Golf in Fife Scotland

| September 12, 2013

St Andrews is renowned the world over as the Home of Golf and it is hard to argue with this epithet. Home of the Royal and Ancient, the Old Course and host to the British Open more often than anywhere else, in St Andrews golf runs through the residents’ veins. Fife, though, has much more to offer than the world’s most famous golf course, with a string of championship venues beyond the Old Course and some other less testing options amongst the region’s 45 plus courses. Further good news is that there are also now a tempting array of golf passes to help you get the best value out of playing golf in Fife Scotland year round.

St Andrews A World Renowned Golf Destination

There is nowhere else to start in Fife, of course, than St Andrews. This is golf’s Mecca, the hub where the game came of age and where the Open has been played 28 times and returns on a five year rotation. Nick Faldo, Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Woods are among the illustrious names who have all won on the landmark Old Course, surely the most famous course in the world. Wonderfully it is still a public course and you can enter the ballot for a slot and hope for the best along with the rest.

St Andrews Old Course

St Andrews Old Course (c) Robin McKelvie

Golf in St Andrews Does Not End at the Old Course

St Andrews Links Trust actually offer six more courses, which together comprise the largest golfing complex in Europe. These include the New Course, an ‘Old’ Tom Morris designed gem that is itself now over a hundred years old, the par 71 Castle Course, the Jubilee, which many golfers rate as the toughest test in St Andrews, the Eden course, which opened the year World War One broke out in 1914, the fairly forgiving Strathtyrum Course, which only opened in 1993 and a nine-hole option, the Balgove.

The Award Winning Golf Resort at Fairmount St Andrews

Just outside of town the Fairmont St Andrews development has brought more golf fame to Fife. This mammoth 520-acre site is home to the par 72 7,230yds The Torrance (designed by Sam Torrance himself), which hosted the Scottish Senior Open in August 2013. The Fairmont was named Golf Resort of the Year 2011 by Golf Tourism Scotland and European Golf Resort of the Year 2012 by the IAGTO. The resort’s other course The Kittocks, is no slouch either, a par 72 7,192yds monster that came 37th in Golf Weekly’s ratings this year.

Golf, St Andrews

Golf, St Andrews (c) Robin McKelvie

Great Links Golf Courses

Just six miles down the coast from St Andrews is another new gem. Kingsbarns opened to critical acclaim in 2000 and became an instant classic, which today, together with the Old Course and Carnoustie in Angus, hosts the annual Alfred Dunhill Links Championship. Another coastal treat is Crail Golfing Society, one of the oldest golf clubs in the world, who preside over a brace of courses, including the ‘Old’ Tom Morris designed Balcomie, which opened in 1895. Then there is Elie, a links where legendary player and course designer James Braid (who was born in Fife) cut his teeth and Lundin Links, another Braid gem that Golf Monthly have hailed as one of the top links in Britain and which has also featured in British Open qualifying.

Fife is not all about the famous coastal names, though, as there are courses inland too. Ladybank is a perfectly laid out par 71 heathland course, where you play surrounded by heather, pine trees and silver birch, which is also used regularly for Open qualifying, while Cupar has the oldest continuing 9-hole layout in the world, a wee hillside parkland jewel.

Enjoy a Unique 20th Century Golfing Experience

For a real slice of living history a visit to Kingarrock Hickory Club is essential. Yes, as the name suggests, here you dispense with titanium and steel and pick up a set of original hickory clubs as you delve back through the years, a seriously thrilling way to play golf. As well as the hickory clubs you get a vintage golf bag and authentic balls and tees as part of this unique early 20th century golfing experience.

St Andrews Old Course

St Andrews Old Course (c) Robin McKelvie

Great Value Golf Passes

Golf has come a long way in Fife since the days of bashing around with hickory clubs, though, and today a range of golf passes neatly package the region making playing there easier than ever. The First in Fife Golfpass  allows play on 13 Fife courses including Aberdour, Burntisland, Dunfermline and Pitreavie. The good news is that prices have been frozen for the last three years and it still costs just £63 for a 3-round pass and £99 for a 5-round pass.

Links with History meanwhile brings together a quartet of historic local clubs (the most youthful was founded in 1879)  – Crail Golfing Society, Lundin Links, Ladybank and Scotscraig, a par 72 Open Qualifying course. The organisers bill their pass as a ‘one stop-shop’ and it really does make covering these historic gems easy with the choice to book two, three or four rounds at these world class courses. There are two, three and four day options, cheapest on weekdays, but also allowing the flexibility of adding a weekend round or two for a nominal extra charge.

Golfing in balmy coastal Fife is, of course, year round, which is where the St Andrews Links Trust Winter Package comes in. For as little as £110 golfers can enjoy over three consecutive days play including a round on the Old Course and two additional rounds on either the New, Castle, Jubilee, Eden and Strathtyrum Links courses. The St Andrews Links Trust also offers three day (valid for seven days) and seven day (valid for two weeks) passes that allow play on all courses bar the Old Course.

Fife Justifiably Revels in Its Role as the Home of Golf

For 600 years St Andrews has revelled in its role as the Home of Golf. And it does not look life Fife’s shining star is giving up its crown anytime soon with the British Open back once again in 2015. Fife these days is more than just the Old Course, though, and next month sees the aforementioned Scottish Seniors Open at Fairmont St Andrews and the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship will be back at Kingbarns in October. Beyond the championships Fife also offers myriad less illustrious courses that make the best of the spectacular local scenery, with numerous golf passes meaning that making Fife the home of your golfing holiday has never been easier.



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