St Andrews Links

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St Andrews Links
Old 18th tee lr.jpg
Club information
Location St Andrews, Fife, Scotland
Established Over 6 centuries
Type Public
Operated by St Andrews Links Trust
Total holes 18
Tournaments hosted PGA Tour
Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews

St Andrews Links in the town of St Andrews, Fife, Scotland, is regarded as the "Home of Golf". It has one of the oldest courses in the world, where the game has been played since the 15th century. Today there are seven public golf courses; the Balgove, Eden, Jubilee, Strathtyrum, New, the Old Course (which is widely considered one of the finest, and certainly the most famous and traditional course in the world), and The Castle Course, sited on the cliffs a mile to the east of St Andrews and designed by the architect David McLay Kidd, which opened in June 2008.[1] The courses of St Andrews Links are owned by the local authorities and operated by St Andrews Links Trust, a charitable organization. St Andrews is also home to the Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews, one of the most prestigious golf clubs and until 2004 one of the two rule making authorities of golf (in that year, the Royal and Ancient Club passed on its rulemaking authority to an offshoot organisation, The R&A).

In general, St Andrews is a popular hub for golf tourism, as there is a high density of links and heathland courses in the area. In addition to the public courses there are two courses at the privately owned Fairmont Hotel (Torrance and Kittocks) to the south of the town; the Dukes and Drumoig, both inland parkland courses to the west. A few miles further South are the modern links of Kingsbarns and the traditional Balcomie links at Crail. Also nearby are the courses at Elie, Lundin, Leven, Scotscraig and Anstruther. Within 45 minutes drive are Monifieth, Downfield, Carnoustie and Panmure.


The land was acquired by James Cheape, owner of the adjacent Strathtyrum estate, in 1821 and sold by his brother's grandson, also named James Cheape, to The Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews in 1893.[2][3][4] Control of St Andrews Links was regulated by an act of Parliament in 1894 and another in 1974 which resulted in the creation of the St Andrews Links Trust.[5]

Public courses[edit]

Balgove Course[edit]

The Balgove Course, named after the farm on which it was built,[6] is a 1,520 yard, par 30, nine-hole course. It was originally opened in 1972 and remodeled in 1993.[7]

The Castle Course[edit]

The Castle Course opened in June 2008, becoming the seventh public course at St Andrews. The course is set on a rugged-cliff top with spectacular views over St Andrews.[8] The course is a par 71 and measures 6,759 yards from the back tees.[9]

Eden Course[edit]

The Eden Course opened in 1914 after demand on the existing courses grew. It was designed by Harry Colt, and alterations in 1989 by Donald Steel maintain Colt's standards.[10] It was named after the Eden estuary by which it resides, as the profits from mussels collected there once made up an important part of the St Andrews economy.[6]

Jubilee Course[edit]

The Jubilee Course is the third championship golf course at the Home of Golf. It was named after Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee celebration in 1897.[11]

Originally intended for Victorian dressed ladies, and other golf beginners, it has evolved into one of the hardest courses at St Andrews Links. The course is commonly used to test junior and amateur golfers for the British Mid-Amateur Golf Championship, as well as the St Andrews Links Trophy.[12]

Initially a 12 hole course,[13] it was expanded to 18 holes in 1905. The course has seen considerable developments under the management of Willie Auchterlonie, Donald Steel, David Wilson and Graeme Taylor. It now plays at around 6,745 yards, and is host to the St Andrews Links Trophy. The Jubilee is one of several courses in Scotland that are under threat from erosion.[14]

Strathtyrum Course[edit]

The Strathtyrum Course, opened in July 1993, became the first new 18 hole layout at St Andrews in nearly 80 years.[15] It was built on land that was previously part of the Strathtyrum estate and sold to the St Andrews Links Trust by Mrs Gladys Cheape in 1986.[2][16]

Old Course[edit]

The Old Course, believed to be the oldest golf course in the world, dates back more than 600 years.[17]

New Course[edit]

The New Course, located adjacent to the Old Course, was paid for and commissioned by The R&A who asked Old Tom Morris to be designer. The New Course opened for play in 1895.[18]

See also[edit]


  1. ^
  2. ^ a b Hagen, John Peter (2011). Play Away Please: The Tale of the Sale of Golf's Greatest Icon – The St Andrews Old Course Starter's Box. Random House. ISBN 9781907195754. Retrieved 17 January 2016. 
  3. ^ Malcolm, David (2011). Tom Morris of St Andrews the Colossus of Golf 1821-1908. Edinburgh: Birlinn. ISBN 9780857901071. Retrieved 19 January 2016. 
  4. ^ Slovick, Lyle (September 2012). "The St Andrews 'Rabbit Wars' of 1801–1821" (PDF). Through the Green (British Golf Collectors Society). Retrieved 17 January 2016. 
  5. ^ Peper, George (2008). Two Years in St. Andrews: At Home on the 18th Hole. Simon and Schuster. pp. 170–171. ISBN 9781416534310. Retrieved 19 January 2016. 
  6. ^ a b
  7. ^ "The Balgove Course". St Andrews Links. Retrieved 2008-06-09. 
  8. ^ "The Castle Course: the Seventh Course at the Home of Golf". St Andrews Links. 2008. Retrieved 2008-06-09. 
  9. ^ Ian Wood (2008-06-01). "Castle course Poses Sternest of Tests". The Scotsman. Retrieved 2008-06-09. 
  10. ^ "The Eden Course". St Andrews Links. Retrieved 2008-06-09. 
  11. ^ "Jubilee Course at St Andrews" (web). 2007. Retrieved 2008-07-09. 
  12. ^ "Jubilee Course at St Andrews" (web). 2007. Retrieved 2008-02-16. 
  13. ^ Charles Hillinger (1987-12-06). "Where the Games Began". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2008-06-09. 
  14. ^ Ellen Hale (2001-07-17). "Erosion Threatens Legendary British Golf Courses". USA Today. Retrieved 2008-06-09. 
  15. ^ "The Strathtyrum Course". St Andrews Links. Retrieved 2008-06-09. 
  16. ^ Glen, Duncan (1998). Illustrious Fife: Literary, Historical & Architectural Pathways & Walks. Kirkcaldy, Scotland: Akros. p. 14. ISBN 9780861420872. Retrieved 17 January 2016. 
  17. ^ "The Old Course". St Andrews Links. Retrieved 2008-06-09. 
  18. ^ "The Old Course". St Andrews Links. Retrieved 2008-06-09. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 56°21′06″N 2°49′05″W / 56.35167°N 2.81806°W / 56.35167; -2.81806