Fairmont St Andrews (Kittocks) - Fife - Scotland

Fairmont St Andrews,
St Andrews,
Fife,
KY16 8PN,
Scotland


  • +44 (0) 1334 837000

  • Dan Naudo

  • Bruce Devlin and Denis Griffiths

  • Fraser Liston


Visit Golfbreaks.com for a golf holiday at St Andrews

Travelling to St Andrews is much more than a visit - it's a reverent pilgrimage. It's a joy to see an entire town given up to golf, but there is inevitably an air of expectation when a new course is built so close to the "home of golf". All eyes were on Bruce Devlin the headline designer, former Australian Open champion and himself an Aussie. Assisting Devlin on a consultancy basis was “the Squire”, the legendary late Gene Sarazen, but the true architect behind the design was Denis Griffiths. In the summer of 2002, the Devlin course at St Andrews opened for play to a rapturous standing ovation.

You'll find the five star Fairmont St Andrews resort a couple of miles outside the “auld grey toon”, en route to Kingsbarns. It's an amazing location with the resort's flagship Kittocks course sited on elevated ground next to the cliff-tops. The views across the River Tay estuary with the famous medieval town in the background are simply breathtaking. The design is dramatic too, with the natural features of the land being used to great effect, most notably a deep ravine called Kittock's Den, which cuts frivolously through the course. Undoubtedly, the most striking holes are those that border the rugged North Sea shoreline, a number of which will remain etched permanently in the mind.

Bruce Devlin's design goal was “to build great golf courses within the contours of the natural surroundings which challenge the best golfers and yet can be equally enjoyed by the novice”. We think he and Denis Griffiths have achieved the target with four distinctly different teeing areas. You'll need to be either an exceptionally good player or a masochist to play this par 72 from the back tees (7,049 yards) but with four areas to choose from, there's a tee for all abilities (5,195 yards from the forward tees).

The Kittocks course (previously known as the Devlin) has been constructed in an American-style with two man-made lakes, but the layout honours the tradition of golf at St Andrews with two double greens, numerous deep pot bunkers and, of course, the most important ingredient, the feeling.

After a fairly gentle start, the Kittocks goes wild when the par five 5th stretches along the edge of Kittock's Den. The vista opens up and the land begins to pitch and roll. From here on in, there's no looking back... from the par four 7th, which is squeezed up against the rugged coastline with its green perched on a promontory to the awe-inspiring signature hole, the long par four 15th which doglegs towards the hanging cliff-edge green. The 17th and 18th from the original Torrance course now form the closing two holes on the Kittocks (with the 3rd and 4th from the old Devlin now played on the Torrance) and these two strong par fours round off the new Kittocks course in great style.

The Kittocks is a valuable addition to the St Andrews experience. It's a course to be savoured and should be included on any serious golfer's must-play list.

If the above article is inaccurate, please let us know by clicking here

Write a review

Reviews for Fairmont St Andrews (Kittocks)

Average Reviewers Score:
Description: The Kittocks course (previously known as the Devlin) sweeps alongside the rugged coastline where the views across St Andrews Bay towards the "auld grey toon" are sure to hold your attention. Rating: 6.5 out of 10 Reviews: 22
TaylorMade
Martin Jordan
Due to the refurbishment of The Torrance course The Kittocks has been asked to step up to the golfing plate, to become the flag bearer for St Andrews Bay and I must admit, it makes a damned good fist of it. Considering that the course has had to accommodate extra golfing foot traffic, it remains in fine condition. On the day we played the greens were top-dressed so we didn’t see the course with its best drawers on but you would have to be daft not to realise that this is a quality track.

St Andrews (Kittocks) 17th - photo by MPPJ The course for me started to get interesting from the 4th (SI 1), with holes 7 and 8 also very good. I found the back 9 a lot tougher with holes 12, 13 and the stretch of holes between 15 and 17 demanding. If I had to use one word to describe The Kittocks it would be challenging. There are so many holes that could wreck your card (4, 15 and 17 in particular) so you have to be on your toes at all times but I have to admit that I found it a very enjoyable place to play golf. When The Torrance gets up and running again St Andrews Bay will make a welcome return to Scotland’s 36 hole establishments and, for those who can’t make it into the Old Grey Toon itself, a more than adequate alternative. MPPJ
April 15, 2009
6 / 10
Reviewer Score:
TaylorMade

Respond to above review
  Was this review helpful?
0 people found this review helpful

Jim McCann

I returned here five years after my first time on the course and, mindful that an awful lot of water has flown under a great many golfing bridges that I’ve crossed in that time, I was probably more critical in my appraisal process this time around. Nonetheless, Kittocks still ticked most of the boxes in terms of what I was looking for, even if its famed greens were far from their best, having just been top dressed -- a real pity, but understandable.

St Andrews (Kittocks) - photo by Jim McCann I noticed this time that the course takes a little time to get the juices flowing and, 4th hole apart, it doesn’t really get you visually excited on the tee box until the 7th hole is reached by the shoreline. From then on until the end, though, it sustains a high level of interest on every hole, culminating in the wise move that sees the 17th and 18th from the Torrance now played as the 17th and 18th on the Kittocks.

The transitional hole at 11 which climbs back up to Kittock’s Den is a beast of a hole and far tougher than its stroke index of 7 would suggest. The 15th is another tremendous hole, plunging back down towards the water’s edge below the braes. Views along to St Andrews and beyond were obscured by an overcast sky which detracted a little from the playing experience but the Kittocks course still delivered big time for a four ball special offer winter tee time that was in place to the end of April.

Kittocks is living in the shadow of the Torrance just now (which is hosting the Scottish Seniors in August 2009 and Open Final Qualifying in July 2010) but I understand a substantial upgrade is soon to be made on the Kittocks (which is only seven years old anyway!) and this will obviously propel the resort back up the list of 36-hole Scottish golfing destinations.

Jim McCann.

April 10, 2009
6 / 10
Reviewer Score:
TaylorMade

Respond to above review
  Was this review helpful?
0 people found this review helpful

Rodney Johnston
Having heard mixed reports I played this course on the 13 October 2008 and found it a delight. The course has been redesigned to include 2 holes from the Torrance the variety of golf hole and views, including use of the coast line, were sublime. The course was a little untidy in places divots not filled in for weeks by the looks of it and a number of wet patches. There is not a lot of grass on the fairways or greens but they putted true and were a fair challenge. Most enjoyable though I can understand how you can either take it or leave it ..... I preferred this to the Torrance. Great facilities though the course does need a little more care and attention but that aside I loved it.
October 14, 2008
8 / 10
Reviewer Score:
TaylorMade

Respond to above review
  Was this review helpful?
1 person found this review helpful

Neil
I couldnt understand what the previous poor reviews were all about, I played the course on 8th Aug 2007 and thought it was magnificent, no sign of the poor tees or poor greens in fact they were better than the Old Course greens which I had played the day before. I had to ask the proshop how there seemed to be such a dramatic improvement, the answer was it had stopped raining, the course has poor drainage which the new owners are rectifying in the next few months and at great cost. I can only say that is good news because if they can keep the course in the condition I played it in I would recommend it to everyone, it was fantastic with the quickest and smoothest greens I have played on all year, and the scenery - wow
August 10, 2007
8 / 10
Reviewer Score:
TaylorMade

Respond to above review
  Was this review helpful?
0 people found this review helpful

dmotcm
I have to say, i was disappointed with the Devlin. The layout of the course is nice and it has potential.That part i very much enjoyed. However the condition was not equal to the green fee. The tee boxes are the worst i have ever seen, covered in clums of grass - it was like playing out of the semi rough! Also, the bunkers had a lot of stones in them and looked like they had not recieved any attention in a long time. The green keeping staff appear to be not paying too much attention to it. We played the course on a dry day after a few days of rain so understandibly the course was wet, however i couldn't belive the tyre tracks that were left in some of the fairways by the grass cutting - a wee tip, if it's wet enough to leave a footprint don't drive a small tractor over it! To sum it up, well designed, lots of potential, but for the condition of the course the green fee should be between £20 amd £30 (not £95!). Don't waste your money on it.
July 04, 2007
2 / 10
Reviewer Score:
TaylorMade

Respond to above review
  Was this review helpful?
0 people found this review helpful

Hugh
The previous review compelled me to write about the Devlin, which I played during the summer of 2006. It's not a true links course but the condition was great and the lack of yardage markers and benches irrelevant. I think it's a great course that has no weak holes and plenty that are set in my memory. Have not yet played the Torrance course but it looks just as good if not better. Two balls is ridiculous and I found the value to be very reasonable compared to Kingsbarns and some of the other St Andrews courses including the Duke's. Hugh.
January 22, 2007
8 / 10
Reviewer Score:
TaylorMade

Respond to above review
  Was this review helpful?
0 people found this review helpful

jono
Played course end jun 2006. Similar comments to my review of Torrance course. Greens very poor, no 150 yard markers, not single bench. Not true links. Not worth the green fee.
July 05, 2006
2 / 10
Reviewer Score:
TaylorMade

Respond to above review
  Was this review helpful?
0 people found this review helpful

janetbeal
I am afraid that I have had to give this course a poor review, which is totally due to the fact that I am female, so played from the red tees, which competely spoil the course.The course is 1500 yards shorter from the red tees than the white, which is achieved by putting the red tees to the side of the fairway, halfway down the hole (or so it seems). This competely spoils any view of the hole, as you are playing across the fairway, and also means that the trouble that is intended for long drives from the white tees, catches any shots over about 120 yards, so you are forced to use a short iron from the tee on several holes - especially the par 5s.I played in May 2004, so maybe this has been resolved.
March 31, 2006
2 / 10
Reviewer Score:
TaylorMade

Respond to above review
  Was this review helpful?
0 people found this review helpful

Jim McCann

Although the Devlin has been marketed as the more exclusive of the two courses at St.Andrews Bay, I think the Torrance is a better course. I played the latter in May 2004 and was very taken with its 'Kingsbarns like' risk/reward design on many of its holes. However, the review is about the Devlin and it too is a great new course.

I was unfortunate to play on a very blustery day in March 2004 when the wind was so strong my tee shot into the gale did not make it over the gully from the tee at the 14th and was lost. I hope the conditions did not overly influence my feelings towards the course but it's difficult to not take them into account when your ball will not stay on its spot when trying to putt!

What I like about BOTH courses is the choice of tee position you are allowed to take (your choice, as it should be, not as dictated by the starter) and the greens are as links-like lightening fast and firm as you will find along the road at the other St.Andrews courses.

The clubhouse is ultra modern, a little pricey, but then you only play top venues like this every so often so get the five pound bacon butties down your neck before you start and fill your boots with a club or steak sandwich for a tenner when you are finished. Better still, come for the day and play both courses.

The guy who financed St.Andrews Bay was Don Panoz, founder of Elan nicotine patch company and his investment was FIFTY EIGHT million pounds and it shows! Oh, and the views from the clubhouse overlooking St.Andrews and beyond, up the East coast into Angus are just breathtaking. Just as well there's a big deck built outside to let you sit there and take it all in on a good day.

Jim McCann

January 24, 2005
8 / 10
Reviewer Score:
TaylorMade

Respond to above review
  Was this review helpful?
0 people found this review helpful

Lee Abbey
The Devlin together with the Torrance make up 36 holes at this golfing resort just outside St.Andrews. There are already many courses in this area so do they really need two more? Well having played the Devlin with it's cracking design, excellent condition and great views back towards the town the answer can only be YES! Make sure you add this to the list if you're in the area.
November 04, 2004
8 / 10
Reviewer Score:
TaylorMade

Respond to above review
  Was this review helpful?
0 people found this review helpful