Scotland is known worldwide for its world-class links and its importance in golf history. But only one town in Scotland can take credit for this reputation, and that is St. Andrews.
St. Andrews is the birthplace of golf, and home to the most famous golf course in Scotland, and arguably the world. It’s a rite of passage for any avid golfer, and an experience you won’t soon forget.
From the history of the town, to when to visit, to which golf courses that absolutely can’t be missed, this is your guide to St. Andrews.
History of St. Andrews
The first written record of golf was in St. Andrews in 1552, although it is believed that the sport had been played there for over a century prior.
Over time, the sport grew larger, and in 1754, a group of 22 ‘noblemen and gentlemen of the Kingdom of Fife’ established the Society of St Andrews Golfers. Eventually, they were renamed the Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews, and in 1897 published the first official ‘Rules of Golf’ handbook.
The Most Famous Golf Course in Scotland
While St Andrews Links contains plenty of courses that are worth your time, we’ll narrow it down for you, as well as highlighting the one that started it all.
The Old Course is the most iconic course in St Andrews, Scotland, and quite possibly the entire world. It’s the original course where the sport was developed, with people playing in the 15th century before there was even an official record of golf.
Old Course has hosted 29 Open championships, and every golf legend has walked those famous greens at some point in their career. If the idea of doing a round of golf on the hallowed grounds is too intimidating, you can take a quick guided tour of the course before golfing elsewhere.
New Course, as its name implies, is the younger sibling to Old Course, and was designed by legend Tom Morris in 1895, making it one of the oldest “new courses” in the world.
For beginners or those on a budget, Balgove is a worthy course to experience golf history without the crowds or the steep prices. The nine-hole course is good for families, experts, and everyone in between.
How and When to Experience St Andrews
Being the most famous golfing destination in the world, St Andrews is a trip that needs to be planned ahead of time.
It’s recommended to book Old Course a year ahead of time, but most other courses can be planned just weeks in advance. Just make sure you stay updated on all of the St Andrews tee times as many of the courses host tournaments throughout the year.
The best time to visit St Andrews is from April to October but prepared for wind and rain no matter what time of the year you visit.
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Now that you know all about the most famous golf course in Scotland it’s time to learn even more about this wonderful area.
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