What Golfers Love About St Andrews
St Andrews is a remarkable town; it's historic, boasts a celebrated university, and is widely considered to be the spiritual Home of Golf. Thousands of visitors are drawn each year to this jewel on the Fife coastline to walk its streets, admire its medieval architecture, and play it's fabulous courses.
In 2022, the revered Old Course stages the Open Championship for a 30th time, an occasion made even more significant as it's the 150th playing of the game's oldest major.
But what makes St Andrews Links special is that it's a public facility, open to all, with seven courses engineered to cater for all demands and abilities. There is something here for everyone, which is just one of many reasons why golfers love St Andrews.
On Golfshake, hundreds of golfers have left reviews for St Andrews Links, with the overwhelming majority granting perfect ratings to their experience.
We have studied their comments and now use their words to describe the magic of St Andrews.
The Old Course
Golf has been played on this hallowed ground for centuries and has crowned many of the greatest players in history as the Champion Golfer of the Year. Storied, iconic, unique, there is nothing quite like the Old Course with its seven double greens, the Road Hole, the Swilcan Bridge, that walk up the 18th, the first tee shot. It's evident - from the below comments - that experiences simply don't get any better.
"The Old Course is the ultimate links course. The greatest golf course on the planet."
"What more can you say but wow, wow, wow. Standing on the first tee where all the greats in golf have stood before, the history just oozes everywhere. That first tee shot and the feeling of fear as other golfers and general public watch you gets the blood pumping and all you hope for is to get a good connection and it goes down the fairway. Luckily I hit a good one and managed to start birdie, birdie, something that will live with me for a long time to come!"
"Another unreal experience at the Home of Golf! We had weather you can only dream of, the course was in excellent condition and the rough was above Open Championship level according to our caddie which made it even more challenging!"
"Incredible venue, the course exceeded all expectations. Made to feel very welcome but the tee shot off the 1st is a little nerve wracking."
"What an amazing experience. Standing on the 1st tee is a feeling I will never ever forget. What a fun course even though the winds were 30 mph. The town oozes golf out of every pore, everyone is here for one thing. I will be back. One visit is not enough."
"I'm not sure I have the words to describe how amazing this place is. The weather was very typically Scottish but, for me, it just added to the experience. It's definitely one massive tick on my bucket list. The best golfing experience I've ever had."
"The whole Old Course experience is incredible but they manage it so well. Pace of play is good, but you still have time to enjoy it and take in the history of what's happened before you. Highly recommended!"
"First time on the Old Course and what an amazing experience. A very special place indeed."
"You can't help but be impressed by the history of the course, and think about the famous names that have played before."
"The Home of Golf! What more can I say? Course was in great condition, greens incredible for April. The setting and atmosphere are magnificent. Watch out if the wind blows!"
"Great experience to play the world famous Old Course. Despite weather, the course was in fabulous condition, and you are well looked after by all staff."
"The pinnacle for any golfer, a must for any bucket list. Extremely difficult coming back into the wind with lots of sneaky bunkers."
"The best golf course in the world. Second time playing it, easy to play difficult to master."
"Great pleasure to take to the Old Course. The course is a fantastic links steeped in history. The greens are huge and immaculately kept. The bunkers are tricky - some almost impossible to escape."
"The best golf course I've ever played, exceeded every expectation."
"If you've been thinking of playing the Old Course but haven't yet - don't delay any longer - you won't regret it."
The New Course
Created by the legendary Old Tom Morris, the "New" Course at St Andrews dates back to 1895 and is a quintessential example of links golf, initially running parallel with the Old before switching inward and establishing its own unique identity. It's a true classic and beloved by those who have played it.
"Took the opportunity of a gift to play the New Course. A wonderful day and experience. The course was, as expected, fantastic. Greens were lightning and superb."
"The New Course is a great way to start off or round off a golf break on the links and the opening and closing holes provide great views of the Old Course Hotel."
"Excellent place to play golf, the New Course starts quietly but by the time you reach the 8th all thoughts of jealously towards those playing the adjacent course have gone. Just using the clubhouse and the vistas on the closing few holes are worth it."
The Jubilee Course
First opened in 1897 to commemorate the jubilee of Queen Victoria, 90 years later the Jubilee was converted into a hugely challenging championship layout, regarded by many as the most difficult of the bunch in St Andrews. While it presents a stern test, it's one that golfers clearly relish.
"A course I've played and caddied on for the last 18 years. Always a challenge and always fun to play. Greens are usually spot on as you would expect at the Home of Golf. Not everyone's cup of tea but I love it. Often regarded as the toughest course on the links."
"Played the Jubilee in strong winds - real challenge as this (other than the Castle) is probably the tougher of the seven St Andrews courses. Always a friendly welcome, can never fault how down to earth the staff are to make your experience special. Course was in great condition, teed off early and had the place to ourselves for about 16 holes, which for a Friday morning was amazing."
"The Jubilee Course provides a decent examination of links golf skills with undulating greens, run off areas and tight fairway lies. This is a very playable course but make sure you bring your short game if you want to score well as the green complexes are very tricky. The home stretch is very enjoyable as you play back in towards the Auld Grey Toun."
"The Jubilee is a beautiful course by the water offering great views of the North Sea and fantastic golf."
"A joy. The 15th has to be one of the best holes I have ever played. A classic par 4!"
The Castle Course
Located on the outskirts of town overlooking the East Sands, the Castle Course was opened in 2008 and was designed by Scottish-born David McLay-Kidd. A visually striking and dramatic layout, it's a creation that has often divided opinion, but it was clear from Golfshake reviews that many golfers enjoy the challenge that this modern cliff-top course offers.
"Played the Castle Course for the first time. Forget any reviews you read about it being too hard/greens are ridiculous. This is a top course, giving golfers a real test (especially if the weather turns bad, which it did for us!). The rough can be brutal, the greens do test you and the wind can upset your swing, but for the views, hospitality and golfing test, it's magnificent."
"You’ll need your complimentary course planner to plot your way around here but don’t be put off, this is a superb championship course with great views over the sea and, from certain holes, St Andrews itself. Tremendous."
"During my visit to St Andrews I played the Castle Course and was a bit skeptical as to what to expect with it being a new course. All my worries were gone as I approached the venue, it is truly fantastic. The greens are possibly the best I've ever played on and feature some huge undulations."
The Other Courses
Alongside the Old, New, Jubilee and Castle, St Andrews Links is home to the Eden Course, which was originally designed by the great Harry Colt and opened in 1914, in addition to the newer Strathtyrum Course and nine-hole Balgove Course. Each of these provide a quality round for all standards of golfer, something that members of the Golfshake Community have appreciated in the past.
"Played the Eden on a Saturday afternoon, £55 booked two days before. Free strokesaver from the friendly starter. Greens, fairways and tees superb."
"The Eden Course was in impeccable condition, greens were really well maintained and fast. Fairways were in excellent condition."
"An excellent course and a beautiful day. Great views of the Eden Estuary!"
"If you've never played a links course before and you're a high handicapper like myself, then there is nowhere else better to begin than the Eden Course at St Andrews. Fairways are large, yet pot bunkers mean you still need to play sensible golf, where you will be rewarded by greens that run so true and give a player confidence to go for those memorable long putts. Beautiful distant views of the St Andrews town and surrounding area, a golfing experience you will never forget."
"The Strathtyrum Course. This is the cheapest 18 hole course at the Home of Golf. This is a must play course and it is great value for money. A good challenge for all handicaps and I will play this layout again."
"Strathtyrum at St Andrews Links is a lovely small course, greens and fairways are in very good condition, well worth a visit."
The Service at St Andrews Links
St Andrews Links manages three clubhouses, the Links, Eden and Castle, which provide excellent facilities for golfers playing each of the courses. Additionally, St Andrews Links features a trio of restaurants, Tom Morris Bar & Grill, Rock & Spindle and Cafe Spike. The wider team includes a large number of starters, rangers and reception staff, whose quality of service was widely commented on in reviews on Golfshake.
"I've been lucky enough to visit several times and more recently, played some of the local courses outside of St Andrews Links. All I can say is only then do you realise how good the hospitality you get in all the St Andrews clubhouses is. Nowhere comes close to the quality of food, price and service. The courses speak for themselves."
"Visited on the three-day advanced ticket, was brilliant value. Staff were amazing throughout, so helpful and friendly."
"St Andrews gets it right in every aspect. Not only are the courses in fantastic condition, off course everyone makes you feel so welcome that it becomes a truly special experience."
"Absolutely superb from start to finish. If you love golf, you have to play here at some point if you get the chance."
"Everyone was friendly and welcoming which completed the experience."
"The Home of Golf didn't disappoint. A truly incredible experience."
Unsurprisingly, St Andrews Links is one of the most positively reviewed venues on Golfshake. If you want to know more about how you could walk in the footsteps of the golfers whose comments you have read above, then please visit https://www.standrews.com/ or our travel partners Golfbreaks.
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