Known as ‘The Home of Golf’, St Andrews is the most famous and desired destination in Scotland. Along with the iconic Old Course, there are also over 40 different golf courses in St Andrews & Fife area. Below are our top picks for golf in St Andrews & Fife.
Please use our price key to allow you to get an idea of the green fees for each course. This can also help to see what courses will work for your budget.
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Crail Golfing Society, Balcomie Links
Golf in Crail dates back to the late 1700’s and is acclaimed as one of the oldest club in the world. In 1898 the famous ‘Old Tom Morris’ re-designed the original 9-hole layout into 18 holes, which has remained mostly untouched even until today. Measuring under 6000yds from competition tees, Balcomie Links is certainly not the longest golf course you will play in Fife. However what it lacks in distance it makes up for in character. Also being exposed to the elements on the shores of the ‘Firth of Forth’ can turn even the shortest golf holes into card wreckers. As a result, the Balcomie Links is a fun course that you’ll want to play again and again.
Craighead Links opened in 1998 and was designed by the 2009 Golf Course Architect of the year, American Gil Hanse. Built in the style of a traditional links course, with no trees, Craighead, like Balcomie also provides panoramic views of up to 100 miles. Legally protected Sites of Special Scientific Interest flank the 13th and 14th holes and there is also a World War I pill box that sits behind the 7th green.
The Duke’s Course is owned by The famous Old Course Hotel and is in fact the only non-links course in St Andrews. The Duke’s Course was designed by 5 time Open Champion, Peter Thomson and was opened in 1995. The course spans over 7’500 yds off the back tees. Not only is the course protected by its length but the meandering fairways are tree lined. In addition, expertly positioned bunkers are there to catch you out and well protected greens make this a wonderful challenge of golf. Furthermore the stunning 13th par 4, provides breathtaking views over the ‘Auld Grey Toun’ of St Andrews. If you are looking for a change from links golf then The Duke’s is a must play in St Andrews.
Dumbarnie Golf Links
Opening early 2020, Dumbarnie Links is the new visitor only course to be added to the Fife Golf Portfolio. Already it is set to be one of the best courses in Fife! Fitting with modern day golf courses, the course is set up to allow golfers of all abilities to feel challenged and yet to also have an enjoyable experience. This begins with many tee positions on each hole. Each hole boasts views across the Firth of Forth as well as offering a great mix of short drivable par 4s, long par 5s and challenging par 3s. Dumbarnie is a Championship standard golf course that is accessible and very playable for every golfer.
The Golf House Club Elie
Golf dates back to the late 1500’s at The Golf House Club Elie. Therefore, with that, it is a course that is steeped in history and uniqueness. In particular the first hole and one of Elie’s signature holes is a blind tee shot. However a periscope that was removed from HMS Excalibur is used to look over the hill to make sure the group in front is well out the way. Mid way through your round you can also enjoy sea views across to Edinburgh on a clear day. Elie has no Par 5’s and only 2 Par 3’s but the 16 Par 4’s on the course offer. Therefore the course offers much variety and enjoyment to all golfers.
For instance, Peter Thomson, winner of five Open Championships, calls Elie a jewel amongst Scotland’s elite courses. “It’s quirky and it’s the most enjoyable course I know”. So if you enjoy a bit of history and you want a real test of golf then The Golf House Club Elie is the ideal place to golf in Fife.
The 520 acre five star Fairmont Resort encapsulates luxury, elegance and truly breath-taking surroundings in the ‘Home of Golf’. It is a unique and special venue with its peaceful setting and stunning cliff top views of St Andrews and the North Sea. Above all the resort prides itself with an array of fantastic facilities including two championship golf courses, the Torrance and Kittocks.
Fairmont or St Andrews Bay as it was called when first opened in the 1990’s. The great Gene Sarazen, Scottish golfing hero along with namesake Sam Torrance designed the course. The demanding course pushes out over 7’200yds from the back tees. Thus, it certainly offers the golfers very much a risk/reward style of golf. Specifically, many holes are superbly protected by strategically placed bunkering, undulating horizon greens and clever run off areas. Players who do want to take the risk will have to have many golf shots in their armoury to score well. The Torrance Course has hosted many top golfing events, in particular, The Scottish Senior Open on a number of occasions.
Slightly shorter course than its neighboring Torrance. It stretches out just over 7000 yds but this Par 72 includes a number of tee boxes meaning that all levels of golfers can enjoy the course. The course also includes a couple of man-made lakes that the course navigates its way around. Before you are then faced with some magnificent views across the Eden Estuary and the ‘Auld Grey Toun’. The Kittocks along with Torrance is a great addition to any golfing trip.
Kingsbarns Golf Links
Kingsbarns Golf Links, is located 6 miles along the coast from St Andrews, Fife. It is considered the jewel in the crown of American course architect Kyle Phillips. Although Kingsbarns only opened in 2000 the course layout makes it look and feel as though it has been there for centuries. Set on this stunning piece of coastline Kingsbarns Golf Links has also won many awards. Thus, the course is consistently voted as one of the top links courses in the world. Not only does the course have a fascinating selection of tough par 4’s and reachable par 5’s it also includes picturesque par 3’s. In addition to the wonderful golf, players can enjoy stunning views of the North Sea on almost every hole.
Kingsbarns Golf Links is also no stranger to elite golf events either. The Alfred Dunhill Links Championship is played here every autumn along with Carnoustie and The Old Course. Kingsbarns also hosted The Ricoh Ladies Open Championship in 2017, which was won by Korean In-Kyung Kim. Although the green fees at Kingsbarns are some of the highest in the country, it is without a doubt one of the greatest golf courses you will ever play and a must for any bucket list.
Ladybank Golf Club
Ladybank with two loops of nine holes is a heathland course of Championship status set amongst heather, pine trees and silver birch. Designed by Old Tom Morris, the course was originally founded in 1879 as a 6-hole course however it later expanded to 18 holes in 1961. Precision is required on the course especially the drive at the dogleg 3rd and 9th holes, as with the 15th and 16th on the back nine. Ladybank has also played host to Final Qualifying for The Open Championship on several occasions.
Leven Links is another course also located along the Fife Coastal trail and has records of playing golf there dating back to the early 1800’s. In fact, it is thought to be the first golf course to have 18 separate greens and teeing grounds. It is very much a traditional links course with undulating fairways surrounded by ancient sand dunes, immensely quick putting surfaces and some incredibly deep bunkers. Leven has also hosted local final qualifying events when The Open Championship was taken place at The Old Course, St Andrews.
Lundin Links Golf Club
Another excellent golf course in Fife, is Lundin Links, located only 10 miles from St Andrews. Founded in 1860 when course designer Tom Morris laid out the traditional 18 hole layout. The course offers many problems to the budding golfer such as blind shots, burns & Out of Bounds. Furthermore many tricky bunkers and some tough winds from the Firth of Forth also present a challenge. At a smidge over 6’300 yds this Par 71 is a huge test for any golfer. If you do have the chance to play this track, the iconic 14th hole is a Par 3 from an elevated tee and boasts some breathtaking views. So much so James Braid called the hole ‘Breathtaking”. This hidden gem of a course also plays host to Open Qualifying when the event is held at St Andrews.
Scotscraig Golf Club
The club was founded in 1817 and is claimed to be the 20th oldest golf club in the world. It is also another course in the area that plays host to Open Qualifying when the event is at St Andrews. Scotscraig is a heathland course with a links feel to it and measures over 6’600 yds. This Par 71 is very much a thinking golfers golf course that requires accuracy rather than length. Control of your golf ball is important here with gorse and heather are ready to catch wayward tee shots. In addition, rolling fairways and clever bunkering protecting each green means every shot must be given full attention by all.
We highly recommend the Scotscraig Experience which includes a tour of the 120-year old clubhouse & a round of golf. Your day is finished with a 3-course Scottish meal and finally a whisky or gin tasting. Certainly a fantastic day for any golfer!
St Andrews Links, Castle Course
The Castle Course is the newest member to the St Andrews Links portfolio of courses. Even though only opened in 2008, it is fast becoming a favourite amongst locals and visitors alike. Set on a cliff top to the south of the town, this 6’579 yd Par 71 offers challenges to golfers of all levels. The Castle Course boasts strategic bunkering, huge undulating greens in addition to spectacular views of the ‘Auld Grey Toun’ of St Andrews. The marquee hole is the Par 3 17th, which forces you to play around 180 yds over a rugged bay to a tricky green, which is usually into the prevailing wind. However, take a minute to enjoy the wonderful view looking back towards the town. The Castle Course is open for play between March and November. Each year and like all St Andrews Links Courses, advanced reservations are recommended.
St Andrews Links, Jubilee Course
The Jubilee Course was built only a few years after the New Course. To begin with, it was portrayed as a course where ladies and beginners could learn the game. However, throughout the years it has been moulded into another Championship Links, which lies between The New Course and the sea. At over 6’700 yds, this Par 72 is often viewed as the toughest course out of all the St Andrews Links courses. Although on the same piece of land, the course differs by not having shared greens or fairways unlike the New and Old Course. There are also a number of elevated tee shots, which require you to hit down through narrow fairways guarded by the dunes. The Par 3’s are also some of the most challenging you will find on any links course layout.
In our opinion The Jubilee is a must play for anyone looking for a real golfing test on the links. The course is available for play all year round and advanced booking is essential during the busy season.
St Andrews Links, New Course
Neighbours with the famous ‘Old Course’ The New Course is certainly not ‘New’ to the area. Built in 1895 by Tom Morris, the New Course was added to the Links. It provided another option for golf for the town’s folk over the increasing popularity of The Old Course. Stretching out over 6’500yds, this Par 71 has similarities to The Old Course such as shared fairways and double greens. In addition there are narrow rolling fairways protected by dunes and gorse bushes, strategically placed bunkers protecting greens and putting surfaces with subtle slopes. Had this course been on any other piece of land anywhere in the country, it would be seen as a real marquee course. However it will always be in the shadows of famous ‘Old Course’. The New Course is available for play all year round and advanced booking is essential during the busy season.
St Andrews Links, The Old Course
The Old Course is without a doubt the most famous course in the world and is always ranked amongst the elite courses. The Open has been held here a record 29 times since 1873. Dating back to the 12th century, this ancient links is steeped in history and tradition, giving it the name as the ‘Home of Golf’. St Andrews is often referred to as the ‘golfing mecca’ with its plethora of world-class golf courses. The Old Course is modest in length stretching to around 6700 yds, however, what it lacks in distance certainly makes up in character. From the moment, the starter announces you onto the 1st tee in front of the R&A Clubhouse, even the most confident of golfers feel nervous.
The Old Course has many quirks such as shared greens, which incidentally if the hole numbers are added together equate to 18. Strategic bunkering, some of which are not visible from the tee due to the ancient layout of the course. As well as a series of tough par 3’s.
The Old Course does boast the most iconic finishing stretch of holes, instantly recognizable to any golf lover. 16th is a tough par 4 heading back towards the town with out of bounds right. 17th, ‘Road Hole’, is also considered as one of the toughest par 4’s in golf with a blind tee shot over the corner of the hotel. Then finishing on the 18th, playing back through the town as you take a walk over the famous ‘Swilken bridge’. Expect a few claps along your way also, as there are always spectators enjoying the sights.
For more information on the various ways to secure a tee time on The Old Course please click here.
Golf Tour Packages
If you like the look of these courses and would like to experience golf in St Andrews & Fife, we recommend checking out the following packages:St Andrews Golf PackagesLundin Links Golf BreakHawkswood HouseAlternatively, please let us know if you wish to play any of the courses above and we will include them within your customised golf tour.