Fairmont St Andrews (Torrance) - Fife - Scotland

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


  • +44 (0) 1334 837000

  • Dan Naudo

  • Gene Sarazen, Sam Torrance and Denis Griffiths

  • Fraser Liston


Visit Golfbreaks.com for a golf holiday at St Andrews

Many people must have questioned the wisdom of Don Panoz, the multi-billionaire proprietor of luxury hotels, resorts and golf courses, when he ploughed a reputed ₤58 million into the creation of the five star St Andrews Bay Golf Resort to the south of “the auld grey toon” in the late 1990s.

Were there not enough golf courses within and adjacent to St Andrews to satisfy the ever increasing number of visiting golfers who flock here every year to play at “the home of golf”?

Panoz, who made his money in the pharmaceutical industry, finances high revenue pet projects like racing cars and tracks so he’s not in the business of throwing his money away on golf ventures that are going to fail – and so it has proved as St Andrews Bay has become a welcome addition to the golfing facilities in this part of the Kingdom of Fife.

Designed by Denis Griffiths with the late golfing legend Gene Sarazen and evergreen Scottish senior Sam Torrance as the headline grabbers, the Torrance course is a 7,230-yard layout built on the clifftop overlooking the North Sea. It was constructed with many principles of links golf in mind, offering risk/reward opportunities at many of the holes.

The opening eight holes are routed up the hillside around the substantial site of the hotel and spa complex. This introduction offers the golfer a chance to acclimatise to the very fast running greens and take account of the many challenging bunkers that protect the putting surfaces. This is as near to links golf that you will get without the terrain being actually classified as such.

Standing on the 8th tee, a downhill par three hole measuring 191 yards, the full glory of the remaining holes can be seen as the course opens out, displaying verdant green fairways flanked by wispy rough. The background is just as pleasing, with the Tay Estuary in the background and the county of Angus in the distance.

There are some fine holes on the back nine, none more so than the 220-yard, par three 17th where the green is protected by a dry stone wall and deep, punishing bunkers.

The course was reconfigured in 2008 when the old 17th and 18th holes on the Torrance were included in the layout of the new Kittocks course, replaced by holes 3 and 4 from the former Devlin course. Considerable effort was also made to isolate holes on the back nine by introducing large, shaggy mounds between fairways and these earthworks have resulted in an inward half that enjoys a wild, natural feel.

The sister course at Fairmont St Andrews is the Kittocks, designed by Denis Griffiths with Bruce Devlin as the headlining architect. Day tickets were created for places like this where you will be hard pressed to find a more challenging 36 holes at one location.

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

Write a review

Reviews for Fairmont St Andrews (Torrance)

Average Reviewers Score:
Description: Designed by Denis Griffiths with the late golfing legend Gene Sarazen and evergreen Scottish senior Sam Torrance as the headline grabbers, the Torrance course at Fairmont St Andrews sweeps dramatically down to the coastline. Rating: 6.2 out of 10 Reviews: 19
TaylorMade
Ross Cameron
The Torrance surprised me. I wasn't expecting a true gem of a course, but it was very good. The greens ran true and fast, the redesign of some of the holes has certainly made a difference. The loop around the hotel was very impressive, especially the drivable par 4 7th. The back nine was equally impressive with the 17th being the standout hole. The par 3 17th was impressive with a green that rivaled the size and contours of the ones along the coast at Kingsbarns. All in all this course is well worth a visit, with the Kittocks shutting in two weeks for a face lift.
October 14, 2009
10 / 10
Reviewer Score:
TaylorMade

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

Response
James Munro
April 15, 2010
Played the Torrance last week.Almost unplayable. Fairways and greens loaded with sans. open qualifying in 11 weeks?
Kirkus
I found this a very disappointing course. I was very much looking forward to playing it after reading so many rave reviews. I have played it twice now, once in February and found a great layout in winter condition. I came back in July, and have to say that it was probably in better condition in mid Winter!Although there are a few good holes on the course (the 10th and 17th being my favourites), with excellent views out over St Andrews and the sea, there are also many monotonous holes. My big gripe though was that the yellow tees were so far in advance of the whites / blacks that the real challenge was taken out of some potantially great holes, notably the par 3s. The clubhouse was totally overpriced and both times I have played there, rounds have taken in excess of 5 hours (which admittedly may cloud my judgment!).
April 14, 2008
4 / 10
Reviewer Score:
TaylorMade

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

Response
Ally McIntosh
April 20, 2010
If you were playing a friendly match, why not mix up the tees you were using?... Just choose as you reach each hole... There is no need to stick to just yellow or just white unless the club requires it... Choose what suits you best...
David Redwood
Some excellent holes, particularly the last four or five but greens apart the condition of the course was average and appears to suffer from poor drainage on the fairways. Only good value if you are using a 2 fore 1 voucher.
October 26, 2006
6 / 10
Reviewer Score:
TaylorMade

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

Jim McCann

The Torrance is a course which would be raved about if it was located elsewhere in the UK instead of competing, as it does, with another half dozen top courses in the St Andrews area. The first six holes are pretty straightforward before you come round the back of the hotel to play on the tract of land where the real action takes place over the last twelve holes. Greens are to die for - proper links standard with speed to match.

Many of the holes are designed to offer marvellous risk/reward challenges with bunkers strategically placed to catch errant shots. The views from the cliff top across the bay to Carnoustie and Arbroath in Angus are simply stunning. Throw in an ultra modern clubhouse and wonderful sister course in the shape of the Devlin and you have the recipe for a day’s golf made in golfing heaven.

Jim McCann

September 07, 2006
8 / 10
Reviewer Score:
TaylorMade

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

jono
Played the course end June 2006. Very very disappointed in the quality of the course. Some nice holes and wonderful views but on the day we played the greens were in very poor condition. Having denied that any treatments were taking place it was clear that the greens had been sanded! Theywere very parched and inconsistent.Other disappointments include, no 150yard markers (forcing one to buy over priced planner) and not a single bench on the course.
July 05, 2006
2 / 10
Reviewer Score:
TaylorMade

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

Richard Smith
I'm probably just a cranky curmudgeon but I found this course to be extremely disappointing. The view back towards the town of St. Andrews was wonderful, but just about everything else about the course seemed to be contrived and forced. Whereas as Kingsbarns, where the course looks like it has been there forever, this course looks like it was designed by a Myrtle Beach hack architect who got all of their ideas concerning links golf course from watching the Open on television. The lay of the land is unlike any true links course I have ever played, and none of the holes were memorable at all. I really admire Sam Torrance as a player and as captain of the European side in the Ryder Cup, and I don't know how involved he was in the design of the course, but this was a major disappointment for me. If Sam was truly involved in the design, then he needs to stick to playing. If he wasn't involved then his name was certainly used in vain. Richard Smith Knoxville, Tennessee
April 25, 2006
4 / 10
Reviewer Score:
TaylorMade

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

David Richards
Awesome. After a slightly uninspiring start this course turns into an absolute beauty. Possibly the strongest last 4 holes I have played. 15 is one of those par3s that makes you tingle standing on the tee. 16 and 18 are tremendous golf holes and 17 is as picturesque and nerve tangling as you can get. Wonderful condition and excellent service in the bar afterwards. A truly wonderful experience.
July 20, 2005
10 / 10
Reviewer Score:
TaylorMade

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

Andy
The Torrance course at St Andrews Bay is well worth playing whilst in the area known to golfers around the world as ‘Home’. The choice of golf courses in the auld town now is huge and still growing - a week here and you may just fit them all in. I was not a huge fan of the opening three holes on the Torrance but the rest of the course is just fine. The natural contours of the land and the dramatic coastal setting have been used really well, many times you can sneak a look down the cliffs and hill to THE town which is always nice.Features of the course are typically Scottish, with stone walls, deep bunkers and running streams, all set in a modern design. Fav holes for me ….. 14th, 16th and 17th - I try to judge courses that I play in terms of if I’d rush back to play again – Well maybe not a rush back to the Torrance for me but definitely a little trot. Hotel, clubhouse and Spa make up a tremendous place to stay.
April 07, 2005
6 / 10
Reviewer Score:
TaylorMade

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

Billy
Played here for the first time in March 2005 and despite the wet and miserable weather, it was an enjoyable experience. Although the greens had recently been hollow-tined, the putting surfaces were hard, fast and true. The closing holes which play alongside the coastline are simply stunning and my favourite is the 17th (also Sam's favourite too)...an intimidating drive which needs to flirt with the sea wall to gain optimum position. St Andrews Bay is certainly a quality resort and having now played both courses, I would thoroughly recommend a visit to anyone.
April 05, 2005
6 / 10
Reviewer Score:
TaylorMade

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