Out and About; St Andrews
The Home of Golf. The golfing mecca of the world, every enthusiastic golfer should try and make the pilgrimage here at some point in their lives. A town full of history, a wide variety of accommodation options and a high concentration of quality links golf; a visit to St Andrews should be included in every golfer’s visit to Scotland.
Where to stay
If you are looking for luxury then look no further than the 5* Old Course Hotel, this iconic hotel is situated on the Old Course and is famous for being the building that golfers must drive their tee shots over on the famous 17th ‘Road Hole’. Not only famed for its location it has been a part of the ‘Leading Hotels of the World’ for many years and is still the best in St Andrews.
For those seeking the more intimate surroundings of a guesthouse then Six Murray Park is the place to stay. The only 5* accredited guesthouse in St Andrews, you can be sure of a warm welcome, an excellent bedroom and a fine breakfast.
For those on a budget or perhaps just looking for somewhere clean and comfortable to stay then the Ardgowan Hotel fits the bill perfectly. A customer favourite, this hotel is situated just 250 yards from the 1st tee of the Old Course and is in the Scores district of the town just across from the University. It has good restaurant located at the hotel and a bar well worth spending a night or two in.
Where to play
The Old Course is the obvious choice in St Andrews however it can be challenging to secure a tee time. For those who have not secured an advanced booking or do not want to use the ballot then Kingsbarns should be on everyone’s list. A modern great, this is the benchmark that all new links courses aspire too. A superb course situated a few miles outside of St Andrews it is not only a regular fixture on the European Tour but will also host the Ladies British Open for the first time in 2017.
Carnoustie Golf Links also deserves an honourable mention as one of the UK’s finest courses and the host of the British Open again in 2018. This course can be easily included in your visit to St Andrews with it situated just 35 minutes away. Take lots of balls though, this course is often regarded as the toughest on the Open Championship rota!
Crail Golfing Society (Balcomie Course) whilst not a course you may think of straightaway when planning a trip to St Andrews this delightful little links course is still well worth playing. The classic ‘hidden gem’, it can be a great place to get introduced to links golf and although short by modern standards (barely 6,000 yards off the back tees) it can provide a real challenge when the wind blows.
Things to see & do away from the course
A stay in St Andrews can be combined with a visit to the Scottish Capital Edinburgh either by car or train, a beautiful place which is certainly one of Europe’s finest cities.
If you would rather stay a bit more local then a visit to the British Golf Museum and St Andrews Cathedral is worth doing, as is a visit to the Kingsbarns Whisky Distillery where you can do anything from a simple distillery tour up to a Whisky & Food Pairing Evening Experience.
St Andrews is busy year-round whether that be because of visiting golfers or university students so whenever you go you are bound to experience a place with a great atmosphere. The best spots include The Dunvegan Hotel – a favourite of St Andrews caddies and a place to go for a good story! The Keys Pub if you want to meet some local characters or the Rule Pub Diner if you want a younger crowd and a good beer garden. If it is good food you are looking for then the Playfair’s at the Ardgowan Hotel and Forgan’s should be considered. A special mention must also go to the Jigger Inn, which whilst not in the town center, sits adjacent to the 17th ‘Road Hole’ on the Old Course and is a great place to go for a pint and to witness the highs and lows of fellow golfers experiencing one of the world’s toughest par 4’s.
The Old Course can still be played without having a tee time booked in advanced. The Old Course ballot can be entered 48-hours before the chosen date of play (except Fridays as the course is closed on Sundays) either online or in person at the Old Course Pavilion.