The Castle Course at St. Andrews

The Castle Course at St. Andrews Highlights

St. Andrews Links’ long awaited “Course #7” finally came into being in June of 2008 when The Castle Course opened just to the east of the Auld Grey Toon which brings highly memorable views of the famous St. Andrews Castle and Cathedral into play. The Castle Course is a marvel, with an amazing elevation change from The Castle Course’s entrance drive down to the clubhouse and that’s not even the end of it as it’s even farther from The Castle Course in St. Andrews’ seaside and cliff top holes down to the crashing waves at sea level. The views of St. Andrews Bay and the North Sea are simply incredible. What is really incredible though is that architect David McLay Kidd was able to craft this undulating, visually exciting golf course from land that at one time was gentle farmland. Now, Kidd’s design here at The Castle Course has been controversial, especially when it opened. The Castle Course is not natural looking, rather it has a modern and manufactured look to it. The Castle Course is not easy, but it is easily the most visually intimidating of the St. Andrews Links courses. Many locals were not huge fans of The Castle Course when it first opened, especially the greens which were almost insanely undulating. But The Castle Course was not designed to be a clone of the other St. Andrews Links Courses, rather it was purposely built to be a completely different experience from the Old, New, Jubilee, Eden, et. al. The Castle Course was meant to surprise you and even stun you at times. You will want to play the Castle Course simply for the finish, as the 17th is an extremely heroic par 3 that can play as much as a fairway wood or a driver from the back tee, all carry over a huge chasm that is so unlike any other hole in St. Andrews that it’s hard to exaggerate it. The Castle Course’s par 5 18th along the cliffs follows and makes for one of Scotland’s most exciting finishing holes. Many of The Castle Course’s most controversial elements have been softened since it first opened, especially the greens, and even the most skeptical of locals would have to admit that today, it’s much more playable even for average golfers. There’s simply no reason left not to play The Castle Course at least one time, and form your own opinion. If nothing else, the views are absolutely amazing and it’s a chance to play the newest and likely last addition to the lineup at the Home of Golf, St. Andrews Links!

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