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St Andrews Options

St Andrews Options

Naturally the St Andrews Old Course is the track that attracts the most attention, and needs little introduction. Anyone playing St Andrews however, has other options they may wish to consider. The St Andrews Links Trust manages a total of seven different courses, six of which are located on the spit of land that juts out into the Eden estuary and the sea to the north of the town.

THE OLD COURSE

The Old Course is the most famous and has remained reasonably faithful to its origins.
new course THE NEW COURSE

The first addition came in 1895, when the ‘New Course’ was added. The St Andrews New Course, must be the oldest ‘new course’ in the world, and benefited to a large extent from the earth moving age and evolution in course design, as head green keeper ‘Old’ Tom Morris oversaw its layout and completion. The New Course is often said to be the towns folks favourite.

THE JUBILEE COURSE

By the 1890’s however the game of golf was enjoying a terrific expansion in popularity as the railway opened the links of Scotland up to playing populations that were otherwise prevented from reaching them. In 1897 St Andrews added its third links, the Jubilee course, which was squeezed in between the other two and named in honour of Queen Victoria. In 1988 Donald Steel revised the layout to Championship standards. Many now regard the Jubilee as the toughest course on these fabled links

jubilee course
eden course

EDEN COURSE

The fourth addition to the family came in 1914, when Harry S Colt built the Eden Course, located on the seaward side of the links and making greater use of the river estuary as it flows out into the North Sea.

STRATHTYRUM COURSE

The Strathtyrum Course was built in 1993, and was perhaps something of a departure. Trees are more of a feature than they are on a traditional links, and the total number of bunker (15) is something of an anathema for St Andrews. The Strathtyrum is probably the most relaxing of the options available to you if winding down a bit is your objective

strathtyrum
castle course CASTLE COURSE

With links land beginning to run out, the Trust were forced to look slightly further afield when they introduced their most recent 18 hole course. Perched on top of the cliffs overlooking the town below, the David MacKlay Kidd designed Castle Course, was opened in 2008, and is a couple of miles outside of St Andrews.

BALGOVE COURSE

Finally the seventh course in the Links Trust portfolio is the nine hole Balgove Course. Essentially this is a golfer’s practise facility for all intents and purposes, or an introductory track for those stepping into the game for the first time. It’s inexpensive, and to be honest, you could do a lot worse than spend a couple of hours getting your eye and adjusting to links golf before moving onto the bigger beasts

balgove course

 

In addition to the courses owned and managed by the St Andrews Links Trust, there are other challenges of note. To some extent the Kittocks course and the Torrance course broke the ground for the Castle course, and sit atop the same stretch of cliff-top as part of the St Andrews Bay leisure development associated with the Fairmont hotel. The highly regarded Dukes course is another that owes its origins to a commercial development and sits slightly inland albeit the course has succeeded in establishing a ‘linksy’ feel.

All the of the golf courses in St Andrews are of a high standard, and when you think about it logically, they have to be. Architects won’t risk their reputations building something sub-standard in the full glare of the ever judgemental golf world. Similarly, golfer’s won’t associate with a course deemed to be inferior, and especially since they’re hardly short of alternatives to choose from. There are no hiding places in the ‘auld grey toon’, anyone building a new course has to get it right

Images by Kevin Murray and also with thanks to the St Andrews Links Trust

 

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