Where to play this St Andrew’s Day
As a special treat for St Andrew’s Day, our Market Analyst Kevin Murray recounts his recent trip to the legendary Old Course at Scotland’s ancient Home of Golf…
St Andrews, Old Course
Standing on the first tee of the Old Course at St Andrews, it’s hard not to think of the famous greats that have been here before. This is hallowed turf! Even with one of the widest fairways in the world of golf – 129 yards wide – the tee shot on the first is nerve-wracking.
There is an aura about the whole place which is undeniable, and it continues all the way around the course. Every hole at St Andrews has a story to tell. When you reach the 17th – the Road Hole (probably the most famous hole in golf) – you have a choice to make. Go over the hotel and be brave, or play safely to the left. For me there was no choice – the driver came out!
After finishing the 17th you are faced with the final hole – a short par-4 playing back towards the town of St Andrews. After your tee shot, there is the opportunity for one of the most famous pictures in golf – The Swilcan Bridge. So many greats have had their photo taken here. I fondly remember Jack’s last Open Championship appearance at St Andrews and the emotions that flowed as he had his photo taken on the Bridge for the final time.
The history and tradition of St Andrews make it the most iconic golf course in the world, and the opportunity to follow in the footsteps of the legends of the game, is something every golfer should have on their bucket list.
If you’re ever lucky enough to play St Andrews yourself, make sure you also visit the other gems that Scotland’s Golf Coast has to offer. We have six stunning suggestions, available to book now with Teeofftimes..
Drumoig Golf Course
On the outskirts of St Andrews lies one of the best inland venues in the region. Drumoig Golf Course is set on 250 acres of spectacular Fife countryside, which weaves through a natural bird and wildlife haven. The 18-hole, Championship style, par-73 course at Drumoig is a hugely underrated golfing challenge that’s full of interesting holes. From the back tees the course provides an excellent test for the more advanced golfer, while from the front tees the amateur golfer can enjoy their game. The course is prepared to the highest standard and continues to grow in maturity and reputation.
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Fairmont St Andrews
Golf courses in Scotland are among the best in the world and Fairmont St Andrews – situated in the “Home of Golf” – is proud to be recognised as one of the country’s top golf resorts. Fairmont St Andrews features two fantastic 18-hole courses – the Kittocks and the Torrance. The Torrance course was designed by Scottish golfing legend Sam Torrance and vaunts classic Scottish revetted bunkers and large greens. It was an Open qualifying venue for the 2010 Open Championship. The Kittocks course has some of the most beautiful holes in Scottish golf with stunning views over the dramatic Fife coastline. A trip to Fairmont St Andrew will not disappoint.
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Leven Links Golf Course
The history of Leven Links is, suffice to say, long and complex. But what is most important is the nature of the ground upon which the course is built. From the start of their round, golfers will be conscious of the fairways running along the valleys between these old dunes – it makes for superb definition and a true test of links golf as the slopes and bounces of these natural obstacles come into play. At the end of it all lies one of the finest finishing holes in golf. Two well struck shots are required to reach a target of quite epic proportions and slope over the yawning, demonic Scoonie Burn which winds its way around the right and front of the green. This course is a must at any time of the year.
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Charleton Golf Club
Charleton is the ideal course for group and society outings with a range of abilities. The testing 18-hole, par-72, parkland course makes for a memorable round, not matter what your level. Warm up on the driving range before hitting the course. Afterwards be sure to pay a visit to the clubhouse and restaurant where there’s an affordable all day menu, along with a vast array of beers, spirits and soft drinks.
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Scotscraig Golf Club
Scotscraig is conveniently located only 15 minutes from the famous Old Course, St Andrews. Although the course doesn’t sit exactly adjacent to the coastline, there are a few sea breezes to consider when playing this links-heathland mixture. Since 1984, Scotscraig has hosted the final Open qualifying round when The Open is played over at St Andrews. Ian Baker-Finch, Brian Barnes, Justin Rose, Mark Mouland, Duffy Waldorf and Sam Torrance are only a few of the famous players to have graced this renowned classic Fife course.
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Ladybank Golf Club
Ladybank is one of the premier golf courses, not just in Fife, but in the UK. This Open Championship qualifying course is a rare find – an inland gem that more than lives up to its links counterparts on the coast. Designed by Old Tom Morris, Ladybank has hosted final Open qualifying on seven occasions since 1978. The heathland course is surrounded by Scots pines which are home to the UK’s indigenous but endangered red squirrels.
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