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ST ANDREWS GOLF VACATION

St Andrews Old Course, St Andrews Castle Course, St Andrews New Course, St Andrews Jubilee Course, Kingsbarns, Leven, Lundin Links, Crail, Kittocks or Torrance courses

St Andrews is the “home of golf” (you might have heard this!) but for many, playing the ‘auld grey toon’ at least once in their life is akin to a pilgrimage. At Faraway Fairways our St Andrews odyssey goes further, we wrap up St Andrews with the best of the rest of Fife. Our St Andrews golf Vacation takes in more than just the ‘auld grey toon’, completing the all-round experience by adding some of the final Open Championship qualifying venues that have supported the Old Course, as well as a selection of courses from St Andrews itself. The St Andrews Old course needs no introduction. The New course is often regarded as the towns folk’s favourite and the most complete test of a links golfer. Many good judges regard the Jubilee course as the toughest St Andrews assignment, whilst the Castle course is fast establishing itself as the most scenic. These are complemented by the Kittocks or Torrance, a pair of stunningly spectacular cliff-top courses with extended views across the sea and into the town itself. Neighbouring Kingsbarns is a world ranked top-50 links in its own right and not to be missed. The links courses of Fife boast some of the oldest tracks known to golf, including Leven and Lundin are established qualifying venues where a good understanding of strategy is essentially, whereas Crail is the seventh oldest in the world and terrific fun to play with all its quirks.

For many visiting golfer’s to Scotland, particularly those coming for the first time, the draw of the St Andrews Old Course is what they’ll base their plans around, and the St Andrews golf Vacation is perfect for just this, and adds the other links courses of Fife. Capturing the spirit of the Scottish golf links, and just what it means is never easy. At Faraway Fairways we’re grateful to US golf writer George Peper, who addressing the Fife Golf Association delivered an ode that we can’t improve on.

“Someday I hope to bring my grandchildren here to Scotland – not to show them what golf is but what golf isn’t – that it isn’t $200 million resorts and $200,000 membership fees, that it isn’t six hour rounds and three day member-guests, that it isn’t motorized buggies, Cuban cigars, and cashmere headcovers. It’s a game you play simply and honorably, without delay or complaint – where you respect your companions, respect the rules, and respect the ground you walk on. Where on the 18th green you remove your cap and shake hands, maybe just a little humbler and a little wiser than when you began.”

Perhaps the question Faraway Fairways get asked more than any other is about one’s prospects of play on the St Andrews Old Course that avoids the exorbitant fees of a guaranteed package. By basing yourself in St Andrews, the St Andrews golf Vacation offers you an exceptionally high prospect. Even in peak season, your chances are in the region of 85%+

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GOLF NON-GOLF OVERNIGHT
Saturday
KITTOCKS or TORRANCE COURSE Edinburgh Castle St Andrews
Sunday CRAIL St Andrews St Andrews
Monday LEVEN & LUNDIN LINKS Edinburgh St Andrews
Tuesday KINGSBARNS Scone Palace St Andrews
Wednesday ST ANDREWS (CASTLE COURSE) Falkland Palace & Fife St Andrews
Thursday ST ANDREWS (JUBILEE COURSE) Stirling & Bannockburn St Andrews
Friday
ST ANDREWS (NEW COURSE) Glamis Castle St Andrews
Saturday
ST ANDREWS (OLD COURSE) Edinburgh Edinburgh

 

8 Night Duration -
  • Luxury
  • Premier
  • Affordable
  • GOLF PLAYERS, From approx £270 = $350 = €310 per day
  • GOLF PLAYERS, From approx £230 = $298 = €264 per day
  • GOLF PLAYERS, From approx £203 = $263 = €233 per day
  • Luxury price
  • Premier price
  • Affordable price
  • NON-GOLFERS, from approx £178 = $230 = €205 per day
  • NON-GOLFERS, from approx £135 = $175 = €155 per day
  • NON-GOLFERS, from approx £105 = $136 = €120 per day

GUARANTEED ST ANDREWS OLD COURSE - Guaranteed tee times for the St Andrews Old Course can be purchased. Customers are advised to contact us seperately regarding this

ST ANDREWS OLD COURSE BALLOT- Anyone intending to play the Old Course through the ballot should make contingency to add £180. This is paid locally once the result of the draw is known 48 hours before play. It will likely mean forfeiting any provisional reservations to a cancellation, albeit clubs will make every effort to reschedule you should you wish to play on the Saturday. We aim to schedule a second round Kingsbarns as the fall back against a ballot failure (its high quality compensation)

TRANSPORT - The St Andrews tour is very concentrated and convenient. Many of the links can be accessed very easily by foot. Should you prefer self-drive however, this option is available. Please notify us accordingly.

NON GOLF ACTIVITY - Non-golfers get more time for non-golf activity than golfers. An asterisk (*) is used on the ‘Non-Golf’ button in the itineraries to indicate where a golfer could reasonably expect to be able to undertake an activity. Anything left unmarked is only practical for non-golfers to undertake. Check the button called ‘What’s Included’ that appears on the final named day ‘tab’ to see if it’s included in a price.

DISCLAIMER - The content of all tours are sold subject to availability and final confirmation of price. We do not speculatively book hotels in advance. Late bookings might be subject to a market led price increment. The prices displayed are strong indicators of what you would expect to pay but can also fluctuate in line with choices people wish to add or omit. Please check what's included. Prices are per person based on two sharing

KITTOCKS & TORRANCE COURSES

The Kittocks and Torrances courses are slight departures from the links tradition of St Andrews, being a few miles outside of town on a stunnning cliff-top location overlooking the bay and town below. The result is spectacular. With a splendid sense of isolation and exposure they both play ‘linksy’. The venture has been a tremendous addition to the St Andrews portfolio.

The Kittocks course is a long and challenging, requiring nerves of steel to navigate its many holes running alongside the coastline. It’s played host to Europro Tournament 2007 and 2009 and Scottish Youths National Championship 2016.The Torrance course is charcaterised by its deep revetted bunkers, and large greens and has hosted the Seniors European Tour Event six times between 2009 and 2014. They tend to be held in similar regard and its genuinely difficult to recommend one over the other

Crail

The Crail Golf Society is the seventh oldest in the world, and always popular. It’s a short, fun course, but its this comparative lack of length which largely frames its appeal. The consequence is that it’s defended by hazard rather than yardage, making it a thinkers track. You have to play shots over rocky bays, hit long par threes with greens perched atop vertical cliffs, and then a return the drive from an elevated tee into fairways laid out invitingly below. Shots to greens seemingly engulfed by gorse, and curving par fours round sandy strands, all dare the golfer to cut off too much. Beware the fifth, no lesser an authority on Scottish golf than Sam Torrance regards ‘Hells Hole’ as the most difficult par 4 in Scotland. If all this wasn’t enough, Crail sits on the eastern tip of the Fife Peninsula and so adds ‘exposure’ to the garrison.

LEVEN LINKS

Leven Links is steeped in history, one of the oldest links in the world. As you might imagine of such a relic of the early days, Leven is an archetypal links course with fine bents and fescues, humps, bumps, hollows and “wispy” rough and of course a snarling burn! If we were to look for the most quintessential links course in Scotland, Leven would expect to the in the conversation. It’s a bit more than just this though. Leven has long been held in high enough regard for it to have hosted Final Open qualifying on behalf of St Andrews, as well as a number of national championships


Lundin Links, a St Andrews Open qualifying venue

Located on the Fife coast, Lundin rubs shoulders with golf’s aristocrats and has indeed been used as a final qualifying venue for St Andrews Opens. It’s a complex links course with open burns, an internal out of bounds (the old railway line), and strategic bunkering, which presents a challenge for the thinking golfer. Position from the tee rather than distance will yield just rewards on the scorecard. The course remains largely as laid out by James Braid some 100 years ago. The first five holes are in the classic links tradition. Players then cross extinct railway line and play the nine ‘new’ hybrid holes of links and parkland turf. Back across the railway, the last four holes revert to the genuine links tradition.

Kingsbarns

Records of golf being played at Kingsbarns date to 1793. The modern course itself opened in 2000, and is set on three-tiered levels, sloping towards the coast. Nearly every hole has stunning views of the North Sea. The 12th and 15th require you to play a tee shot over the ocean! Kingsbarns is often compared with Pebble Beach. Its noticeable just how many people familiar with both accept this. Perhaps of greater significance is the number of times it beats more illustrious neighbours in surveys. It did so again in 2013 when it topped the poll for Scotland’s favourite course amongst visiting Americans, as its always immacuately presented. It completes the trio of East Coast giants that host the Dunhill links challenge each year alongside Carnoustie and the Old Course

With permission from and supplied by Kingsbarns

St Andrews Castle Course

‘The Castle’ is the newest addition to the clan St Andrews. Set atop cliffs it’s perhaps more Pebble Beach, than Scotland, yet the course has strangely managed to cultivate something of a links character about it. The elevation provides stunning vistas of the bay and town below, making it one of the most photogenic courses in the country. You won’t the first person to pause and smile as you look down into the town of St Andrews itself with all the historic landmarks on the skyline and simply think Wow! The course is really quite dramatic as the sea can usually be relied on to put up a display of raw energy. The eighth and and the par 3, seventeenth, ‘the Braes’ are particularly awesome.

The Jubilee course, St Andrews's toughest track

The Jubilee in question was that of Queen Victoria, this course dates to 1897. The course plays on a strip of land wedged between the Old and the New courses. It’s a quite typical links for the area, threading its way through low dunes, and without any double greens. The raised tees afford the golfer stunning views across St Andrews Bay and the town beyond. It was only in 1988 that the Jubilee course came of age when Donald Steel was asked to upgrade it though and added not length, interest, and challenge to the layout. Until then it tended to get overlooked on a St Andrews bucket list, but slowly it’s built up a reputation and loyalty. Today many experienced links doyens regard the Jubilee as St Andrews’s most under rated course.

St Andrews New Course

“New” in the context of St Andrews means 1895! The course is often said to be the town’s favourite. It’s a tighter and more defined course than its regal neighbour, and aided by the yellow peril of gorse bushes, it tends to be more aesthetic too. The ‘New’ runs adjacent to the Old course and as a consequence has similar characteristics. The fairways are undulating but not as dipped as the Old course, leading to fewer hanging lies. A traditional out and back nine, only the 3rd and 15th share a green. The burn wends its way through a low dune system and features some particularly charismatic holes. The 464yd tenth is often cited as the pick. Think about it logically. It’s likely that the newer course that was designed for purpose, would be the better golf course than the ancient artefact. The good folk of St Andrews know!

St Andrews Old Course

St Andrews, the home of golf, needs little introduction nor hype from us. The first surviving record of the game being played here dates to 1522. The town oozes atmosphere and the course is soaked in heritage. The view from the iconic Swilcan Bridge on eighteen, looking back up the final fairway to the magnificent R&A headquarters, flanked by the red bricked Hamilton Hall is one of the most instantly recognisable in world sport, never mind golf. The Road Hole 17th, is another signature assignment, as are the unique and massive double greens. The secret? don’t be over-awed. Keep out the 112 bunkers, especially so ‘Hell Bunker’ at the 14th. Then attack the course! St Andrews is actually one of the more obliging links, so don’t leave wondering what might have been. It can be tamed!

More information

Qualification requirements for play

“A current official handicap card (Golf Club affiliated to a Golf Union/Association) record or certificate must be presented to the starter prior to play. Maximum handicaps – 24 Men, 36 Ladies. St Andrews will not accept letters of introduction from a local Club Professional”. Players who are unable to meet this standard are invited to tackle the alternatives we’ve nominated instead

The Ballot

One of the most remarkable things about St Andrews is that it’s actually a public course. Luckily the Scot’s also have a tradition of egalitarianism and although golf has often taken on an exclusive aura in many countries, the Scot’s have guarded a sense of open access quite preciously.This means that the Old Course is subject to a public ballot drawn 48 hours before play. It’s important that we stress that we rely on this method. The ballot does NOT guarantee you a tee-time.

We’re often asked ‘what are the chances of success on the ballot’?. The time of year is an important factor. Applications that avoid July, August & September are more likely to succeed. We also make more than one application using the different days available to us. Thursdays and Saturdays have the most ballot times available. It also depends on how flexible you’re prepared to be, regarding days of the week, times of the day, and group size. We’re normally confident for April, May, June, October & November. We’re more cautious regarding the summer months, but more people who set out to play the Old Course succeed than fail. This guidance stops short of being a guarantee though.

Guaranteed tee-times

There is a price premium to guarantee a tee-time. This involves a minimum hotel stay in St Andrews of three nights, and playing additional St Andrews courses. If you’re playing the Old Course as part of a wider ranging tour across Scotland or Ireland however, then you won’t always have the luxury of being able to spend three days here. In this case you either have to extend your stay, or take your chance through the ballot or the ‘walk up’ rule.

Time to say goodbye

Time, as they say, waits for no man, and sadly we’re no exception. Today it’s time to bid you farewell, hope you enjoyed your stay, and will consider returning soon. Better still, the return match awaits. We’ll ensure you get to your airport for a safe, and comfortable return across the Atlantic, where the benefits of flying east to west will now become apparent, as you land a mere two hours after you took off! Don’t forget to stay in touch through our blog, email, or the social networks, as we update information. Once again, thank you

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