But he's got plenty of experience with this style of golf, representing the U.S. in the 2011 Walker Cup at another storied Scottish course, Royal Aberdeen. Even though the Americans fell to a combined British-Irish squad, Spieth did his part by winning both singles matches and halving his team event.
He also got a chance to practice extensively on a layout that looks nothing like the ones back in the States.
He quickly took to the creative shots required in the bumpy, windy conditions. He looks forward to breaking out a few of them again this week.
"This is my favorite type of golf," Spieth said. "It's fun. You get to use your imagination. You can use all types of clubs around the greens. You can play off ridges. I can pretty much play with (caddie Michael Greller's) head. There's nothing basic. I'm sure he'll be saying, 'What the heck are you trying to do?' a couple of times out there."
He's still trying to adjust to the six-hour time difference and the long flight across the Atlantic, struggling to get more than a few hours of sleep. But he did manage to take in some of the sights in nearby Edinburgh before turning his attention solely to golf.
"The towns around here are just awesome, with the stone walls lining just about every road you go on," Spieth said. "It's different than back home."
On the way to lunch, his agent, Jay Danzi, suggested that Spieth take a seat while talking to a small group of reporters.
"Ahh, that feels so good," the youngster said, his time-lagged legs still a bit woozy.
At least he doesn't have to worry about looking at his phone all the time.