Until you have traveled to St Andrews Scotland and the “Home of Golf” you will always yearn for the experience in your golf life.
Once you have been to this special place, your mind will always be captured by the sense and the smell of the history of golf, and the unique ambience of this place and its people.
A not well known saying by the elderly Scotts to travelers, years ago, “You have come far, stay a bit and rest, too soon will you have to go”. And one of my simple favorites,” Be back ya will Soon”.
This is a place where dreams become memories, as we find ourselves standing in a place where many of the very best who ever played the game, once stood. The land is unchanged, the views remain the same, and the stern breezes off St Andrews Bay are still unpredictable as the weather itself, it is simply as iconic as it can ever get.
St. Andrews in Fife, Scotland, has quite a history for such a small place.
Fife, bounded to the north by the Firth of Tay and to the south by the Firth of Forth, is a natural peninsula whose political boundaries have changed little over the ages. Known as The Kingdom of Golf, Fife is golfing Mecca, and it is widely established that here was the original birthplace of golf and therefore a goldmine for some of the best and most challenging courses in Scotland.
There are seven courses alone operated by St. Andrews Links, including the oldest course in the world – The Old Course. Reaching the 18th fairway of this established course is to follow in the footsteps of golfing greats from every generation and to top it off, this world-famous course remains open to the public despite its iconic status.
The peninsula of Fife contains nearly 50 golf courses, and has the largest concentration of Links, Parkland, Inland, and Coastal golf courses in Scotland.
Unlike most golf clubs in the United States, where each club owns and operates its own course, in Scotland multiple clubs often share access to the same course. This is the case in St. Andrews, where the members of several clubs enjoy tee time privileges on the Links Trust courses and routinely hold their own club events over those famed links: The Old, New, Jubilee, Eden, Balgove, Strathtyrum, and Castle, the newest Links Trust course. The clubs also play each other frequently, including during the Town Match held each September, when bragging rights are most definitely on the line.
Legend claims that the town of St Andrews was so called because it harbored the relics of St. Andrew, which were brought here by a bishop, St. Rule, from Patras in Achaea. It is the birthplace of golf, and the Royal and Ancient Club, which was created in 1754, has been the headquarters of golf ever since.
St. Andrews also has a castle and a university, which is the oldest in Scotland, founded in 1412. Prince William is perhaps the university’s most recent famous alumnus. St Andrews University accounts for more than half of the 18,000 + residents, so it is truly a college town.
Scotland is home to over 550 golf courses, many of the most famous golf courses in Scotland are found on the East and West Coast, along seaside communities that boarder the North Sea, The North Channel, and the Irish Sea.
There are so many ways to package golf trips to Scotland, it really comes down to time and preferences. If you have never been to St Andrews, then it becomes most likely your first trip, but certainly not your last.
The single most important piece of advice here is trust a seasoned professional with deep experience in Scotland. There are just some things in life better left to those that are in the know!
Working with a trusted Golf Travel concierge, it is a must do for all your bucket list golf vacations.
Leave it to the folks who do this every day, they know the traditions, understand the procedures, have the contacts and experience to ensure things are right. And most importantly they will take care of all the details that will allow your experience to be an unforgettable memory.
Our team on a trip would be Distincte Travel / Golf Inspired. It is what they do, they do it well and are consummate professionals that create brilliant travel experiences.
Here is our planned itinerary for the 2023 Golf Trek to Scotland by Distincte Travel / Golf Inspired.
We arrive in St Andrews on the 12th of May. Our journey begins in the “Home of Golf”
For the first four nights and days and then we travel to the West Coast of Scotland for a few rounds in Ayshire, which is just 40 miles west of Glasgow. Our courses are Below.
St Andrews – Today there are seven public golf courses: the Balgove, Eden, Jubilee, Strathtyrum, New, and the Old Course all on the links, and The Castle Course, a mile to the east of the town. The Old Course is widely considered one of the finest, and certainly the most famous and traditional course in the world.
It is the gracious lady, the one and only Old Course at St Andrews, unquestionably the most sought-after tee time on the planet. The course has hosted 29 British Open Championships at “The Home of Golf” in St Andrews Scotland, more than any other course in rotation. Mother Nature was largely the architect here at the Old Course, but some credit must be given to Allan Robertson for his memorable work in 1848 on the course.
The greens here are extraordinary and some of the most interesting in the world. Often you cannot determine where the green starts and the fairways ends, but this makes little difference as many of the fairways are as fast as most of the greens. There is no explaining it all here, Like Yoda says, “Just Do”.
Designed by the legendary Old Tom Morris, St Andrews New Course dates back to 1895. Despite sitting immediately beside the Old Course, the most famous course in the world, it is very much a leading links in its own right and is one of the best golf courses in Scotland. The Links Trust describes this as “The oldest ‘new’ course in the world.”
The New Course at St. Andrews is arguably more difficult than the Old with gorse lining the tight fairwaysThe course is just under 6,400 from the yellow tees with a good range of hole lengths so you will find plenty to test the whole bag here.
The third championship golf course at the Home of Golf, is considered by many to be the most challenging of all the famed links at St Andrews. Built in 1897, it was originally intended for use by ladies and beginner golfers learning the game. Once built, the links group seeing how beautifully it aligned along the New Course and the North Sea, changed it in 1888 to a championship layout.
Often considered the most challenging of the courses at St Andrews Links, the par-72, 6742-yard Jubilee Course (from the tips) has a reputation amongst the locals of being a stern test of golf and is a favorite of the St Andrews University Golf Club for their team matches.
Kingsbarns is a village and parish in Scotland on the eastern coast of Scotland in the village of Neuk. It is just 6.5 miles southeast of St Andrews and a very popular add on course to St Andrews Golf vacations, as it is one of Fife’s most memorable Scottish Links golf courses.
Situated along the North Sea coastline Kingsbarns is simply magnificent. Kingsbarns co-hosts the annual European Tour’s Alfred Dunhill Links Championship (1 – 8 October 2023) together with the Old Course at St Andrews and Carnoustie Golf Links. In 2017 Kingsbarns hosted The Ricoh Women’s British Open and has played host to several major event qualifiers as well.
The Ayrshire Golf Coast Western Scotland
Quickly becoming one of the most sought-after golf resorts in Scotland Dundonald Links is pushing to the top of all Must Play / Must Stay, best of the best list everywhere.
Willie Fernie, the 1883 Open Champion designed the original course, in 2003 Kyle Phillips redesigned the layout to play as a par 72, and over 7300 yards from the tips.
The luxury golf resort opened at Dundonald Links in 2021 and offers guests the chance to book a truly memorable Scotland golf package by combining golf with a luxurious stay in one of our bespoke golf lodges or hotel suites. This is one of Scotland’s finest new golf resort facilities.
Home of four Open Championships, the legendary Ailsa course has hosted some of the most iconic names in golf. Reborn in June 2016 at the hands of renowned architect, Martin Ebert, the transformation makes the Ailsa the number one ranked golf course in the UK & Ireland.
Set alongside the glorious Ayrshire coastline, with Arran and Ailsa Craig as a stunning backdrop, it is one of the finest golfing destinations in the world.
Named after the third Marquess of Ailsa, who owned the land on which it was built, this par-71, 6,474-yard Championship course is one of golf’s storied places. Set alongside the glorious Ayrshire coastline, with Arran and Ailsa Craig as a stunning backdrop, it is one of the finest golfing destinations in the world.
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