The Ultimate Insider’s Guide to St Andrews, Scotland
If you love golf, presumably high on your dream list (it’s generally at the top of everybody’s list) is a visit to the village of St.Andrews, Scotland, which is universally regarded as the birthplace of golf.
St. Andrews, with its oceanside setting, golf courses, quaint, walkable streets, historic sights, university, boutique hotels, pubs and fish and chips shops, is a glorious place to spend a few days while you’re playing the Old Course and other exceptional layouts in the city and nearby.
Bill Hogan, Premier Golf’s international travel consultant, arguably the world’s foremost golf travel expert on the village and the Old Course, has visited St. Andrews more than 40 times and teed it up on the Old Course on numerous occasions. A 30- year veteran in the golf travel industry, intrepid traveler Hogan has spanned the globe to play golf in 48 countries.
For first-time visitors and even those who’ve visited St. Andrews previously, Hogan and the Premier Golf team provide some exceptional insider advice on what to expect, how to play, where to celebrate and other bits of valuable information:
–You can download the FREE official app (St. Andrews Links—The Home of Golf) for iPhone and Android, which has hole guides, interactive scorecards and tips on how to shoot good scores.
–Caddie Fees at St. Andrews Links courses are 50 pounds per bag. Generally, gratuities start at 30 Pounds per bag and up. (We tell our clients playing the Old Course, Kingsbarns and Carnoustie to pay 80 Pounds minimum).
–Always remember your handicap card or print out of USGA handicap for the Old Course as they will check! Handicap maximum for men is 24 and 36 for women.
–Battery operated trollies cost 18 Pounds to rent and manually operated trollies are 5 Pounds. Trollies are permitted on the Old Course after 12:00 noon each day (Never in the morning.)
–Club rentals start at 35 pounds and many are as much as 50 pounds in town. The price range is from 35 to 50 pounds depending on the rental facility. Few people will venture to the new clubhouse to rent clubs and then walk back because it’s much more convenient to rent near the hotels.
–On the Old Course, keep the ball left 90% of the time because the trouble is on the right. Your caddie will point out the other 10%.
–For those totally new to links golf, the St. Andrews Links Golf Academy offers a comprehensive three-hour long session on playing links golf. Cost is 185 Pounds per person.
–Best place in St. Andrews for fish & Chips is Tailend Restaurant and Fish Bar
–A group of 8-16 should book the private Macallan Dining Room at the Hotel Du Vin for a gourmet dinner and single malt whisky tasting. With soft lighting and a distinctive air of exclusivity, it’s the ideal venue for a memorable evening.
–Take an hour out of your schedule and spend it in the British Golf Museum behind the R&A Clubhouse. The exhibition and displays are fantastic and you’ll get a renewed appreciation for golf in the British Isles.
–The perfect Jigger Inn meal is, arguably, the Cullen Skink soup, followed by the Jigger Burger and a Jigger Ale (or two). You can only buy this special ale in two places on the planet. Can you guess the other?
–Foursomes should book a dinner at Little Italy, which is authentic and delicious. Warm and cozy, it has the feel of a friendly restaurant in a small Italian village with an excellent menu and great wines. Caution: They don’t do large groups and you must book early.
–The Keys Bar on Market St and The Criterion on South St, both in St Andrews, are the local’s favorite pubs. At night, you’ll see lots of caddies at these places.
–If you want to celebrate a memorable round in grand style, try The Adamson on South St., which recently won the Scotland Restaurant of the Year. It’s casual and unpretentious, and the mussels and steaks are the best in town. You won’t regret it!