St Andrews Castle Course

A controversial design which pushes the boundaries with some of the most undulating greens built in the last 70 years!

St Andrews Castle Course

Fife, KY16 8PL, Scotland

Overview

Built on flat farmland, David McLay Kidd created a completely random landscape then routed St Andrews Castle Course.

The 9th and 18th greens are shared and located on a headland beneath the clubhouse.

Course Review
(Click to reveal)
Videos
(Click to reveal)

Golf Course Review

The St Andrews Castle Course is its newest addition to the portfolio. The course was opened on the 20th of June, 2008. The clifftop location offers views of the old grey town of St Andrews, St Andrews Bay, and the North Sea. A former hunting ground, the 200-acre site at Kinkell Braes was used for agriculture purposes before being crafted in a golf course.

The Castle Course is the seventh course that was added to the portfolio to relieve the pressure on the other courses on offer. Uniquely, the golf course is not a traditional links like the rest but is found on a clifftop on arable land. The substantially undulating greens were built to USGA specifications and with recent tweaks have added to the average players' enjoyment.

St Andrews Castle Course Synopsis

David McLay Kidd was the golf course architect of record. In routing the course, the majority of the front nine lies on the west side of the property where the back nine lies on the east side. With a clifftop location, the urge would be to use that property all in one go. However, on the front nine, it is not until the 6th green where you come near the cliff's edge. The last three holes (7, 8, and 9) on the outward nine are played along the cliffs before returning inland. On the inward nine, you only again reach the cliff's edge on the 16th green. The 17th and 18th then finish the loop back to the clubhouse on this prime real estate.

Despite its rocky start, the Castle Course has become one of the busiest in St Andrews. Reviews are still mixed from ardent golf course architecture nerds but for the most part, are overwhelmingly positive from the golfing public at large.

Tom Doak, David McLay Kidd & St Andrews Castle Course

Famously, Tom Doak rated the Castle Course a 'Zero' in his Confidential Guide. It is the only course to have earned the dishonour. What did this mean? A course is 'so unnatural and contrived that it may poison your mind' that it cannot be recommended 'under any circumstance' and that it probably would have been better if 'not built in the first place.'!

Since the book was released, Mr. Tom Doak and Mr. David McLay Kidd put things right over a beer in Florida. It has also been reported the greens in question have also been toned down... Read how it all went down in Eamonn Lynch's explanation and David McLay Kidd's comments.

St Andrews Castle Course Reviews

Read Sean Arble's tour of St Andrews Castle Course.

Read More
Golf.com World Ranking
Ranked
84/100
in the world

St Andrews Castle Course - Videos


st andrews castle course official promo video

Watch Back9Show's overview of st andrews castle course

Evalu18 Recommends

Everything you need to know before you go!

Featured Architect: Alister MacKenzie

As taken from his book, Golf Architecture, Alister MacKenzie felt the following were essential: The course, where possible, should be arranged in two loops of nine holes. There should be a large proportion of good two-shot holes and at least four one-shot holes. There should be little walking between...

View Profile

At A Glance

Architects

  • Kidd, David McLay

Facilities

Moderate
Trolleys
Caddies
Fine
Driving Range
Short Game

Collections

Best Scottish Golf Collection
Pure Golf Collection
Course Next Door Collection

Contact Details

Fife, KY16 8PL, Scotland
Visit Club Website
View List

Location

Evalu18 Journal

Try these featured posts from our Journal.
MacKenzie Bag Sunday Bag
Half Set
The half set movement is inherently linked to the growing subculture of retro, millennial, minimalist golf... We introduce you to it here.
Cattle and other animals roam freely at Minchinhampton Old Course.
What is Golf Course Architecture?
What is Golf Course Architecture? The answer may just be as simple and as profound as you want to make it!
St Andrews Old Course Art_Close Up
Golf Art
Refined, high-quality, modern golf art prints in small batches.
magnifiercrossmenuchevron-downcross-circle