St. Andrews Links Trust: Seven options
The legendary Old Course in St. Andrews is, understandably, the crown jewel on every golfer's dream list. In addition to the Old Course, there are six other excellent options on the St. Andrews Links Trust menu.
If you've already played the Old Course or simply can't get a tee time there, you can tee up at any of these:
Dubbed the oldest "new" course in the world, this layout was built by Tom Morris in 1895 to alleviate the overcrowding on the Old Course. Many golfers believe the New Course would be better appreciated if it wasn't located adjacent to the Old Course. Measuring 6,625 yards and playing to par 71, the New, which has one double green to the Old's seven doubles, is generally considered by locals as being slightly more difficult than the Old Course. Following the natural contour of the land, the New Course has undulating fairways and great views of the town of St. Andrews.
The Castle Course
The newest course in the St. Andrews Links Trust portfolio, The Castle opened in 2008. Designed by David McLay Kidd (Bandon Dunes, Machrihanish Dunes Golf Club, Tetherow Golf Club, et. al), the 6,759-yard, par 71 course is laid out on a rugged cliff top just outside St. Andrews. A links style course, it's contrived to a certain degree. The land shaper, Mick McShane, who also did nearby Kingsbarns, turned the rather mundane farmland into a layout with engaging definition. It offers spectacular views of St. Andrews from many points on the course. The closing three holes play along the coastline. The greens are large and very severe so beware of the dreaded three-putts that can destroy your round. One of the more fascinating holes is number 17, a par three requiring a tee shot over seaside cliffs with the town as a backdrop in the distance.
Originally built in 1897 as a 12-hole course and expanded later to 18 holes, the 6,742-yard, par 72 Jubilee is now a championship layout thanks to a re-design and enhancement in 1988 by European architect Donald Steel. Set on a narrow strip of land between the New Course and St. Andrews Bay, the course is picturesque and challenging. The raised tees on many holes provide panoramas of St. Andrews Bay to the east and the other St. Andrews Links Trust Courses to the west. It's a stern test and some locals consider it "the toughest test in St. Andrews".
Popular with in-the-know locals, the Eden is an exceptional value for a links experience. It's a great choice for a second round after playing the Old or other St. Andrews area courses. Designed in 1914 by Harry Colt, this 6,250-yard, par 70 layout is no pushover. The gorse-lined fairways have humps and deep pot bunkers providing lots of definition and character.
Some golfers use it as a warm-up layout on the day of arrival in St. Andrews before they play more difficult courses. Opened in 1993, the 5,620-yard, par 69 layout is flat with few bunkers (only 15) and spacious greens with lots of contours. The longest hole is the 512-yard, par 5, 11th.
Flat and wide open, this nine-hole course is for high-handicappers, beginners and better players who want to work on their short game.