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Our selected golf courses: St. Andrews - St. Andrews Bay - Kingsbarns

St. Andrews Old Course
St. Andrews - Old Course  Architect: Evolution (1754 onwards)  18 holes: 6,041yds: par 72.

The original and to many still the finest. The history attached to the oldest links in golf is unlike any other and all golfers owe it to themselves to play here at least once in their lifetime.  That said, the course does take some getting to know.  Bear in mind that it was built to be played in both directions (clockwise and anti-clockwise circuit) so many hazards seem randomly placed unless looked at heading in the opposite direction.  For this reason Caddies are advisable for your first round as the direction of play is not always obvious from the Tee.  Pay close attention too to the colour of the flags on the many double greens: playing to the wrong one can leave you huge putts that can be harder to read than Chaucer.  All in all: an experience you will never forget.
N.B. There is a daily ballot for Tee-times (we shall arrange for your names to be entered into the ballot) and no play is allowed on Sundays.

St. Andrews Old CourseSt. Andrews - New Course
St. Andrews - New Course   Architect: Old Tom Morris (1895)   18 holes: 6,036yds: par 71.

Considered by more than a few locals to be the best of the collection of courses at St. Andrews.  The hundred year old New Course runs alongside the Old, but has a more classical links design being thought out rather than just allowed to happen.  The bunkers are more strategically placed and the preferred route to the cup more easily discerned.  As with nearly all links courses, mastery of the bump and run shot around the hard fast Greens will pay dividends.  St. Andrews New shares a Clubhouse with the Jubilee course, which becomes home base for many visiting golfers.

St. Andrews - New CourseSt. Andrews - Jubilee Course
St. Andrews - Jubilee Course  Architect: Old Tom Morris (1897)  18 holes: 6,162yds: par 72.

The Jubilee course is the longest in the St. Andrews links course stable and the closest to the sea; consequently also the breeziest and with the largest dunes.  Here the land has returned from the North Sea in the last couple of hundred years so the going is very sandy underfoot and the more pronounced dunes are smothered in plumes of Marram grasses as opposed to the more predominant Furze (aka Gorse) of the New and Old courses that lie to the inland side.  A fine links course in all respects with the water in view from almost every hole - and always within earshot.  The Jubilee was given a minor facelift for its centenary in 1997 and is now a perfect complement to the other courses governed by the St. Andrews Links Trust.

St. Andrews - Jubilee CourseSt. Andrews - Eden Course
St. Andrews - Eden Course  Architect: Harry Colt (1914)  18 holes: 5,662yds: par 70.

The shortest of the St. Andrews collection, yet still exhibiting all the intricate demands of a true links.  For many of the locals and Members this is their favourite with a nice balance of length and trouble it is never too taxing but shoddy shots are punished so keeping you on your guard.  A great course on which to start your week and hone your links skills of low shots into the wind, running the ball up to the flag on firm Greens, escaping from deep bunkers and staring into gorse bushes...

St. Andrews - Eden CourseSt. Andrews - Castle Course
St. Andrews - Castle Course  Architect: D. McLay Kidd (2008)  18 holes: 7,188yds: par 71.

The Castle Course is the latest addition to the St. Andrews portfolio, opening in the Spring of 2008.  It is totally different to the other St. Andrews Links Trust courses in that it lies on elevated land outside the town (on the way around to St. Andrews Bay) and has much more of a resort course feel about it.  Bunkers are convoluted in shape rather than oval and deep: the terrain rises and falls gently rather than the level linksland of the Old Course et al.  From all over the Castle Course you will enjoy superb views of the cathedral and town and away over the mouth of the Tay to Carnoustie on the far side.  A superb course and setting that contrasts nicely with St. Andrews' four pure links courses.

St. Andrews - Strathtyrum Course
St. Andrews - Strathtyrum Course  Architect: Harry Colt (1914)  18 holes: 5,662yds: par 70.

Nice and open and encouraging the swish of the Driver.  The Strathtyrum course is by far the least taxing of those that St. Andrews has to offer.  Perfect for a brisk warm-up round on the day that you arrive or an afternoon's post prandial outing or for your first taste of links golf - so different from the inland version of the game.  Shares a Clubhouse with the Eden course.

St. Andrews - Dukes's Course
Architect: Harry Colt (1988)
18 holes: 5,662yds: par 70.
A striking contrast to all of the other St. Andrews golf courses in that it doesn't border the sea.  Instead, the Dukes Course (which is owned and operated by the Old Course Hotel) sits around a small hill about a mile inland form the town.  Much more of a US style course (it is twinned with Whistling Straits in Wisconsin) with it's rough-cut bunkers and buggy path (it's quite hilly in places).
The closing holes were re-routed in 2000 and have made the overall flow of the course much better.
A lovely Clubhouse atop the hill completes a very pretty picture.

St. Andrews - Dukes golf course
Kingsbarns Golf Course Kingsbarns  Architect: K. Phillips (2001)  18 holes: 6,414yds: par 72.

Given a rather impressive stretch of coastline to begin with the job for Kyle Phillips was not to ruin it, don't worry, he didn't!  Kingsbarns has the look and feel of a course that has been embedded into the landscape since time immemorial and is a joy to behold.  Although you may debate over the hefty Green-fee, we think you will walk off the 18th with the feeling that it was really rather good value.  Another bright star in the constellation of St. Andrews.

Fairmont St. Andrews - Torrance & Kittocks

Fairmont St. Andrews - Kittocks
Architect: B. Devlin (2000)
18 holes: 7,049yds: par 72.
The most scenic of the two St. Andrews Bay courses on a stretch of land bordering the coast all the way along.  Indeed Gene Sarazen likened the views to Pebble Beach when he visited the site of the future course.  Within the boundaries of the course lies Kittocks Den a nature reserve, so you are sure to catch sight of plenty of indigenous wildlife during the course of your round.

 

Fairmont St. Andrews - Torrance
Architect: S. Torrance (2001)
18 holes: 7,012yds: par 72.
Most of the holes lies to the inland side of Kittocks - but only by a matter of a few hundred yards so the majestic coastline is ever present as a backdrop to your game.  The original Sam Torrance design has been re-worked with new Tees on every hole, additional hazards and a couple of holes swapped between the courses.  All of which makes the Torrance the sterner test of golf.

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Golf Par Gold

For the ultimate St. Andrews experience, treat yourself to a stay at The Old Course Hotel.

 
 

Guest Comments

9/10 - Carnoustie
10/10 - Kingsbarns
9/10 - North Berwick
9/10 - Gullane No.1
Mr. F. Wolfram - Paris

 

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