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: 6.9 out of 10 Reviews: 54
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Andrew Markham
An enjoyable, easily-walked course requiring a good variety of shots. The holes are well-defined with good par threes and a strong finish. Less exposed than the Jubilee. It does, however, benefit from it's location regarding ranking. This is top 100 ahead of Hunstanton and Portstewart? It is more comparable to Littlestone or Seacroft.
May 29, 2014
6 / 10
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B.G. Donaldson
I first played the New Course six years ago on a dark day, rain-soaked and windy. Most difficult and one could hardly assess, let alone appreciate, the course under such conditions. On this occasion, we had a most beautiful day, sun-soaked and mild with the course in great condition. I loved the New. I'm not sure it has any outstanding features, although I especially enjoyed playing the short par three eighth, followed by the ninth, a blind tee shot to a broad and inviting fairway. I saw the comments on the fifth. I guess I'm not as observant as some of the raters are, but I still enjoy the approach shot to five, framed by the bunkers left and right. I find the New fun to play, an excellent complement to the Old Course. I'm only sorry we didn't have time to fit in the Jubilee on this trip. BGD
July 10, 2013
8 / 10
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Vorndron
St Andrews (New) Golf Course - Photo by reviewerReally good course in its own right, great to double up with when playing the old course. When we played in early April the course and in particular the greens were in top condition. The course is a good test of golf, especially from the white tees. Stand out holes for me were the long par 5 8th and the long par 3 9th. Definitely worth playing and would obviously great much more credit if not next the most famous course in the world!!
April 07, 2013
8 / 10
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Jim McCann

Returning the other day, some eight years after I first played here, I was left with much the same impression as before; the New is a good, solid links that’s well worth playing (especially in the winter at half the normal green fee rate) but don’t expect to be bowled over by it. Unlike when I played it previously, you now have to use a mat to play from fairways during the winter months but, according to the starter, they don’t mind you kicking your St Andrews (New) Golf Course - Photo by reviewerball to the side and playing from the semi rough.

Some severe gorse removal to the left of the fairway and at the back of the green on the par three 5th has resulted in the construction of some weird looking jagged mounding at the back of the putting surface, which I can only hope will soften in due course, once the gorse regenerates.

I agree with others who speak favourably of the 225-yard 9th hole; I’m not a fan of long par threes but this one is a real cracker, played slightly uphill and semi blind to a bowl-shaped green that should gather tee shots to the pin, assuming they’ve been struck firmly enough on the tee.

On the inward half, the back to front cant of the shelf green at the 13th has, I suspect, ruined many a scorecard down the years whilst the internal contours of the elevated green at the 15th (a putting surface shared with the 3rd hole) are also more than capable of making a golfer look foolish as they attempt to hole out.

The Top 100 site currently ranks the New above the Duke’s within the Kingdom of Fife but I’d personally reverse that order.

The New’s good but it’s not great; enjoy nonetheless.

Jim McCann

February 10, 2013
7 / 10
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STAG
February 11, 2013
I agree completely with your comments on the mound at the back of the 5th. I would challenge anyone to come up with a more un-natural or ugly feature but I dont think its possible. This used to be one of the best holes on the course when the green was surrounded by gorse - now it is the most ridiculous looking hole on the course. That aside, - I do rate the course more highly than you do Jim.
dan
February 11, 2013
I don't often disagree with the esteemed Mr McCann, but I guess that's the beauty of golf and this august site. As a traditionalist Duke's has some very good holes, but it could be a new-ish course anywhere. The New has a great setting, fantastic greens each time I have played on it, a few great holes, and one still has the feeling of playing back to St Andrews at the end of one's round. My amendment of relative Fife rankings would instead respectfully place Ladybank above Duke's, and Crail above Lundin and Leven.
Anthony Daniels
Played the New on the afternoon of 17th May 2012, having played the Old in the morning. If the morning round was cold, wet and windy, then the round on the New was like the middle of winter. Just horrible playing conditions. However, I can remember every single hole. For me this is the sign of a really top notch golf course, and one that I think is better than it's more famous next door neighbour. Having said that, it does take a little time to get going and the first three holes are probably the weakest on the course. You could put the stretch from 8 to 10, and holes 13, 17 and 18 on any Open Champisonhip venue and they would be revered. Great course. Great conditioning.
June 01, 2012
10 / 10
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am
June 03, 2012
I disagree with the comments in the introduction. To me this is a course which benefits from it's location. If transported to, say the Lancashire coast it would be seen a difficult, good quality course, but hardly meriting Top 100 status. On a related point I am suprised at the number of reviewers who comment upon conditioning. I would expect, bearing in mind the time of year, for a top rated, and generally top priced, course this to be a given.
Javier Pintos
St Andrews (New) Golf Course - Photo by reviewerMy sintesis with this course would be "A very nice surprise". When planning the trip late 2010 I was convinced by robin Dugmore to play it instead of Castle or Jubilee, his words were "You cannot afford to miss the oldest New Course in the world". I can now say thanks to him, the course is everything you can expect from a good one: nice design, challenge, strategy, very well kept and with some memorable holes as 3, 8, 9, 13 & 16. For my taste 9 is the best par 3 I played during my 10 days trip. If you are about to come and play, don´t miss this jewell.
October 05, 2011
8 / 10
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steve guzik
This is the second time I have played the new and despite both times having been in what you would call the 'shoulder season' (1st time was in March, 2nd time in late October), it has been the best condition of any course I have played all year.Lets get this out there straight away - if you are going for aesthetics or stunning views then you have come to the wrong place. What you are getting here is acourse that hasnt changed for over 100 years and is a throwback to golf course design in its infancy. Given that I can see why why some people say it is boring or the holes can be forgettable because in comparison to more modern courses or certainly American TV courses then it certainly has less 'glamour'. However, I feel it has an effortless class to it, there are no gimmick or tricked up holes although it does take until the 8th to get what I would call a truly world class hole ( a par 5 with the green situated thrugh two large dunes. The 9th is the hardest hole Ive ever played (a 231yd par 3 with OB down one side) and is probably as scenic as the course gets out by the estuary. There is another stunning par 3 (13th) o tha back 9 and the closing hole is pure class with the fantasitc Links Clubhouse behind it.In summary I think the plus points are the fantastic set of par 3's is has, the stunning condition any time of year and the gorgeous skyline of St Andrews always visible just to remind you that you are indeed at the home of golf. I can see why some people think certain holes can be flat and uninspiring but to be honest, glamour is not what golf in St Andrews is all about. If you dont get that then you may be underwhelmed. I wasnt!
October 24, 2010
8 / 10
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Paul
October 25, 2010
Good review. I agree with your comments. We visit St Andrews every year and the New Course is my favourite. My friends go on about the Castle, the Old and Kingsbarns, all of which are great, but they hardly ever mention the New. Although not as memorable as other courses in the area it has a subtle class that I always enjoy.
kcbritton
The New Course is a fantastic and fun track. Not near as hard as Jubilee but not as many quirks as the Old. It was the morning round and the Old was the afternoon. Sitting side by side, they are different experiences but the New must be played when in St Andrews.
July 08, 2010
6 / 10
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GGD
Played the New Course with 3 friends on 05/04/2010 having been unsuccessful in the Old course ballot. several people had said to us that they considered the New better than the old, some of these poeple are members at St Andrews as well. We paid £46 and I feel that this is good value and we were allowed to play off the white tees, although the welcome could have been a bit better rather than just be given a card, pencil and pin positions sheet, whereas playing at Kingsbarns the day before the welcome was totally opposite. The course was in good condition for the time of year and the greens were excellent, probably better than Kingsbarns for condition of surface and pace. We had a greenkeeper in our group and he said they were in good condition given the winter we have had. This was my first time round the New course and enjoyed it, the last few holes played into wind for us, 17th for example was a driver and also hitting a 3 iron from 130yds was a new experience!! All in a good test of golf at a reasonable price, but you can see it is focused completely on the tourists and trying to get as many round as possible in as short a time as possible with guide times for each hole. I am there to enjoy myself having parted with my cash, not to be hassled most of the way round.
April 06, 2010
8 / 10
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david beaumont
played this course a year or two ago and cant quite believe my eyes when i see it being rated within the top 20 courses in scotland! dont get me wrong ts a good course in good condition but it has to be one of the most simple standard courses going. I can not remember any 'great' holes just 18 'nice' ones. good course and worth playing but should NEVER be top 20.
March 09, 2010
6 / 10
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