The drive on the 17th hole at the Old Course in St. Andrews, Scotland—the “Road Hole”—is one of the most famous shots in golf. It’s also one of the most interesting, as the straight line from tee to fairway is over what was once an old railway shed and is now part of the Old Course Hotel. Which means that the hotel has been whacked, smacked, and banged by golf balls for years, so much so that officials estimate it was costing them more than £1,500 a week (presently about $1,900) to replace damaged slates.
To limit the harm, the resort is installing a rubber roof on the building while the hotel is closed to upgrade all the guest rooms. Work begins in January and when the hotel reopens, scheduled for April, golfers will be free to take their best shots once again with a little less fear about finding the roof instead of the rough.