Golfers at New Course, St Andrews

This evening, I am focusing on St. Andrews Links, home of the famous Old Course where golf is alleged to have originated around 600 years ago.

St Andrews is in Fife, eastern Scotland, about fifty-five miles N.E. of Edinburgh.

The Old Course is one of six links courses. The others are: New Course,  Jubilee Course, Eden Course, Strathtyrum Course and Balgove Course.  The latter extends to nine holes and caters for families, children and beginners. Additionally, there is the Castle Course which is located on a cliff top site and benefits from stunning views.

Avian fans at St Andrews Links

Here is an image of The St Andrews Ladies’ Putting Club which is also known as “The Himalayas”.This is a nine-hole course adjacent to the famous Old Course and open to the public from April to September.

Himalayas Course at St Andrews

The Swilcan Bridge, or Swilken Bridge, is a famous small stone bridge which spans the Swilcan Burn (stream) between the first and eighteenth fairways on the Old Course. This bridge has become a mandatory ‘photo stop for golfers (and non-golfers) and a de facto symbol of St Andrews Links.

Swilken Bridge, Old Course St Andrews.

Tiger Woods practising prior to a tournament in 2015

There are various options to play the Old Course, viz:

  • Private Advance Tee Times: Very popular and invariably booked well in advance.
  • Ballot: Medium-high probability of success. Drawn forty-eight hours in advance of play. Golfers must provide their names, home club and handicaps before 2pm, two days before the day they wish to play. To enter there must be a minimum of two and a maximum of four players.
  • Single Golfers: If prospective golfers hold a suitable handicap (but no tee time) they can register at the Old Pavilion on the day of play and the staff will endeavour to link them with a two or three-ball group.
  • Authorised Providers: There are a number of Authorised Providers (Golf Tour Operators and local accommodation providers) offering packages, including guaranteed Old Course tee times, throughout high season (April – October).

Teeing off at the Old Course, St Andrews.

Here is the Royal & Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews, the “R & A”. This was founded on 14 May 1754 with the first Challenge for the Silver Club and now has membership of 2500.The Club became the governing authority for golf, both in the United Kingdom and abroad. Between 1897 and 2003 it developed  responsibility for the administration of the rules of golf in conjunction with the USGA, the running of The Open and other key golfing events, and the development of the game in existing and emerging golfing nations. In 2004 the Club devolved responsibility for these functions to a newly-formed group of companies, known as The R&A.

The Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews

The Old Course will next host the British Open in 2021.

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