St Andrews, Fife KY16 9SF
18 holes. Seaside links. Gently undulating terrain - easy to walk
Many have contributed to the Old Course layout. Most recently: Daw Anderson (1850s), Old Tom Morris (1860s to 1900) and Dr Alister Mackenzie (1930s).
18-hole courses of St Andrews Links: par-72 OLD course (6,721 yds from the back tees; even longer from Championship tees used for pro events); par-71 NEW course (6,625 yds); par-72 JUBILEE course (6,742 yds); par-70 EDEN course (6,250 yds); par-69 STRATHTYRUM course (5,620 yds) and par-72 CASTLE course (6,759 yds; located on the other side of the city). St Andrews Links is also home to the 9-hole par-30 BALGOVE course (1,520 yds).
o.5 ml N of St Andrews
From the A91 at western edge of St Andrews (first roundabout as you arrive in St Andrews), go straight over into Pilmour Links, direction town centre. After 400 yds turn left into Golf Place. After 300 yds parking is on your right.
St Andrews Links (The Old Course): You are welcome to muse on what makes a round on the revered Old Course so special. But exhaustive in-depth analysis is not really required. For most golfers who have teed it up here (and that's a big number over the past 600 years), just playing these ancient links and enjoying every hit (or whiff) is usually enough. The Old Course is probably the most cherished tee-time that any golfer can put in his or her diary, and not as difficult to come by as many think. Only Ben Hogan among the great and good appears to have missed out on the St Andrews experience.
Suffice to say, the Old course is an open, out-and-back links layout, played through naturally flowing sand-based terrain. Stray too far beyond the bumps and hollows of the good-width fairways, and you'll discover gorse bushes, thick rough and hellish bunkers lie in wait. Slicers of the ball need to be wary of out of bounds, which lurks on the rightside of many holes. If you can, drawing the ball "into" the course is the safer way to tackle the Old course.
Everyone carries away their own special memories of this historic and fascinating layout. These might include standing on the Swilken Bridge after teeing-off at the drivable par-4 18th, or a miraculous escape from bunkers that dwarf anything you've experienced before ... among them Hell bunker on the par-5 14th and the Road Hole bunker at the par-4 17th. Perhaps you'll hole a monster putt on one of the seven monster double-greens; only four holes do not share a green. There's the thrill of the blind drive over the railway sheds at 17 (don't hit the hotel!), or looking out across the scenic Eden estuary while playing "the turn."
It is not difficult to understand why golfers from every corner of the globe yearn for a game (or yet another game) on the Old Course. There really is no other golfing place quite like it. Once played never forgotten.
Visitors welcome on weekdays. The Old Course is not available for advance booking on Saturdays and is closed on Sundays.
Must book very well in advance (as detailed on www.standrews.com). In addition to advance bookings, visitor tee-times also available via the daily ballot or queuing as a single golfer on day of play. Maximum handicap: men 24; women 36. Proof of handicap required.
Credit cards accepted. Contact club for full details, discounts, packages, etc. [Last updated: 2020].
Non-metal spike facility. Players generally walk this course. Caddies available at all times. This is a walking course; golf carts only available for medical reasons, and only between April and October.
Ever wondered why golf is typically played over 18 holes? The answer, as with many aspects of the game, can be found in the Home of Golf. In bygone days the Old Course St Andrews consisted of 22 holes, 11 going out and 11 coming back. Golfers on the inward 11, played to the same greens (and hole in the ground) as they'd had on the outward 11. They teed-off alongside the greens they'd just putted out on, and used the same fairways coming-in as heading-out. Only at the 11th (the last outward hole) and 22nd (the final inward hole) was the green visited just once in a round.
By the mid-1700s the first four holes (and therefore the last four) were considered too short, and were converted into two holes. This reduced the number of outward holes to nine, with nine corresponding inward holes. By the mid-1800s the popularity of golf had increased to such an extent that playing both the outward and inward nines to the same greens was becoming impractical and dangerous. To solve the problem it was decided to cut two holes on each green, with white flags for outward holes and red for inward ... the origin of the Old Course's seven double-greens.
St Andrews Old Course has hosted more prestigious golf competitions than any other golf course in the world. For details see Top Golf Tournaments at St Andrews Golf Club, Old course.
World: 3rd best course in the world (GOLF magazine, 2020/21).
GB&I: 2nd best course in Britain & Ireland (Golf World, 2019).
Scotland: No.1 course in Scotland (Golf World, 2019).
Old Station Road, St Andrews, Fife KY16 9SP
+44 (0)1334 474 371Visit website
Nestling right alongside the famous par-4 17th Road hole, the iconic Old Course Hotel enjoys a spectacular location overlooking the famous links courses of St Andrews, the West Sands beach and the beautiful north Fife coastline. This prestigious five-star hotel has 144 rooms including 35 suites and is recognised as one of Europe’s leading resorts. A member of the Leading Hotels of the World collection.
St Andrews (Dukes course); St Andrews Links (x7 courses); Fairmont St Andrews (Devlin & Torrance courses).
Kingsbarns; Crail (Balcomie links); Ladybank; Scotscraig; Elie; Lundin; Leven.
Pilmour Links, St Andrews, Fife KY16 9JQ
+44 (0)870 400 8128Visit website
Located alongside and overlooking the 18th fairway of The Old Course.
St Andrews Links (Old, New, Jubilee, Eden and Strathtyrum courses); St Andrews (Dukes course); Fairmont St Andrews (Devlin and Torrance courses).
Kingsbarns; Crail; Ladybank; Scotscraig; Lundin; Leven.
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