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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Alex Westenfield
Played the New in June 2006- found it to be a relatively stress-free round of golf with some character and a few excellent holes(6,9,several in the middle of the second nine).
February 21, 2007
6 / 10
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Carl Statham
I played the New Course at the end of a golfing tour to St Andrews and had played the Jubilee a few days before. In terms of experience the Links trust run a very efficient and friendly set up. The new club house is a fantastic facility considering there are no members. One amusing thing about this welcome is the amount of paperwork you get when you tee off:1. Green fee voucher2. Souvenir Scorecard3. Scorecard4. Pin position card5. Course planner6. PencilThe courses though fail to live up to the St Andrews hype, the Jubilee is a good course with some fine finishing holes but the New just isn’t up there. Even if you appreciate the history and that it is an old fashioned venue, the first few holes have little to commend them. It is only when you reach the estuary that the holes become interesting. The ninth, a long par three, is a beautiful hole. However with the return towards home the interest peters out and it returns to a flat field with bunkers. Having said that the last hole finishes with a grand stand style finish with one of the clubhouse balconies overlooking the green.In terms of conditioning the course was a mess. Apparently there had been a large competition the previous week and the fairways were an absolute mess. The greens though were very good and could not be faulted with some really tough pin options. One strange event though was that the New was closed on the Friday that we played the Jubilee, this was for the R&A members to practice before their medal ……. Only 6 tee times were used all day ……….. that is disgraceful as a lot of potential golfers were turned away!The real disappointment for the whole tour though was the way the courses had been set up. They were not set up as true links courses and I think if they had been our whole view of them would be different. When the dunes are as small as they are on the New the defence and the definition of a links course is the wind, the bunkering and the rough for when you stray off line. However right across this links land you were better off in the rough than on the fairway and as a tour we introduced preferred lies on the fairways because they were so bad.I realise this is a pay and play and there are a lot of tourists that want to get around without to horrific an experience, but when the rough is as benign as this the whole golfing experience is turned into a farce. If I was to return I’d play the Old for history and then disappear to other courses in Fife. Having said all that if I was on my first visit I would still play it, the history, the atmosphere, the welcome and the paperwork make it all a worth while experience for £55.
September 20, 2006
4 / 10
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mathew
played the new on 7th july part of a jolly boys road trip to the home of golf. Found the course to be good if not exceptional personaly prefered the jubilee course!!!!!!!! comparing new course to the old is not unreasonable but for the famous holes on the old you won't know what course you were playing!!!! also try the strathtyrum for some welcomed relief from the tougher tracks!!!!!!!
July 12, 2006
6 / 10
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Brock Lynch
Let's get the record straight. This is a very good golf course. Nearly every hole requires good shot making, if not great. I do believe that it is more difficult than the Old (your poor shots will be dealt with more harshly than on the Old) and is a pleasure to play. Anyone who says that the New is not at least good probably can't appreciate the shot making and good hitting reqiured to get around it. This is links golf at near the highest level and a natural, well though out design by Old Tom. Do not miss this course if you are in St. Andrews. Playing the Old & the New will be a links golf experience you will enjoy and won't forget.
July 03, 2006
8 / 10
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Richard Smith
I would think this course is overrated. I've played the New Course several times, and none of the holes seem particularly memorable. The course is quite challenging, and the ever present gorse bushes give the course a great deal of definition. The last time I played the course there was a 50 mph wind and it was essentially unplayable. In fact on the par 3 ninth no one could finish because the balls kept getting blown off the greens by the wind. The wind even knocked over my trolley while I was pulling it down the fairway. I love the Old Course, but the New proves to be a disappointment every time I play it.Richard SmithKnoxville, Tennessee
May 09, 2006
6 / 10
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Jim Robertson
Surprised at those who rate the New so highly. It does not come close to the Old. Very few memorable holes and many that are humdrum. If this wasn't at St Andrews would it figure high in the list? I think not.
February 04, 2006
4 / 10
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Cédric
Played on a sunny day in late october as part of the 2 courses policy booking that included the Old Course on the next day...I wasn't fussed at all by the New on the day of play and my opinion got even worse after I played the Old.Divots all over the place!!!A few good holes,but not enough for that course to be rated so highly.And I repeat,pretty poor condition.Very average course.....
December 30, 2005
4 / 10
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Jim McCann

Played on a sunny morning with a light breeze in February 2005. Unlike the Old course, you are allowed to play in the winter on the New without using a mat on the fairways. It is, in my humble opinion, nothing like its illustrious next door neighbour – no rippling fairways, deep hollows in front of greens, huge undulating double greens, hidden fairway bunkers and tee shots where landing areas are unseen. No, the New is far fairer with wide fairways and flatter greens (though greenside bunkers are just as fierce).There is plenty of gorse around but you have to be pretty errant to get penalised here.

Three points of note. First, if nearby Leuchars airfield is having a busy day, earplugs would be advised to minimise the noise of low flying jet aircraft. Second, there is no real view of the town (due to sand dunes and maintenance sheds) to provide a backdrop over the last few holes home which is a real pity as that adds to the atmosphere when playing the Old course. Three, I noted the suppliers of equipment on tees and greens were Canadian – are there no UK companies who could provide for the home of golf?

Finally, the clubhouse facilities are first class and becoming of a world sporting venue – the Links Trust have spent very well here so you can see where the above average green fees are going (though, these fees are very cheap for our North American visitors, believe me). If you cannot get on the Old course or cringe at the cost of paying over a hundred quid then the New may be for you at half the price.

Jim McCann

February 02, 2005
7 / 10
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Bart Boudreaux
Better layout than the Old Course but pretty average. Other than the Old Course the St. Andrews courses are a let down for this mecca. Kingsbarns is the highlight of the St. Andrews area by far. St. Andrews needs more high quality golf courses to supplement the Old Course.
January 01, 2005
4 / 10
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Dudley Nicholls
Whilst it does not have the aura and famous landmarks of the old course , the new is a fantastic course in its own right. It is probably more difficult than the old with defined fairways and as tough a collection of Par 3's as you will find. The Par 3 9th is 225 yards uphill , out of bounds left , gorse right and the day I played it against the breeze. Even if you can not get on to the old you will not be disappointed if you come and play here.
August 05, 2004
10 / 10
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