St Andrews Eden Course

Overlooked by many, it is a Harry Colt & Donald Steel with bags of character.

St Andrews Eden Course

Fife, KY16 9SF, Scotland


St Andrews Eden Course takes its name from the river and estuary nearby. The course has two loops that work their way out and back to the clubhouse. The opening four holes lie beside The Old Course with the remainder found beside the Strathtyrum.

The Eden Course St Andrews is a hybrid from both Harry Colt and Donald Steel. 7 of 18 holes were lost when practice facilities were introduced. Donald Steel added a pond to the par 3 15th. It is the only inland water hazard on the Trust's seven courses.

From west to east on St Andrew Links Trust's property, the order of courses is the Strathtyrum, Eden, Old, New, and finally the Jubilee.

The original Harry Colt greens here are some of the most undulating at The Home of Golf.

Course Review
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Golf Course Review

The St Andrews Eden Course was a Harry Colt designed links before the decision was made to make way for a practice facility over part of the original layout. The first two holes along with the last two holes of the Harry Colt course were plowed up to make way for a driving range and practice facility with Donald Steel called in to make the controversial changes.

The changes on the St Andrews Eden Course also allowed space for the tent village when St Andrews hosts The Open. Perhaps in a sick twist of fate, the sacrifice of Harry Colt’s Eden Course has ensured the Old Course can continue to be used as an Open Venue.

St Andrews Eden Course History

The original Eden was laid out by Mr. Harry Colt and built by Mr. Frank Harris. Approval for the new course, the fourth course at the time, was granted in August of 1913. The initial budget was set at £2500 for what was essentially a relief course for the busy summer season. In the end, the total spend ended up being £3000. It opened for play in early summer 1914.

It was noted that the fourth course was not an easy negotiation between the landowner, Mr. James Cheape, the town, and the R&A. At the time there was also the issue of the railway, Pilmour Cottage, and the requirement of the turf nursery. These issues prevented Harry Colt from making the very most of this project. As part of the deal, the R&A was required to cover the expense of installing irrigation to all four courses at St Andrew’s, to the tune of £4000.

The initial layout on the St Andrews Eden Course was played to 6155 yards but could be stretched to 6400 yards! As planned by Harry Colt, there were four Par 3’s and two Par 5’s. In particular, Harry Colt mentioned using the natural plateaux in addition to building a couple more.

Such was the outrage against the aggressive bunkering, the scorecard provided also the number of bunkers on each hole! They totaled 42 in all, 11 of which were pot bunkers. There were also two oblique hazards that needed to be carried on the 4th and 10th.

    1. 350 Yards – 7 Bunkers
    2. 420 Yards – 5 Bunkers
    3. 160 Yards – 3 Bunkers
    4. 470 Yards – 10 Bunkers
    5. 430 Yards – 5 Bunkers
    6. 330 Yards – 3 Bunkers
    7. 160 Yards – 4 Bunkers
    8. 380 Yards – 7 Bunkers
    9. 350 Yards – 2 Bunkers
    10. 430 Yards – 6 Bunkers
    11. 410 Yards – 4 Bunkers
    12. 400 Yards – 5 Bunkers
    13. 260 Yards – 1 Bunker
    14. 170 Yards – 7 Bunkers
    15. 520 Yards – 9 Bunkers
    16. 165 Yards – 2 Bunkers
    17. 400 Yards – 4 Bunkers
    18. 350 Yards – 4 Bunkers

In July 1914, there was published a ‘critical survey’ of St Andrews Eden Course. It was said to be a typical Harry Colt design with forced carries and it was thought by some to be ‘severely bunkered.’ In fact, one critic said of the 14th, ‘Harry Colt has bowed down at the altar of Crankiness and has offended most deeply against the Gods of Common Sense.’ It wasn’t just the 14th… the 1st, 3rd, 4th, 6th, 7th, and 13th all received similar scrutiny…

Harry Colt Course Map 1915

St Andrews Eden Course 1921

By 1921, the St Andrews Eden Course actually shrunk by 5 yards. New tees were added and it was reported they could be used to stretch 6300 yards if needed. The course record after 7 years of play was 70. It was noted the course was harder than the Old, especially so in the wind.

  1. 350 Yards – Unchanged.
  2. 420 Yards – Unchanged.
  3. 180 Yards – 20 yards added.
  4. 470 Yards – Unchanged.
  5. 420 Yards – Reduced 10 yards.
  6. 330 Yards – Unchanged.
  7. 150 Yards – Reduced by 10 yards.
  8. 380 Yards – Unchanged.
  9. 350 Yards – Unchanged.
  10. 430 Yards – Unchanged.
  11. 420 Yards – 10 yards added.
  12. 380 Yards – Reduced by 20 yards.
  13. 260 Yards – Unchanged.
  14. 180 Yards – 10 yards added.
  15. 510 Yards – Reduced by 10 yards.
  16. 180 Yards – 15 yards added.
  17. 390 Yards – Reduced by 10 yards.
  18. 350 Yards – Unchanged.

Harry Colt Course Map Eden 1921

Harry Colt & St Andrews Eden Course

In order to make room for the practice facility, the original opening (1 & 2) and closing holes (17 & 18) of the St Andrews Eden Course were lost. That leaves a theoretical possibility of 14 Harry Colt holes. However, Donald Steel’s changes meant rerouting the course and this resulted in three more of Harry Colt’s holes being lost. That leaves 11 possible Harry Colt holes. The original Colt holes are numbers 2-9, 11 & 13. Additionally, the current 1st green is also Harry Colt’s former 3rd green.

St Andrews Eden Course Photography

Purchase Kevin Murray’s Photography of St Andrews Eden Course.

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St Andrews Eden Course - Videos

Watch hidden links review of st andrews eden course

Featured Architect: MacKenzie, Alister

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...

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Driving Range
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Contact Details

Fife, KY16 9SF, Scotland
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