Golf tours in St Andrews are an incredible experience and, needless to say,
The Old Course sits at the head of this golfing paradise. Nobody is sure just
how long golf has been played on this hallowed links, but what is for certain
is that the St Andrews Old Course is among the very oldest on the planet and what
is arguably the world’s most famous course has acted as a blueprint for all
those which have followed since.
Teeing off in the shadow of the R&A Clubhouse is a daunting experience
despite the vast fairway you’re presented with and from there on in, while
making your way around the course, you’re completely at the mercy of the
elements, with the persistent see breeze constantly changing the character of
the challenge at hand.
While the course itself is sure to surprise you if you’ve ever watched The
Open here – TV coverage seems to flatten the course and once on the course the
humps, bumps, dips and swales are much more pronounced and dramatic than you
might think – iconic landmarks and course features such as the Swilcan Burn,
Swilcan Bridge and the Valley of Sin will no doubt be familiar, evoking
memories of the great champions to have won here down the years.
The course is routed in a rough anti-clockwise loop and after making the turn;
the long homeward stretch builds with moments of drama, including the long
14th, the nervy 16th with out of bounds flanking the right side of the hole, and
of course the unrivalled challenge of The Road Hole, which is played in the
shadow of the stunning Old Course Hotel.
There are few more famous holes in world golf than the Road Hole and if you
walk off with a par at the 1st time of asking, be sure to give
yourself a pat on the back. Just how tough is this fearsome par 4? We’ll leave
that to Ben Crenshaw who once said, "The reason the Road Hole at St. Andrews is the most
difficult par-4 in the world
is because it was designed
as a par 6.”
In 2015, The Open made it customary return to “The Home of Golf” as it does
every five years, when the 144th Championship was contested over the famous St
Andrews links in July. Despite Mother Nature not playing nice, it was a cracker
of a tournament once again at St Andrews, with a three-way Monday playoff
required to decide it.
Zach Johnson emerged victorious over Louis Oosthuizen & Australian Mark
Leishman, winning his second career major.
Past Open Champions at St Andrews include the likes of Bobby Jones, Jack
Nicklaus, Seve Ballesteros, Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Woods. It was here too
where, in 2005, Nicklaus waved an emotional farewell from the Swilcan Bridge as
he drew the curtains on a remarkable career.
St Andrews is a regular course on the Open rota and golfers are always looking to book a St Andrews golf tour to have a chance to follow in the footsteps of the game’s legends and experience the world's most famous golf course.
||Mother Nature, the people of St Andrews and eventually Old Tom Morris
|Opened for play
||29 Open Championships (1 every 5 years)
Signature Hole – No. 17:
Par 4, 495 yards (Open Championship
"The reason the Road Hole at St.
Andrews is the most difficult par-4 in the world is because it was designed as
a par 6.”
That’s what two-time Masters
Champion, Ben Crenshaw had to say about the world’s most notorious par 4, The
Road Hole at St Andrews. Widely regarded as the toughest par 4 in golf, The Road
Hole is one of many iconic holes on the Old Course.
Job one is clearing the railway
sheds in front of the Old Course Hotel with your tee shot; a tough enough task
in itself. From there you play towards a shallow green with a stone dyke
running across the back and, of course, the dreaded Rod Hole Bunker protecting
the front of the putting surface.
Who could forget Miguel Angel
Jimenez playing a ricochet shot when he found his ball up against the stone
wall; or the many cases of the best golfers in the world taking more than one
attempt to extricate their ball from the Road Hole Bunker? Walk off with a par
on the card here and feel free to give yourself a big pat on the back!
The Old Course is ranked as one of the best courses in Scotland
A short walk from the Eden
Clubhouse, The Academy provides golfers with all the facilities they will
need to warm up before heading to the links. With 60 floodlit bays and 22
indoor bays, The Academy is a comprehensive facility where golfers can practice
their driving, iron play, pitching, bunker play and putting. There's even a replica of the
Road Hole Bunker so you can practice getting stuck in it before it actually
At The Clubhouse
The Links Clubhouse at St Andrews is the ideal
place for golfers looking to play the Old Course to change, store their
non-golf attire, shower and enjoy a bite to eat or a well deserved drink,
whether it be before or after their round. Enjoy a hearty meal after a day
spent toiling on the links in the Swilcan Restaurant, or a Tom Morris cocktail
on the roof garden while overlooking the majestic St Andrews links land.
Golfers can park their cars for free at The
Travelling light without your clubs? Not a problem as St
Andrews has a large stock of premium rental clubs, trolleys and even shoes for
your use. Due to the nature of the Old Course, golf buggies are limited and can
only be booked by golfers who are registered disabled with a permanent
condition of disability. These will be driven
by a qualified caddie driver and while the buggy is provided free, the
appropriate caddie fee should still be paid.
It is highly recommended that you take a caddie for your
round on the Old Course. The St Andrews caddies are trained to assist in all
aspects of enhancing the player’s experience and know the course like the back
of their hands, which will no doubt save you some valuable shots as the vagaries
of links golf, especially on the Old Course can often leave first-timers a
Caddie availability cannot be guaranteed, although it’s
highly unlikely your request won’t be able to be accommodated.
Due to the inherent location of links golf courses such as
the St Andrews Old Course, golfers may well experience all four seasons in one
round of golf so pack accordingly. Even if you’re teeing it up on the Old
Course in high summer, be prepared and pack waterproofs as well as warm
clothing just in case.
Be sure to pack a camera. A team photo on the Swilcan Bridge
is a must!