Scottish Links Golf
AFSD - how to determine
the real length of a golf course
Royal Aberdeen, Cruden Bay...
Royal Troon, Turnberry, Prestwick...
Just east of Edinburgh
Scotland's Golf Coast
Muirfield, North Berwick, Gullane....
Royal Dornoch, Brora, Nairn...
St. Andrews area
Crail - Balcomie
Crail - Craighead
St. Andrews Bay
St. Andrews Old Course
St. Andrews New Course
St. Andrews Jubilee Course
Other golf courses
Great links golf for everyone
What others say
(I have not yet played the redesigned courses. Hope to in 2015)
Fairmont St. Andrews has been busy--quite busy--on their two golf courses. I played both the golf courses that surround this 5 star hotel shortly after they opened a few years ago. The courses were then called The Torrance and The Devlin and we had an extensive write-up on both of them. The Torrance, although not a links golf course, had the more links-ish feel to it. The Devlin was more a rugged seaside course which reminded me, topographically at least, of Pebble Beach.
Well, it seems the golf courses did not get the play the Fairmont people thought they should. I thought they were okay courses and gave them a good rating but, given the stiff competition in the St. Andrews area, they obviously were not "okay" enough for the public. To their credit, the Fairmont corporation has done something about it. Both golf courses have been drastically altered and the Devlin has been renamed The Kittocks.
Both golf courses are intimately connected to the sea. They are stunningly beautiful and are always kept in top-notch condition. Your ball will always land on grass if you hit it on the fairway and your putts will roll true on the magnificent greens.
The Torrance Course
Originally designed by Sam Torrance, eight new holes were added -some of which were holes that were originally part of the Devlin. The golf course has thus been reborn with an entirely new look and feel including classic Scottish re-vetted bunkering throughout the course. And with four sets of tees to hit from ranging from 7,227 yards from the championship tees to 5,412 yards from the ladies tees with 6,634 yard and 6,048 yard tees in between, everyone should find his or her optimum distance. By the way, par for men is 72 but par for women is 74. (Hey! What ever happened to equality of the sexes? Golf Week thinks so much of this course that it rated it #20 in the UK. And the R & A think so much of this new layout that they have designated The Torrance as a qualifying golf course when the Open Championship is played at St. Andrews. Also, the Scottish Seniors Open was played here in 2010 and it's a regular as part of the European Seniors Tour.
I am very impressed with what I've heard about the course. I have not had a chance to play this new layout but will try to do so in 2015. I'm eager to see for myself what changes have been made and will report to you as soon as I do.
The Kittocks Course
The land on which the Kittocks is built is an awesome palette for golf architect and former champion, Gene Sarazen, and he didn't disappoint in utilizing those natural assets in his redesign. Sarazen's goal was to build a "...great golf course within the contours of the natural surroundings which challenge the best golfers and yet can be equally enjoyed by the novice."
Like the Torrance, I have not had an opportunity to play this brand new layout. But when I do, I'll report back to you if Sarazen's goal to appeal to "the novice" was reached.
John Kerr, the head professional, is one of the greatest assets of Fairmont golf (formerly St. Andrews Bay Resort). He told me he is absolutely committed to making the golfing experience the best it can be. From the time you drive up and drop off your bag to the time you get back into your car to leave, he wants you to be free of concern about anything other than having a great game of golf.