Your ultimate golf trip to Fife: Part one

Here’s our golfers’ guide to the county of Fife in east-central Scotland. Known as the ‘cradle of the game’, Fife is home to over 50 golf courses including Tiger Woods’ favourite, St. Andrews.

Located on Scotland‘s east coast, just north of the capital Edinburgh, Fife welcomes visitors from all over the world making their pilgrimage to golf’s birthplace. Magical golfing country awaits with quaint traditional Scottish hotels offering superb hospitality and service, and, of course, the Old Course at St Andrews, ‘The Home of Golf’.

The beautiful town of St Andrews itself is a wonderful place to be, full of charming culture, passionate locals and superb pubs and restaurants. As well as golf, the Kingdom of Fife also has many local attractions such as castles, distilleries and museums.

Whether you’re planning to stay for a night or a month, Fife has excellent accommodation options to suit every taste and budget, from 5-star resorts offering stay & play packages, to country cottages and self-catering apartments.

Old Course Hotel, St Andrews

Fife St. Andrews

Bordering the notorious 17th ‘Road Hole’ at the Old Course, St Andrews, this is 5-star luxury overlooking Tiger’s favourite golf course, which recently hosted the 150th Open. It has 144 classically elegant rooms and 35 suites and is recognised as one of Europe’s leading resorts. Visitors can enjoy the luxurious spa, award-winning dining and afternoon tea in a setting steeped in historic charm.

Incredible golf courses

In all, there are seven courses at St Andrews and over 10 including surrounding areas. Anyone can play golf here. Of the town’s golf courses, only the Old Course requires a handicap and there are plenty of options depending on your ability and budget. The standard high-season green fees for all courses range between the Old Course at around €200 and the 9-hole Balgove Course at around £17.

St Andrews’ legendary Old Course needs no introduction, but adjacent is the New Course, the world’s oldest ‘new’ course, designed by Old Tom Morris in 1895. This championship course is similar to its celebrated sibling with its undulating greens and rolling fairways, but many locals prefer it as it’s a quieter round. It’s an enjoyable links layout that will test every part of your game.

The Jubilee Course is St Andrews’ third championship course and many believe it’s the most difficult. Opened in 1897, it’s set between the New Course and the sea and its status was raised to a championship layout in 1988. It’s hillier than the New Course or Old, and there’s plenty of dunes.

Jubliee Golf Course

The Eden Course was built here in 1914 by Harry S Colt and the natural rolling landscape was used to produce another world-class layout. There’s plenty of deep pothole bunkers, undulations and testing greens, but there’s also a pond at the 15th, the only inland water on any course at St Andrews.

The Strathtyrum Course opened in 1993 and is a shorter 18-hole course, offering golfers an intermediary test before graduating to the big boys at St Andrews. The greens are large and reminiscent of the Old Course, but it’s more playable for a wider range of golfers.

The Castle Course was added in 2008, and is set on a rugged cliff-top with spectacular views over the North Sea and St Andrews Bay. What marks this course out is that it’s more manicured and less naturally rugged than the other courses here, which adds an American flavour to a classic links layout.

At St Andrews there’s also the 9-hole Balgove Course, great for families, children and beginners. The course has three par 4s, the longest of which is the 298-yard sixth, and six par 3s.

A break from the links

Duke's Golf Course

For a complete change of scenery, there’s also the Duke’s Course, the only non-links inland course in St Andrews. Designed by five-times Open champion Peter Thomson in 1995, it was re-designed in 2004 by US based Kohler Company, the resort firm behind the world famous Whistling Straits. 

It’s one of the finest heathland courses anywhere in the UK featuring a mix of thick heathland, tree-lined fairways and vast bunkers in a beautiful setting, and the conditioning is comparable with the best courses in the world. A must play on your glorious golf trip to Fife.

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