St Andrews (Castle) - Fife - Scotland

St Andrews Links,
Pilmour House,
St Andrews,
Fife,
KY16 9SF,
Scotland


  • +44 (0) 1334 466666


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Six years after St Andrews Links Trust purchased land at Kinkell Braes outside the town – just along from the Torrrance and Devlin (now called Kittocks) golf courses – the much-anticipated new Castle course welcomed its first paying customers at the end of June 2008.

Laid out on a cliff top with more than a mile of waterfront overlooking the town, the Castle was constructed by David McLay Kidd and his DMK design company. Lead shaper, Mick McShane, deserves much credit for turning featureless farmland (described as a “hillside of rotten rock”) into anything remotely resembling a golf course, in much the same way as he did at nearby Kingsbarns.

The new seventh member of the Links Trust’s portfolio may be seen by some as the black sheep of the St Andrews links family due to its unnatural links character but the design and feel of the new links-like course is such that it blends in superbly with the other courses on the roster.

Routed in two loops of nine, the holes on each loop of the Castle course rise up from the clubhouse to higher ground alongside the A917 Crail Road before tumbling back down again, with the closing three holes of each strung out along the coastline. Clever mounding ensures many of the holes play in isolation to the others, intensifying the expectation of what’s to come next.

The feature hole is the par three 17th, played across a ravine on the edge of the cliffs, into the prevailing wind from St Andrews. It really is an all or nothing hole where anything right is gone forever so the safe play is to aim left, where the contours will hopefully funnel the ball right to the putting surface.

It will be interesting to see what reviewers make of the new kid on the St Andrews golfing scene.

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Reviews for St Andrews (Castle)

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Description: The Castle course is the newest member of St Andrews Links Trust’s portfolio and may be seen by some as the black sheep of the family due to its unnatural links character... Rating: 7.4 out of 10 Reviews: 61
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martin
I played here in the first week of July. What an experience! A great golf course! A managed to get aroung in 79 strokes in a three club wind. Thanks to a wonderful caddy who gave me the perfect lines of the tee and on the greens. And with respect to the later: yes they are difficult, but fair. Golf has to be a challenge to be joyful, and that is exactly what this course provides.
August 15, 2010
10 / 10
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alan adam
a fantastic potential course has been wasted by the greens--having now played it a couple of times with differing pin positions it is impossible to go round in any less than 36 puttswhen they have amended the greens I'll be back as the layout and views are stunning
July 06, 2010
6 / 10
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Sahndy
May 03, 2011
You could just try amending your putting stroke, I took 30 putts round here. This is a truely awesome track.
kcbritton
Played the course in mid-June. Stunning location but an absolute joke as far as the greens are concerned. Layout from tee to green is mostly fair and the views back over St Andrews are incredible. I think it says all you need to know about the course...tee times are always available and they are still advertising tee times during the Open. Only about six cars in the parking lot on a nice June day. Save the money and play New or Jubilee twice. Better courses at a better price. In three trips over 23 courses in Scotland the absolutely worst course we have played. No one in our group of nine would play again.
June 23, 2010
2 / 10
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Sahndy
May 03, 2011
This is one of the most ridiculous reviews I have ever read. This course is what great modern architecture is all about, it comes very close to matching Kingsbarns and blows Castle Stuart out of the water. The bunkering is magnificent, the variety of holes excellent and the greens extremely challenging. The greens are too difficult for the average player but provide a magnificent challenge to the low handicaper. The staff are brilliant, I can't praise this course highly enough - stunning!
Martin OConnell
September 08, 2013
I'm sorry but the reviewer is fully entitled to his opinion. The fact cannot be denied that the course tee to green is excellent. Layout and topography is wonderful.. However the greens are lovely and roll well but are tricked up too much. It means that good approach shots are often given horrendous outcomes! It's a good course no doubt and could be better if the greens were looked at, considered and amended. Worthy of note I below handicap and had 31 putts! Only because I had a trusty bump and run game to get me out of trouble at times And a few birdies which were tap ins!
steve
What a golf course, this was awsome, very difficult and a great test of ones all round ability. I would stress though, if your handicap is a high number you can expect a few 3/4 putts as the greens are very tricky. Almost as good as Kingsbarns. Staff really friendly and if i were to visit St Andrews again this course would definately be on my paly list. Pogs
April 20, 2010
10 / 10
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Neil S
Played this course 16th October on a beautiful day and what a stunning course. I am a little suprised by some reviews as I thought the course excellent and challenging but fair (I'm a 22 handicap and went round 1 over that). I will confess thet the pins were not in difficult positions and it's easy to see how some pin positions could easily lead to 3-4 putting. Also by the end of our round the wind got up and it's also easy to see how much harder it would be on a really windy day - but that's links golf. All in all this is most definitely one to play if in St. Andrews and a good contrast to the links in the town.
October 24, 2009
10 / 10
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Stian kolnes
Played during the Dunhill Links on 3 October.2009What an exelent course!!The design and routing is perfect.We played in 40-60 miles wind...and it was extremly long on some holes!!Exelent Club house and Staff.The whole experience was great
October 06, 2009
10 / 10
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Craig
Played castle course on a brilliant day, 18 degrees and no wind. Course was fantastic, everything about the place was excellent. We were worried about the greens that have took so much criticism but they were excellent and the undulations made them excellent test to putt on. Best course in the area and better than Old course and Kingsbarns by far
September 17, 2009
10 / 10
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B.G. Donaldson
I'm afraid I cannot add anything that has not already been said about The Castle Course. Our group of twelve pllayed it on a day (September 6th) that even the caddies found unusually blustery and cool for the season. The layout, I think, was very good. The greens, at least some of them, simply were too difficult to be called fair. Number 10 was, for me, a good example. The hole was placed far left and I was pin high, twenty feet to the right on the same level. I did not have a line to the hole that would have enabled me to have a reasonable par putt, let alone a birdie chance. Having said all of that, we were told that there is already a plan in place to recontour five greens. With work, this will be considered a truly fine course. Also, we were treated very well by all at the course, and our caddies were extremely good. One coincidence, perhaps interesting only to me: One of the caddies in our group (Graham) had caddied for me at Pebble Beach in 1999. He was excellent then and still is.
September 14, 2009
6 / 10
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Ivan
Interesting - the course has 4/5 excellent holes with the 17th being the signature - par 3 over water with a gaile of the left. Of our group many were not big enough and ended up in a watery grave - but once over the green it is akin to a low mountain range - not good or fair I feel for such a long par 3. This was tipickle of the course there were several spots where you just could not get up and down. The course is good and we undwerstand that they will be reducing the severity of the green - once done worth a vistit - still pricy at over £140 per round. Oh yes and be aware the practice balls are only available for pre round as one of our number wished to have a practice post round (to get the shanks out of the system) and was not allowed - black mark !
September 08, 2009
6 / 10
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Steve Clark
I walked off this course in a bit of a daze, to be honest. I think if you want to experience what playing on fast greens with big slopes (similar to Augusta) is like, you should play the Castle Course!! Along with my playing companions we were sometimes made to look foolish on this course, where it is very easy to misjudge a putt and see it roll off the green. It also starts to make you nervous on approach shots, as big numbers are easily made from around the greens! There are some terrific holes here, and the views are great, but I would think they will have to tame down the greens if they want to see tournaments played here. Plus, I would still rather play Kingsbarns, The Old Course, and the New Course above this one.
August 05, 2009
6 / 10
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