Best Courses in St Andrews: The Old Course & Hidden Gems Beyond
St Andrews, commonly referred to as the ‘Home of Golf’, is the cultural epicenter of golf. A form of golf was said to have first been played on these lands as far back as the 1400s, and its iconic status continues to this day.
The town of St Andrews is located in the Kingdom of Fife, Scotland, around 1 hour north of the capital city of Edinburgh.
St Andrews is home to the Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews, better known as the R&A, who are one of the core governing bodies of the game, and in coordination with the USGA, set the rules of the game.
The Old Course
There are many golf courses around the town of St Andrews and across the Kingdom of Fife, however, the best known, most famous, and most alluring for golfers worldwide is the iconic Old Course. Host of 30 Open Championships and home to iconic golfing landmarks including the road hole, the Swilcan Bridge, and the Valley of Sin.
The Old Course is managed by the St Andrews Links Trust, a charitable organization formed in 1974, owned by local authorities, who are the guardians of this famous public golf course.
Designers include: Daw Anderson, Old Tom Morris
However, many golfers aren’t aware, there are 6 other golf courses under the care of the St Andrews Links Trust:
A slightly misleading name, the new course was built in 1895 by Old Tom Morris. Which, by most standards, is a very old golf course. This was created to be the ‘second’ course in St Andrews alongside the Old Course, making a 36-hole combination.
The New Course is widely regarded as a more challenging layout than the Old Course, due to severely undulating fairways and greens and some narrow tee shots. This is a fantastic golf course in its own right and is widely underrated.
Designers include: Old Tom Morris
Following the New Course, the Jubilee opened in 1897 on Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee and was initially used as the ladies and family course. It underwent further development in 1988 to create a full championship course and is now regarded as the most challenging of the 7 courses of the St Andrews Links Trust.
It enjoys the most coastal holes or any of the courses, and the resulting views, combined with the legendary prevailing winds, make this an excellent choice when in St Andrews.
Designers include: John Angus, Donald Steel
The newest course under the St Andrews Links Trust stewardship, the Castle Course, opened in 2008. The Castle Course is set apart from the others, on the cliffs south of the town, near the Fairmont St Andrews. This location allows stunning views back down into the idyllic town and out over the other courses.
The elevated position means it plays differently to the low-lying Links and therefore creates a great contrast when played on a tour.
Designers include: David McLay Kidd
A Harry Colt design, the Eden Course opened in 1914, at the outbreak of the First World War. The natural boundaries and severe bunkering Colt introduced create a characterful course.
The Eden Course is regarded as more playable than some of its sister courses due to more forgiving and open tee shots. This is an enjoyable Links experience for mid to high handicappers, while still a challenge for more advanced players.
Designers include: Harry Colt, Donald Steel
Measuring only 5,286 years of the tips, the Strathtyrum Course opened in 1993 as a more inviting course for new players and high handicappers, however, it still offers enough of a challenge for all to enjoy.
This can be an excellent choice for a first round in St Andrews, ahead of taking on the more challenging tests.
Designers include: Donald Steel
The Balgove is a 9 hole, par 30 golf course – a perfect fun, beginners or family round.
The lack of bunkers and water limit the amount of danger, but it’s also an excellent spot for advanced players to sharpen their irons and short game, with holes ranging from 100-200 years.
Designers include: Donald Steel, Tom Mackenzie, Martin Ebert
Premier Golf is an approved provider for the St Andrews Links Trust. Enquire now to book your pilgrimage to the home of golf.
Other St Andrews Courses (Not Run By The Trust)
There are 3 other courses in St Andrews, not run by the Trust. They are as follows:
The Dukes Course
The Duke’s Course is a championship golf course designed by five-time Open Champion Peter Thomson. It is known for its challenging layout, stunning views, and natural hazards.
Designers include: Peter Thomson, Tim Liddy
The Kittocks Course
Part of Fairmont St Andrews, The Kittocks Course at St Andrews is a challenging and scenic golf course designed by Bruce Devlin and opened in 2001. It’s known for its long and narrow fairways, deep bunkers, and stunning views of the North Sea.
Yards: 7192 – although there are four different tees to choose from, starting at 5600 yards.
Designers include: Bruce Devlin
The Torrance Course
The Torrance Course was designed by Sam Torrance and opened in 2001, alongside The Kittocks at Fairmont St Andrews. It boasts a similar picturesque setting atop cliffs overlooking St Andrews Bay, offering captivating views of the Scottish coast.
Designers include: Sam Torrance
St Andrews FAQs
The Balgove Course is a great option for beginners, as it’s a shorter and less challenging course than the other St Andrews courses. It’s also a great place to learn about the traditions of links golf.
The Old Course is widely considered to be the most challenging course at St Andrews. It’s a long and demanding course that requires golfers to be precise with their shots.
The Strathtyrum Course is a great option for families, as it’s a shorter and more forgiving course than the other St Andrews courses. It also has beautiful views of St Andrews Bay.
The New Course is known for its stunning views of the Fife coast. The Jubilee Course is also one of the most scenic, with the most coastal holes of any course at St Andrews. The Castle Course also allows stunning views back down into the idyllic town and out over the other courses.
The Old Course is the most historic course at St Andrews. It has hosted the Open Championship more times than any other course in the world.
The Old Course is the most popular course at St Andrews. It’s a must-play for any golfer who visits St Andrews.
The green fees for the St Andrews courses vary depending on the time of year and the day of the week. However, you can expect to pay between £100 and £300 for a round of golf.
All green fees are included in Premier Golf’s St Andrews golf packages.
- Prepare for all conditions, as the weather in St Andrews can be unpredictable.
- Be prepared to walk, as there are no carts allowed on the courses.
- Take advantage of the forecaddies, who can provide valuable advice and assistance.
Note: If you want to add any yardages or further course details, further information can be found at: https://standrews.com/golf/courses