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Golf Package to St. Andrews

June 15 - 22, 2019

  • Crail-Balcomie Course –  One of the world’s oldest golf clubs, Crail Golfing Society was founded in February 1786 and initially comprised membership of 11 local golfers. The club’s original home was located at Sauchope, just outside the picturesque fishing village of Crail, and it was not until 1895, with the help of Old Tom Morris, that it relocated to its present home at Balcomie Golf Links. With the hardships of the First World War, the local town council had to come to the rescue of the club, when it took over the lease of the links, which was eventually purchased in 1924. As with many Scottish courses, the links was requisitioned for military use during the Second World War but by 1946, golf at Balcomie Links was restored. Crail was run jointly by both the council and the club until 1973, when Crail Golf Club purchased the entire facility from the council for the sum of £30,000. Located 11 miles from its famous sister courses at St Andrews, the Balcomie Links at Crail, though not particularly long, is a truly beautiful venue with superb views of the sea from every tee. The course is always in immaculate condition and boasts crisp links turf and greens. Although it can become frighteningly fast during the summer months, it always remain true. Far removed from the bustle of everyday life, many holes climb and tumble alongside the water’s edge and the rocky outcrops of the Forth shore. As befits a classic links, each hole has its own character, which always ensures a fascinating round of golf. The 4th and 5th offer tempting shortcuts across the shoreline, with the latter, aptly called “Hell’s Hole,” representing a fearsome 459-yard par 4, where it’s make your mind up time as to whether you try to carry the beach or take the sensible way around. Like many top courses, the last few holes will test even the most accomplished golfer. With some of the finest short holes anywhere, the memory of the back-to-back 13th and 14th will linger for a long time. But no matter how well or badly you fare, every golfer will remember Crail as a stunning golfing experience.
     

  • Kingsbarns Located directly on the North Sea coast only six miles from St Andrews, Kingsbarns is, without a doubt, one of the most breathtaking links courses ever developed. Though it only opened for general play in July 2000, it is not untrue to say that the links appears to have been in situ for centuries, as golf was played on this very site as far back as 1793. Kingsbarns Golf Links is a real one-of-a-kind and contrasts with Scotland’s other famous links courses in that it is a new, man-made development. The significance of the development was highlighted by Sir Michael Bonallack, winner of 5 British Amateur Titles and present captain of the R & A when he indicated that “Kingsbarns might well be one of the last true seaside links sites capable of development in Scotland.” With views of the ocean and the high tide foaming over the rocks below, one quickly realizes that this links is special, and while nothing can replace the Old Course, Kingsbarns Links is infinitely more scenic and is a worthy spiritual descendant of its historical neighbor. With talk of major tournaments, the venue is being touted as an ideal host to the Scottish Open, which has not been played since 1996 due to the loss of its sponsor. And don’t be surprised when you hear the British Open and Kingsbarns mentioned in the same sentence. The sea figures prominently on every hole and one’s senses are continually pricked with the sights, sounds and smells of the ocean spray. The links boasts spacious fairways, which roll and twist through majestic dune ridges and hollows, while its large inviting greens present the golfer with subtle challenges. Combined with true links turf and associated contours, Kingsbarns Golf Links is distinctly playable but challenging to the end. To leave the final words on this links to Sir Michael Bonallack would be appropriate: “Mere words cannot convey just how extraordinary the place is. It must be seen to be believed and once seen, it will never be forgotten.” Remember the name Kingsbarns Links, as you will be hearing and reading so much more about this course in the years and decades to come.
     

  • St. Andrews-New CourseA classic links course set out in 1895 by Old Tom Morris. It is known by many as the oldest “new” golf course in the world, and its name originated to differentiate it from the original course at the Links, later became known as the Old Course. The course has a traditional out and back layout. If the New were set anywhere other than directly next to the Old course it would stand out much more than it does.
     

  • St. Andrews-Castle CourseThe newest addition to St Andrews Links, The Castle Course opened in 2008 becoming the seventh course at the Home of Golf and part of the largest public golfing complex in Europe. Set on a rugged cliff-top with spectacular views over St Andrews, The Castle Course offers a memorable golfing experience.
     

  • St. Andrews-Old Course – Such is the history attached to the Old Course at St Andrews, it is virtually impossible to do it justice by mere words – but try we must. Until 1764, the course comprised 12 holes and a round consisted of 22 holes. By 1764, the Society of St Andrews Golfers decided to combine some holes, thus reducing a round to 18 holes. Due to the growing popularity of the game, the greens were enlarged in 1832, catering to incoming golfers playing two different holes, an economical way of creating 18 separate holes and fairways. Though adjusted by Tom Morris, the Old Course is essentially natural, its layout changing little in over 200 years. The course has been modeled by the winds of God that formed the dunes into randomly complex shapes, indifferent then as now, to the vanities of mankind. While golf has been played for centuries at St Andrews, it was not always looked upon favorably by the authorities. Under the Act of Parliament of 1457, it was decreed that “golfe be utterly cryit doun and not usit.” James III and IV subsequently reinforced this statement from James II due to the belief that the pursuit of golf was distracting men from archery practice and thereby weakening the defense against the threat of invading English armies. Though the championship credentials of the Old Course hardly require justification, the venue has played host to 25 Open Championships and many other major competitions over the years. Measuring almost 7,000 yards from the championship tees, the visitor will rarely play from here and is more likely to take on the 6,566-yard challenge. Golf was originally played here in a clockwise direction but over time, the anti-clockwise format was deemed to be superior, and since 1870 only one championship has been held over the original layout, due to an oversight by the green keeping staff. In the absence of wind, the Old Course can actually play quite easy, but the overpowering sense of awe that one feels when standing on the first tee will certainly equalize matters. And while each hole is both a pleasure and an unforgettable experience to play, some of the finest on the Old Course include the 1st, 11th, 14th and 17th holes. Quite apart from the degree of difficulty, the first ball struck on the Old Course will probably prove to be the most nerve-wrenching shot that you will ever hit. One should steer the drive to the left hand side of the fairway, keeping the out of bounds on the right well out of play, while the long hitter must take care to avoid the burn, situated 260 yards from the tee. The second shot calls for a medium to long iron, depending on the wind, and with the green almost at one with the burn, walk off with a par and it is a job well done. The par 4, 17th “Road Hole” is one of the most celebrated and feared holes in golf. Should you take the advised line over the “Black Sheds,” your drive should be struck with a touch of draw and must carry at least 180 yards. And while the prudent second shot here would be to the front right corner of the green, for those who relish a challenge, great accuracy is required in order to avoid the road to the right and rear of the green and also the dreaded Road Hole Bunker. End up in the bunker though, and you may well experience both on your way to running up a nice score. The Old Course at St Andrews is a must for all avid golfers, who should make the pilgrimage at least once in their lifetime. While it is one thing getting the opportunity to play here, it is quite another to make the occasion a memorable one in scoring terms. Every virgin Old Course golfer finds that, in addition to pitting his wits against the course, the none-too-slight elements of history, reputation, aura and self-determination all contrive against a low return. As the legendary Robert the Bruce said to his troops at the battle of Bannockburn, “I have brought you to the ring, now you must dance.”

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