In the Kingdom of Fife, there are currently 49 golf courses from which to choose. They are all within easy reach of the St Andrews hotel and guest house accommodation centre. These courses offer a variety of heathland, parkland and links type golf. Courses such as Lundin Links, Leven, Crail, Ladybank, Scotscraig, Kingsbarns and Elie are all on your doorstep. A map showing the location of all Fife's Golf Courses can be seen here. For bookings, Tee Times and more information visit the official site for all St Andrews' golf courses here.
There is a very special atmosphere in "The Auld Grey Toon of St Andrews". A pilgrims city 600 hundred years ago and known as "The Metropolis of Golf" in the 17th century, the visitor soon becomes aware of the layers of antiquity which surround this most famous of Scottish cities.
Choosing one of the St Andrews Hotel and Guest House Associations residences as a base for your visit to St Andrews, will ensure that you are right in the heart of the golfing action, and as a result, you will miss nothing of this great lifetime experience.
Fife's - 18 Hole Golf Courses
There are many superb golf courses in Fife, both links and parkland and among them is Ladybank Golf Club, another Open qualifying course of great quality. This is a magnificent heathland style course set amongst heather, pine trees and silver birch where accuracy rather than length is important. Advance booking is recommended.
Southeast of St Andrews, lies Kingsbarns Golf Links, established circa 1793 and redesigned at the beginning of the 21st Century to form a par 72, 7181 yard championship length course. It is the only Scottish course to be built on links land in over 70 years, and with its seaside setting, Kingsbarns joined the list of great old qualifying courses for The Open, whenever it is played at the Old Course, St Andrews.
(Reservations: Telephone + 44 (0) 1334 460860)
Crail has 2 excellent golf courses. The first is Balcomie Links, situated at Fifeness, on the most easterly point of the East Neuk of Fife. It is a testing challenge to golfers of all standards, with views of the sea from every tee and each hole having its very own golfing character.
(Reservations: Telephone + 44 (0) 1333 450686)
Craighead Links is the second course at Fifeness and is one of Fife's newest. Being of championship standard; subjected to constantly changing weather conditions; and with no two consecutive holes facing in the same direction; golfers of all abilities will find it a real challenge.
The Drumoig Leisure 18 hole championship style, par 72 golf course offers many challenging features. It is set in 250 acres of rough terrain, which weaves through a natural bird and wildlife haven.
(Reservations: Telephone +44 (0) 01382 541898)
The Fairmont Torrance Golf course is par 72 and 7230 yards in length. It was originally designed by Sam Torrance but has been re-designed with 8 new holes and classic Scottish revetted bunkers. Being an Open Championship Qualifying course for the 2010 Open Championship, it is rated number 20 by Golf Weekly.
(Reservations: Telephone +44 (0) 1334 837000)
The Fairmont Kittocks Golf Course is also a par 72 and 7192 yards long. It was originally designed by Gene Sarazen. Some of the most beautiful holes in Scottish golf can be seen here as the course hugs the dramatic Fife coastline. Golf Weekly has rated it number 40.
(Reservations: Telephone +44 (0) 1334 837000)
Fife's - Links-Type Championship Qualifying Golf Courses
Situated around the Fife coast are another four links-type courses which are used as qualifiers for The Open.
Leven Links Golf Courseis a fine example of a true seaside links which hosts many national and international golfing events. It challenges players of all abilities and provides an enjoyable and memorable experience at an affordable price. Golf Monthly describes it as being “One of the best stands of bents and fescues in Scotland.”
(Reservations: Telephone +44 (0) 1333 428859/421390)
Scotscraig Golf Club is yet another links course and Open qualifier, situated to the north of St. Andrews, it was established in 1817 and is a challenging long course with tight fairways and tricky greens. Scotscraig offers a rare blend of links, heathland and parkland golfing terrain. Pre-booking is preferred.
(Reservations: Telephone +44 (0) 1385 552515)
Elie Golf House Club is some 20 miles from St Andrews. The course dates back to 1589 and is a typical seaside links course. There is a daily ballot for tee-off times in July and August. No visitors are allowed on the course on Sundays during May to December.
Lundin Golf Club at Lundin Links, offers true links conditions mixed with some parkland. The ever changing views out to the Forth Estuary and the North Sea are a real delight to be enjoyed by golfers of all levels. No visitors allowed on Saturday am or Sunday all day.
Fife's - 9 Hole Golf Courses
There are ten 9 hole courses in Fife - all suitable for children and beginners. Here is a selection of those nearest to St Andrews.
The Balgove Course, St Andrews Links was remodelled by Donald Steel in 1993 and is popular with visitors. It is especially suitable for families, children and beginners.
Anstruther Golf Club, Anstruther was founded in 1890 and is kept in good condition throughout the year. Lying along the shore between Anstruther and Pittenweem, it offers spectacular views of the Forth estuary and boasts a par 3 known as The Rockies, which has been voted the toughest par 3 in the UK.
Elie Sports Club, Elie. This links course is open all year round, is a relatively flat course - ideal for senior citizens, and is regarded as one of the best 9 hole courses in Scotland.
Cupar Golf Course, Cupar. Situated at Hill of Tarvit, it is reckoned to be the oldest, continuous 9 hole golf club in the world. Non members are welcome.
Lundin Ladies Golf Club, Lundin Links. This is a parkland course, designed by James Braid, and despite its name, both lady and gentleman visitors are welcome. It offers a competitive test to even the most proficient player. Bookings are not usually necessary, but visitors are limited on Wednesdays.
A full list with details of all Fife Golf Courses can be found here.
Open Qualifying Championship Golf Courses
Just a short driving distance from St Andrews, you will find some other famous links courses which are used as Open qualifying venues.
Carnoustie Championship Course is a public links which is open to all golfers. Newly reinstated as a venue for the Open Championship, this is one of the longest and most difficult golf courses on the professional tour. You have a choice of 3 Great Links Courses - The Championship Course, The Burnside Links and The Buddon Links. Telephone in advance for bookings and have a current handicap certificate with you.
(Reservations +44 (0) 1241 853789)
The Medal Course at Montrose is a majestic layout in the true traditions of Scottish Links golf and has hosted many important events in its history. Because of these factors the Links was honoured by the Royal and Ancient Golf Club in being chosen as a Final Qualifying Course for the Open Championship at Carnoustie in 1999 and again in 2007.
(Reservations +44 (0) 1674 672932
In addition to the Medal Course, Montrose can boast a second 18 hole Golf Course The Broomfield. Originally a 9 hole course, but extended to 18 holes in 1915, the Broomfield offers families, juniors and beginners the opportunity to enjoy golf on the Links at Montrose. The Broomfield Course is 4584 yards long with a par 66 and a SSS of 63.
Panmure Golf Club is another excellent golf course and is one of Scotland's best examples of how the old course designers used the natural links land to achieve a challenging layout. A testing, adventurous course set amongst sand hills, where the quiet nature of the opening few holes gives no warning of the many hazards which await. This tight links course has been used as a qualifying course for the Open Championship and it features Ben Hogan's favourite hole - the dog-leg 6th - which is a prelude to the toughest series of holes around the turn. No visitors are allowed on Saturday. Parties of 5 or more players must book in advance.
Muirfield Golf Course, Gullane, near Edinburgh - established in 1744, has staged some outstanding Open Championships and would always be included in the top ten of the best golf courses in the world. Opened ten years earlier than the Royal and Ancient - Muirfield has a long, illustrious golfing history and is very exclusive. Visitors are only allowed on Tuesday and Thursday. You must book in advance and have a current handicap certificate with you.
* The Open Championship
At Prestwick Golf Club’s Spring Meeting in April 1871, the future of the Open Championship was discussed. At that meeting, this motion was tabled by Gilbert Mitchell Innes:
“In contemplation of St Andrews, Musselburgh and other clubs joining in the purchase of a Belt to be played for over four or more greens, it is not expedient for the club to provide a Belt to be played for solely at Prestwick.”
Note: Prestwick golf course had already held 11 Championships there from 1960.
The motion tabled by Gilbert Mitchell Innes was passed, but no final decisions were reached about venues or other clubs becoming involved. As a result, The Open Championship was not played in 1871.
The Golf Champion Trophy
The Golf Champion Trophy, now known as "The Claret Jug", was made by Mackay Cunningham & Company of Edinburgh and was hallmarked 1873. The first Open Champion to receive the new trophy was Tom Kidd, the winner at St Andrews in 1873, but Tom Morris Junior’s name was the first to be engraved on it as the 1872 winner.