old. Tom Watson's Goodbye to St. Andrews With light rapidly fading, Tom Watson atop the Swilcan Bridge in 2015. Stuart Franklin/Getty Images Above, Tom Watson waves from atop the Swilcan Bridge at the 2015 British Open (we've resisted the urge to lighten the image because that's just how dark it was when Watson finished his second round of play). Watson said his goodbye to St. Andrews this day. Like many American golfers, Watson wasn't enamored with The Old Course when he first played it. "St. Andrews, when I first played here, I didn't like it," Watson said in 2010. "But I learned to like it. And, eventually, to love it." Watson actually said two goodbyes from atop the bridge. When he played the 2010 British Open, Watson thought that might his final playing appearance at St. Andrews. And he stopped and waved from the Swilcan Bridge that time, too. Watson never won an Open played at St. Andrews — but he did win five of them played elsewhere. Lorena's Major Lorena Ochoa shows off her trophy after winning the 2007 Women's British Open. Warren Little / Getty Images The 2007 Women's British Open was a first in two respects: It was the first time the tournament was played on The Old Course in St. Andrews, and it was the first major championship victory for Lorena Ochoa. Above, Lorena poses with her trophy on the Swilcan Bridge. Bill Murray and Friends From left, Paul Casey, actor Bill Murray, Ross Fisher and skiing legend Franz Klammer pose during the 2007 Dunhill Links Championship. Ross Kinnaird / Getty Images Actor Bill Murray (second from left) poses with his fellow-competitors during the 2007 Dunhill Links Championship. Murray was playing in the celebrity pro-am. To Murray's left, clowning for the camera, is Paul Casey. On the far right is skiing legend Franz Klammer, and to Murray's immediate right is golfer Ross Fisher. Swilcan Smooch Padraig Harrington kisses his wife, Caroline, on the Swilcan Bridge after winning the 2006 Dunhill Links Championship. Warren Little / Getty Images Padraig Harrington plants a kiss on his wife Caroline, while holding onto the trophy he received for winning the 2006 Dunhill Links Championship. Harrington's two victories in the British Open came at Carnoustie and Royal Birkdale. But his win in the Dunhill Links gave him (and his wife) a chance to pose at this iconic location. Jack Nicklaus' Farewell Jack Nicklaus waves his goodbye to the British Open from the Swilcan Bridge in 2005. Richard Heathcote/Getty Images Jack Nicklaus poses on the Swilcan Bridge during the 2005 British Open, waving to fans and saying his goodbye to the championship. A few moments later, Nicklaus sank a putt on the 18th green of The Old Course in St. Andrews, bowing out with a birdie. Nicklaus won the Open Championship three times, two of those victories (1970 and 1978) coming at The Old Course. He also finished second in the British Open seven times. From 1970 to 1980, Nicklaus finished no lower than fifth at the British. If you're not impressed with that stat, try this one: From 1963 to 1980, Nicklaus finished lower than sixth in the British Open exactly once. And that once (1965), he was 12th. Monty's Minions Colin Montgomerie and a few of his enthusiastic fans pose on the Swilcan Bridge following the 2005 Dunhill Links Championship. Ross Kinnaird / Getty Images Scotland's own Colin Montgomerie won the Dunhills Links Championship in 2005 on The Old Course in St. Andrews. And afterward, he posed with the trophy on the Swilcan Bridge. Joining Monty were some of his mop-headed fans, wearing the wigs they sported while following Montgomerie during the final round. Slammin' Sam Dances Sam Snead dances on the Swilcan Bridge in 2000. Paul Severn/Getty Images Sam Snead does a little dance on the Swilcan Bridge at the 2000 British Open. Snead didn't play in the tournament itself, but did take part in the Champions Challenge, a 4-hole charitable tournament for former winners of the Open Championship. Snead was famously unimpressed with The Old Course when he first saw it. As his trained pulled into St. Andrews, Snead saw the links out the window, but didn't realize what he was lookng at. "Say," he remarked to a fellow traveler, "that looks like an old, abandoned golf course." A few days later, Snead was the winner of the 1946 British Open. Arnold Palmer on the Swilcan Bridge Arnold Palmer waves goodbye to fans and to the British Open from the Swilcan Bridge at St. Andrews in 1995. Stephen Munday/Getty Images Arnold Palmer waves his goodbye to the British Open from the Swilcan Bridge in 1995. That was the year Palmer played the Open Championship for the final time. In fact, the last two appearances by Arnie in the British Open were in St. Andrews. He played in 1990, then didn't play again until his last appearance in 1995. Palmer is generally credited with reigniting the importance of the British Open on the worldwide golf scene. He played at St. Andrews in 1960 at a time when very few American stars made the trip. Palmer had won The Masters and the U.S. Open, and wanted to add the British Open. Alas, he fell one stroke short, but did win back-to-back Open titles the following two years. US Open Winners in St. Andrews U.S. Open champions (from left) Raymond Floyd, Arnold Palmer, Tom Watson and Jack Nicklaus on the Swilcan Bridge during a British Open practice round in 1995. David Cannon/Getty Images Four winners of the United States Open pose on the Swilcan Bridge during a practice round for the 1995 British Open. They are (from left) Raymond Floyd, Arnold Palmer, Tom Watson and Jack Nicklaus. Floyd never won the Open Championship, but Palmer won it twice, Nicklaus three times and Watson five times. Swilcan Bridge Crossing, 1929 Joyce Wethered leads Glenna Collet Vare across the Swilcan Bridge in the 1929 British Ladies Amateur Championship. Puttnam / Topical Press Agency / Getty Images Joyce Wethered leads Glenna Collett Vare across the Swilcan Bridge during the championship match of the British Ladies Amateur in 1929. The two pre-World War II titans of women's golf are followed by a throng of fans. The matchup of Wethered and Vare was perhaps the most anticipated match in the history of women's golf. Wethered dominated golf in Britain in the 1920s; Vare dominated golf in America in the 1920s. Wethered had been retired from competition for three years when she heard Vare was coming to Scotland to play the 1929 British Ladies Amateur at St. Andrews. The chance to face Vare lured Wethered back into competition. And Wethered beat Vare in that championship match, 3 and 1, for her fourth victory in the event. Neither of them is well-known today, although Vare is better known by virtue of having the LPGA scoring title named after her (the Vare Trophy). But one can make an argument (and some have) that Wethered is the greatest player in the history of women's golf. Bobby Jones said of her, "I have not played golf with anyone, man or woman, amateur or professional, who made me feel so utterly outclassed." Legs — and Cigarette — Dangling Another photo of the Swilcan Bridge from 1929. Puttnam /Topical Press Agency/Getty Images Here's one more old photo, again from the 1929 British Ladies Amateur. This one shows competitor Margaret Hamilton with a cigarette dangling from her lips and her legs dangling over the side of the Swilcan Bridge. St. Andrews Snow Day Brian Morgan/Getty Images And for the final image in our gallery showcasing the Swilcan Bridge, we'll close with this lovely look at the links. The bridge and the Old Course's 18th fairway are blanketed in a light snow in this image.