The evidence is inconclusive but I think it’s fair to assume that golf was first played at St Andrews around the start of the 16th century. What began on this humble stretch of Fife coast 500 years ago has exploded into a multi-billion pound industry that is played in every country in the world.

Next week the modern and ancient will collide as the game’s biggest event returns to golf’s spiritual home. The usual paraphernalia that comes with the Open Championship will of course be there but on the links itself, where every great of the game has trodden, very little has changed. The best players in the world will again come face-to-face with; massive double greens, criss-crossing fairways, a drive over an old railway shed, roads, dry stone walls and of course, the best natural amphitheatre of them all – the town.

The rise and rise of the health and safety officer means that golf courses aren’t built like this anymore. But thankfully our greatest treasure remains untouched offering a unique window into the past. To win The Open here is to reach the very pinnacle of the sport.

The Golf Monthly Team are relocating for a week to the Auld Grey Toon to offer a unique behind-the-scenes insight into the 2010 Open Championship. From the course set-up to the buzz around town, our blogs are designed to bring you even closer to the action than ever before. So if you aren’t already excited about The Open’s return to St Andrews, now’s the time.