St Andrews (New) - Fife - Scotland

St Andrews Links,
New Course,
St Andrews,
Fife,
KY16 9SF,
Scotland


  • +44 (0) 1334 466666


In the late 1800s, the Old Course was getting too popular, largely due to the extra visitors flocking to St Andrews on the trains. The R&A decided to pay for the New course to be built in return for allocated tee times on the Old. These rights are still enclosed in an Act of Parliament passed in 1894, the precursor to the current Act of 1974, which specifies how the public St Andrews links courses are managed.

The New course was designed by Old Tom Morris and Benjamin Hall Blyth, an Edinburgh engineer, and opened for play in 1895. This makes it one of the oldest “new” courses in the world!

Situated adjacent to the Old course, the New is often referred to as the local’s favourite because it is tighter and more defined than the Old. It possesses some similarities to the Old, shared fairways, a double green at the 3rd and 15th and the traditional out and back layout. In many ways it plays and feels more "normal" than the Old – it’s certainly less quirky and perhaps prettier too, with swathes of dense gorse providing brilliance of seasonal colour.

The fairways are undulating, but they don’t have the same slopes and curves as the Old. Consequently, there are fewer hanging lies. There are some great holes on the New, especially in the dunes around the turn for home. The 10th hole is a tough 464-yard par 4 and it's a cracking hole which Bernard Darwin also liked, but thought that it was not in the Old course mould. In his 1910 book, The Golf Courses of the British Isles, he wrote: “This is nevertheless a really fine one, running down a narrow gorge between two ranges of hills, with a fine, slashing second shot with the brassey, albeit more or less a blind one”.

We think that if the New Course could be transported to virtually any other coastal stretch of the British Isles, away from the shadow of its auld mater, it would surely have a higher reputation and be recognised as the excellent links course it is. Who knows? If the course had not been in the shadows for so long and perhaps updated to a similar extent as many other links courses, it might well have played host to an Open Championship.

In 1910, Darwin wrote: “Still there occasionally comes a time when we grow sick to death of the crowding and waiting on the Old course, and then we are glad enough to steal away on to the New course and have a round, which will probably be at any rate a comparatively quick one.” Could this really be the answer as to why the locals prefer the New course?

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Reviews for St Andrews (New)

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Description: Situated adjacent to the Old course, the New course at St Andrews is often referred to as the local’s favourite because it is tighter and more defined than the Old. Rating: 7 out of 10 Reviews: 58
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Oliver Cram

The new course is worth considering if you are in St andrews for a golfing holiday. It is closer to the sea than the old course and has some good holes. Personally I would opt for the Jubilee having played them all several times, but the new course is a good test of golf, in immaculate condition and is probably the hardest of the courses in the St andrews links trust.

If played with the usual wind direction, the closing stretch is very tough. I think the 10th hole also has quite a challenging blind tee shot, always delighted to make a par on that one.

March 08, 2022
7 / 10
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Mark

The first course I played in the town of St Andrews and it didn't disappoint. Hugging the famous old course my first impression was not really of the course itself but just the fact I was here at the home of golf, a sight I had watched on the TV hundreds of times before but now I was here. Its really an amazing place and the New course was amazing too. we had been told it is the easier of the selection at St Andrews and it felt that way. We had the most fantastic weather, beautiful sun and a firm wind to add to the enjoyment of our links experience. The greens as you would expect were true but not that quick. Being used to the mud of the courses near me at this time of the year I always appreciate the quality of the fairways of the Scottish links courses albeit we had to play off the mats or take the ball off to the first cut (my preference) to protect the fairways and aprons. This didn't really spoil the round for me but I know my playing partners were a bit annoyed. I can recommend st Andrews in general and the new course. It is a must for any golfer.

February 13, 2022
8 / 10
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BB

We played here following the previous day’s Pilgrimage to the next door neighbour. Would it consequently be a case of after the Lord Mayor’s show? Or more out with the Old & in with the New? While it would flatter to suggest the latter, and you might be much warmer if stating the former, I’d pitch my tent somewhere in the middle ground between what are twin peaks of St Andrews golf.

Some commentators say the New is better than the Old. I don’t agree with that. Others offer up the cliched assertion as to which course locals might prefer. There were definitely more Scottish accents on the New, although I suspect affordability also plays a role here. It doesn’t quite have the same baffling array of landforms & striking bunkering to navigate en route to the wonderful green complexes. And you never, at any point, get to aim at the “H” from Hotel. But if you said you preferred it to the Old, I could at least get into bed with that idea (even if I would sneak away in the morning without saying goodbye or leaving my number).

The New has a lot going for it - both in its own right -and by way of providing a welcome complimentary counterpoint to the royal & ancient history of its high profile establishment partner. If Kate Middleton was a golf course. The playing corridors are more defined, giving a more conventional links feel, where holes tend to run along dunes. It’s also narrower with less of the wide open spaces & shared fairways. It also offers a slightly different challenge: More squeaky bum off the tee - where going left was often not an option, but less upset tum around the greens - where shots were less likely to require a PhD in Imagination. During 18 holes on the Old course I didn’t go in one bunker, one of many things I have I common with TW circa 2000. By contrast, my first sandy lyle on the New came at the very opening hole - after foolishly succumbing to a pin position resembling Elle Macpherson in Sirens. You also won’t see many Caddies or extras from Downton Abbey here, which offers a sense of golfing sincerity far from the madding crowd.

The routing displays perhaps one similarity with the Old - a fairly conventional out and back affair, excepting a couple of switchbacks, that explores the property well. Another familiarity might be a slight randomness with bunker placement. This potentially makes you more likely stop & think when playing than if a designer had stopped to think where to place them when designing. There is also a single double green shared by holes 3 + 15 = 18. A final point of comparison might be the presentation of the course, which was excellent.

The New has a few lovely holes showcasing good variety. Whilst not displaying the Full Quirk of next door, it contains more than enough to stop you getting bored. I liked the grass mound breaking up the shot in at the very first, and the sentinel dunes guarding the entrance to the green on hole 8. The blind drive on home 10 was also welcome. In general some of the holes are admittedly more functional, but for me it all adds up to slightly more than the sum of its parts.

There are twice as many short holes here, and half of these I found to be very good. The bunkerless 9th plays fairly blind (depending on how tall you are) 200-odd yards uphill into a sunken green. Thrilling to crack a 3 wood up at the horizon and then cross you fingers and toes whilst wheezing up the hill. The 13th might be even better - an excellent shortish par 3 of around 150 yards with a putting surface tilting from back to front and left to right. Hitting the middle of the green feels like an achievement but you may still have a testing 2 putts for your par. It’s not quite the Eden hole but it certainly wouldn’t be out of place on the Old. Would probably say the same for the aforementioned 9th - especially as the Old is missing a couple of short holes.

The round finishes with a fitting par 4 in front of the eye-catching newish clubhouse, with reasonable length & conventional bunkering of 2 on each side keeping you honest. This is perhaps one of the best “second” courses you could have - assuming you can’t have 2 “first” courses. In this respect it brings to mind Saunton East & West, albeit with the quirk & convention reversed between “first” & “second”. There are enough points of difference & sufficient quality that it cannot come across as a disappointing afterthought. Plenty to enjoy & I for one never new this course would be such a pleasant surprise.

December 20, 2021
8 / 10
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Craig Robinson

Great course and a must for any golfer in the area. For the price, this has to be one of the best courses in the area. Far tougher than the Old course which you are paying for the name and the prestige. I loved this course as it was so mentally stimulating and frustrating. The wind played its part and the deep bunkers tested my round. Was very happy to beat the course and shoot 37 points. Great day out and would recommend it to anyone.

November 11, 2021
9 / 10
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Colin Braithwaite

If The New Course was located anywhere else I suspect it would get much more love. I liken her to the younger sister who is the Prom Queen, but will never measure up to the older sister who is Miss Universe. I feel the New Course is the fairest of the St Andrews courses. It is certainly easier to get on than The Old Course and pace of play is fantastic. Last time we played as a twosome in just over two hours. My favorite hole is the 9th, excellent par three.

Show The New some love.

August 30, 2021
7 / 10
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andrew dinsdale

After playing the Old and Castle courses the two previous days our last round was at the famed New course. I was again excited for my round and determined to do well having heard rumours that the New is a little easier than some of the other courses at St Andrews. I found the course to be just that and I scored well on the day. The New certainly gives you a chance and for me this is the most playable course at St Andrews.

The course condition as you'd expect was outstanding and with the sun blaring down we got to see the course at its finest. It is very flat barring a couple of holes but its the strategy and finer points that are the attraction. The New requires you to plot your routes and take care with the angle in which you approach the pins. The bunkers are placed expertly and almost always challenge every tee shot. The greens are firm and fast and were a pleasure to putt on.

Comparing it to the Old course (if thats at all fair) I found the fairways less undulating, with fewer odd bounces and hanging lies, and the greens although difficult were slightly easier to putt on. The bunkers were not as cavernous or quite as punishing and in general it lacked the exceptional touches that the old has.

The opening hole has a lovely setting with a large putting green and modern clubhouse beside it. Once away the course is another out and back with a couple of holes playing alongside an expanse of water. Holes 9 and 10 were the highlights. Hole 9 being a tough par 3 to a raised green and hole 10 a long blind tee shot to a sunken fairway between dunes. Two very pretty holes.

Barring those two there wasn't a great deal to shout about with most of the holes tough to remember. I think like many of the reviews you become a little under-awed and there are parts of the round where course is almost mundane. I enjoyed the round but I do have to echo that if it were not situated in St Andrews then i'm not sure it would feature in the Uk and Ireland top 100.

All in all the New course fell a little bit below expectation but I still had a great time. If I came again I wouldn't choose to play the New over the Castle or Jubilee but it is still good value for money and a good golf course overall. Just for me not an exceptional one.

June 23, 2021
6 / 10
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Doug Roberts

The New is a great day out. A very nice course right next to the Old and the best par 3 in town. The 9th is a spectacular par 3. Conditions are superb. Every shot in your bag will be needed. Better to be out on the course than sitting in the pub. The terrain is uneven and more gorse is in play than on the Old.

January 22, 2021
6 / 10
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Mark Hayes

I’ve played the New about 20 times in practice and competitive rounds in the Eden Tournament. It is definitely better appreciated the more you play it. While not as legendary as the Old nor as difficult as the adjacent Jubilee, it is a well-designed and maintained course which has the usual links challenges of rolling fairways, broken ground, subtle greens and, of course, gorse.

Each hole requires some thought in approach, even those often labeled by some as ordinary. The short 1st is a good example. Playing at about 300 yards, players must decide whether to lay up with a long iron to a relatively flat fairway (and leave a 9 iron or full wedge to a small green which is usually hard as a rock, as well as risk the gorse short and left if the shot is pulled or hooked) or pull the driver and hope for a good lie amongst the humps and bumps in front of the green (and risk pulling it left on or over the pathway adjacent to the Old or pushing it into the long fescue which encroaches towards the green on the right).

Having said all that, the first 4 holes are a fairly gentle introduction to the New, with accessible fairways and greens on 2, 3 and 4 offering birdie opportunities for well struck shots. From there it gets more interesting. 5 is a challenging par 3 with 2 yawning bunkers guarding the front of the green and a large ditch bisecting the right side of the green, making for a difficult 2 putt if you are on the wrong side of the green. 6 is a long par 4 with a sloping fairway that can direct any tee shot hit on the right side towards the ample gorse. The green is somewhat down the hill but sits somewhat elevated and long iron approach shots are often directed left or right. While 7 is a shorter par 4 with a wide landing area, the tee shot is partly blind and there are fairway bunkers that are easily reachable depending on the wind direction.

As many have noted, 8 is an interesting (but not overly difficult) par 5. The challenge is to avoid the fairway bunkers right off the tee (and the tendency is to hit to the right since there is gorse to the left and lots of room right in the adjacent 12th fairway) and the second set of very deep bunkers in front of the high dunes guarding the narrow entrance to the green. If you avoid trouble on the first 2 shots you have a semi-blind wedge or short iron shot to a fairly simple green. But the look of this hole as you play it (and the view from the fairway of the gaggles of players and caddies trudging around the adjacent and overpriced Old) always seems to leave me with a good feeling.

But then the trouble starts. Number 9 is a tough and long par 3 on the best of days, and when the wind is howling and the rain is coming down sideways (as it was the first competitive round I played on the New) it is an absolute bear. Standing exposed to the elements on the 9th tee you face deep gorse on the right and the estuary OB on the left. The green is about 230 yards away and, depending on the tee and pin placement you may not be able to see the flag. Intimidating to say the least. Par is a great score.

If you survive 9, 10 offers no respite. Standing at the highest point on the course, you hit a blind tee shot to a rolling fairway far below, guided only by a post roughly indicating the middle of the invisible short grass. A decent drive leaves a long iron to a somewhat tricky green guarded by dunes and fescue on both sides. Many golf balls have disappeared forever on this hole!

From here things get better. 11 is a nice medium par 4 with a heavily sloped green. 12 is a longish but open par 5. 13 is a tricky uphill par 3, especially if the pin is at the front. The entire green slopes back to front, and anything short will roll back down the hill in front of the green, and leaving the ball above the hole invites a slippery downhill putt that can often slip by the pin and even roll off the green and down the hill. 14 and 15 are medium length par 4s which require care in the placement of tee shots to ensure a good angle to the green. 16 is a long but straight forward par 4. 17 is a long par 3 requiring anything from a 6 iron to a driver, depending on the wind. The gaping bunker which catches your eye off the tee is in fact not in play as it is well forward of the putting surface. 18 is a shorter finishing par 4 that has its share of trouble off the tee but a simple approach to the green is the reward for a well placed shot. Do not go long as it is OB only a few feet over the green!

Overall the New is a very satisfying walk and well worth playing more than once. Like fine wine, it definitely grows on you with further sips. Enjoy!

December 10, 2020
8 / 10
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Andy Cocker

It’s interesting reading the other reviews of the New Course - there’s the inevitable comparison to the Old Course, although this can, as a result, lesson the impact the New would have on you compared to if it was situated by itself in another part of the Country.

As our golfing trip came to an end, I picked the New to play as had played the Old last year and wanted to experience the 2nd best ranked course at the Home Of Golf. Today, the wind was up at around 25-30mph and gusts significantly stronger, plus for added measure, a few downpours with the rain blowing straight into your face. It meant this, on the whole, out and back course played significantly differently depending on whether you had the wind assisting, or blowing against/across you. As a result it presented very different challenges throughout the round.

I wont go through each hole, that’s been done may times before, but with the exception of the 6th, the 1st 8 holes play out towards the Eden estuary. The 6th, gave me a taste of what to expect on the inward 9 holes, a very strong wind, holding up your drive and pulling it left.

The other 7 holes of the outward 8, with the wind assisting meant straight drives were rewarded with substantial distance, as the ball bounded along the firm and springy close cut turf. The wind meant though that the approach shot to the green sites struggled to hold on the green, so I spent much of my early holes, chipping back on from the back of the green. By the time I adjusted to playing bump and runs or putting from long range to remove that issue, I was heading for the turn, where I would be faced with the very different challenge of very strong winds straight at you and across you from the right.

The best section is holes 8 -10. That isn’t to mark down any of the others as I thought the course was an excellent test, especially in todays weather. But the par 5 8th, with the green site sat behind a narrow entrance of 2 high dunes with the estuary behind you was a good looking hole from your drive to putting out. And then the 9th, a 230 yard par 3, which normally would mean driver for me, with the wind behind it was nice to nail a 3 hybrid 234 yards to the back of the green. And then the 10th, which like other reviewers have covered is a superb par 4 which rounds this little stretch at the turn off nicely.

As we moved towards the last few holes the wind picked up even more, blowing the ball off the tee and practically my wife over at the same time. But I loved the challenge, keeping the ball flight low, avoiding bunkers that on a still day wouldn’t come into play, adjusting to the wind holding up approach shots (which had been the opposite issue on the outward stretch). The greens were quick throughout, rolling firm and true.

Yes, its not the same as the Old Course but that’s a good thing. Not having the same sense of history around you as you play your round meant I just enjoyed the golf course for what it was, a quality links course with some excellent holes, undulations a plenty, fast running fairways, gorse framed holes and well designed green sites.

This is a course you must play; you will enjoy the experience, regardless of any Old Course comparisons.

October 31, 2020
8 / 10
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James Hill

St Andrews is the Mecca for golfers and it. Is interesting to read other reviews of the New Course. The condition is impeccable, as you would expect it to be. Fine turf, immaculate bunkers, thick gorse, rough rough, if you stray too far from the short stuff, but a fair course if you steer a tight line around it.

What left me slightly disillusioned was the memorability factor, or lack of. Yes, the 8th is a great par 5 and the 9th a really strong and difficult par 3, but apart from that, I am struggling to recall specific holes. There are blind drives where you need to trust your stroke saver, hidden bunkers that appear from nowhere and humps and hollows that give and sometimes take. Everything you would expect of a wonderful links course.

You have the St Andrews feel all the way round. You know you are playing at the home of golf, and that is special enough. When I look back at this trip however, the New Course won’t be the one that lasts longest in my memory.

September 27, 2020
6 / 10
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T P Dean
September 27, 2020

Interesting to read a review that reflects my own feelings about the New Course as I was also a little underwhelmed, particularly when comparing it to the magic of the Old and given the course’s lofty reputation. Having said that, I’ve only played it the once so maybe it’s a course that reveals its subtleties the more you play it?