St Andrews New Course

The roots of golf grow deep amongst the town of St. Andrews as it is home to The Royal and Ancient Golf Club, one of the world’s oldest and most prestigious golf clubs. It is also the birthplace of the legendary Old Tom Morris who was born there in 1821 – forever leaving his mark on the town. 

In this blog post, we share some of the remarkable course history and design that went into creating this impressive golf course which makes up part of the Old Tom Morris Trail, as well as delving into the variety of places to eat, drink and explore in the renowned coastal town of St. Andrews…

Course Overview

St Andrews Links (New)
AddressSt Andrews Links,New Course,St Andrews,Fife,KY16 9SF,Scotland
Location 1 mile North of St Andrews
Holes18 holes
Style Links
Length6625 yards
Championships HostedArnold Palmer Cup
Scottish Ranking26th
UK Ranking85th

Course design

The New Course at St Andrews is often described as one of the oldest ‘new’ courses in the world, after opening for play in April 1895. The course was designed by Keeper of the Green, Old Tom Morris and Benjamin Hall Blyth, who was an engineer in Edinburgh at the time. 

The course is located adjacent to the Old Course, and is a favourite amongst locals. Many tourists who visit St Andrews to play golf often flock towards the world famous courses such as the Old Course and Kingsbarns, forgetting about this hidden gem, located alongside the Old Course. 

Both the old and new courses share a number of similarities including shared fairways, a double green at the 3rd and 15th holes and the traditional out and back layout – spanning out towards the Eden Estuary then returning back to the town centre. 

Course history

The New Course was built following the increased popularity of the Old Course throughout the late 1800s as many travelled by train to visit the town and play on the illustrious course. It was built with the purpose of handling the overflow demand for spots on the Old Course. 

The construction of the course was funded by the Royal and Ancient Golf Club who were granted the right to enforce specific starting times on the New Course through an 1894 Act of Parliament. This was the catalyst that led to the current 1974 Act which states how the links courses at St Andrews are run. 

Regional history

For being a relatively small town, St Andrews contains an impressive amount of local history which draws in visitors from all over the world. The name of the town stems from a story about a bishop who took the remains of St Andrew to the town which attracted people from afar to come visit. 

Golf has had a large impact on the history and culture of the town, with St Andrews being recognised as the birthplace of golf. The first record of golf being played in St Andrews was recorded in 1553. The chance to play on the world’s oldest course in which golf was invented, sees enthusiasts from across the world flock to try their hand at the magnificent 18-hole course. 

The town is also home to one of Scotland’s most prestigious universities. Founded in 1413, St Andrews University is the third oldest in the English speaking world, with only Oxford and Cambridge older. It has an impressive list of alumni including Prince William, The Duchess of Cambridge and William Ernest Henley. There is also said to be a thorn tree located on the campus grounds which was planted by Mary Queen of Scots – a unique piece of history. 

Local hospitality and retail

Where to stay

If you are looking for a stay with views onto the prestigious Old Course then the Old Course Hotel or Rusacks are the perfect choice! Featuring traditional styled interiors, both of these wonderful hotels offer their guests a luxury stay and overlook the 17th and 18th holes of the Old Course, respectively. 

Contrastingly, if you are looking to escape to the countryside then the Rufflets and Fairmont  provide a private and peaceful setting, allowing you to put your feet up and relax after a long day of golfing. 

Rufflets Hotel – credit: @giannibuonsante 

Where to eat

From fine dining to traditional Scottish pubs, St Andrews boasts the perfect mix of restaurants, pubs and bars. The Seafood Ristorante and The Adamson both serve guests with the very best of local Scottish produce. 

After a long day on the course, why not treat yourself to a crisp pint or refreshing glass of wine from one of the many local pubs such as The Jigger Inn, Tom Morris Bar & Grill, The Dunvegan, The Vic or St. Andrews Brewing Co

For those with a sweet tooth, Jannettes Gelateria is a must! This family run business has been selling delicious gelato in St Andrews for over 110 years. With a wide range of mouth watering ice cream, sorbet and frozen yoghurt flavours to choose from, Jannettes is the perfect place to cool down on a hot summer’s day. 

Where to shop

You can’t visit the home of golf without picking up a gift to commemorate your trip! Luckily, St Andrews has plenty of options to choose from including a selection of official golf shops such as The Old Course Shop, The Golf Shop, The Links Clubhouse Shop and Auchterlonies of St Andrews – the ideal gift for any passionate golfer. 

Sample some of Scotland’s finest spirits by taking a guided tour around The Eden Mill or Kingsbarns Distillery. Similarly, get a behind the scenes sneak peek at how St Andrews Brewing Co. use pure scottish water, local ingredients and heritage malts to make their delicious craft beers. 

Iconic landmarks

If you have the luxury of finding yourself with extra time during your trip, then it is definitely worth familiarising yourself with some of the local history. Dotted across the town centre is a variety of outstanding historical ruins and monuments including St. Andrews Castle, St. Andrews Cathedral and Martyrs’ Monument. 

For those who enjoy a gentle stroll there are plenty of lovely walks and sandy beaches to explore such as The Fife Coastal Path, East Sands Beach and West Sands Beach. The Fife coastal trail runs for over 183 km and begins at the Firth of Forth stretching all the way to the Firth of Tay, taking you on a journey through some of Scotland’s most picturesque fishing villages. 

Showcasing Scotland’s incredible wildlife is the St. Andrews Aquarium which has been family run since 1999. Suitable for all of the family, immerse yourself into an underwater adventure, learning about the 120 plus species that can be found throughout the aquarium. 

The best photo spots

  • St Andrews Castle
  • West Sands Beach
  • Botanical Gardens
  • St Andrews Cathedral
  • St Andrews Pier
  • St Andrews Links 
  • Martyrs’ Monument
  • East Sands Beach
  • Blackfriars Chapel
  • Rusacks rooftop bar
  • Old Tom Morris House 

Our top tips for playing this course

  • Dine before and after at the Old Tom Morris Bar and Grill 
  • Putt the Himalayas before you play
  • Keep it straight to avoid the gorse

 Watch Stephen Proctor’s The New Course at St Andrews Dispatch here

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