Poulter in Old Course outburst

Ryder Cup hero Ian Poulter has blasted the decision to alter nine holes of the iconic Old Course at St Andrews.

The Royal & Ancient Golf Club and St. Andrews Links Trust agreed to the two-year project last week and work is already under way on the first phase, which includes widening the famous Road Hole bunker by about 20 inches.

R&A chief executive Peter Dawson said the changes are intended to make the elite players more precise with their shots but Poulter is incensed about the first significant changes to the course in nearly 70 years.

Poulter's Twitter blast included: "Lets put a bridge and a windmill over the Valley of sin as well just as another option when playing the last hole.

"They might as well move the 11th green into RAF Leuchars air base, that's basically what they did with the tee box at 17 last time.

"I know lets draw a Moustache on the Mona Lisa i'm sure everyone would like that. Same as messing with a great course. St Andrews."

Robert Karlsson, who won the Dunhill Links at St Andrews in 2008, also joined in on Twitter, saying: "Just read that St. Andrews will be going through significant redesign!!!! Had to check if it was 1st of April!!!!"

The Swede added: "Don't touch sacred ground, so many other old classic courses has already been ruined! Not this one too!!!!!"

Dawson, who expected criticism of the changes, said: "The championship committee felt there was an opportunity to stiffen its defenses in some places to ensure it remains as challenging as ever to the professionals."

The first phase of change includes work at the second, seventh, 11th and 17th. The second phase will take place in winter 2013/14 with work on the third, fourth, sixth, ninth and 15th.